Checking in at Anguilla’s Captain’s Lounge

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If you’ve been to Sandy Ground in Anguilla this summer, chances are you may have come across the Captain’s Lounge and wondered what it was. While I wasn’t lucky enough to be roaming the beach at Road Bay this summer, I was invited to join a Facebook group for the Captain’s Lounge and as I watched the various posts pop up on the page, I too began to wonder why it was there and exactly it was. I decided to go straight to the man with the plan, Josveek Huligar, and find out all I could about the Captain’s Lounge. After reading Josveek’s response, it made sense and I wanted to put whatever support I could behind it because in the end, it benefits Anguilla and the people that call it home and that’s pretty important to me.

Liming at the Captain's Lounge, Sandy Ground, Anguilla.

“The Captain’s Lounge Sail With Your Boat project revolves around the Anguilla national sport of Boat Racing. We would like to fill the gaps that have been neglected for years, and answer the question, “What is there to do while waiting on the boats to return home?””

It is our view that Sandy Ground is a ghost town for most of the day and produces very little, if any, income for the vendors for most of the time while the race is taking place. This may be attributed to the fact that there is not much activity taking place to encourage locals and visitors alike to arrive in Sandy Ground before the end of the race.

“Our goal is very simple: to create the desire to spend more time in Sandy Ground.”

“We have the technical knowledge to live-stream the boat race from the open ocean to Sandy Ground. Presently, many people drive to specified points on the island just to get a glimpse of his or her favorite boat while shouting their own instructions and relaying the excitement by phone to the local radio stations by which the public can tune in. We recognize that in the past, radio was king of communications until TV became more affordable. Today, most homes have a TV as well as internet access, of which Anguilla is yet to take full advantage.

The solution is simple: use our expertise to stream live feeds to Sandy Ground where spectators can gather, rather than driving around and causing congestion. Spectators would be able to engage in the purchase of food and drinks from the vendors, all broadcasting can be archived for later promotion of the sport and footage can be played year-round on local and international circuits. We not only see how this new approach can benefit Anguilla’s national sport and the vendors who invest heavily in providing food, drink and entertainment for the races, but it is easy to see how it can benefit Anguilla as a whole by simply providing one more platform for Anguilla to reach new markets.”

“The boat racing tradition is deeply ingrained in the historical and cultural psyche of Anguilla and its people. It has remained relevant and competitive, keeping its various interest groups committed to the cause and has evolved over time to become officially, Anguilla’s National Sport. However there is one aspect of the Anguilla Boat Racing experience that could benefit greatly from advances in modern communications. Once the boats have set sail, for the hours that they are out of sight, there is little or no real coverage on the beach and enthusiast are left to wonder what is happening. With modern telecommunications it’s now possible to ‘follow’ the races without having to leave the beach. The Captain’s Lounge aims to demonstrate how it would be possible to show an entire boat race to interested persons who remain at the beach awaiting the return of the boats and have a full recap for those who are on the sea making the race possible.”

To find out more information about the Captain’s Lounge, you can join their Facebook group.

Photo courtesy of Anguilla Access Tours.

Author: Tom W.

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