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Upscale J-24 sailing

Justin Marville

Upscale J-24 sailing

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J-24 SAILING in Barbados is about to get a higher profile, with a view to staging a world-class event in the future.
“We’re looking to improve the sailing here in the Caribbean so that we can represent on the world stage at some point,” said president of the J-24 club Gregory Webster during a Press launch at Gallery NuEdge Fine Arts in Limegrove yesterday.
“And I personally would love to see Barbados hold a world championship-level event for the J-24s.
“There are a couple formats that we can set up to help get that going here. [But] the match-racing format requires a lot more resources [and] people to umpire and man the speed boat and so on.
“I [also] would love that this event grow to a level where we had competition, not just from the Caribbean region, but from Mexico, Canada and Europe . . .  So we’re looking to grow and as far as I am concerned the sky is the limit,” he added.
Defending cup champs ISIS will have to face the biggest ever field of the United Insurance Match-Racing Cup this weekend as sailors from around the Eastern Caribbean are expected to descend on Carlisle Bay for the third annual yachting event.
Using a format similar to the widely-renowned Americas Cup, the match race event has attracted ten yachts, with sailors coming from St Vincent and The Grenadines and Grenada to do battle against the crews of ISIS and losing finalist Hawk Eye over two days of intense sailing.
The event begins at 8:30 a.m. both days.
“This type of event, which is unique to sailboat racing as a match racing event, is a very high-profile type of event in the world,” said Webster, who is also the owner and tactician of ISIS.
“And many people would recognise the type of event in the Americas Cup racing format.”
Contested in a round-robin format, each yacht will sail one-on-one against another yacht in single 15-to-25-minute elimination races where each victorious crew will be awarded a point.
The top four-point accumulators will advance to Sunday’s best-of-three race semi-finals before the winners face off in a similar format for the final.
For the first time in the event’s history, the start boat will be used as a spectator platform for both days of sailing so the crowds could witness the action up close on the ocean as it unfolds.