A letter to industry partners from Karen Kelly Shea, president of Nicholson Yachts:
We have completed the Newport International Boat Show and I must say that the mood was very upbeat and supporti
ve. There were vendors from all over the USVI and BVI as well as St. Martin and they assured us that the clean-up has begun and they are eager to rebuild.
There was a lot of interest in charter and Caribbean travel in general. We participated in a fundraiser organized by Cay Electronics during the show, a move to convert to solar as the rebuilding commences (www.powerupbvi.com). Show attendees were happy to support the drive and Nicholson Yachts has also committed 10% of our yacht charter and yacht sales from the show to the fund.
You may have also heard that Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island Resort was destroyed in Irma. Nicholson Yachts is the central agent for charters on Mr. Branson’s catamaran NECKER BELLE. Her captain sailed the catamaran south to Grenada prior to the hurricane, where it escaped any damage and Mr. Branson had the yacht stop in Barbados on the way back to the BVI to load up on humanitarian supplies.
He also immediately mobilized cleanup of the BVI and organized rebuilding plans for his properties. In addition, Richard Branson is leading a campaign with the British government to quickly begin rebuilding all of the British Virgin Islands.
You may know that Richard has annually hosted the Necker Cup world class Pro-Am Tennis Event on Necker Island, and the Necker Open exclusive Pro-Am Golf event. Since the news broke of Hurricane Irma’s damage to the BVI, Richard shared that he and the Virgin Limited team have received an overwhelming number of phone calls and emails from past guests of Necker Island, as well as tennis an
d golf professionals and celebrity friends, with offers of help and support in rebuilding the BVI and to help assure that the Pro-Am “show” will go on!
This year, Richard Branson will dedicate the two simultaneous events to rebuilding the BVI with the theme – “Rebuilding Liv
es After Irma – Disaster Relief in the British Virgin Islands.” All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the relief fund. The event dates are 27th November to 2nd December 2017.
Together, our industry will help rebuild the BVI, as well as the other islands of the Caribbean damaged in this year’s hurricanes. As the island communities have always been there for us and our clients, I know we will be there to help them in every way.