The Ministry of Tourism and Hurakabra River Resort held an official welcome reception on Thursday September 11, at the Resort in the Essequibo River for the 9 yachts and 22 sailors which had begun to arrive in Guyana since September 7 from Trinidad & Tobago, participating in the Nereid’s International Yacht Rally.
Director of the GTA, Indranauth Haralsingh, welcomed all participants to Guyana on behalf of the Government and the Ministry.
Owner of Hurakabra River Resort, Kit Nascimento, speaking on behalf of himself and wife and co-owner, Gem Madhoo-Nascimento, welcomed the second Rally and congratulated the coordinator of the Rally, David Matelicani, for having significantly increased the yachts participating in the Rally. Nascimento extended his thanks to Banks DIH Ltd. for their sponsorship and I-Net Communications Inc. for providing additional network bandwidth to accommodate the Rally.
Three yachts scheduled to participate, owing to last minute repairs, were unfortunately unable to make the sail.
Mr. Matelicani disclosed that he was committed and had begun negotiations with the government to build a Marina and Boatyard with all haul-out facilities that, if all goes well, should begin operations early in 2016 and possibly before.
Matelicani expressed the view that Guyana, outside of the hurricane belt, is an ideal yachting destination for yachts from both the Caribbean and those crossing the Atlantic to South America and are on their way up to the Caribbean. He said he looks forward with anticipation, in the not too distant future, to the Essequibo River becoming a major yachting destination in comparison with any in the Caribbean.
He pointed out that yachting tourism is a multi-million dollar business creating substantial employment for skilled labour in yachting maintenance and repairs and as a major foreign exchange earner for the country.
The Captain of Orion 1, John Fesel, speaking on behalf of all the sailors, expressed his appreciation for the tremendous welcome extended to the yachts, the remarkable hospitality and service extended from the Customs and Immigration, Coast Guard and Police and remarked on the exceptional kindness and hospitality received by all of the yachtsman from the people in Bartica.
He also congratulated the Nascimentos’ on the wonderful Resort and their generous hospitality.
During the next three days they were taken on a tour by Regional Chairman of Bartica, Gordon Bradford, to Kyk-over-al, Baracara Falls, Marshall Falls and given a full experience of the Amerindian Heritage Day at the village of Karrau..
On Sunday, many Guyanese who attended the Hurakabra Beach party, got an opportunity to visit and enjoy the hospitality of the yachts or experience a sail on one of them. For many, it was their first time on board such a vessel and deemed it as ‘thrilling’ or ‘educational’, seeing the lifestyle of a yachtsman.
Many games were organised by the Guyana Tourism Authority staff and some were team cruisers versus Guyanese. The yachters emerged winners in the tug of war game against Guyana. It was a great time for them to mix and mingle in a very casual and fun atmosphere.
A number of the yachters immensely enjoyed a visit to the majestic Kaieteur Falls which they described as ‘magnificently unspoilt and natural’.
The rally left Guyana on Thursday September 18, heading to Suriname and finally French Guyana.(Guyana Chronicle – September 20, 2014)