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The annual Barbados Old Brigand Rum Regatta is set to sail off this weekend.
During a Press conference at the Barbados Yacht Club to announce the details on Tuesday, it was said that keen competition was expected across classes.
Last year’s champion Bunga Bunga, skippered by Charlie Gloumeau, will be competing once more but will face a challenge by the “in form” crew sailing Jason Tindale’s College Fund$.
Grenadian competitor Robbie Yeawood will sail Die Hard while Neil Burke and his crew will be aboard Impulse. The 24-youth crew, led by coach Kwame Hinds, will sail Undercover and will be skippered by Delyth Morris.
In the Non-CSA Class, Bruce Robinson and his crew aboard Mandy will be defending their title.
Their main challengers will include Sail La Vie who became victorious in the Bequia Easter Regatta and sailed by Bill Tempro, Tropic Bird skippered by Mark Hiorns and Perseverance under the direction of John Still.
Peter Lewis’ Whistler, Ralph Johnson’s Rapajam and Conviction sailed by Clint Brooks will compete for top prize along with Ian Hinckling’s Ten Seven which will also be among the top finishers.
President of the Barbados Surfing Association Gus Reader, said once again problems were experienced attracting yachts since that type of racing was no longer as prominent on the island.
“Yacht racing in Barbados has declined in recent years. We don’t have the racing class we once had. . . . In Barbados, we have a unique problem in that we are out of the way from the other islands and modern racing boats don’t take too well to or are not really comfortable with making the 140-mile crossing of the Atlantic to St Lucia, St Vincent and Barbados.
“The older racing boats are not comfortable, but they do i, and so we struggle to attract some of the hybrid or high-powered racing boats that race in some of the other regattas,” he explained.
Commodore of the Barbados Yacht Club, Geoffrey Evelyn, said although they were unable to attract numerous overseas competitors, the numbers were strong locally and they were looking forward to a successful event.
“We look forward to a very happy and competitive event. The CSA and non-CSA class should be pretty close. Our handicapping traditionally has brought them closer together so anyone can win. That keeps everyone interested and on their toes fighting to do the best they can.”
Evelyn noted some gusts were expected over the weekend, but since the sailors competing were quite experienced, they were capable of handling such weather.
The J24 class will compete in three races on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. and the courses will begin and end at Carlisle Bay and will take the boats up the South Coast as far as St Lawrence and back to Carlisle Bay. (RG)