Three recent company arrivals in the island of Grenada have been synonymous with energy, drive, and fun—Port Louis, steered by owner Peter de Savary, Camper and Nicholsons Marinas and Digicel. With the first two stepping into the title sponsor’s role and Digicel sponsoring competitive racing of the local workboats, the anticipation for Grenada Sailing Festival 2008 was almost tangible.
Saturday is the only day that sees both Keelboats and Workboat racing off the two mile white beach of Grand Anse. The Keel boats started off True Blue Bay in the south of the island sailing the first race of the regatta by rounding Point Saline, where the large racing fleet guaranteed stunning photographs as spinnakers emerged from behind the headland.
Meanwhile, workboats were going head to head to determine who in their community would go forward to win the coveted Digicel Workboat Skipper of the Year final while a large crowd had assembled on the beach to enjoy the Tented Village. While the beach party wound down with celebrated Calypsonian Spontaneous, Keel boat competitors got their first sight of the Camper and Nicholsons Marina, Port Louis, for the all-important Red Cap party.
Sunday—near perfect weather and just one short race for the Keelboats off the south coast, to allow the Keelboat visitors the opportunity to join the Digicel Workboat sailors who were now battling it out for Coca Cola Junior Champion, United Insurance Senior Champion and Digicel Skipper of the Year. All raced in the one design Workboat GSF16’s, this year sporting new sails thanks to the generosity of United Insurance. To “spice it up,” keelboat crews had the opportunity to buy a place in one of the boats (proceeds to Junior Workboat sailing) and race a GSF 16 with a local skipper, an event enjoyed by all. One of the all-girl crew of Coyote Pretty admitted to downing a Mount Gay and Coke just to “settle the nerves”!
The biggest-ever crowd enjoyed competitions throughout the weekend: Body Image Bench Press, Horizon Yacht Charters Bungy run, Coca Cola’s Tug ‘o war and more…Art Fabrik delighted the crowd at the opening ceremony with Miss Grenada, Vivien Burkhardt, taking to the stage, the Tivoli drummers inviting everyone to Limbo and SpiceIsland Fireworks exploding into the night.
The final of the workboat regatta had all eyes turned towards the sea as Woburn closed on and then and took Petit Martinique at the last mark rounding, only to capsize and lose out entirely – the cry of disappointment must have been heard right back to their village!
With two more days of racing in the keelboats, including a non-compulsory (but hugely entertaining) Moet pursuit race, rivalries had begun in earnest. Storm was not to have it all her own way in 2008 and Yoyo was paying the price for over-celebrating their Sunday win over her! David Cullen’s crew on Pocket Rocket had got to grips with their new boat and won the Moet Pursuit. The final race was sailed in the most taxing of weather conditions, light winds, huge shifts and winds out of the west! But it did mean a downwind start—just breathtaking to see all the spinnies cross the line.
After four days and seven races, B Mobile Enzyme took the Port Louis Trophy as the best of the best. Mark 2009 Dates on your calendar: January 30 to February 3.
Top Three in Each Category (yachtscoring.com)
Racing 1 (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Storm, R/P 44, Peter Peake, Trinidad & Tobago
2. Combat, Beneteau First 40.7, Hugh Pringle, GBR
3. YoYo!, Beneteau First 47.7, Spencer & Russell Whitworth, GBR
Racing 2 (CSA – 5 Boats)
1. B Mobile Enzyme, Henderson 35, Paul Solomon, Trinidad & Tobago
2. Category 5, Hobie 33, Richard Szyjan, Grenada
3. Whistler, J 105, Peter Lewis, Barbados
Cruising (CSA – 10 Boats)
1. Wayward, Beneteau Oceanis 430, Jerome McQuilkin, Trinidad & Tobago
2. Bloody Mary, S & S Hughes, Jerry Stewart, Carriacou
3. Wajang, Beneteau First 10, Darcy Carr, Trinidad & Tobago
Boval Charter (CSA – 4 Boats)
1. Ambrosia, Bavaria 42, R. Pfeiffer, NED
2. Andiamo, Moorings 44.3, Menno Van Kommer, NED
3. Galasminda, Moorings 44.3, Hans Schrederhof, NED
J 24 (One Design – 4 Boats)
1. Jabulani, J 24, Dave Tod, Canada
2. Blue by You, J 24, Robbie Yearwood, Grenada
3. Tempest, J 24, Mark Solomon, Grenada
Port Louis Traditional (One Design – 3 Boats)
1. Margita, Petit Martinique Sloop
2. Savvy, Petit Martinique Sloop, Peter de Savary, Grenada
3. Jambalaya, Schooner, Jeff Stevens