Winds and spirits high as records are broken at the 5th Annual Grenada Round-the-Island Easter Regatta! Trinidadian Peter Morris, Captain of Morning Tide called the event “a very enjoyable and exciting Grenada Easter Regatta …the boats raced closely together and the Round the Island Race was a classic”.
The early afternoon arrival of feeder races from Trinidad & Tobago at Prickly Bay Marina on Thursday 5th April kicked off the exciting Easter festivities in Grenada. After a great sail up from Trinidad and favorable wind and sea conditions for the crossing; Survivor came in first, Beex second, and Morning Tide third. That was followed with a ‘Welcome Party”, which like all the land events was open to the public and had great turnout.
Conditions were excellent off the south coast on Good Friday, as all classes enjoyed two races sponsored by Prickly Bay Marina. Race 1 was voided as the southern mark drifted away but Race 2 more than made up for it with First place going to Blew by You, Morning Tide took second and Aquillo came in Third. Mrs. Joycelyn Sylvester Gairy – the Director at the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) joined Peggy Cattan, Race Coordinator and Jacqui Pascall, Event Coordinator at the prize giving ceremony. David Emanuel and band played lively music during the two hour happy hour Westerhall Estate rum promotion night. All in all a really good crowd at Prickly Bay Marina’s After Race Party.
Fifteen yachts registered for the Round-the-Island race on Saturday and a great challenge to break that record in the multihull class the record holder for the fastest time around the island is held by Huff N Puff at 5 hours 50 minutes. It was a great windy day with a 20 – 22 knots breeze. Shadow Fax unfortunately blew the jib when off Sauteurs. The catamaran Sasha raced a good race but got her spinnaker jammed at the finish line so lost a lot of time with that problem. Champie Evans on Julia set a new record for the fastest monohull, actual time around the island 6.03.49 and corrected time 5.32.25. This made for an exceptionally exciting race and great news that the Carib Cup will stay at home in Grenada. Well done Champie and his crew!
The after race party on Saturday was also exceptional with Steel Band music provided by Angel Harps sponsored by Republic Bank. This Carib Cup party drew the crowds for the 8 pm prize giving, hosted by Ian Winsborrow, the GBT Cruise & Yachting Development Officer. Jacqui Pascall gave out both the Carib Cup and Peter Blake trophy to winner Champie Evans. This was followed by an enthusiastic Carib beer drinking competition which was well supported. Baracuda and his band played for hours with great music and dancing into the night.
Saturday was the Port Louis Junior Challenge Race day marked as a great success with 22 junior sailors taking part. The Triangle course off the Prickly Bay beach was ideal. From Port Louis, Danny Donelan gave out the certificates to all the competing children and Budget Marine prizes to the winners. In the Laser Class Nick Goodchild came first, in the Optimist Class, Kendall Martin and the Mosquito Class was won by Kimo Sampson. Kite building and flying was a highlight of the land activities for the junior sailors.
Sunday saw Budget Marine South Coast race 4 & 5, again excellent wind conditions off the south coast to decide the overall placing for each class. Morning Tide came in first in both races and secured the overall winners place in the cruising class for the race series. A memorable evening at the Beach House Restaurant & Bar followed and guests arrived to hear the Tivoli Drummers performance and were invited to take part and dance with them. Following the prize giving ceremony a superb dinner was served in the restaurant. Dancing was to the classics of the Back in Time band. Chris Mayhew, Captain of Blurred Vision said of the night “The location for the prize giving was excellent and the food was superb.”
Then came the final celebration, Easter Monday’s Fun in the Sun Day, also at the Beach House Restaurant. There were Maypole dancers from Windsor Forest, Grenada Salsa dancers performed and David Emanuel & his band played a great set. Plus there were hidden toys for the Easter hunt, which the kids loved and a running race for prizes. The delightful garden setting was ideal for the occasion.
The Biggest laugh was the bungee pulling challenge that got everyone on the beach involved. Everyone loved it and there was great cheering when the person managed to reach the beer bottle and it got moved another yard further forward! Prizes donated by Digicel were well received by all the winners.
Overall the 5th Annual Grenada Round-the-Island Easter Regatta was a hit for sailors, land lovers, juniors, kids, sponsors and hosts!
For complete racing results and other information check online www.aroundgrenada.com. Beautiful photos of the event were taken by award winning Barbados photographer Mike Toy – visit his website at www.miketoy.com.