by Sue Pelling
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2014 gets underway tomorrow in Bridgetown, Barbados. With nearly 50 boats entered 100s of sailors are tonight enjoying the fine Barbadian hospitality on the eve of the first race.
Skippers’ briefing at the Radisson Hotel - Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2014
With 10 boats signed up already, the J/24 fleet is one of the biggest fleets at the regatta and undoubtedly one of the most competitive with local talent including current national champions – Hawkeye (Robert Povey and team), keen to notch up another impressive victory.
At the skippers’ briefing held earlier this evening the race team including Howard Palmer (Chairman of the Race Committee), Pat Bailey (Chief Judge), and John Coveney (Principal Race Officer) said they were impressed by the quality of entry and are looking forward to hosting a competitive, yet fun week. Coveney commented: 'The Caribbean is known for its constant east-north-east, which is a dream for sailors and race officers alike. Here in the Barbados, the wind blows fairly consistently at 20kts, which is perfect, so we are all looking forward to a good opening day on the water. We can only hope the wind stays constant for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race next Tuesday [21 January].'
Organised by the Barbados Cruising Club in association with the Barbados Tourism Authority and Mount Gay, the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series encompasses the already established Mount Gay Round Barbados Race plus a new series of coastal races, and a final 300-mile sprint to Antigua – to link up with the Superyacht Challenge – starting on 25 January.
Peter Gilkes – Consultant to the Barbados Tourism Authority for Yachting Development – also present at the briefing, welcomed visitors to the island and promised a prosperous future to the regatta. 'We have worked hard to produce an event that we are proud of. The aim of this year’s event is to use it as a platform on which to base future events. We have a long-term commitment in making sure this is a key event on the Caribbean racing circuit and hope everyone has fun, competitive week.'
The first race for J/24 starts at 1000 tomorrow while the rest of the fleets commence at 1110. After a day of intense coastal racing, competitors will have earned their place at the Mount Gay Rum Red Cap party at Barbados Yacht Club tomorrow evening.
Event website: click here