Panerai Classique in 2014
Barbadians who enjoyed the treat of three and more ships sailing into the Careenage leading up to Christmas Day could anticipate the same in 2014.
That is because the man behind the Portugal to Barbados Panerai Transat Classique Race coming here has already started discussions with the organizers about returning.
At an upbeat awards ceremony held at The Beach House in Holetown on Sunday night, Senator Peter Gilkes said that the signs were promising.
Such optimism would have been permitted in light of the response from Loic Blanken, general manager of Panerai Transat Classique who indicated that they were very impressed with the organization, accommodation and hospitality shown to the sailors who had made the 4 000-mile trek.
The loudest cheer, however, was kept for when Blanken stated that they were without a sponsor up to the 11th hour before Mount Gay jumped on board.
Minister of International Transport George Hutson pointed out that Barbados was quickly becoming a premier sailing destination and that the improvements to the Inner Basin of the Careenage, ranging from better accommodation, portable water and more efficient immigration processes were all geared towards maintaining the attraction of Barbados for various regattas and transatlantic races.
Copping the top prizes were White Dolphin, second place went Corto and third-placed were Blue Peter. A special prize went to Yann Salaun of Gweneven who has taken part in two Transat races, 2008 and 2012.
Pascal Stefani, owner of White Dolphin, said that he had visited Barbados over 25 years ago and the warmth and hospitality which he had been assured of then, still remained in what he termed “this magical island”.
The crew from Blue Peter was so impressed with Barbados and the Caribbean after competing in the Mediterranean for the past 15 years that they vowed to remain in the Caribbean for the next four months with a view to winning every regatta to show the prowess of the classic boats. (KB)