Regatta to hug south coast
by KENMORE BYNOE BARBADIANS and visitors can treat themselves to a front row seat for the colour and action of the 27th Harris Paints Regatta when the competition is staged off the boardwalk along the south coast on Sunday.
Regatta director, former commodore Peter Burke, told a press briefing held at the Yacht Club, Bay Street, on Tuesday that they had made a determined effort to launch this year’s event from Carlisle Bay.
He said the boats would be racing parallel to the boardwalk so spectators could enjoy the colours of the spinnakers and take in the keen rivalry up close.
Burke added that the competition was expected to be very tight, with one entry from Grenada expected to add to the challenge for the Barbadian boats. He pointed out that the interest in the J24 Class – a category introduced last year – was so great that it will be contested separately from the cruiser boats.
Sponsor and defending champion Ralph Johnson – à la Tiger Woods who sponsored and won his own golf tournament – said that his company was proud to maintain 27 unbroken years with the regatta and the Yacht Club.
The sentiments were echoed by Commodore of the club, Godson Francis.
Johnson, who is also a director of the Barbados Olympic Association, said that Ian Mayers and his team on Esperanza would be looking to sharpen their skills in the J24 Class as that crew will be representing Barbados at the CAC Games in Puerto Rico this month.
Robert Coby, who won the J24 Class last year, will be back to defend his title, as well as Johnson’s boat Rapajam which had taken the cruiser class.
The challenge from entries like Undercover, which captured the recent Mount Gay Regatta, as well as Hawkeye, Impulse, Jump Up, and Jay Star Challenge should make for an action-packed Sunday morning.
The races will start at 10 a.m., with the presentations slated for 2 p.m. to make way for the football World Cup Final which will be viewed at the Yacht Club as part of the after-presentation party.