SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) Sailing School marked a remarkable milestone on September 16th as it celebrated its 30th anniversary. The day was filled with sailing, speeches, and a BBQ that brought together members, supporters, and friends of the club.
The day kicked off with the Barts Bash race in the Simpson Bay Lagoon with 23 participants. The race witnessed some fierce competition, with sailors battling it out on the water with live commentary from the dock.
Following the Barts Bash race, parents and adults competed in an Optimist race, a unique and enjoyable event that brought generations together on the water. Frits Bus won the Optimist race, his second victory of the day. However, it wasn't just about winning; it was also about the spirit of sportsmanship. William, finished last due to an early capsize, showcased true dedication to the sport by still finishing the race. He was honored with the sportsmanship prize after the race.
After the Optimist race, the official part of the day began as Saskia Revelman, SMYC manager, and Frits Bus, commodore of the SMYC took the stage. They shared heartfelt speeches that not only recounted the club's rich history but also looked ahead to the future. The highlight of their speeches was the launch of a new project – the Sailability Project.
The Sailability Project is an exciting initiative aimed at making sailing accessible to individuals with disabilities. To mark the launch of this project, a new Sailability boat was unveiled in a memorable ceremony with the presence of the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation's board members, caretakers, students, and their loving families.
The Students of the Sailability program poured champagne over the vessel symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter of inclusivity and accessibility.
This entire Sailability project was made possible by Resources for community Resilience, R4CR. Their team leader Steve Duzanson and Finance and Control Specialist Chi Hing Roger-Yee were present at the 30th Anniversary celebration to witness the launch of the project.
After the official launch, the festive day ended with music, BBQ and drinks. Members, supporters, and guests gathered for this celebration. The atmosphere was great, a strong sense of community that SMYC has sought to live up to.
"We are incredibly proud of what SMYC has achieved over the last 30 years," said Saskia Revelman, SMYC Manager "Our anniversary celebration mixed old and new. We celebrated how far we have come, but we also looked ahead. The start of our Sailability project shows we're committed to making sailing an activity that everyone can enjoy, no matter who they are."
SMYC extends its gratitude to everyone who joined in the festivities and contributed to the success of this remarkable day. The club looks forward to many more years of sailing, growing, and community building as it continues its journey into the future.