At least twenty yachts are expected to grace Guyana’s waters come September, as the 10 day Nereid’s Rally leaves Trinidad & Tobago, bound for Guyana and French Guiana, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) announced on Monday.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfan Ali met Sunday with the organizer of this event, Mr. Davide Matelicani along with Mr. Kit Nascimento, representatives from the Coast Guard, MARAD, the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the Guyana Tourism Authority.
In his presentation, Mr. Matelicani announced that Guyana is the destination for the first leg of the rally; participants will stop at Bartica , after which a formal welcome will await them at Hurakabra River Resort , who are partners for the event.
Participants will have eight days to explore the delights of Guyana, taking part in some of the many tour offerings before the rally moves on to its final leg in French Guiana.
Matelicani noted too that the Southern route is becoming more popular as a result of the change in weather pattern and more and more yachters are looking to escape the hurricane weather.
“Guyana is ideal because of its geographic location and then there is the ease of coming to Guyana (customs clearance), this is a big selling point,” he stated.
Among the issues discussed yesterday was the need for enhanced Coast Guard presence, expeditious immigration and customs processing, strengthened police presence and the necessity of adequate infrastructure to host similar such flotillas in the future.
In this regard, Minister Ali pledged that his Ministry will seek to ensure that all systems are in place to make the inaugural event a success; this includes involving all of the stakeholders.
He said too that the Ministry’s aim is to use this event to catapult the Yacht Industry in Guyana and to harness the influx of yachts to develop the necessary infrastructure to further support the industry.
Minister Ali explained, “This is not a one off event and the Government of Guyana will ensure that we do what is necessary for this pioneering industry, and we welcome any involvement and support.
Meanwhile all stakeholders present assured the Minister that their agencies will work along with the organizers and the participants, to ensure that yachters have easy clearance, safe anchorage and a secure environment.
When the rally departs Guyana, another warm welcome awaits participants when they arrive at Saint Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana.
Mr. Matelicani emphasized that such events provide opportunities for investment, job creation and catalyst for the successful hosting of future events; he revealed too that registration for the 2014 rally is already underway as this is intended to be an annual activity.
The first set of yachters in the rally is expected to arrive on September 4th while the convoy is expected to depart for French Guiana on September 16th.
This upcoming event is being featured in major publications including the Caribbean Compass, the Boca, on Noonsite (the Bible for Sailors) and online via Blogs, information is also available on the website- www.marinaslm.com/rally.