With just days to go until the start of the 23rd
Angostura Tobago Sailing Week (May 8 to 13), the 2005 Caribbean racing season
prepares to sign off with one of its most popular regattas. Last year,
competitors battled it out in five classes – Comfort Cruising, Charter,
Cruising, Cruiser-Racer and Racing, with entrants drawn from T&T, the
Caribbean, US and UK, with Les Crouch’s Reichel Pugh ‘Storm’ taking the Racing
Class ahead of Guardian Star and Legacy, whose skipper – the late Dougie Myers
– will be conspicuously absent, and much missed this year.
The first Tobago
Race Week was held in 1982, thanks to the efforts of five Trinidad sailors:
Rawle Barrow, Kevin Kenny, John and Sydney Knox and Michael Rostant. Local supporter
Angostura became the title sponsor in 1988, at a time when the regatta was
mainly restricted to T&T and visiting boats from fierce rivals Barbados.
of a PHRF handicap system caused entry numbers to dwindle, and by 1993 the
number of competitors reached its nadir. It took the efforts of Yachting World
Editor Andrew Bray to help resurrect the regatta, bringing the event to the
attention of international sailors through promotion in the magazine. As a
result, 1994 was the comeback year – 51 visiting yachts and a whole lot more
coming to watch the action.
The addition of a
Live-Aboard Class at the same time attracted entrants from far-travelled
cruisers in the area – the first winner being a crew from Switzerland out of a
field that included British, American, South African and Australian boats.
Tobago House of Assembly is one of the Regatta’s main supporters, as well as
the Department of Tourism. Other sponsors include Pepsi, who sponsor the
popular Wednesday Lay Day on Bon Accord Lagoon, DHL and Lucozade.