Sailing series expands to week
FOR THE FIRST TIME in the history of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, the annual event will now be contested over a one-week period.
Chairman of the organizing committee, Howard Palmer, said the event would now run from January 17 to 24 because to an increase in interest.
Speaking during yesterday’s media conference at The Beach House, he revealed that 50 boats were set to compete, up from the 34 which took part in 2013.
The series will sail off tomorrow with the first coastal racing day, followed by the Two Restaurants Race on the following day, coastal racing Day 3 and the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race on January 21, Errol Barrow Day.
The one-week event will then come to a climax with the Ocean Passage Race to Antigua.
Crews will once again be aiming for the ultimate prize of their skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum Extra Old if they break any of the records in the monohull, multihull, classic, double-handed or single-handed divisions.
“We really are capturing the imagination with this and we are looking to build by making it a longer race series this year,” Palmer said.
“I think that we have really started something that has tremendous potential, tourism-wise for this country,” he added.
In her brief remarks, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, praised the concept of extending the event to one week, which she said fell in line with most other Caribbean regattas.
She also lauded Mount Gay for sponsoring the competition, which had grown to become one of the most highly anticipated in the Caribbean.
“Sailing and spirits have had a long association and this marriage with Mount Gay Rum is testimony to this historical connection,” she said.
“The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race has been in existence for some 78 years and has evolved to become one of the top sailing events in out tourism calendar,” she added.
Mount Gay Rum brand manager Peter Samuels expressed his pleasure at again being the event’s main sponsor.
“Yes, Mount Gay is all over the world but Barbados is the home of rum,” he said.
“And we want to make sure that when you think of rum and you think of regattas, automatically you think of Barbados and Mount Gay Rum.”