Barbados Sailing Week off to a cracking start Tip top conditions for Coastal Series opener

Bridgetown, Barbados (17 January, 2018): Glorious conditions with up to 18kts of breeze and accompanying swell made for an exciting day on the water for the opening day of the three-day Coastal Series at Barbados Sailing Week writes Sue Pelling.

With the wind and swell from the east, competitors enjoyed a 11-12nm course from Carlisle Bay and were back on shore this afternoon in time to relax, rest their weary limbs and enjoy the delights the local hospitality provided by the organising club – Barbados Cruising Club, and Barbados Yacht Club’s Boogie on the Beach Party.

Racing throughout the day was close and it was a delight to see such a varied mix of yachts taking part, which ranged from windsurfers and an International Moth to the 65ft Alfred Mylne classic, The Blue Peter.

It was a day where the emphasis on good teamwork paid dividends and this was particularly noticeable in CSA Racing Class where the super-tuned crew on Peter Lewis’ J/105 Whistler fought hard to earn their first top spot of the week. After what was probably the best start of the day, team Whistler sailed well in the tricky conditions and although they seemed to struggle with speed on the first downwind leg, they were able to comfortably hold off The Blue Peter, who had to settle for second place in class.

Another impressive performance was in Non CSA division with Mandy (Hunter 29.5) sailed by Bruce Robinson and team who seemed keen to start the week how they intend to continue. After an exceptionally close class battle last year when they were unable to hold off their closest rival Tropic Bird (Hunter 35) sailed by Mark Hioens and Priscilla Richardson, they were on top form today with a first race win. As well as Tropic Bird, who was four minutes late for the start today, Robinson and team are going to have to watch Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie who was also on form and finished the day in second place, one place ahead of Tropic Bird.

Barbados Sailing Week ready to rumble

Bridgetown, Barbados (17 January, 2018): Barbados Sailing Week incorporating the headline event – the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – is officially underway writes Sue Pelling.

A skippers’ briefing at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, followed by the first of many beach parties at Barbados Cruising Club last night, gave competitors, families and guests a chance to enjoy the local Bajan hospitality to not only mark the start of this popular annual event but also celebrate the start of the Caribbean regatta season.

Barbados Sailing Week 2018, which runs from 16-24 January, is organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, all of whom are proud to welcome visitors from all over the world for a week of seriously fun racing and partying.

Howard Palmer (Chairman of the Race Committee) in his opening speech at the Skippers’ Briefing made special mention of the recent re-branding of the event – Barbados Sailing Week – and Mount Gay’s continued involvement as the headline sponsor for the Round Barbados Race, which is a unique challenge that gives teams a chance to win their skipper’s weight in rum if any of the 20 records are broken.

Another change for this year’s event is the return of the hugely competitive J/24 class which, by popular demand, has its own intense, two-day/four-race series (19-20 January). Going by previous form, racing for honours in this class will closely fought with results undoubtedly going down to wire. Those signed up so far include Robbie Yearwood (IWW Die Hard), Gus Reader (Glory Daze), Neil Burke (Impulse), and Cyril Lecrenay (Bunga Bunga).

Today’s opening three-day Coastal Series for all-comers (17-19 January), looks set to produce a decent breeze, which should give keen racers a chance to enjoy stunning sailing in the clear turquoise waters off Carlisle Bay in the south-west corner of the Island.

In the meantime, entries for this popular series are still flowing in with the likes of local favourites such as Peter Lewis’ Whistler (J/105) and Conviction (Botin Carkeek-designed TP52), which are hoping to defend or better their positions from last year in CSA Racing class. Overseas entries in this class include Spirit of Juno (Farr 65), and Andreas Berg’s Luna (Dufour 44) from Germany who last year broke the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Singlehanded record.

Foiling Moth takes line honours and establishes new record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race

Foiling Moth takes line honours and establishes new record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race

Light but thrilling 60nm sprint around Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados (21 January, 2017): Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record. He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.

