The winds were brisk at the start of the Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2017, and excitement was high as boats gathered in St George’s for the start of Grenada’s 5th Annual Regatta. 31 boats hailing from ports as far away as Lithuania, the United Kingdom, France and the USA, to those closer to home; Trinidad, Barbados and Antigua; including 7 from Grenada, joined the event. They varied greatly in size and crew from the small but fast J24’s to a Volvo 60 with a crew of 15 to a 70ft classic yawl.
Competition was fierce throughout the regatta but the prize for Best Performing Yacht was awarded to Mark Chapman’s Dingo, a modified Kerr 11.3 from Trinidad who also came 1st overall in a healthy Racing Class of 12 boats ranging from Frederick Sweeney’s Gaya, a 25′ Xtreme from St Lucia, to Peter Anthony’s 65 ‘ Farr, Spirit of Juno from Antigua. It also included a Volvo 60, Linas Ivanauskas’s Ambersail, and a Caribbean 33, built by Grenada’s own Jason Fletcher of Grenada Marine, who made a sterling effort to finish the boat in time for the regatta and rightly named her NickaTime
Peter Lewis with Whistler from Barbados came 2nd, and Bernie Evan Wong from Antigua came 3rd with Taz. Grenada’s Richard Szyjan of Category 5, did exceptionally well until they were T-boned by Whistler and were forced to retire in the 8th race, despite this they came 4th out of 12 in class overall. In the manner of true sportsmanship, they stayed for the rest of the week and were invited up to share the honours of Best Performing Yacht alongside Dingo at the final ceremony.
There was fine competition in Racer/Cruiser Class 1, a CSA Class with spinnaker optional, in which Jaguar and Piccolo raced neck and neck. The downwind start on the coastal race made a great sight with 3 of the 5 classes flying spinnakers. Peter Morris on Jaguar from Trinidad and his team took 1st place with 15 points despite a broken hydraulic backstay in race 2 and not finishing in race 3, making an incredible comeback. Andrew Yates’ Piccolo from the United Kingdom took 2nd Place just one point behind Jaguar. And Curtis Finley from the USA took 3rd place on Blue Fin. In Racer Cruiser CSA Class 2, six boats competed against each other, three of which were Grenadian. Grenada triumphed taking 1st and 2nd place with Robbie Yearwoods’ Die Hard taking five 1st and four 2nd places, putting him in the lead with a total of 11 points. Peter ‘Champy’ Evans’ Julie Rule took 2nd place not far behind with 15 points performing well against the J24’s. Gus Reader’s Shakin- a J24 from Barbados took 3rd place.
The racing was tight between the Classic CSA Class entries Galatea and The Blue Peter, old adversaries who viewed this regatta almost as a match race. But Judd Tinius’ Galatea from the USA snatched 1st place with 5 points, beating Mathew Barker’s The Blue Peter from the United Kingdom by just one point, putting him a close 2nd. Local Danny Donelan’s Petit Martinique Sloop, Savvy, crewed by charter guests, had a fabulous time with some great starts, were pleased with their 3rd place result.
There were only two boats in the Cruising Class with Jonathon Gitten’s Shangri-La from Barbados taking 1st Place and Alfred McMillan’s After Hours from Trinidad taking 2nd place.
A Class 40 division was introduced to Grenada Sailing Week this year with a new entry from Campagne De France. Halvard Mabire from France sailed with a crew of just three around Grenada and set a record of 7hr:19m:52s that the regatta organisers hope will attract more entries to compete against next year.
Other Grenadian boats racing included; Rene Froehlich designed and built La Diablesse an RF33 for the talented youth sailors of Grenada. They were also in the racing class but a few problems early on, including a broken vang and a ripped sail forced them to retire from some of the races. Mike Bingley of Palm Tree Marine in Clarks Court raced Tulaichean II a Beneteau First 38 in Racer/Cruiser Class 2 coming 5th in class. The committee looks forward to welcoming all the boats and their crews back next year.
The event ran from 30 January to 4 February 2017 and was held between 2 venues: The Grenada Yacht Club in St George’s and Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay.
With 4 days of sailing and one lay day spread between the 2 hosts, participants had plenty of fun and excitement both out on the water and back on shore. With parties every night including the pirate party back by popular demand, and a screening of the outstanding film ‘Vanishing Sails’ shown on the lay day at Secret Harbour Marina. On the final day, youth sailors visited the event to participate in the Sailors for the Sea education programme and were treated to tours around some of the boats by their very accommodating captains.
The regatta would not be what it is without its sponsors. Special thanks go to the title sponsor Island Water World for their help throughout. And to: Associate Partner: The Grenada Tourism Authority. Race Day Sponsors: Mount Gay, Sea Hawk and Secret Harbour Marina. Regional Airline Partner: Liat, The Caribbean Airline. Charter Partners: The Moorings and Dream Yacht Charters. Platinum Sponsor: Silentwind Generators, who also provided the prize for the Best Performing Yacht of the Regatta. Gold Sponsors: Spice Island Marine, Doyle Sailmakers and SwiftPac. Silver Sponsors: Grenada Marine, Palm Tree Marine, Turbulence, Real Value IGA Supermarket, Horizon Yacht Charters. Bronze Sponsors: Coyaba, Marine Tech Grenada, Grenada Sailing Association, L’Anse aux Épines Cottages. Digicel, Clarks Court Boatyard and Marina, Wine and More and MAYAG. Grenada Sailing Week Friends: MOD1 Technology Solutions, Coconet and Island Dreams. Venues: The Grenada Yacht Club and Secret Harbour Marina. And finally to all the small businesses who donated prizes and to everyone who took part and made the event the success it was.
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week