Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week: a Workout in Paradise
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week, the Petite Calivigny Yacht Club edition, continued with a race around Carriacou which was nothing short of spectacular. The fleet gathered in Tyrrel Bay for a reaching start west, then hardening up past Point Cistern. Several teams chose to take the inshore route passing south of Mabouya Island and Sandy Island. The water was clear turquoise around numerous reefs, a joy to behold. The north of Carriacou has hills rising to over 200 metres above sea level. The strategic conundrum was whether to stay offshore away from the wind shadows or go inshore looking for lifting pressure. One major distraction was a foiling kite border, gliding to-and-fro past the fleet, without a care in the world.
Having rounded the northern point of Carriacou, the fleet cracked sheets to hoist downwind sails. The transit between Carriacou and Petite Martinique was just stunning; Atlantic swell breaking on mile-after-mile of coral reef. After a tight reach, the fleet soaked downwind to round the southern tip of Carriacou, before hardening up for a beat to the finish in Tyrell Bay.
The race around Carriacou was a proper workout for 180 sailors in paradise. However, this was a gym routine with a view. Unending superb vistas of pristine Caribbean islands with virtually not a soul in sight.
In CSA1, Tristan Marmousez's Surprise Archambault GFA Caraïbes - La Morrigane (FRA) was the race winner after time correction. The team from Martinique were rock-hopping right from the get-go, even intersecting the Sister Rocks just after the start. Despite being one of the smallest boats in. the regatta GFA Caraïbes corrected out to beat local hot shot Richard Szyjan's Hoby 33 Category 5 (GREN) by just over one minute. Peter Hopps Sigma 38 Sam of Hamble (GBR) was third, just 25 seconds ahead of J/109 Sang Neuf from Martinique.
In the Multihull Class, David Slater's Outremer 45 Delphine (CAN) took the race win from Stephen Bourne's Rapido 60 Ineffable (HKG). The two multihulls have now won a race each and the contest will be decided on the last race tomorrow.
In the Classic Class, the 1899 bermudan yawl Galatea (USA) was beautifully sailed by Judd Tinius and his crew to win the race. Jerry Stewart's Luders 27 Free Spirit from Carriacou, was just under two minutes behind after time correction. Yesterday's winner Mathew Barker's 1930 Alfred Mylne Sloop, The Blue Peter (GBR) was third, just over a minute behind Free Spirit after time correction.
Robbie Yearwood's J/24 Diehard scored a second bullet in the J/24 Class. Gus Reader's Fadeaway was runner-up and Peter Armstrong's Shakin third. In the CSA Simplified Racing Division, Patrice Benson was the winner racing around his home waters on Carriacou Sloop Love Roses. Second was another local entry, Cyril Compton's Carriacou Sloop Margetta-O. Christopher Glaves, who is from St. Austell in Cornwall UK, was third in his Noresman 447 Blueshift.
The crew on Global Yacht Racing's First 47.7 EHO1 (GBR) had high hopes of scoring another win in CSA 1 today but finished today's race in fifth. However, their bullet in Race 1 still has the team in contention to win CSA1. Katy Rota and Neil Maher sailed the boat to the Caribbean from Europe. The team includes Trainee Yachtmaster Adam Bartlett and Charter guests brought together by highly experienced sailor Richard Oswald. The guests come from the UK, America, and Ireland. Grenada Sailing Week is the first time they have raced together as a crew. "We had a problem with a mainsail batten today, which probably cost us the time we lost out to the boats that beat us," commented Richard Oswald. "However, the crew work was really good, and we sailed a clean race. The competition in our class is very good, so for a team that has only just come together, we can be satisfied with how well we are sailing."
Your privileged race reporter joined EH01 for the race around Carriacou and it was fascinating to witness how the team worked together to pull off some difficult manoeuvres with a high degree of skill. Despite not getting the result EH01 has hoped for, there were smiles all round. The team's level of racing is going up in leap and bounds, at a time of year when sailing opportunities at home are non-existent. As EH01 passed the mesmerising beach and reef of Sandy Island, it was all too easy to get distracted by the immense beauty of it all. However, the team stuck to the task at hand, promising to return with masks and snorkels.
The daily Prize-giving for the Round Carriacou Race was held at the Cassada Bay Resort in Belmont. Set on a hillside overlooking the superb Coral Reef Bay with spectacular views of nearby islands including Grenada.
After two glorious days it was time to say 'see you soon' to Carriacou. Racing at Grenada Sailing Week will conclude on Sunday 30 Jan with the third and final race of the regatta. The Carriacou to Grenada is sponsored by Mount Gay Rum. The race to the windward side of Grenada will finish at La Phare Bleu Marina for the final prize-giving.