Chatting as he stepped ashore after a testing day on the water, a delighted Budgen commented: “It wasn’t as bad as I thought, and actually I think the conditions were pretty ideal all round for a foiling Moth, and I am extremely happy to have achieved what I set out to do. I tried to pace myself and not put too much into it early on to conserve energy. It took about an hour and a half to get up to the North Point.

“It was a bit choppy by the time I got to the East Point, which had its challenges. The wind then dropped off and it was getting to the point it was getting marginal for me. There is also a reef there, which I didn’t notice until I’d gone inside it! Coming down the east side was lovely. I had a couple of capsizes when I started thinking about something else for a moment, but it only took about an hour and a quarter to get back down from the East Point in 10kts of breeze, which was perfect for foiling, so all in all a really nice day out.”

There was only one Absolute record broken this year (the Singlehanded Monohull record) and that went to Andreas Berg from Germany, aboard his Dufour 44 Luna. Berg managed to sail at a consistent speed and complete the course in 8 hours, 7 minutes, 31 seconds, trimming an impressive 1 hour, 39 minutes and 11 seconds off the previous record.

Berg commented: “I am thrilled to have come all the way from Germany for the first time, sailed solo around Barbados and won my weight in rum – a healthy 88 kilos of it. The wind was fairly light so that suited the boat well and I didn’t mess it up. I did think about hoisting the spinnaker but I decided, as I was sailing solo, I wouldn’t take the risk. I am happy but exhausted because I had to concentrate solidly for eight hours. I had, however, prepared well and had a good stock of refreshments, at arm’s length, within the cockpit.”

Dates Announced For 2018

The organisers of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series are pleased to confirm the event dates for 2018.

The event will run from January 16th to January 24th hosted by the Barbados Cruising Club.

The Skipper's briefing will be held on January 16th, with Coastal racing on January 17th, 18th and 19th for all classes except one design J/24.  The J/24 Coastal Racing series will be held on January 19th and 20th.  As always the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race will be held on January 21st.  The series conculdes with the Ocean Passage Race to Antigua starting on January 24th.

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the event organiser.

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series Coastal Series Finale

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series Coastal Series Finale
Series concludes after another glorious day on the racecourse

Bridgetown, Barbados (19 January, 2017): The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, concluded in spectacular style today with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea. The 15nm course took the fleet out to the west, followed by a long windward leg to Oistins, not far off South Point.

The conditions made for a particularly exciting conclusion to the Series with results in some classes going down to the wire. Notably the Multihull class between Silver Bullet sailed by Bryn Palmer (Barbados Cruising Club commodore), and Concise 12 (Diam 24) – Jack Trigger, Oliver Mellor, John Hunter-Hamilton, and Victoria Akhurst had one win apiece, going into the final, so it was all to play for today.

Trigger said: “We are happy, and have really enjoyed the competition over the last three days. We were fairly evenly matched in today’s conditions. We had quite a commanding position off the line but screwed up the lay line at the windward mark and had to do a cheeky double tack, which didn’t help us. However, the bottom reach to Trader was really nice for us because we just held the gennaker and managed to catch Silver Bullet. Once the breeze stabilized and increased up to 17-18kts we got ahead.”

Peter Lewis and his seasoned local team aboard Whistler (J/105), also clinched the series today with three straight wins. This super-tuned team demonstrated their impressive kite handling skills once again today so it wasn’t particularly surprising to see them take overall honours. Their closest rivals throughout the series were Doug Innes and team on Palpatine - Stormforce Coaching (Stimson 42), who finished second overall, and Clint Brooks and the local team on Conviction (TP52), who noticeably improved as the series progressed. Today they sailed well as a team and took second place, which left them one point behind Palpatine - Stormforce Coaching, and in third place overall.

Brooks commented: “Really pleased with how the team has gelled this week so we are happy with the results. It was a great warm up for the team in preparation to Saturday’s Round Barbados Race, which is what we are all here for.”

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