Our hosts provided red carpet treatment for all participants for the duration of our stay and this warm welcome was extended to all yachtsmen currently staying in Guyana.
The crews of Voyager, Outsider, and Passat were delighted to be included in the festivities and I take this opportunity to thank our partners and sponsors on their behalf.
The VIP treatment for sailors is not something reserved for rally participants. A genuine welcome awaits all who visit the region, something that seems to have been lost in much of the northern Caribbean. The government of Guyana is committed to developing eco-tourism and facilitating yachting is seen as a key part of this strategy.
The consensus amongst participants is that “there is so much to do and see here, we need more time!”.
With tours of Keiter Falls, the interior, Georgetown and Bartica on the agenda, plus visits to the boutique resorts including Hurakabra, Baganara and Sloth Island, crews were certainly kept busy.
As a result, many yachts are considering a second visit on the return leg and next years rally will feature an extended stay.
Organisers expect that the Nereid’s Rally, will be instrumental in dispelling some of the myths surrounding sailing south of Trinidad and Tobago, and that more yachts will be making the passage in future.
The strong support shown by the Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who met with participants at a formal function at Hurakabra Resort on Saturday the 14th, is certainly encouraging. The coordination between the Coast Guard, police, ministers and local officials in Bartca was exemplary, ensuring a safe, trouble free visit.
Plans are already afoot for next years rally where organisers expect to accommodate a much larger fleet. “We are pleased to announce that the annual Nereid’s Rally is set to become Guyana’s première yachting event, and that local involvement and participation will be a priority for 2014”.