Jimmy Buf­fett sails to aid of re­gatta

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Jimmy Buf­fett knows all about hur­ri­canes and sail­ing, so it’s ap­pro­pri­ate that the singer-song­writer has been en­listed to help pro­mote a re­gatta on the Caribbean island of St. Barts and show that life is re­turn­ing to nor­mal after a di­rect hit from Hur­ri­cane Irma in Septem­ber.

Buf­fett will serve as U.S. am­bas­sador for the Les

Voiles de


April 8-14, a main­stay on the Caribbean yacht racing cir­cuit.

“I sailed into the har­bor in 1978 and it’s al­ways kind of been my sec­ond Caribbean home, after Florida,” Buf­fett said by phone from New York, where he’s get­ting ready for the Broad­way pre­miere of his mu­si­cal, “Es­cape to Mar­gar­i­taville.” “My kids all kind of grew up down there. I have a fond at­tach­ment from those early days. I’ve seen it in a lot of phases and I think it’s one of the most unique spots on the planet.”

Buf­fett grew up on the Gulf Coast and said he was “a child of hur­ri­canes.” Be­sides writ­ing songs such as “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “One Par­tic­u­lar Har­bor” and “A Pi­rate Looks at Forty,” he also wrote “Try­ing to Rea­son with Hur­ri­cane Sea­son.”

Buf­fett owns a villa on St. Barts that was un­dam­aged by the storm. He said he’s im­pressed with how the island res­i­dents are bounc­ing back and he’s ea­ger to help.

“They’re pretty re­silient peo­ple there. They al­ways have been,” he said. “They did an amaz­ing job, I thought, in get­ting the place in any way pre­sentable.”

Buf­fett played a free con­cert on the main dock in Gus­tavia on Dec. 27 to give lo­cals a break from the re­cov­ery work and at­tract visi­tors to the island.

“Peo­ple know St. Barts as a ritzy place, but what makes it so unique is the peo­ple in the ser­vice in­dus­try, the work­ing peo­ple on the island,” he said. “They don’t live in man­sions on the hill. They live in houses that took the brunt of storm. Ev­ery­one has worked to­gether to get back to nor­mal.

Jimmy Buf­fett

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