Our Community - Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont - "Sailing the Sunny Seas of San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 48            December 12, 2002

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Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont

Being nestled inside the second longest barrier reef in the world, Ambergris Caye attracts thousands of visitors every year. The rich, natural beauty found along the majestic reef and its surrounding waters make it a favorite playground for snorkelers, divers, swimmers, and most recently, windsurfers. Although the sport of windsurfing is fairly new to San Pedro, it has quickly become a favorite pastime for many - young and old, visitors and residents. This week The San Pedro Sun is pleased to feature the couple who provide this recreation for the island - Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont.

    Jo Sayer hails from London, England where she obtained a degree in English Language and Arts History from the University of Leicester. Following her schooling, she decided to experience life in other lands and traveled to Australia and Indonesia, working in various fields. Returning to England, Jo was hired as the assistant costume designer for a group of theater companies for one year. Having an eye for creativity, Jo was later hired by an advertising agency as a producer for television commercials. After twelve years in this field, Jo decided to satisfy her curiosity of watersports by enrolling in a windsurfing and sailing course in England. She further pursued this in Barbados, and it was there that Jo met her future companion and business partner - Chris Beaumont.

    Chris was born and raised in St. Albans in the United Kingdom. His love for science led Chris to obtain a degree in mechanical engineering from England's Lancaster University. Similar to Jo, Chris also decided to explore the world and traveled to Australia, Indonesia and China. He was then offered a job as a process engineer at Owens Illinois in the United Kingdom. Shortly after, Chris was transferred to the company's head office in Toledo, Ohio, USA as an accounts manager for the next six years. Tired of the "rat race," Chris' adventurous spirit then cajoled him into taking a yacht master (skipper) course from the UK Sailing Academy in Cowes, England that eventually took him to Barbados. 

    Sailing had brought Jo and Chris together in Barbados and sailing would lead this couple to Belize. After receiving their full certification as windsurfing and sailing instructors from the Royal Yachting Association in 1998, Jo and Chris were ready to "sail" into yet another adventure - a business partnership. Having learned about Belize from a friend, Chris and Jo traveled to this part of the "New World" in hopes of finding the perfect place to establish their business. After visiting key places in Belize such as  Placencia, Caye Caulker, and even Gales Point, Jo and Chris found what they were looking for in Ambergris Caye. "There were no wind-surfing or sailing schools in San Pedro and we saw the benefits that a business of this type could bring to the entire island," Chris told The San Pedro Sun..

    In January of 1999, Jo and Chris relocated permanently to San Pedro and opened their windsurfing school - SailSports Belize. This enterprise began with three windsurfers under an umbrella and today their business boasts 17 boards, four sailboats and 28 sails. Located on the beach at the Holiday Hotel, Jo and Chris have managed to entice many locals and tourists to engage in this fun sport. In fact, they have also started a windsurfing club for locals. Jo's involvement in the business includes meeting and greeting the clients, while Chris handles most of the teaching and equipment maintenance. Jo and Chris are happy to announce that they will soon bring another first to San Pedro through kite surfing. This new way of sailing is more commonly described as a cross between knee boarding and flying a kite, and is fast becoming the "in" sport. Chris has recently returned from a kite surfing course in Miami and is now qualified to instruct interested clients.

   After four years in Belize, Jo and Chris are very satisfied with their decision to live in this "island paradise" and look forward to many more years in "La Isla Bonita." Through SailSports Belize, Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont have provided another way for residents and visitors to "sail through life"  in "Our Community."



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