The weather prior to the La Source GSF had not been kind with heavy winds, big squalls and high seas but as the date to race approached, the weather moderated and a fairly large contingent form Trinidad managed to sail up.
Twenty Six boats in all registered and the classes were split into Racing (8) Cruising 1 (10) Cruising 2 (8)
Brilliant sunshine, plenty wind and fair seas greeted the competitors on Day One – the Mount Gay Rum Race series. Cruising was a mixed bunch indeed – from the small J24’s, Grenada Yacht Club’s Blew by You andTempest, to Fred Thomas’s beautiful 53-ft, Bill Trip SRApollonian and everything else in between including a couple of charter boats! In Racing, a familiar sight wasStorm, Les Crouch’s Soca 43 powering by everyone!
The course was from the south coast, round to the finish off Grand Anse beach and then straight into a challenging windward leeward! A mix-up in the buoy recognition took most of the early fleet round the wrong mark and unfortunately not all boats in the cruising class were to get it sorted. By now, even without results to look at, the fleets were beginning to get the measure of each other.Storm just kept on stormin and left Slippery When Wet from Trinidad and Spice Islands Marine Services’ Category 5 to battle it out! In Cruising 1 Wayward was having it all her own way and in Cruising 2 it was anyone’s game between the J24 Blew by You helmed by Robbie Yearwood,Morning Tide an S&S 34 helmed by Peter Morris and Aquilo a Beneteau First 325 helmed by Mike Williams. Just to stir things up Tulaichean II a Beneteau 38.5 was always there or there abouts and Tempest the other J24 just kept popping up!
On day two, we were to be let off lightly with only one triangle/sausage course along the south coast, so that all competitors could take the opportunity to watch our fellow sportspeople racing their local wooden boats off Grand Anse Beach in the afternoon.
The conditions were exhilarating with a big sea running allowing boats to go surfing. Storm could be heard before seen as she rode the waves and Robbie in Blew by You was having the ride of his life! It was then off to see the Work Boat racing where not only the sailors were challenging the surf but spectators and officials as well, as waves washed over the beach, under the desks and chairs and well set up picnic areas.
On day three, Disco Inferno was to finally beat Wayward’s bullets and put in two firsts, Tempest in Cruising 2 had her moment when in the second race she finally came through and won, withMorning Tide and Aquilo absolutely equal on corrected time. Storm won but Enzyme, Category 5and Slippery When Wet were still battling it out behind her – until Slippery misread the SI’s and went for an early BBQ (it will be a while before they live that down!) they were well into their rum punches and ribs when someone saw Storm’s spinnaker go by! Unfortunately Apollonia was to suffer steering failure, and not be repaired for the remainder of the event.
Day four was a typical Grand Anse day, with big wind shifts, holes over the course and at times very light winds. In Racing, Storm having done enough did not race, allowing Slippery When Wet a well earned first. Wayward was back firing bullets despite the challenge of Disco Inferno and in Cruising 2 a wrong decision over the out of place mark cost Mike Williams on Aquilo his second place and first overall.
Overall Standings were:
Racing: 1st Storm 2nd Category 5 3rd Slippery When Wet
Cruising 1: 1st Wayward 2nd Disco Inferno 3rd Alliance
Cruising 2 : 1st Blew by You, 2nd Morning Tide, 3rd Aquilo