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Mount Gay Regatta this week

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Mount Gay Regatta this week

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Barbadian yachtsmen will face a stern challenge from their regional counterparts when the annual Mount Gay Regatta sails off in Carlisle Bay from May 16 to 19.
Several vessels representing Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Martinique and the United States Virgin Islands have already confirmed their participation in what is widely considered one of the most eagerly anticipated regattas on the local calendar.
“Entries are steadily streaming in and we are expecting somewhere in the vicinity of 40 boats,” said Renata Goodridge, president of the Barbados Sailing Association.
She was speaking during a media conference at the Mount Gay Rum Visitor’s Centre on Friday.
“This regatta exemplifies the best of what sailing in the Caribbean has to offer,” Goodridge said. “Every year, it continues to bring together the region’s best sailors in the true spirit of camaraderie.” 
For the first time in its history, the regatta will be governed by the rules and classifications of the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA). Though similar in nature, the system replaces the previous classifications which included Cruising A, Cruising B, Racing A, Racing B, Melges and Multi-hull.
“There are a couple of changes we have made but we are still coming off a ‘high’ with the successful hosting of the 505 World Championships,” said Andrew Hutchinson, commodore of the Barbados Yacht Club, the host venue for the regatta. 
“Having received the proverbial stamp of approval from the 505 World Championships, we are extremely pleased to be able to offer our facilities to regional sailors. We are still in the reconfiguring stages but everything will be in place for next weekend’s racing.”
After the skippers’ briefing on Thursday evening, racing will begin on Friday in Carlisle Bay with two races in each class, except for the cruising class which will race from Carlisle Bay to Holetown and back.
On Saturday, the morning session will be contested between Carlisle Bay and St Lawrence Gap, while in the afternoon, it will be concentrated in Carlisle Bay. 
On Sunday, racing starts in Carlisle Bay before heading south to Oistins. The J24 class will contest three races beginning at 9 a.m.
Peter Samuel, brand manager for Mount Gay, said the company – which is celebrating its 310th anniversary this year – was once again pleased to be associated with the sport of sailing. 
“Mount Gay Rum is synonymous with sailing,” he said. (PR)

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