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.”

Competition hots up at Mount Gay Round Barbados Series

Competition hots up at Mount Gay Round Barbados Series

Race two of the Coastal Series produces spectacular competition

Bridgetown, Barbados (18 January, 2017):
 The second day of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Coastal Series organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, produced spectacular competition once again. Although it was an unusually damp day with rain squalls passing through for most of the race, the wind built under the clouds to 15-16kts, which made for really exciting racing along the west coast of the island.

According to Steven Kern tactician aboard Whistler (J/105), winner of today’s CSA Racing division, this week is one of the most competitive he has experienced in the event’s recent history. “The starts and the close racing throughout have been fantastic. It has been consistently competitive, which is what we love.”

Kern, sailing with skipper Peter Lewis and team, who are seasoned Caribbean circuit sailors, added today’s win to their race win yesterday and are now looking good for an overall Coastal Series win. They say their secret weapon this week is a new flat spinnaker.

“The new spinnaker worked beautifully going up the west coast. It is a smaller spinnaker we can fly for longer. I think we also managed to stay focused even when we dropped up the coast. The wind dropped to less than 2kts at one stage off Holetown, but we popped the kite and gained a lot.”

The local team on Conviction (TP52) also sailed well today but had to settle for second place in CSA Racing. Clint Brooks, skipper, said the team sailed well and had better boat speed. “I think the key to our success was getting back close inshore after rounding the top mark off Holetown. Instead of heading on a straight course to the next mark, we went hard back inshore because the wind was in the north, built our angles, hoisted the kite and took off. That’s where we gained a lot.”

The big shift off the start kept the tacticians on their toes and made for a fairly crowded committee boat end start. From there on in, it seemed to pay to play the shifts up the right-hand side of first beat and those with local knowledge including Mark Hioens and team on Tropical Bird (Hunter 35) in Non CSA class, sailed well once again to lead at the first windward mark. This team, who won their class yesterday, has been enjoying a close series with fellow local sailor Jonathan Gittens on Shangri La (Morgan 41). Both have sailed impressively and are now in first and second respectively with one race to go.

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series officially underway

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series officially underway
Fleet prepares for opening race tomorrow

Bridgetown, Barbados (16 January, 2016): The Skippers’ Briefing held at the Radisson Aquatica Resort this evening marked the official opening of the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Series.

As the sun set over Carlisle Bay, competitors, families and guests who’d gathered at this sumptuous Caribbean venue were treated to an informative briefing headed by Howard Palmer (Chairman of the Race Committee), before dancing the night away on the beach under the palm trees to the sounds of a Caribbean steel band at Barbados Cruising Club.

The warmth of the welcome from the organisers – Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay – is one of the key reasons why the Mount Gay Round Barbados Series continues to attract overseas entries. Not only is it the opening regatta in the Caribbean Race circuit, but also with its constant winds, and record-breaking opportunities in the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, it’s the ultimate choice for early season racers.

With sailing one of the island’s key sporting events the competition is always intense. This year is no exception, entries ranging from windsurfers to 100ft schooners including the eye-catching 65m Adix. Spectators will also notice Tony Lawson’s record-breaking MOD70 – MS Barbados Concise 10 from the UK out and about. Skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield Team MS Barbados Concise 10 is preparing to defend the Absolute Multihull round Barbados record they broke last year in the event’s 80th anniversary year.

There is also a host of other top class racing machines lining up for the event including the local boat Conviction (TP52), Spirit of Juno (Farr 65), and the 78ft custom Humphries design – Ocean Phoenix – from Spain.

Stunning conditions for Coastal Series opening race

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series lives up to reputation

Stunning conditions for Coastal Series opening race

Bridgetown, Barbados (17 January, 2016): The Mount Gay Round Barbados Series organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay got off to a spectacular start today with the first race of the three-day Coastal Series blessed with glorious sailing conditions.

A good 17-20kts of north-easterly breeze and relatively flat seas resulted in exciting close racing for the five fleets, which ranged from Windsurfers and Foiling International Moths, Cruising classes, to the CSA Racing class.

Today’s courses, which all started in Carlisle Bay took the fleets generally out to the south-east, round South Point to Tapas, a mark just off the beach up the east coast. The relatively short opening blast was just the right length, although those on the most physically demanding boats such as Andy Budgen on his foiling Moth Nano Project, and Charles Trevor Hunte on his windsurfer did confess to feeling somewhat fatigued.

Commenting as he stepped ashore after his first race win, Budgen said: “The second half was actually quite bumpy, which meant it was extremely demanding. I started to feel tired half an hour in, and consequently had a few splashes. It has however, made me realise I definitely need a support boat for the Round Barbados Race on Saturday because it is going to be tough.”

Charles Trevor Hunt on his Phantom Batwing Windsurfer, who broke the Round Barbados record last year was beaten by Budgen today. He said it was a great opportunity to iron out all the kinks: “I bust two foot straps… I know it sounds a bit like ‘the dog eat my homework’ and I hate to blame the dogs but I think they have chewed through my foot straps. Apart from the foot strap issue, the board is working well, but I am a little rusty so I am guessing by Saturday I’ll be either dead or ready.”

The CSA Racing Division, the largest fleet in the Coastal Series, also enjoyed exciting racing along the south coast.  Local hotshot Peter Lewis, and team on Whistler (J/105) sailed well and managed to clinch the opening race from Stormforce Racing’s Palpatine (Stimson IRC 42) on corrected time.

Having corrected their navigational error when they missed out a mark, Peter Steinkogler and his Austrian team on Godspeed (X41), worked well in the second half of the race to make up enough time to finish third overall.

The Non CSA class was noted today, for its impressive performance particularly aboard Jonathan Gittens’ yacht Shangri La (Morgan 41). This team was first off the start line and led by over a minute at the first mark of the course. They continued to sail smart throughout the race, but Mark Hioens and team on the USA registered boat Tropic Bird (Hunter 35) also sailed a good course and clinched the win on corrected time by six minutes.

Barbados prepares for epic Mount Gay Round Barbados Series

Barbados prepares for epic Mount Gay Round Barbados Series

Caribbean season opener attracts record breakers for island rum dash

Bridgetown, Barbados (5 January 2017): With just 10 days to go before the start of the 2017 Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series (16-24 January), the festival atmosphere in Barbados is starting to rumble writes Sue Pelling.

Overseas entries, including Tony Lawson’s record-breaking MOD70 – MS Barbados Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield is already in Bridgetown preparing to defend the Absolute Multihull record the team broke last year in the event’s 80th anniversary year. They wowed the crowds in a thrilling finish that saw them complete the 60nm course just 12 seconds ahead of Phaedo3, co skippered by Lloyd Thornburg and Brian Thompson, with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, 38 seconds. In doing so they won an impressive 54 bottles (nine cases) of Extra Old Mount Gay Rum.

Given the fact there is a total 14 established records up for grabs, all of which offer the skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Extra Old Rum, if broken, this event is not only the ultimate choice for speed sailors seeking a spot of early season training for the forthcoming Caribbean season, but also is an ideal post-Christmas choice for sun seekers keen to escape the European winter climate.

Organisers – Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and Mount Gay – are currently in the process of welcoming a stream of visitors to Bridgetown’s new marina facilities. Those currently en route include the Austrian team on X41 Godspeed.

Peter Gilkes – Consultant to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc for Yachting Development – who has been involved in the organisation of the event for many years, believes the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta has many attractive qualities. Commenting on the 2017 event, Gilkes said: “Following last year’s most successful event to date where some impressive times were achieved during our signature round Barbados race, I am looking forward to welcoming even more entries this year.