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Sailors’ turn to race today

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Sailors’ turn to race today

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More racing action ?is on the cards for Barbadian sports fans this weekend following two weeks of car racing.
?However, this weekend’s racing event will not be on land. It will be on water as yachts take part in the 2014 First Citizens Investments Services’ J24 Open Regatta, which sails off today at 11 a.m. from Sunset Crest, St James.
Eleven yachts, with several visiting Caribbean sailors among the crews, will contest the two-day event to be sailed over a new windward to leeward course.
Plans for this year’s event were outlined at a media briefing held at the old Beach Club in Holetown by president of the J24 Club, Greg Webster, and country manager of First Citizens Investments, Elizabeth Morgan.
Webster said the focus of this year’s regatta was to raise funds for New Horizons Academy, a charity being supported by First Citizens Investments and the J24-Club of Barbados.
??New academy
??The academy caters to children with behavioural issues and is expected to be officially opened in September at the Erdiston Complex.
Last year’s defending champion yacht Banks Esperanza, with Ian Mayers at the helm, will no doubt be looking to successfully defend the title. However, that crew can expect stiff competition from Williams Industries Hawkeye, ISIS, and Republic Bank Impulse, who are among the front-runners in the race for the overall J24 championship.
?Three regional teams will be in the line-up today. They are Die Hard of Grenada, Paddington of Trinidad and Tobago, and Bad Attitude from St Lucia.
Four races will be contested on each day, and the event will conclude tomorrow with the awards presentation at the Drift Restaurant in Holetown.
In thanking sponsors for their support, Webster promised that the regatta would produce some exciting sailing.
??Best skills
??“The course will give sailors tactical options and those with the best skills, and those making the right decisions will be in the money,” he said.
?Morgan said her company was happy to partner with the J24 Club in staging the event.
?“This year is our tenth anniversary and it is our fifth year in sponsoring this regatta.
?“Partnering with the J24 Club in raising funds for the New Horizon Academy was one of the ways in which we have been able to give back to the community for their support during our ten years in operation in Barbados,” she said.
Karen Best of the Ministry of Education disclosed that New Horizons Academy was a school for academically challenged children that would need all the public and private sector support it could get.
She, too, thanked First Citizens Investments and the J24 Club for their support. (CH)