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Female sailor battles in Bequia Regatta

Female sailor battles in Bequia Regatta


Being a sailor is a rough and tumble job, so when people observed petite 5ft 5-inch Florida born Jaqui De Meric as part of the crew of the yacht ‘Cloudy Bay” in the Bequia Easter Regatta, some found the sight incredible.

Jaqui and her British husband Nick have owned a house on the island for over 10 years and have been traveling back and forth between the USA and Bequia, timing their visits to coincide with the Easter Regatta.{{more}}

“It’s an energetic experience because you are going really fast and there was even one time when I got up out of my sleep and shouted “Down the road Cloudy Bay!” and from then I knew I was hooked,” Jaqui said.

She continued, “When Cloudy Bay is sailing there is nothing sweeter. It is speed but grace, sort of like riding a thoroughbred horse. You get that same feeling of power yet control it is very sweet.”

Knowing the dangers that lurk at sea, Jaqui said that remaining alert at all times is key to not only wining but also to survival. As the bailer man who also helps with the jib, she praised the eight man crew for always pulling together to get the job done.

The 45-year-old mother of two college students said while it was great fun she knows how to follow orders from the crew who shout and scream directions to ensure the safety of all.

“Arnold Hazell built our boat Cloudy Bay and he is a well respected boatman who also built “Perseverance” which is another fantastic boat that has won many races. Arnold is an excellent seaman and no one would challenge his knowledge and experience at sea, so when he talks everyone listens.” she emphasied.

But Jaqui pointed out that Hazell was in one of the most important races, the race for his life as he had recently undergone surgery. She said that the Cloudy Bay crew had been raising funds to attend a big boat race in Anguilla but instead used the funds to contribute to Hazell’s medical bills.

She said that although they were disappointed that they could not attend the event, they were glad to have the financial resources available to help the esteemed boat maker.

She however expressed a desire to see more females involved in the sport and described it as one of the most exhilarating experiences of anyone’s life.