Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Grenada sailors win big at 2014 South Grenada Regatta!

THE 6th Edition of the South Grenada Regatta (SGR) was a weekend filled with fun, excitement, big parties and great entertainment. Grenadians and visitors of all ages took part in the regatta’s wide range of water and shore activities, and the great live music and after-race parties had the house rocking and dance floor hopping all weekend long.

Kicking off the regatta on 5th March was a fantastic ‘floating’ Dinghy Concert in the middle of Clarkes Court Bay, featuring the Rocky Pontoons party band from Switzerland. Their lively tunes and special Grenada songs made for a wonderful kickoff. Some guests came in their own dinghies, but a much larger crowd started the party early by hopping on the Rhum Runner at Le Phare Bleu for a fun-filled journey to and from the concert.
Robbie Yearwood on Island Water World’s Die Hard
won the North South Wines Veuve Clicquot Cup.

This year’s regatta was blessed with superb weather and great racing conditions along Grenada’s south coast. The fleet racing program featured four cup races, plus the esteemed cup for overall winner. 14 boats participated in the fleet races, and the mix of Caribbean and international boats and crew provided an interesting blend of racing talent. Participating boats ranged from a Diam F18 to a Swan 53.

Competition was tight in the Cruising Class, but it was Grenada’s own sailors who took the majority of the fleet racing awards. Friday’s first race was for the ‘North South Wines Veuve Clicquot Cup’, and Robbie Yearwood on Island Water World’s Die Hard placed 1st and was trophy winner, with Peter Champy Evans on Quay 3 in 2nd place, and Jason Fletcher on Apero in 3rd. The ‘Netherlands Insurance Cup’ was the second race on Friday, and IWW Die Hard again placed 1st and was trophy winner, followed by Apero and Quay 3.

The action was close on the high seas.
After a lay day on Saturday, the fleet racing continued on Sunday and first up was the ‘Westerhall Rum Cup’. Yet again, IWW Die Hard placed 1st and was trophy winner, followed by Quay 3 in 2nd, and Piccolo in 3rd. The final race on Sunday was for the ‘Island Water World Cup’, and Mike Bingley on Piccolo pulled out all stops to place 1st, thereby becoming trophy winner and preventing Robbie from taking the grand slam of trophies. Quay 3 placed 2nd, and IWW Die Hard took 3rd.

In the Fun Class, UK’s Tom Batty on Madonna took 1st place in all four fleet races, while Rene Froehlich on Dione and Rodney Hall on Caradow jostled for 2nd and 3rd place. In the Multi-Hull Class, Richard Szyjan on Category 6, the only entry in this class, took 1st place in all four races.
Once all other fleet race awards were presented, excitement grew as next up was the ‘Le Phare Bleu Cup’ for Overall Winner of the 2014 South Grenada Regatta. The crowd cheered loudly as Robbie Yearwood on IWW Die Hard was awarded this much-deserved distinction, knocking last year’s overall winner, Jason Fletcher on Apero, off the podium.

At the end of the awards ceremonies, Grenada’s Senator the Hon. Brenda Hood addressed the audience on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, who was unable to attend due to the ITB Travel Trade show in Berlin.

“The South Grenada Regatta is a platform which promotes sailing to everyone and is not just for sailors”, said Senator Hood. “We wish to thank the Organising Committee for hosting this successful annual event which supports junior sailing and promotes tourism”, she continued, “and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone back here again in 2015!”

The Junior Sailing Regatta also took place at Le Phare Bleu on Saturday, and these energetic juniors had a great day of racing. Ranging in age from 9-16 years, a total of 15 young sailors competed in Mosquito sailing dinghies; six racers from the Grenada Yacht Club, and nine from Gouyave. Winners of the ‘Under 13 Class’ were: 1st Jamel Charles (GYC), 2nd Avin McPhie & Sharevin Joseph (Gouyave), and 3rd Javon Noel (Gouyave). Winners of the ‘Over 13 Class’ were: 1st Krzim James (Gouyave), 2nd Shaqille Derick (GYC), and 3rd Trevell James & Sharkim Robertson (Gouyave).

SGR’s racing program was wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with fast and fun 15 Horsepower Dinghy Time Trials. 16 competitors tried their luck at being the fastest dinghy driver, but it was Mike Bingley who placed 1st, followed by Adam Rose, and Kenny Modeste.

“Our Organising Committee is overall extremely pleased with this year’s regatta,” said Jana Caniga, SGR Chairman. “We had a good selection of boats, the racers and other participants had a great time, and we had record attendance at all of our nightly parties!”

“We’ve already received many compliments about this year’s regatta from participants and guests,” added Caniga. “There are always things that can be improved upon when organizing an event such as this, but we’re very encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received to date.”

The SGR took place at Le Phare Bleu Marina & Boutique Hotel from 6-9 March 2014.

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