The seventh annual Grenada Round-the-Island Race surpassed expectations this year with an expanded line up of activities, and organizers anticipate future growth into a regional and international event not to be missed.
Eleven boats competed in Saturday’s around-the-island race. Sailors gathered at Port Louis on Friday evening for a skipper’s briefing and cocktail party and were treated to breakfast Saturday morning before hitting the water bright and early at 8 a.m.
The traditional sailing event was energized this year with the entry of the Horizon Region Guadeloupe, billed as the fastest boat in the Caribbean. The trimaran did not disappoint – it shattered the old sailing record by almost two hours with an elapsed time of 3 hours, 54 minute and 2 seconds. (Read about a crew member’s experiences in All at Sea’s May issue, www.allatsea.net.)
Though some boats suffered mishaps that forced them to abandon the race, nine boats finished the day-long sail. Horizon Region Guadeloupe led the multihull category with Genesis coming in second with a corrected time of 451.62 minutes. Category 5 took the lead in the racing class with a time of 376.38 minutes and Boxxer led the cruising class competition with a time of 408.67 minutes.
While sailors were racing around the island, a lively group of youth gathered at Grand Anse beach for fun in the water and on land. Children from the LIMES After School Program and Queen Elizabeth’s Home for Children tossed water balloons, played lime and spoon relays and enjoyed face painting on the beach.
The Budget Marine Youth Sailing Exhibition displayed talented and energetic young people sailing. After several races, the overall Optimist winner was Shakeem Collins and the overall Laser winner was Micheal Mc Queen.
On Sunday the beach activities really heated up and a huge crowd gathered by the end of the day to enjoy the festivities. The weather was clear and warm but the water was cool and the food and drinks flowed while the music kept everyone grooving.
The first annual Bathtub Derby was a hit with everyone on the beach. Onlookers gathered along the shoreline and cheered as the home-made boats frantically paddled around buoys just off shore.
Delicious food was sold all day at A Taste of Grenada. Attendees enjoyed local treats such as oil down, fried jacks, fried bread fruit and macaroni pie from Gouyave and Victoria food vendors.
The Steel Band started off the day’s musical entertainment around 3 p.m. with their light and airy Caribbean sound and the Baracuda Band closed out the evening with an energetic two hour set that lasted until after dark.
The Right Honourable Minister of Tourism, Peter David, speaking at the award-giving ceremony on Sunday afternoon said the Grenada Round-the-Island Race weekend was a great event for the people of Grenada and promised his full support for the event in years to come. www.aroundgrenada.com.
Event report and photos submitted by Grenada Round-the-Island Race