The G-Force Yachts’ X-Treme 25: Fly­ing With The Fish

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Dee Lundy-Charles

As we skimmed the down­wind waves off the north west coast, a shoal of fly­ing fish fought hard to keep up with the sleek and - let me just say it up­front - sexy X-Treme 25, with her daz­zling blue spin­naker catch­ing fif­teen knots of wind in the late af­ter­noon sun. For a few lucky sail­ing en­thu­si­asts, Mon­day and Tues­day pro­vided their first look at the twen­ty­five foot rac­ing yacht which was vis­it­ing the is­land with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Dutch man­u­fac­tur­ers G-Force Yachts. G Force Yachts founder and CEO Jeroen Wats led the vis­it­ing crew, along with X-Treme 25 skip­per Eric Baray, who sailed the state-of-the-art rac­ing yacht from Le Marin, Mar­tinique in a nifty three hours. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Cuth­bert Di­dier, Yacht­ing Con­sul­tant for the Min­istry of Tourism, the team held me­dia in­ter­views and try­outs at the Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina, high­light­ing the po­ten­tial to in­crease yacht­ing tourism ar­rivals through in­vest­ment in a fleet of X-Treme 25s. In light of last year’s suc­cess­ful re­gatta with ninety vis­it­ing Rus­sian mil­lion­aires, and the in­creas­ing pro­file of the an­nual Saint Lu­cia Yacht Club Mango Bowl Re­gatta, both Wats and Di­dier are firmly con­vinced that the thrill of sail­ing “the For­mula 1 of rac­ing yachts” has po­ten­tial to bring thou­sands of af­flu­ent adventure seek­ers to Saint Lu­cia.

G-Force Yachts was es­tab­lished by Jeroen Wats from the Nether­lands who came up with the idea of de­vel­op­ing and pro­duc­ing race yachts af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cape to Rio Ocean Race in 2003. Af­ter rac­ing from South Africa to Brazil in 20 days, Wats de­cided the race could be done in less time, so G-Force Yachts was born and he set about trans­form­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence and skill into a new, unique and in­no­va­tive sail­ing ma­chine. The re­sult of this “labour of love” was the X-Treme 37 (also known as RP 37, de­signed by the world renowned de­sign­ers Re­ichel/Pugh), a thirty-seven foot speed de­mon which went on to win the same Cape to Bahia Ocean Race in 2006, knock­ing a stag­ger­ing four days off Madiba team’s pre­vi­ous win­ning time. Since then G-Force Yachts’ high per­for­mance boats have been proven win­ners. Built with the high­est level of qual­ity and care, to­day’s range in­cludes the Rebel dinghy, X-Treme 25 and the X-Treme 37, and is ex­ported to 14 coun­tries in Europe, Asia and the USA through of­fices in the Nether­lands, France and Hong Kong.

Since the start, G-Force Yachts has been widely con­sid­ered as the lead­ing ex­pert in pro­duc­ing and de­vel­op­ing high per­for­mance sail­ing yachts, which are true world-beat­ers in their seg­ment. With adventure tourism trend­ing glob­ally, and yacht­ing a strate­gic pri­or­ity for the lo­cal Min­istry, there is no doubt that G-Force Yachts has a lot to of­fer in terms of col­lab­o­ra­tion in a sec­tor which can ben­e­fit from in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence. Cuth­bert Di­dier’s sights are set high, but his vi­sion to find in­vest­ment for a fleet of six­teen X-Treme 25s is ab­so­lutely on point, given Saint Lu­cia’s tourism strat­egy for grow­ing the in­dus­try and im­prov­ing the is­land’s abil­ity to com­pete as a yacht­ing des­ti­na­tion. Al­ready there is pre­lim­i­nary talk of up to twenty vis­it­ing Rus­sian sailors a month par­tic­i­pat­ing in X-Treme 25 events, and Mar­tini­quan X-Treme 25 owner Eric Baray is in talks with Mango Bowl 2015 or­gan­is­ers about in­tro­duc­ing the X-Treme 25 as a new class to the Novem­ber 27-29 re­gatta.

Di­dier points out that the eco­nomic benefits gen­er­ated by th­ese yacht­ing vis­i­tors will trickle down in the form of ho­tel rooms, restau­rants, re­tail and other tourism rev­enue. Crew­ing a fleet of For­mula 1 rac­ing yachts will also of­fer train­ing and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties at a time when Saint Lu­cian marine sec­tor busi­nesses seek to build ca­pac­ity in a grow­ing in­dus­try which is cur­rently un­der-rep­re­sented in terms of the num­ber of na­tion­als em­ployed.

Surf-sail­ing the G-Force Yachts’ X-Treme 25 on a per­fect Lu­cian af­ter­noon, past hills and ho­tels, Rat Is­land and Bar­rel of Beef, with a flock of sil­ver fly­ing fish dart­ing along­side and the fleet­ing green flash of a pass­ing tur­tle, it def­i­nitely felt like a pretty awe­some strat­egy to me.

The sleek G-Force at the Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina.

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