Sunday, May 23 saw the annual सेशेल्स रेगाटा get underway after the country’s Vice President, Joseph Belmont, had officially launched this year’s edition of the race. The 2009 title holder, Michel Desjoyeaux, skippering the Nicolas Feuillate Champagne Leopard 43 boat is also the sitting winner of the 2001, 2008, and 2009 International prestigious race. The Vendee Globe is defending his Seychelles title against Armel Le Cleac’h, who came out second in the Vendee Globe and who holds the title for the Transat AG2R (France to St. Bart Race). Samantha Davies, the winner of the round UK race 2009 and who was fourth in the Vendee Globe 2008-9, is among many other known names in the international sailing circuit.
“The winds from the southeast has picked up just in time to make for a perfect race,” said Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles director of tourism marketing, after he had told the race participants of the 2010 Seychelles Regatta that he urged them all not to keep the memories of this event and of their staying Seychelles to themselves but to spread the word about Seychelles far and wide upon their return home.
Alain St. Ange went on to tell the participants that this way, they would become ambassadors, not only for the sport they love, but also for the Seychelles Islands and everything that this group of tropical islands had to offer to visitors – the friendly smiles of a welcoming people, a year-round climate that has earned the Seychelles the name of “land of perpetual summer,” and a range of activities to ensure that visitors will always be as busy as they wish to be.
Seychelles remains a destination blessed with a configuration of islands that is uniquely tailor-made for sailing.