What a wonderful surprise to see the St. Kitts Nevis flag on one of the three high-tech sailboats featured on the May 9th cover of the New Yorker magazine. It is not often that the SKN colors are seen anywhere outside of the nation, so seeing them on the cover of a popular magazine from the States evoked strong senses of appreciation, pride, and hope.
We should be appreciative of the artist, Bruce McCall, for representing our small Caribbean federation to a massive, international audience. The artist, who has lived on Nevis part-time for many years and has painted over forty covers for the New Yorker, could have easily chosen many different countries to represent, but he chose SKN. And because he chose SKN, readers from all over the world have seen and will continue to see the flag in a prominent place, and that could translate to more interest in SKN tourism, business, sport, and culture. And for all of those possibilities, we should be grateful.
McCall’s cover could also evoke renewed pride in and support for SKN sailing. Sailing was once a very proud tradition among Kittitians and Nevisians. Less than forty years ago, we were not only proud of our rich sailing history, but we were quite literally dependent on it for transport. But now, it is very difficult to see locals on a sailboat, let alone proudly building one or captaining one as was once common with the sailing lighters of St. Kitts and Nevis. Even if the pride in sailing is nostalgic, perhaps it could prompt interest and hope among SKN youth.
A couple of good places that youth may apply that hope are the St. Kitts Yacht Club and the Nevis Yacht Club. These clubs, in coordination with the St. Kitts Nevis Sailing Association, are working diligently to rebuild the sailing culture in the federation, and they are hopeful. Although the goal of having an America’s Cup yacht (as painted by McCall) is very far-reaching at best, the leaders of these local clubs think that McCall’s inspirational illustration will certainly help to re-spark local interest, support, and enthusiasm for sailing. It may even make the sport fashionable among local youth. And that is something to be hopeful about.
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