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History Behind the Jamaican Dogsled Team

April 2nd, 2010

The Montreal Gazette has an article on the history of the Jamaican dogsled team, of which Jimmy Buffett has been a big sponsor over the years:

“We had a couple guys from Minnesota come in who knew what they were doing so we didn’t make total fools of ourselves,” Melville said.

It was right around then that Melville met Jimmy Buffett, the iconic American singer behind the song Margaritaville, an anthem of the relaxed Caribbean lifestyle.

“I realized that my crazy idea wasn’t going to be easy to make this into a profitable, successful tour,” said Melville.

The two men pondered the possibilities and saw huge benefits.

“What a great way to promote Jamaica. What a great way to expose the plight of the street dogs in Jamaica. What a great way to make Jamaicans be proud about doing something we shouldn’t be doing, and doing it well.

“What Jimmy (Buffett) liked about it was the opportunity for young Jamaicans, who come from humble backgrounds, to see the world. We decided we needed to race.”

Buffett is now the godfather, major sponsor and huge fan of the dogsled team. But he didn’t make the trip north to the Iditarod: “He says it’s against his religion to go into that cold,” laughed Melville.

Nevertheless, Melville is grateful for Buffett’s support: “We could never have done what we’ve done without him.”

Read the full article here.

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