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Americas' Sail 2002 Comes to Jamaica in June.

Sports Editors/Writers & Columnists

NEW YORK--(BW SportsWire)--April 11, 2002

The Western Hemisphere's most spectacular tall ship event, Americas' Sail, arrives in Jamaica, West Indies, with Class "A" vessels from as far away as Romania and the Ukraine making their way from Curacao in the Netherland Antilles to Montego Bay, Jamaica. The ships depart Curacao on June 10th, arriving on Friday June 14th, entering Montego Bay harbor in a grand Parade of Sail on Saturday, June 15th.

Class "B" entries - four of them from the United States - arrive at Port Antonio, Jamaica on Friday, June 14th, before racing on to Montego Bay where they join the tall ships on Sunday, June 16th. The weekend schedule is packed with activities for boaters and the general public, from marching bands and cultural performances to a Black Tie Gala and public tours of the tall ships.

Americas' Sail 2002 in Jamaica marks the first time in the history of the event that two different ports of call in the same country are part of the race itinerary. And Jamaica is pulling out all stops in preparation.

The Jamaica leg of the race culminates on Monday, June 17th with public viewings, ship tours and a grand finale fireworks display in the evening, all open to the public at no charge.

Conceived originally in 1986 as The Four Sisters Project (referring to the four sister ships, Gloria, Guayas, Cuauhtemoc, and Simon Bolivar), by Frank O. Braynard, who was one of the Founders of Operation Sail, the idea for Americas' Sail was to initiate regularly scheduled international tall ship races in the Western Hemisphere. Braynard was soon joined by Long Island sculptor Anthony Fabbricante, who created the gold Americas' Sail trophy; his wife Dulcie, and Reverend William Wendler. The four celebrated the inaugural Americas' Sail event in 1995 with 23 ships competing on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, visiting ports from Norfolk to New Haven, where the Parade of Tall Ships became a highlight of the 1995 Special Olympics. The first Americas' Sail trophy was presented there to the Simon Bolivar of Venezuela, and has since traveled with her on all her voyages. The renowned 270-foot Bolivar is entered into the 2002 race and will be available for public tours in Jamaica.

The second Americas' Sail race took place in 1998, visiting Savannah, Georgia, Greenport and Glen Cove, New York, with the Class A Gold trophy going to Argentina's frigate, Libertad. It is expected that the Argentine Navy ship will defend its trophy in the 2002 race.

In Montego Bay, or "the gulf of good weather" as Christopher Columbus called it, the "Festival of Sail" event includes, among other activities, a ship-side welcome, marching bands, cultural shows, and a carnival on the cruise ship pier.

On Sunday, June 16th there are public viewings and ships tours scheduled, a regatta organized by the Montego Bay yacht club, church services and a black tie Captain's Ball that is open to a limited number of public guests for a fee. The Festival culminates with a spectacular fireworks display on Monday night, June 17th at 8:00 pm.

The "Class B" race arrives into the magnificent twin ports of Port Antonio, long Jamaica's renowned playground of the rich and famous, on Friday, June 14, with an official welcome at the town square and a Grand Street Festival.

In preparation, the new Port Antonio Marina boasts a 32-ship mega yacht harbor facility that is just receiving finishing touches to be ready in time for the tall ship event.

Boaters and the general public will be treated to ship tours and a beach party at Frenchman's Cove resort. The Wolf, one of the Class "B" Ships competing in the race from Port Antonio to Ocho Rios will in fact be a focal point in Port Antonio, as its Captain, Finbar, is a frequent visitor to Jamaica, particularly to the Port Antonio area.

Back in 1988, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Gilbert, Captain Finbar loaded his ship with supplies, sailed to Port Antonio and distributed them to victims of the hurricane. When he heard about America's Sail and the opportunity it presented, he was immediately interested. He designed, built and will be at the helm of The Wolf for Americas Sail 2002. And during his time in port at Port Antonio, he is offering the vessel for children to tour while they are in port.

On Sunday, June 16, the Class "B" vessel race from Port Antonio to Ocho Rios begins, and then moves on from Ocho Rios to St. Petersburg, Florida, the trophy port, arriving Wednesday, June 26th.

For additional information or for the complete schedule of events, visit the Americas' Sail Jamaica Website at www.americassail-jamaica.com or the Jamaica Tourist Board's website at www.jamaicatravel.com.

Air Jamaica Vacations and Jamaica Vacations, Ltd. are offering special three, four, six and seven night air and land packages at select hotels (EP and all-inclusive) starting at $599 (per person/double occupancy).

To book a vacation package for the Americas' Sail 2002 event, call Air Jamaica Vacations at 800-622-3009 (www.airjamaicavacations.com) or Jamaica Vacations, Ltd. at 1-800-JAMAICA (www.1-800-JAMAICA.com).
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 11, 2002
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