In March 2010 Russian businessmen sailed in Antigua for the second time.
For the second year in row, a large group of Russians landed at VC Bird International Airport last March. After clearing Customs and Immigration, they hopped in buses and rushed to the sea at a marina in Falmouth Harbour, where they jumped on board their boats to start racing around the islands. Russian Business Caribbean Sailing Week, which takes place with the support of the Ministry of Tourism of Antigua & Barbuda, has already become a tradition and gathers the leading representatives of Russian business under its sails.
This year 250 Russians arrived. The loud and cheerful crowd spilled out of the plane, tired after a long voyage across the ocean, and at once began to entertain the locals with their immediacy and joy. A day later, at the opening ceremony of the regatta at Antigua Yacht Club, Commodore of the Club, Elizabeth Jordan, said: "The arrival of such a large delegation from Russia is very important to us. We know Russia as a powerful and rich country and hosting some of its best representatives here does not only mean further development of relations between our countries, but first and foremost the growth of a human and business partnership. We are different, but we all share our love for sailing."
The team hard at work - Photo by Roustem Adagamov
Russian Business Caribbean Sailing Week has been organized as a tourist product for Russian businessmen with the involvement of major Russian business media. This allows the organizers to gather the most prominent representatives of Russian business society. Thus, their visit always means a contribution to the local economy in Antigua. "When we were choosing the destination for our regatta, the first principle was: easy to reach, easy to organize. Antigua and Barbuda, as a country with visa-free entry for Russians and direct flights across the Atlantic from London, appeared to us to be the best option", said the General Manager of the Week, Mr. Boris Boltyanskiy. "And the hospitality and assistance provided by local officials, businessmen and the local people, confirmed that we had made the right choice. We are pleased to be here for the second time and appreciate your very warm reception."
Perfect sailing conditions - Photo by Roustem Adagamov
The regatta was made possible with the cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism, Antigua Yacht Club, National Parks Authority, OnDeck, Sunsail and Horizon Yacht Charters, Jolly Harbour Marina, Nelson’s Dockyard Marina and Falmouth Harbour Marina, Jolly Beach Resort, Sugar Ridge and many more companies and people living in Antigua and Barbuda.
Awaiting the start - Photo by Roustem Adagamov
During the week the Russian contingent discovered the beauty of Antigua’s sister island, Barbuda, the taste of real Caribbean “English Harbour” rum, 365 white sand beaches and the bustling markets of Saint John’s. They relaxed, spent their money and took some cheerful Caribbean sentiments with them back to snow-covered Russia to share with families and friends.
Welcome again, Russians! Welcome to Antigua!
Editor’s Note: Planning for Russian Business Sailing Week 2011 is currently underway and will see the a return of a large group of Russian sailors to Antigua, as well as perhaps to Guadeloupe and maybe even Dominica. We will publish further details of the event as they come available.
Article written by Mikhail Savelyev and Eugene Kipper.