Archive for November, 2013

The 2013 St. Barth CataCup Guest Blog by 2016 Olympics Contender John Casey

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Bonjour Everyone,

As you prepare for Turkey Day, I thought you would enjoy today’s Guest Blog written by 2016 Olympics contender John Casey. St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to be a sponsor of his catamaran. Thank you John!

As I enjoy the back porch view from Villa Les Mouettes, I now have time to casually reflect on this year’s edition of the St. Barth CataCup. The current version of the CataCup, which has become one of the premier regattas of the world, is sailed on 18 foot beach catamarans. Our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Sailing Team started three years ago, and we’ve watched this event grow from 35 entries to the maximum allowable 57 entries. This year the entry list was overfilled in just eight minutes after online entries were open! This is partially due to the quality of competition, but is undoubtedly due to the quality of St. Barth on and off the water. Some of my U.S. friends are, let me say, a little too spoiled by this regatta; it’s the only regatta they do every year! They just simply don’t feel the desire to sail anywhere else. I love sailing a bit more than that, but I see where they are coming from.

View from Villa Les Mouettes

View from Villa Les Mouettes

This year our Team was joined by more of the sport’s heavy hitters. There were multiple world champions, Olympic medalists and future Olympic hopefuls. I have many championships under my belt, but I’m also currently in the deep heat of an Olympic Campaign myself, so this year I teamed with our Canadian training Partner, Luke Ramsay, who actually went to The Games in 2012. As it turns out, our finish of 5th place of 57 wasn’t what we hoped for, but since we are a new team, we were happy with our competitiveness against the high level of competition. We had some podium finishes along the way, but also some setbacks that saw us held up in the pack.

John Casey giving an interview during the St. Barth CataCup 2013

John Casey giving an interview during the St. Barth CataCup 2013

Unlike any event I’ve been to around the world, I’ve been drawn to this island. What is it about this place? Is it how everything is impeccably clean? Is it the perfect sailing conditions around stunning rock faces and picturesque beaches? Is it the wonderful view from almost anywhere on this mountainous island? Or is it the easy feeling I get from the locals who have now become some of my best friends? YES, it is all of it…the perfect combination to keep me yearning for my return every year.

Photo Credit Pierrick Contin

John Casey and Luke Ramsay sailing behind the rocks of St. Barth- Photo Credit Pierrick Contin

We were also lucky enough to enjoy the 25-year anniversary party this month where I saw how far St. Barth Properties has come. We really enjoyed their Beaujolais Nouveau party too. I’m so proud to be part of the Team!

-John Casey-

Peg with Luke Ramsay (L) and John Casey (R) at our St. Barth Properties Beaujolais Nouveau party November 20, 2013

Peg with Luke Ramsay (L) and John Casey (R) at our St. Barth Properties Beaujolais Nouveau party November 20, 2013

St. Barth Properties 25th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I arrived back in St Barth November 5th in time to settle in, visit some new villas and welcome friends and family who were arriving November 9th for our much anticipated annual Beachside Bash. This year the party was an extra special one because the upcoming “Season” marks the 25th anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties. The party was held at the elegant Hotel Taïwana’s new Casa Flamands restaurant on Flamands Beach the 14th of November.

St. Barth Specialist Kathy Schlitzer was also on St. Barts doing inspections with me. She and I were looking at the new changes at Villa Ocean’s 5 in Flamands that included a wonderful new kitchen, a brand new heated pool and two new comfortable sofas in the living room. I love Villa Ocean’s 5 because the configuration makes it an ideal choice for families with younger children and the view is fabulous. To book, contact reservations@stbarth.com or 1-800-421-3396.

Villa Ocean's 5

Villa Ocean’s 5

It was a week before the Bash so I suggested that we swing by the Taïwana to check it out because the hotel is under a huge renovation. As we approached the hotel we could see that there was a lot of activity with construction workers everywhere. I walked into the empty restaurant and continued on towards the beach when I looked over to the right and saw the swimming pool. Yikes! It was empty! Not one to panic, I noted that there were men inside the pool painting it, so I saw that as a good sign that perhaps that meant that the pool would be filled soon. The hotel kept reassuring me that all would be fine so I stopped being concerned about it.

Everything is ready for the party!

Casa Flamands restaurant – everything is ready for the party!

Sure enough we arrived at 7:00 pm and were escorted along a candlelit path to one of the three bars where I ordered une coupe de Champagne and mingled with the guests while the Casa Flamands staff passed by with trays of delicious hors d’oeuvres. The very talented singer Soley walked around serenading the guests and continued to do so throughout the evening. We had a DJ too which made the atmosphere really festive. Silver was the theme of the party because we were celebrating the 25th anniversary of when I created St. Barth Properties so we surprised the ladies by giving each of them a silver tiara to wear. So chic!

Guests mingling and enjoying hors d'oeuvres

Guests mingling and enjoying hors d’oeuvres

Soley serenades the crowd

Soley serenades the guests

Time for my speech. The 200+ guests consisted of SBP clients, villa owners, hotel partners, service partners and staff from both the St. Barth office and the US office. Everyone was seated and I thanked them for joining us in the 25th anniversary celebration. Every guest played a part in making our company what it is today. I also thanked my son and VP Tom Smyth for his partnership and my husband Steve for allowing me to live my dream. Finally, I unveiled our Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue which is our best yet. (If you would like us to send you one, please email info@stbarth.com. I think you will love it enough to make it one of your coffee table books.)

Tom and Peg introducing the Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue

Tom and Peg introduce the Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue

When I finished my little speech, Tom surprised me with a gift. I opened it and was thrilled to see that it was a hand painted caricature of our global St. Barth Properties team. Julia Hurd, our concierge in my US office came up with the idea and, with the help of Magda Votava, our concierge in my St. Barth office, commissioned a local artist to do the painting. I love it! If you were unable to attend, I hope that I will see you at next year’s Beachside Bash.

Peg's surprise gift - a painting of the St. Barth Properties team

Peg’s surprise gift – a painting of the St. Barth Properties team

Click here to see all of the photos from our Silver Anniversary party.