Solo-Circumnavigation of the British Virgin Islands to be Attempted
In what is believed to be the first recorded attempt of its kind, Mr Andrew Waters will sail an IC-24 sailing boat single-handed around the entire British Virgin Islands over the weekend of 27/28 April 2013.
Mr Waters is making the circumnavigation to raise awareness and funds for two causes. The first is Vitiligo Support International, a charity which raises awareness and funds for research into the skin pigmentation disorder Vitiligo. Mr Waters also wishes to raise funds for the music programme at Cedar International School in the British Virgin Islands.
Mr Water’s 10-year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Vitiligo, a non-life threatening but incurable skin disorder. Vitiligo affects approximately 1% of the population worldwide and patients with Vitiligo develop white spots on the skin that vary in size and location. The precise cause of Vitiligo is not known and it affects all races and genders. Although it is not injurious to a patient’s physical health, the emotional distress caused by the condition is considerable. Mr Waters is very keen to raise awareness and funds for Vitiligo charities.
Mr Waters also wishes to provide additional impetus to the Cedar International School (BVI) music development programmme. Therefore some of the funds raised from the BVI solo circumnavigation will be allocated to their music department, providing opportunities to children to learn to play orchestral instruments. Mr Water’s commented: “I feel it is an important part of growing up and learning, and one day it would be truly amazing to listen to the development of the music department. Hopefully I will be able to assist in this development.”
Commenting on the planned circumnavigation of the BVI, Mr Waters stated “When my daughter’s diagnosis (for Vitiligo) was confirmed, I asked my self what I could do to help. I am a keen sailor and so I came up with the idea to sail around the entire British Virgin Islands to raise money for the cause. To make it more of a challenge, I elected to make the attempt in an IC-24 keelboat.”
The IC-24 is a popular one-design racing boat in the Caribbean. Because it is a racing boat it has no frills – there is no sleeping accommodation, no engine, no facilities of any kind. Mr Waters will therefore make some modifications to his boat for the attempt: “I’m going to install an auto-helm so I can try to get some rest during the voyage. It is over 200 Nautical miles and I estimate it will take up to 48 hours. I will also make some arrangements for provisions and carry appropriate emergency equipment for an offshore voyage.”
Mr Waters will start in Road Harbor, Tortola, proceeding to enter the Caribbean sea between Salt Island and Dead Chest, leaving Salt, Cooper and Ginger Islands to Port, commencing an anti-clockwise course. He will then proceed to leave Virgin Gorda to Port before continuing Eastwards some significant distance to clear Horseshoe reef of Anegada. Once Anegada is also left to Port, he will embark on a long downwind run to leave Jost van Dyke and the Tobago Keys Islands also to port. His final stretch will be a long upwind leg leaving the remaining BVI islands of Great and Little Thatch, Norman and then finally Peter Islands to Port before completing the journey by re-entering the Sir Francis Drake channel via the same cut between Salt Island and Dead Chest. He will complete the Circumnavigation in Road Harbour.