Mount Gay Round Barbados Series lives up to reputation
Stunning conditions for Coastal Series opening race
Bridgetown, Barbados (17 January, 2016): The Mount Gay Round Barbados Series organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay got off to a spectacular start today with the first race of the three-day Coastal Series blessed with glorious sailing conditions.
A good 17-20kts of north-easterly breeze and relatively flat seas resulted in exciting close racing for the five fleets, which ranged from Windsurfers and Foiling International Moths, Cruising classes, to the CSA Racing class.
Today’s courses, which all started in Carlisle Bay took the fleets generally out to the south-east, round South Point to Tapas, a mark just off the beach up the east coast. The relatively short opening blast was just the right length, although those on the most physically demanding boats such as Andy Budgen on his foiling Moth Nano Project, and Charles Trevor Hunte on his windsurfer did confess to feeling somewhat fatigued.
Commenting as he stepped ashore after his first race win, Budgen said: “The second half was actually quite bumpy, which meant it was extremely demanding. I started to feel tired half an hour in, and consequently had a few splashes. It has however, made me realise I definitely need a support boat for the Round Barbados Race on Saturday because it is going to be tough.”
Charles Trevor Hunt on his Phantom Batwing Windsurfer, who broke the Round Barbados record last year was beaten by Budgen today. He said it was a great opportunity to iron out all the kinks: “I bust two foot straps… I know it sounds a bit like ‘the dog eat my homework’ and I hate to blame the dogs but I think they have chewed through my foot straps. Apart from the foot strap issue, the board is working well, but I am a little rusty so I am guessing by Saturday I’ll be either dead or ready.”
The CSA Racing Division, the largest fleet in the Coastal Series, also enjoyed exciting racing along the south coast. Local hotshot Peter Lewis, and team on Whistler (J/105) sailed well and managed to clinch the opening race from Stormforce Racing’s Palpatine (Stimson IRC 42) on corrected time.
Having corrected their navigational error when they missed out a mark, Peter Steinkogler and his Austrian team on Godspeed (X41), worked well in the second half of the race to make up enough time to finish third overall.
The Non CSA class was noted today, for its impressive performance particularly aboard Jonathan Gittens’ yacht Shangri La (Morgan 41). This team was first off the start line and led by over a minute at the first mark of the course. They continued to sail smart throughout the race, but Mark Hioens and team on the USA registered boat Tropic Bird (Hunter 35) also sailed a good course and clinched the win on corrected time by six minutes.