Premier Alden McLaughlin, on the invitation of Prince Albert of Monaco, cycled 87 miles from St. Tropez in France to Monaco on Sunday to help raise funds for charity.
McLaughlin, along with Eric Bush, Orrett Connor and Andre Tahal, made up the Cayman cycling team in the annual Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation bicycle ride.
The course, which winds through towns and mountains, took some seven hours to complete, in temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and with 23 mile-an-hour winds.
All four in Cayman’s team completed the ride, in which more than 100 riders participated, including several professional bicyclists, former athletes and business people; most of whom participate every year. This was the first time that a team from the Caribbean participated in the charity ride
Prince Albert had invited the premier to participate in the event when they met last year. The prince, who recently underwent surgery, was unable to ride, but he was at the finish line in Monaco’s Port Hercules, to greet McLaughlin and the other riders.
During an award reception later that evening, also attended by Prince Albert, Orrett Connor was awarded the ‘silver pedal’ for being the oldest cyclist to enter and finish the course.
In a press release from the Office of the Premier, McLaughlin described the ride as difficult but rewarding.
He said not only did a cycling platform allow for building new relationships with high net worth individuals and business people across a diverse range of backgrounds in a key market segment for the Cayman Islands, it also gave both him and Bush, who is chief officer of the Ministry of International Trade, Investment,
Aviation and Maritime Affairs, an opportunity to firm up relationships with individuals they met last year, including Prince Albert.
On Monday night, the premier and the Cayman delegation, joined by Joel Walton, CEO of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, were scheduled to host a reception for yacht managers and yacht designers.
The Maritime Authority’s shipping registries account for about 50% of the super yacht registration market, which caters to yachts of 90 feet and larger, and more than 80% of ultra-large super yachts of 262 feet and larger.
“Whilst the Cayman Islands is a dominant player in this market segment, there are many competitors looking for every opportunity to take our place,” said Premier McLaughlin, who is also the minister responsible for international trade, investment, aviation and maritime affairs. “In a market where relationships are key, it is important to not only show a presence but to do so consistently and whenever possible at the highest levels of Government. The new Ministry intends to not only strengthen our relationships and market share in this competitive market, but to increase it.”