Hon E.P. Chet Greene: Minister of Trade, Industry Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Sports, Culture and National Festivals and Member of Parliament for this great area of St. Paul’s
His Excellency, Mr. Albert Hartog, our newest Honorary Counsel to the Netherlands and Chairman of Orange Limited with whom we had the privilege this afternoon to have a beautiful ground breaking ceremony at Pearns Point
Mr. Kenneth Kwok, Vice President of the Yida International - we will have the ground breaking next Saturday for the Yida project at Guiana Island
His Excellency, Ambassador Carlo Falcone
His Excellency, Mr. Johann Hesse to the African Union
Mr. Jonathan Breene of the Setai Group that will be building that magnificent hotel at Pearns Point
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, all
Welcome one and all, good evening.
Special thanks to the Antigua Sailing Week committee and all our tourism stakeholders for hosting yet again such an incredible event and hearty congratulations to all of the competitors who have travelled to our beautiful twin island shores of Antigua and Barbuda.
In recent times we have seen the growth of the yachting sector as a very integral component of our tourism product and so you can imagine just how elated we are that this year that we will welcome 129 of some of the most beautiful yachts in the world. Congratulations.
This year’s event will see over 1,200 racing sailors actually participating with another 500 companions representing some 21 nations across the globe. Your participation yet again in the Caribbean’s largest and most prestigious racing regatta has cemented our position as the mecca of Caribbean Sailing, and for that we are most grateful.
We have listened to your feedback over the years and implemented new and improved services to further offer you yachting services that are second to none in the region. I am pleased to announce improved security, adequate water supplies and expedited customs and immigration processes have all been actively addressed. This Government under the leadership of the Honourable Gaston Browne, we intend to ensure that the yachting sector is nurtured and remains firmly on our country’s tourism front burner where it rightfully belongs. Second to none.
A few weeks ago the media spotlight was squarely on Antigua and Barbuda when Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo (cubed) completed the RORC Caribbean 600 in the record setting time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds.
We must congratulate them.
With a great crew, a great boat and exceptional sailing conditions, this is the type of once in a lifetime nautical achievement that you can expect from a sailing event in Antigua and Barbuda.
With the yachting media spotlight again on our beautiful country, our commitment under the new Gaston Browne Labour Party Administration is to ensure that all services are at your disposal in order for you to have an exceptional and exciting race week that will leave you with very very warm memories of Antigua and Barbuda.
While here I also invite all of you to explore our islands and enjoy some of our great land based activities and attractions and of course to visit Barbuda.
Do take the time out to enjoy our food, the music and culture so that you can truly experience all the best that Antigua and Barbuda has to offer.
So again, and thank you all for attending and we wish you the very best conditions for an unforgettable Antigua and Barbuda Sailing week!
Join with me this evening, a toast to the committee and all the stakeholders of Antigua Sailing Week.