The 7th edition of the Island Water World Grenada Sailing 2019 hosted from 27 January to 1 February out of both Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina in St George and Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay, saw spectacular sailing conditions throughout the week-long event.
Skippers on 43 boats registered from 14 countries, bringing together 345 crew members from the USA, UK, Canada, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Martinique, British Virgin Island and including 10 boats from Grenada, to race in four different classes – Racer, Racer/Cruiser, Classics and J24’s.
“The Caribbean circuit is unlike any other racing circuit in the world. Sailors from all over the world come to experience new cultures, taste the amazing food, and make new connections,” said Hillary Noble of Touch2Play Racing.
This year saw the first Youth Sailing Team join the J24 Class. The Grenada Sailing Association National Youth Sailing Team is a new team made up of 16 to 20-year olds with Optimist and Laser experience from sailing clubs around the island (Gouyave Sailing Club and Woburn Wind Warriors). This is a huge step to progress into J24s, helping to bridge the gap between dinghy and keel boat sailing. This program is supported by Grenada Sailing Association and the Caribbean Sailing Association. The team is coached by Robbie Yearwood and his crew of Team ‘Diehard’ another J24 owner, and also coached and skippered by Kevin Banfield, the GSA Olympic and World Sailing trained coach.
The Skippers’ Briefing followed by the Welcome Party showcasing local music by Mystikk, kicked off the event at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina. The first day’s racing, sponsored by the Grenada Tourism Authority, was on the west coast, protected from the easterly trades but racers still saw a good F5 out on the water, making for an exciting days racing.
The fleet enjoyed some idyllic conditions on Tuesday’s Race Day sponsored by Secret Harbour Marina. Racing started on the protected west coast then moved with a nice long romp from Grand Anse Beach to the more challenging south coast with the transition race. Racers danced the night away at the Pirate party with more local music by Apollo.
Wednesday was a lay day to let racers catch their breath. Activities included Hobie Cat racing, a fantastic dock party with live music laid on by the team of the classic Yawl Galatea to celebrate her 120th birthday, and a showing of the award-winning film Vanishing Sails – the story of saving the tradition of boat building on the small Caribbean island of Carriacou.
The third day of racing, sponsored by Sea Hawk Paints, saw close starts with a good breeze of 14-17kts. The coastal windward and leeward courses had racers flying up and down in near perfect conditions. The breeze was good, the racing was good, and a lot of fun was had out on the water.
Friday, 1 February saw the final race day sponsored by Mount Gay Rum. Once again the fleet saw spectacular conditions out on the water. The balmy early morning calm, fortunately, gave way to a good breeze as the trade winds kicked in. Competitors made their way to the start line with everything still to race for.
In Racing Class, Grenadian Jason Fletcher’s Caribbean 33, Nickatime managed to hold on to first place overall despite being beaten by Claude Granel from Martinique aboard his Class 40, Credit Mutuel (1st), Pamela Baldwin from Antigua with Liquid (2nd) and Canadian Rob Butler’s, Touch2Play Racing (3rd) in Fridays racing.
In Racer/Cruiser Class Peter Morris’ Jaguar from Trinidad continued to dominate with an impressive run of first places, taking top spot in every race on the final day and winning first in class overall.
The classics Galatea from Grenada and Mah Jong from the USA battled it out with the closest racing, with Galatea winning overall by just 1.75 points making it a victory for Judd Tinius for the third year in a row.
Fredrick Sweeney’s Attitude from St Lucia, Robbie Yearwood’s Die Hard from Grenada and Stephen Bushe’s Hawkeye from Trinidad lead the way in the J24 class. But it was Attitude with 10 wins out of 18 that took the final honours.
The final night’s prizegiving and the Mount Gay Wrap Up party was held at the upper restaurant of Secret Harbour Marina overlooking stunning Mount Hartman Bay. A raffle held during the event for the GSA Youth Sailing Team raised almost US$1,000. The Organising Committee wants to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and everyone else involved and hopes to see everyone again next year.
1st – NICKATIME – Jason Fletcher – Grenada
2nd – LIQUID – Pamela Baldwin – Antigua
3rd – TOUCH2PLAY RACING – Rob Butler – Canada
1st – JAGUAR – Peter Morris – Trinidad
2nd – JULIE RULE – Peter Evans – Grenada
3rd – CMOS – Norman Da Costa – Trinidad
- Classic Class
1st – GALATEA – Judd Tinius – Grenada
2nd – MAH JONG – Alex Goldhill – USA
3rd – ARRLUUK – Steve Frary – USA
1st – ATTITUDE – Fredrick Sweeney – St Lucia
2nd – DIE HARD – Robbie Yearwood – Grenada
3rd – HAWKEYE – Stephen Bushe – Trinidad
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2019