Jan 19, 2022, Herb McCormick
It’s a partnership made in heaven—the heavenly island of St. Maarten in the beautiful blue Caribbean, that is. The Caribbean Multihull Challenge IV has announced that the event has teamed up with FKG Marine Rigging and Fabricating NV (www.fkgmarine.com), which will now sponsor one of the regatta’s most innovative races: the FKG Caribbean 60-Mile Multihull Sprint.
Simpson Bay, St Maarten: The race, open to the CMC’s top Grand Prix catamarans and trimarans, is set up for the ideal point of sail for the world’s top multihulls: a power reach in the easterly tradewinds from St. Maarten, around St. Barts, and back.
“It’s an excitingthing for us to do,” said FKG’s Chris Marshall, one of the firm’s principals . “It’s one thing to sponsor an entire event, but it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. This is a targeted sponsorship, concentrating on the most technically advanced vessels in the fleet, which we thought appropriate for FKG and its business. FKG has a similar targeted sponsorship with the Caribbean 600, for which we sponsor a prize for the first multihull and monohull to reach St. Maarten on the course. Both of these targeted sponsorships fit in really nicely with our objectives.”
Among those objectives, Chris said, was to offer services to faster, bigger, high-tech yachts—the kind of performance cats and tris that are a staple of the CMC. “When we purchased FKG in 2017, we really wanted to upgrade our level of service, to upgrade our technology, and to develop the larger vessel market. Now, we’re part of Rig Pro and the North Technology Group, and we’re an authorized service provider for companies like Southern Spars, Hall Spars, Future Fibers, Marten Spars, Nordic Masts and other industry leaders. This development has allowed us to work with bigger, faster boats with more up-to-date technology, like high-tech carbon racers. This commitment to expanding into this business segment is one reason, in particular, we wanted to sponsor the FKG Sprint.”
A longtime Caribbean sailor, Chris sees a lot of potential in the FKG Sprint. “It’s power reaching,” he said. “Depending on the wind direction, the contenders might have to do a little beating to get around St. Barts. But these boats go so fast with the apparent wind that they might be able to do it on one reach up and back. And then it’s going to be a screaming reach between St. Barts and St. Maarten. They should come in surfing quite nicely. It’s going to be a great event to watch.”
And, of course, in preparing for the race—or if something happens and repairs need to be made during it—FKG will be a great resource for the competitors. “We can provide any sort of emergency repairs,” Chris said. “We have very experienced riggers who’ve worked on many of the biggest race boats. We can do splicing work and carbon repair. We have all the high-end, light weight, low stretch cordage. We’re a dealer for most of the big names like Harken, Lewmar and Spinlock. So if there’s damage or breakage, things like that, we’re here to make sure the contenders can stay in the event and keep racing.”
What’s the old saying: win/win? That’s the end result of the partnership with the Caribbean Multihull Challenge and FKG.