Virgin Gorda, BVI (May 7, 2018) – Despite a season suspended by hurricane challenges, the Bitter End Yacht Club’s long relationship with Virgin Islands Search & Rescue (VISAR) carries on strong in 2018, through logistic & sponsorship support of their annual fundraising event, “Swim the Sound/SUP the Sound,” which took place yesterday. This year in fact, BEYC was the launching spot for the annual trek from the eastern end of North Sound, Virgin Gorda to Leverick Bay at the west end.
VISAR Operations Manager, Julie Schneider, announced some changes to the event this year. “There was no three-mile category this year. But we added a one-mile Swim or SUP as well as the two-mile Swim or SUP. The two-mile swim race and the two-mile stand-up-paddle race started from the Sunchaser Scuba dock at the Bitter End Yacht Club, while the one-mile race started from one of the dive boats,” she explained.
Swim the Sound/SUP the Sound is a key fundraising event on the VISAR annual schedule. And this year, support for the event & VISAR is even more critical. The hurricanes of 2017 have taken a heavy toll on VISAR’s annual budget. Normally, charter companies and their guests play a big role through a charter donation program that nets $2/charter guest toward VISAR. With charter visits cut by nearly 75% this year, VISAR was hopeful that Swim the Sound/SUP the Sound could help make up the difference. When entry fees and individual contributions were tallied, VISAR’s goal was to raise $20,000, and they often remind boaters that VISAR is a non-profit all-volunteer organization.
“As the de-facto coast guard, VISAR provides a valuable service to all boaters in the BVI,” commented Richard Hokin. “We at BEYC have had a long relationship of support and camaraderie with VISAR, and didn’t want to miss a beat this year, when they need it the most,” he added. In years past, BEYC staff and guests have participated as swimmers, and the resort has provided support craft to follow the swimmers & SUP-ers. This year, in addition to being a sponsor and launching spot, BEYC and on-site partner Sunchaser Scuba provided support craft and logistical assistance. The first 50 entrants received a cool commemorative BEYC water bottle. Bitter End Yacht Club also encouraged those who couldn’t make this fun event to learn more about VISAR and contribute at: http://visar.org
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