|Jo Sayer and Chris
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.
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
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."