TODAY IS D day for competitors in the 2014 Mount Gay Round Barbados sailing race.
Crews went through warm-up sessions Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the lead-up to the grand showdown, which has attracted about 60 boats from as far as Britain and New Zealand.
Champion captain for the last three years, Clint Brooks, is fighting ready and he expects last year’s record of five hours, three minutes to come crashing down. He will be sailing with Mark Gentilin once again.
Brooks, 45, said he and Gentilin spent the entire summer on the Mediterranean racing against other teams, and that some of those international competitors would be sailing in the big race this year.
“These guys came specifically to take the record away from us,” Brooks said with a laugh.
He said he expected the race to be a “real challenge” this year, and was looking forward to turning the tables on two of the visiting teams that beat them over the summer.
Given the high winds, the defending champs expect at least three of the maxi-class boats, including their own Idea Of London, to smash the record.
“Boats will break the record, the record will crumble,” Brookes said, adding that as a professional sailor it was a wonderful thing to have boats coming to Barbados to compete in the race.
The first boat is expected to sail off from just off the Barbados Cruising Club by the Radisson Hotel at 7:30 a.m. and the last at 11:30 a.m. for the trip around the island.
Brooks and Gentilin and three others were on Spring Garden yesterday afternoon checking out the sails in time for today’s race. (YB)