All happnin' at Barbados Sailing Week 2020

by Sue Pelling 2 Oct 16:17 BST

17-23 January 2020

 

Next year, for the first time in many years the course of Barbados Sailing Week's signature event - the Round Barbados Race - will track the fleet anti-clockwise. This means as well as the 22 records already on offer, the original outright anti-clockwise record of 10 hours and 15 minutes set by a schooner in 1936 is up for grabs, plus plenty of opportunity to establish more records on the new course writes Sue Pelling.

In an effort to make the event more inclusive for locals, and showcase sailing as a sport for all, the organisers - Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay - have plenty of new incentives lined up for the 2020 event, which runs from 17-23 January.

Barbados Sailing Week finale Gala prizegiving marks end of successful regatta

Barbados Sailing Week finale
Gala prizegiving marks end of successful regatta

Bridgetown, Barbados (23 January, 2018): Barbados Sailing Week incorporating the Coastal Racing Series and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous rum-themed prizegiving dinner and party at the glitzy Beach House location at Holetown. The final 300-mile Ocean Passage Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts tomorrow (24 January) writes Sue Pelling.

Barbados Sailing Week, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, attracted a good mix of local and international competitors and a wide range of boats from an International Moth to Fryderyk Chopin the largest operating Brigantine in the world. Representatives from the UK, Russia, Poland, Australia, Germany, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, the Netherlands and the USA were included in the line-up of overseas entries.

Organisers of the event also welcomed the popular charter boats including OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno, and Mat Barker’s beautiful Alfred Mylne 65 classic, The Blue Peter. One of the most eye-catching entries this year was the globally-recognised Australian 100ft super-maxi – CQS – owned and skippered by Ludde Ingvall.

Another interesting entry, from Russia, was Pjotr Lezhnin in his Mini Transat 6.50, who finished 4th overall in the CSA Racing Series and third in 35ft and Under class in the Round Barbados Race with a time of 9h 17m 54s. Lezhnin says he hopes that more Mini Transat sailors take the opportunity to compete at the event in the future. “With the 2019 Mini Transat finishing in Martinique I think this event would be the ideal for competitors whose boats remain in the Caribbean after the event. I will be back for sure next year.”

Given the huge diversity of the fleet and big winds that reached over 30kts, it was no great surprise that a total of seven records were smashed at the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados Race on 21 January. Although the extreme wind and sea conditions led to many retirements, it was, as far as records go, the most successful in the history of the event.

At last night’s grand finale, hundreds of guests tuned out to celebrate the success of those who had taken part and achieved outstanding results in both the Coastal Series and the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race. With each of the sevens team winning their skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum, the Beach House temporarily turned into what looked like the packing department of a distillery with boxes of rum stacked to the rafters.

2019 - Trevor's Sailing for The Zander Venezia Trust

Every year windsurfer Charles Trevor Hunte attempts to break his record time windsurfing around Barbados.  This year, he will be raising funds for the Zander Venezia Trust.


It is Barbados Sailing Week again and this year, I’ve decided to dedicate my efforts on January 21st to Zander Venezia; who was a 16 year old professional surfer who I have spent many years in the water with.

Zander’s family has started “The Zander Venezia Trust” a registered charity #1375 to aid and assist underprivileged and disabled children throughout Barbados. If you would like to pledge a donation in my efforts to the The Zander Venezia Trust, you can donate via online at www.gofundme.com/livelikezander or by contacting me directly. #livelikezander

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race record breakers Thrilling conditions for Caribbean classic

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race record breakers
Thrilling conditions for Caribbean classic

Bridgetown, Barbados (21 January, 2018): Squally winds reaching 30kts from the north-east made for magical sleigh-ride, record-breaking conditions in the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, writes Sue Pelling.

While the lively conditions in big seas proved too much for many of the 34 entries in the 60nm sprint around the Island of Barbados, for others it couldn’t have been more thrilling. In total seven records were broken – the largest ever number of records broken in the history of the event.

One of the biggest heroes of the day was undoubtedly Trevor Hunte, the local adrenalin junkie who, on his Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard windsurfer, smashed his own record set in 2016 by just over four minutes with a time of 5h 30m 46s.

As he arrived on the beach at Barbados Cruising Club to crowds of well wishers, an elated and exhausted Hunte confessed it was the most emotional and difficult sail of his life, and said he was just so happy to be back in one piece.

“You can’t train for a sail like that. North point was incredibly dangerous with swells of easily three metres. It was scary with wind squalls coming in at over 25kts, maybe more, under the clouds. It was an incredible and difficult challenge.”

Commenting in the most difficult part of the race, Hunte added: “At East Point the waves finally got me. They were huge and I got bombed off a couple of times and, as I fell I cut my toe in the metal mast-foot track. If that hadn’t happened I would have been her 10 minutes earlier.”

Arguably the most notable result of the day with a finish time of 4h, 13m, 37s was CQS, the 100ft multi-winged supermaxi from Australia skippered by Ludde Ingvall that not only broke the Absolute Monohull record but also established the 100ft and under record.

As she crossed the line this morning, it didn’t take long for her and her super-tuned crew to power up, weave their way through the fleet and prepare for the extreme conditions and big seas at North Point. Ingvall, a former round the world yachtsman, world champion and record holder, commenting after the race, said: “We are delighted because that is what we came here for. I felt we should have been a bit quicker but we are happy nevertheless. It was wild out there and we had 30+knts of wind on the nose going round the north-west/north-east point but the boat performed well recording 24-25kts of boat speed at times offwind. All in all a good day and lots of good team spirit.”

Among the young sailors taking on the challenging course today was Jason Tindale (27) in College Funds. He and his team from Barbados Yacht Club once again demonstrated their skill by sailing a tactically sound race. Having established the J/24 record in 2015 and bettered their time in 2016, they’ve done it again with a time of 8h 18m 9s.

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