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Yacht Club of the Month: Carriacou Yacht Club

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Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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Carriacou Yacht Club

This month, we honour the Carriacou Regatta Committee. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Carriacou Regatta wrapped up on August 1.

President Dexter Leggard writes:

I am extremely proud to share with you one of the cultural uniqueness of our beautiful little island, Carriacou; that is our Regatta festival.

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The annual Carriacou Regatta Festival has definitely become an integral part of the numerous cultural celebrations of the Tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. It is an exhibition of cultural activities showcasing the history of our island. One of the main features is the traditional Work Boat race, which involves the skills and mastering of seamanship. This festival is a source of pride and inspiration to our boatmen and for all Carriacouans generally. Every year, it brings thousands of visitors to our shores and as a result much needed revenue is generated for our country.

This annual event was established by a group of locals led by the famous yachtsman the late Linton J. Riggs. During the past 39 years, the festival has made tremendous strides. It has become one of the biggest workboat sailing festivals in the entire Caribbean.

It is held over the emancipation weekend each year with a build-up from the week preceding. The Regatta begins with an official opening ceremony, which showcases our rich culture including our big drum and Quadrille dances. The event continues with Queen Shows, Boat Cruises, Soca & Calypso show featuring local and regional artist among others.

The workboat races dominate the festival, creating a lot of excitement with boats from Tobago, Grenada, Bequia, Petite Martinique, Mayreau, Canouan, Carriacou and Antigua. Union Island was represented for the first time in 2004. This integration of the boatmen is a good example of Caribbean unity.

The big competitions start on the Saturday with the Round- D-Island race, which begins and ends at Windward for the large and small-deck sloops. This race was started in 1985. Saturday also sees the coming together of all the open-enders for the long open boat race, which begins at L’Esterre (Paradise Beach) and ends at Hillsborough.

Over the next two days, Regatta Sunday and Monday, there are a series of work boat and yacht races in Hillsborough and Tyrell Bay (Harvey-vale).

Other activities which generate interest are the Greasy Pole, Donkey races, Miss Wet t-shirt and the Miss Aquaval queen show featuring contestants from Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Union Island, St. Vincent, Carriacou and for the first time in 2004 Barbados.

The Regatta ‘Jupa’ which is situated at the foot of the Hillsborough wharf is the headquarters for all the Regatta activities. There, one can get all the information required about regatta as well as souvenirs, magazines and other useful information.

In 2005, the Committee celebrated the 40th anniversary of the festival. This year the festival was produced in association with the Grenada Board of Tourism, National Commercial Bank and Cable & Wireless.

For more information on the results of the Carriacou Regatta festival visit
(473) 443-7930/7948 / Email: ccouregatta@caribsurf.com or visit the nearest Grenada Board of Tourism office in your area

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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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