The 2014 HIHO Adventure Race takes place in British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. BVI are a group of over 50 islands in the Northern Caribbean (about 15 of them are inhabited). They are a perfect destination for Stand Up Paddling: the temperature is 25-30°C year round, the water is equally warm and turquoise, the scenery is spectacular. Most islands are within paddling distance of each other and it’s a great place for downwinders, too.
Once of the best ways to see everything of interest in a short time and get to paddle the most awesome routes is to participate in the HIHO Race.
The beauty of this race is that it will take you to different places every year. This year it will stop at Anegada for example. Here is a first draft of the 2013 itinerary:
January 17th, 2014:
Container open - competitors can collect equipment
January 19th, 2014:
Registration at The Moorings - Board yachts - Afternoon departure for North Sound, Virgin Gorda
January 20th, 2014:
Racing in Eustatia Sound - Dinner in the North Sound
January 21st, 2014:
Anegada race - Dinner and dancing at Anegada Reef Hotel
Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. It lies approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Virgin Gorda. Anegada is formed from coral and limestone, rather than being of volcanic origin. While the other islands are mountainous, Anegada is flat and low. Anegada is known for miles of white sand beaches and the 18-mile (29 km)-long Horseshoe Reef, the largest barrier coral reef in the Caribbean, and the fourth largest on earth. It is also famous for it’s lobster.
January 22nd, 2014:
Morning racing & kitesurfing - Afternoon yachts race to The Baths - Dinner at the stunning beach club setting of CocoMaya
The Baths are a sublime jumbled collection of sky-high granite boulders by the sea. The rocks are made of volcanic java from about 70million years ago and form a series of grottoes that fill with water and shafts of kaleidoscopic sunlight and look truly otherworldly.
January 23rd, 2014:
Race to Beef Island - Pirate party at The Last Resort
January 24th, 2014:
10.000 US$ Painkiller Cup - lunch at Soggy Dollar Bar - Dinner and dancing on Jost Van Dyke
On Friday the painkiller Cup will take place. A 12-15 mile downwind race with an awesome finish at Jost van Dyke’s infamous “Soggy Dollar” bar, which takes it’s name from the sailor’s swimming ashore to spend wet bills. It’s also the bar that invented the painkiller, the BVI’s delicious, yet lethal cocktail of rum, coconut, pineapple orange juice and nutmeg.
January 25th, 2014:
Racing at Little Thatch - Awards ceremony at The Moorings
You will have to find a flight to Beef Island. From Europe, you can fly with KLM or Air France to Saint Martin and then connect to Beef island via Liat, or you can fly in via Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas), typically with American Airlines
Pinel Island is a well known destination for snorkeling but once you get there, it's not obvious to find the best spot. Whether you get there by kayak, paddle board or ferry, you need to take that opportunity to discover and explore the underwater world..! With its flat waters and its little to no current, the bay of Cul-de-Sac is one of the most accessible place for snorkeling, even for small kids and beginners.
So here are our top 3 recommendations:
Living in Saint-Martin has many assets to offer. And one of them is that we have Islands closed by to travel to in no time, either for a day trip or for the week end. An Island Hoping paradise for everybody: the locals and the visitors!
Anguilla is the British Island located at the North of Saint-Martin, less than 4 miles away. It is famous for its beautiful beaches and its crystal clear water. This is the perfect Island for a relaxing getaway (beach, snorkeling, water activities…) since besides the magnificent coast, there is not much to do over there.
Saba is located at the South West of Sint-Marteen and belongs to the Dutch. It is actually the highest land of Netherland! The landscape is the opposite from Anguilla’s (which is absolutely flat) and the particularity of this island is… It is a beachless Caribbean Island. How incredible, right? But no worries, you still have a lot to do over there, mostly sportive activities! Basically, Saba is well known for its beautiful hikes in the mountain with thousands of different plants & amazing deep dives with colorful reefs. This is a great alternative from the “beach style” vacations that most of the Caribbean Islands usually offer.
And the last, but not the least: Saint-Barth
. We are sure that you have already heard of it, isn’t it? ☺ Saint-Barth is located at the west of Saint-Martin, and is accessible either by ferry (30 minutes of ferry ride), by charter plane (12 minutes of flight), with a helicopter (10 minutes of flight) or by private boat. This island is a pure gem! Famous to be the destination for the famous and rich people, this French island has everything to satisfy everybody’s tastes (but still pricey)! Hilly landscapes with amazing point of views of the deep blue & turquoise Caribbean sea, white sand beaches, great shopping (!!), 5 stars resorts or charming casual ones, gastronomic restaurants, hikes on the wild side, natural pools… And of course, all the water activities you can think of!
Are you thinking of going to Pinel Island during your stay on Saint-Martin?
First, this is definitely a great idea that should be at the top of your “to do list”. Pinel is a must see, and spend the day over there is a guarantee of an unforgettable experience.
Second, there is nothing easier!
In Cul de Sac ferry station, the boats are departing everyday (except if the weather condition does not allow it) and at a very frequent times: every 30 minutes.
Basically, during high season, the ferries run from Monday through Sunday, from 9h30am until 5:00pm (same opening hours as Caribbean Paddling all year long ;)). During low season, the last ferry back from Pinel Island leaves at 4:00pm and you’d better not miss it if you do not want to spend the night with our favorite iguanas!
To sum up, in low season, renting your gear through us to spend the day on Pinel gives you an extra hour in P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E.
More time to enjoy the sun, the white sand beaches, the turquoise water, some snorkelling & paddling in the bay, and why not one last homemade cocktail? ;)
You will find bellow the ferry schedule to go to Pinel Island, according to the time of the year you will be visiting our friendly island.
A lot of people ask this question: how can I reach you and/or Pinel Island? For us residents of St Martin - St Maarten, this is quite simple: just follow the road! It really is simple since there is only one road on our island! But, for everyone else, it's not as easy.
There are three possible places you might be starting from...
This week, Mother Nature sent us a gift by providing us with a strong swell coming from storm Alex located in the Atlantic. That was the opportunity for us to test our brand new F-One Madeiro paddle boards in real conditions. My good friend Johann was in the party, and Likka was on the beach for the pictures.
After checking the swell at Baie aux Prunes, we finally ended at Anse des Pères for some nice take-off.
Today , I met my new friend Barry and his girlfriend for another trip to St Martin! The meeting point: Maho Beach at the end of the runway of the airport Juliana !
There are 2 years , Barry had hired me 2 paddle boards had been already photographed at Maho Beach . His picture was even selected as picture of the year by the magazine SUPconnect.com ! That was in 2011. This year, he returns by St Martin with his friends, and gave me a call about doing another photo shoot. There was just to bring 3 standup paddle boards before heading to the beach . After drinking a beer together at the legendary Sunset Cafe , it was time to get to the water.
After a beach start , we paddled 50m and we are aligned with the runway , we had only to wait for the aircrafts, hoping to see big ones! I 've been here several times with friends to Maho to watch planes from the beach , but never ON the water .. Barry gave me the opportunity this year and it was amaaazing !
The gallery below is my own selection with my GoPro . I expect pictures of Barry to complete this super afternoon stand up paddle in Maho !