Kick off the Caribbean regatta season in Barbados.
A 60-NAUTICAL-MILE ROUND-THE-ISLAND RACE, coastal buoy racing and a thrilling ocean passage to Antigua are three excellent reasons to enter the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, now called Barbados Sailing Week 2018, set for January 16-24. You might as well call it the start of regatta season in Barbados.
Hosted out of the Barbados Cruising Club located in Carlisle Bay near the island’s capital of Bridgetown, this event features professionally crewed yachts reveling in a combination of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea conditions in the one-day race. In 2014, Andy Budgen’s and Fred Schwyn’s Monster Project, a Volvo 70, set the monohull record at 4 hours, 42 minutes and 20 seconds. Record setters in any of the 20 class categories in this race win their skippers’ weight in Mount Gay Rum. Smaller boat teams, both private and charter ranging from J/105s and Hunter 35s to TP 52s and Farr 65s, delight in the sprint style of the Coastal Racing Series.
Larger monohull and multihull crews enjoy the 265-mile competitive Ocean Passage Race to Antigua, which finishes in English Harbour in time for the Superyacht Challenge. Those who bring their own boat will find plenty of mooring space in Carlisle Bay. An alternative is to charter the TP 52 Conviction from Barbados Offshore Sailing, Ondeck Ocean Racing Farr 65s or Beneteau 40s, or the Alfred Mylne 65 classic yacht, The Blue Peter. Even landlubbers can get in on the fun since organizers publish a spectator’s guide that lists the race courses, best vantage points to watch and the scoop on past record holders.
By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating January 2018
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