NEW HOME FOR NATIONAL SAILING ACADEMYMonday 11th November 2013
I recently returned to Antigua following a summer abroad and was delighted to meet with Elizabeth Jordan, President of the National Sailing Academy (NSA), who was only too pleased to show me around the NSA’s new premises at the former Reef Gardens on Dockyard Drive.
Elizabeth signed a long-term lease on the property on behalf of the NSA at the beginning of June and quickly got to work planning, getting approvals and beginning renovations to the property and buildings. The work is not quite finished yet but it is very close. When finished, it will not only be the new home of the National Sailing Academy but will be a complete water sports centre featuring sailing, rowing and paddling among other activities. It will also be a hub of social events in the evenings which have already started with regular chess tournaments over a few drinks.
Renovations to the property include the installation of a beautiful new dock with several fingers and an 80-foot T dock which will accommodate the NSA’s fleet of three 1720 keelboats. The dock will feature power and fresh water facilities. A separate ramp has been installed leading from the property’s hillside down to the water and will soon be completed with the water portion of the ramp which will allow the NSA’s sailing dinghies to be launched for use and then hauled for storage ashore when not in use.
Other renovations include upgrading the buildings and accommodations on the property which will be income-producing facilities for the NSA. A range of accommodations will be available for rent including simple budget rooms, apartments with ensuite bathroom and kitchen, and one self-contained cottage. It’s a beautiful property and one at which most would be happy to spend a night or two and wake up in the morning to the birds chirping while sipping coffee on the water’s edge.
The official grand opening of the National Sailing Academy’s water sports centre is expected to be sometime in late January but it will be open and operational long before that, with its main focus to remain the teaching of sailing to Antigua’s school children. The new facility will allow that program to continue to grow and expand and provide many youngsters with future career opportunities in the yachting sector.
Congratulations to Elizabeth for a job well done!
By Kathy Lammers
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