This month, the Barbados Sailing Association expects to see up to 76 skippers from more than 15 countries arrive at the Boatyard Beach, Bay Street, St. Michael to race one metre (3.28 foot) radio-controlled yachts for the world championship. The regatta will bring racing to Carlisle Bay on the island’s southwestern coast and is the first time the IOM Class has staged such an event in this part of the world. Organizers hope to complete 25-30 races in the prevailing 12-18 knot winds.
The IOM Class was formulated in the late 1980s to provide a low cost, uncomplicated box rule for radio controlled yachts. The rule was worked out by a group of designers including John Spencer (NZ) and Graham Bantock (UK), who set out to create a class where amateur designer/builders could compete with the professionals. The biggest fleets are presently in the UK, France the US and Australia, where registration numbers are approaching 1200.
Only two-function radios are allowed to control the sail winch and rudder servos, and three rigs are available to handle 0-10 knots, 10-17 knots, and 17-whatever wind blows the boats off the water.
Planned amenities, just as at a bigger boat regatta, include opening ceremonies, goodie bags, temporary memberships at the Barbados Yacht Club, use of Topper and Echo 12 dinghies on lay day and a daily happy hour. Awards will include a daily prize for top sailor and overall prizes for the top 10 competitors.
Participants are expected from Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, the USA and other countries.
“The organizing committee is eager to have those of you that may not be taking part in the competitive sailing to get involved as volunteers in assisting us with the smooth running of this event to help Barbados provide a tremendously successful IOM Worlds,” said Senator Peter Gilkes.
The Barbados Sailing Association is the governing body of sailing in Barbados. It has several affiliates, including the J24 Club, the Barbados Optimist Dinghy Association, the Barbados International One Meter (IOM) Association and the Barbados Windsurfing Association. The BSA is an affiliate of the Barbados Olympic Association, the Caribbean Sailing Association, the International Laser Class Association and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).