The 2011 Caribbean Sailing Calendar just added a unique premium event with the announcement of the date for the ‘Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race’ as January 21st. This is an unparalleled race with a difference in the Caribbean as it will establish records for various size and categories of sailboats over a fixed course… Barbados!
The continuation of a storied sailing tradition, going back to the 19th century the races history is based on bragging rights for the fastest “Trading Schooner”. This was a prize worth its weight in gold to captains in an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium.
The race has taken place through competition amongst the islands sailors periodically over the years, unfortunately long after the last trading Schooner was around to take part and this announcement coming from the Barbados Cruising Club, who will be hosting the 2011 event, marks a new commitment and a renewed energy to take this great tradition and make it into an annual event in the region.
First on the Calendar and First on every Yachtsman’s must do list, the race will be an open event with no handicapping, split into various overall size categories and open to both Monohull and Multihull competition
Howard Palmer, one of the driving forces behind the revitalization of the race commented “The format is designed to produce records. We are interested in setting official records across all the classes that enter and we hope that skippers and owners will be motivated by the opportunity to put their names on a piece of history”
The perpetual trophies for the event will placed be on permanent display at the Mount Gay Rum Visitor center and will exhibit the names and times for the record setting yachts.
The race will be held on January 21st, the birthday of Barbados’ first Prime Minister The Right Excellent Errol Barrow a national hero of Barbados whose birthday is celebrated as a public holiday each year. Sir Errol was the founding secretary of the Barbados Cruising Club, who loved the sea and all its challenges and became a patron of sailing throughout the island.
Dr Mike Krimholtz, Commodore of the Barbados Cruising Club speaking about holding the race on such an important date said, “Errol Barrow made an immense contribution to sailing in Barbados and we can think of no better way to celebrate this contribution than racing around the island nation he founded.”
The Race Thursday 20th January 2011, 1700 Hrs: Race entry submission closes.
Friday 21st January 2011, off The Barbados Cruising Club, Pebbles Beach.
First warning signal: 0750 Hrs.
Race commences: 0800 Hrs.
Social ProgrammeThursday 20th January, 1800 Hrs: Skippers briefing at The Barbados Cruising Club followed by the welcome “Red Cap” party at 1900 Hrs.
Friday 21st January, 1700 Hrs: Post race party and happy hour at The Barbados Cruising Club.
Saturday 22nd January, 1000 Hrs: Mount Gay Rum tour and lunch for all registered crew.
Prize givingSaturday 22nd January, 17.30 Hrs: Grand Prize Giving, dinner, dance and Mount Gay Rum party at The Beach House, Holetown, St James.
The Barbados Cruising Club
The Barbados Cruising Club was founded in 1957, with the aim of making sailing available to all in Barbados. A founder member of the club was The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, known to many as “The Dipper”. Although he never owned his own boat, Errol Barrow’s love for sailing was well known. However it was not Errol Barrow’s enthusiasm for sailing that recorded his name in history. After serving in the Royal Air Force and studying law in the UK, he returned to Barbados in 1950 and became first Prime Minister of Barbados after leading the country to independence from Britain in 1966.