“It is a tremendous recognition of what we do,” he says, “particularly as the requirements are constantly changing and it is the third time in a row we have achieved this.”
One area which where the requirements have increased recently is in relation to the environment.
“We provide pump-out facilities, both mobile and fixed, and we are the only marina in the Southern Caribbean that has a recycling programme. This year we are projected to save 18,000 to 20,000 tonnes from going to landfill.”
IGY Rodney Bay Marina is one of 18 in 12 different countries that come under the IGY umbrella – some, like Rodney Bay, are owned, managed and marketed by the country while others are managed or just marketed by the company.
Being part of a network can be a great help.
“We can offer that network to clients who are sailing north. We had a guy from the ARC last year who was sailing up to New York. We made his reservations all the way up,” he says.
High levels of service are hugely important for IGY.
Devaux tells a story that shows just how far they go to keep clients happy.
He says, “I had a call at about 10 at night form a private jet pilot saying the airport lights were not on. The pilot, one of our clients, had communicated his arrival to the wrong airport – he had contacted the one in the south but he was lined up for the one in the north. I told him to make a few circles and called the ground handling company who were able to get there and turn the lights on. Our client has never forgotten that.”
The marina is also something of an entertainment destination with bars such as the Boardwalk as well as a choice of restaurants – Rituals for sushi, Elena’s for Italian favourites, Bosun’s for Thai food, La Mesa for Argentinian steak, Sea Salt for seafood dishes as well as Café Olé for light bites.
The marina is also the venue for the annual ARC party which tends to take place later on in December when the vast majority of the boats have arrived.
“The party is to say thanks to ARC and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. We put on a steel band, fire dancers and try to make it unique. We have lots of big boats in and up to 1,200 people turn up,” he says.
One recent challenge is the reclassification of the hurricane zone by many insurers over the summer months.
“Unfortunately, because of the issues with hurricanes in the last two years, many insurers have now changed their latitude of coverage whereas previously we were classified as a safe haven,” says Devaux.
Since then, some local insurance companies have come on board to offer coverage.
Devaux wants to get the value that yachts bring to Saint Lucia better
“It will take time,” he says, “but there are real benefits to the Saint Lucian economy.”