Grub crawl at Barbados Sailing Week

Published on January 18th, 2018

Bridgetown, Barbados (January 18, 2018) – With winds up to 17kts, day two of Barbados Sailing Week was the penultimate day of the Coastal Series, traditionally known as the Two Restaurants Race.

The 22nm course offered spectacular sheltered flat water/fast reaching conditions on the leg to and from the northern-most mark at Holetown just off The Beach House restaurant. On the southern part of the course to the Tapas Restaurant mark, the more lively conditions in the stunning, vibrant turquoise waters gave competitors a real taste of Caribbean sailing at its best.

In Non CSA division, Mandy (Hunter 29.5) sailed by Bruce Robinson and team managed to hold off their closest rivals on Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie. With two wins Robinson and team have clinched the series, which means the race for second place overall will be decided in the concluding Coastal race tomorrow.

Charles Hunte, the current Windsurfer Mount Gay Round the Island Race record holder, was on top form again today on his Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard, although he did confess to feeling shattered after enduring a tough three-hour stint on the water.

“Had a fab time and it was absolutely beautiful sailing weather but three hours ten minutes on a board was a little long,” admitted Hunte. “The first bit in the flat water up the west coast was ideal and was where I had the most speed. There was plenty of excitement out south too because I was joined by a mass of flying fish; they were everywhere and it was quite amazing.”

Andy Budgen racing his Exocet foiling International Moth Nano Project had a good sail but suffered with gear failure, which ultimately led to him not completing the course correctly: “It was all a bit crazy today because I had to stop and carry out more running repairs. I discovered the fitting that attaches the spreader to the shroud had broken off. I actually managed to fix it and was quite pleased with myself but blew it when I discovered I’d missed out the final mark. This week is certainly testing out my seamanship skills, that’s for sure.”

Processional it may have seemed but the long west coast leg from Carlisle Bay to Holetown provided plenty of opportunity for tactical racing.

In CSA Racing, Peter Lewis’ team on the J/105 Whistler demonstrated its skill by managing to hold its kite for the duration of the leg (there and back), despite a few debatable moments when the reach looked almost too tight. It paid off, however, and this local team of hotshots maintained pace throughout and managed to keep the ever-threatening team on the TP52 Conviction in second place.

The Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate (BOSS) that runs the TP52 Conviction project that promotes youth in sailing was flying today. David Staples on the helm together with Clint Brooks (crew boss) and the young team sailed impressively and finished the day in second place overall.

“We thought we may have just beat them [Whistler] today but not quite,” Staples commented. “We had a great day and I have to say that of all my 40 years of sailing here, today was what I regard as classic West Indies sailing conditions; good breeze and enough sea to remind you that you are sailing on an ocean. I was also impressed with the team today they worked well and there were plenty of smiling faces, which is what it is all about.”

Racing continues tomorrow with the final of the Coastal Racing Series and the first race of the J/24 two-day series. Racing concludes on January 24.

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About Barbados Sailing Week
The first recorded race round Barbados was in 1936 when five trading schooners (Sea Fox, Mona Marie, Marion B Wolfe, Lucille Smith and Rhode Island) took up the challenge. Sea Fox (Captain Lou Kenedy) was the overall winner with a time of 10 hours 20 minutes.

The original race was based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner. In an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium, this was a lucrative race for captains.

The consolation prize of a barrel of Mount Gay Rum for the slowest yacht was discontinued several years later following the discovery that some competitors purposely stalled and remained out at sea for days to ensure they won the prize.

In 2012 The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race expanded to incorporate the Two Restaurants Race, which meant racing took place over two days. The idea proved such a success, it was decided to expand the event further in 2014, in line with most other Caribbean regattas, and run a series of coastal, round-the-buoy races including the Two Restaurants Race, and The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race traditionally takes place on Errol Barrow Day (a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence). There are currently 20 records to contest.

The 265-mile Ocean Race from Barbados to Antigua at the end of the regatta was specifically designed to tie in with the start of the Superyacht Challenge in Antigua.

Source: Sue Pelling

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