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Classic treat for sailing fans

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Classic treat for sailing fans

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Nine of the 12 vessels which completed the Panerai Classic Transat Race took part in an entertaining race from Carlisle Bay to the West Coast and back yesterday.
However, few of the hundreds of locals and visitors who crammed the beaches gave little more than a passing glance at the boats on their journey from the Barbados Cruising Club to an artificial iceberg off Mullins Bay, St Peter before the return trip to Carlisle Bay.  
The boats’ lack of colourful spinnakers would have negated greater interest from the spectators on shore.
Those who were fortunate to be present in the heart of Bridgetown to see the raising of the Chamberlain [Lift] Bridge and the departure of the vessels from the Inner Basin were given a thrill.  
Hundreds lined the bridge and along the boardwalk to view the boats sailing out to sea while seeking every vantage point to capture the event for posterity.
Among those on the bridge was Peter Gilkes, who is not only an avid sailor, but was heavily involved in getting the Panerai race which was won by White Dolphin.
The timed departure of the boats with their support vessels proved to be colourful and entertaining as the waves from the crew and the applause of the spectators created an atmosphere of camaraderie which is always a good companion of sailing.
With the emphasis on entertainment rather than competition, the sailors revelled in  enjoying Barbados’ coastline which contrasted greatly with the 20 plus days which many of them would have spent with little view of any land as they sailed further and further from Cascais, Portugal towards Bridgetown.
The conclusion of the Sunday outing provided another treat for the spectators as, with the golden sunset off the Port as a backdrop, the boats reentered the Careenage and the Inner Basin with the raised bridge saluting a performance of high entertainment. (KB)