Fleet of 15 Set Sail in PCYC’s Round Grenada Regatta

A view from the dock as the race gets underway
A view from the dock as the race gets underway

One of the most diverse fleets, perfect sailing conditions and the chance to visit two islands in two days are what makes the Round Grenada Regatta a favorite in the Southern Caribbean. Held August 25 to 26, the fifteen boats participating in the Petite Calivigny Yacht Club (PCYC)-hosted event ranged from an 18-foot beach cat to a 72-foot 119-year-old Bermudan yawl, plus a four-boat one-design J/24 class. Sixty-some crew members navigated their vessels from the start line off Le Phare Bleu Marina, on the south coast of Grenada, north to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou the first day and then sailed back along the windward side of Grenada on day two. Liberal prize-giving: first day, second day and overall awards, made the regatta extra fun.

“The whole weekend was a blast,” says Judd Tinius, owner of the historic yawl, Galatea, which finished second to Misiba Webster’s Hobie Cat, Thunderbird, on the first day and third after Mark Solomon’s 473 Grenada Boutique Resort’s Shuttleworth-designed micro-multihull Lynx and Richard Szyjan’s Hobie 33, Category 5, on day two to end the regatta second overall behind Category 5. “Category 5 got out a couple miles ahead of us on the first day in the lee of Grenada, but once we got out into the open we were able to overtake them before Carriacou. The second day was forecast to be light, but the wind held for us. All had a good start and were off. This time we had the legs on Category 5, though not enough to keep them behind us once we started to ease the sheet. Up went their kite and they got us. It may have been even closer had we not spotted the rig-less beach cat. We lost concentration and diverted a bit to be sure they were okay. But it was still close and a good time.”

Solomon enjoyed the learning curve aboard his new micro-multihull, rebounding from a fifth-place on the way to Carriacou to a first on the sail back. This was enough to give him third overall.

All ears at the skippers’ briefing

“The first day was amazing. We were flying to windward and at 15 knots; it was just the wrong windward. We made the novice mistake of not hugging the coast line. I’ve been racing and living here for 20 years, so I should have known better, but the speed and fun got to us,” Solomon says.

Results were also topsy-turvy in the one-design J/24 class. That is, Richard Amerling’s Frigate won the race north and finished last on the way down. In the end, Robbie Yearwood’s Die Hard took the overall trophy with Frigate second.

“Robbie was my real competition, so I was happy to get a great start and arrive off Port Salines within a second or two of him on that first day,” says Amerling. “Then, he and the other J/24s decided to go out and we choose to stay closer to shore. As a result, we won by nearly five minutes. Basically, Robbie made the tactical decision not to cover us when he should have. I made the same mistake the second day. We headed offshore, Robbie stayed in out of the equatorial current that runs north, and he made up the five minutes and more to beat us.” 

The PCYC revived the tradition of round-the-island racing four years ago.

“It’s a fun race, plain and simple; first over the line,” says Rick Feld, PCYC vice-commodore. “We have maintained the original intention, and spirit of the race, ‘to have a fun couple of days on the water, surrounded by good food, great friends, and a few parties’. This year, we enjoyed the bonus of perfect sailing conditions!”

For full results, visit: http://pcycgrenada.com/round-grenada-regatta-2018-results/

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.