The highly popular Harris Paints Regatta is set for this weekend and director of the event, Peter Burke, says some fierce competition is anticipated.
Burke told the media during a press briefing held at the Yacht Club, Bay Street, this morning that five classes would be competing with the first two races for the J24 Class scheduled to start at Carlisle Bay this Saturday at 2 p.m.
The juniors would also be racing on Saturday in the dinkies event which would be supervised by head instructor of LRN2 Sail Barbados Inc, Isaac Brown and his wife Marianne Brown, who is a director and sailing administrator at LRN2 Sail Barbados Inc.
On Sunday the event climaxes on the South Coast with all the classes competing including the racer cruiser class which would do a long race as well as the multihull class.
“The South Coast from a spectator’s point of view is a good view to take in the action and the boats come quite close to the shore which would be good for spectators,” Burke said.
The 31st staging of the Regatta would also be the deciding factor in the J24 National Championship which would be a tussle between Esperanza and Impulse which are the two leading boats. These are expected to be going all out to secure the national championship on Sunday.
In the J24 class there will be 12 participants which include two overseas entries from Grenada and St Lucia. The racer cruiser class will have about nine entries while in the multihull class there will be seven and in the juniors about 15 are scheduled to take part.
Wind surfing will also be introduced for the first time in the regatta which will just be a one-race event.
Marianne Brown said they were very excited to be a part of the youth regatta which did not occur regularly on the island.
“We have some very exciting courses planned for the kids and among those are three classes of sailors which include the advance sailors taking part on Saturday which is the South Coast leg to Accra and back along with two other shorter races. Then on Sunday we hope to have a few races using what we call gates which are quite new and exciting for our dinky sailors. Then we have our intermediates who get to do a windward, leeward course. One thing that is very exciting about our beginners and intermediate course is that it is very close to shore,” Brown said.
Chief executive officer for Harris Paints, Ian Kenyon, said his company prided itself in innovating and he was pleased to give back.
“If we want to see sailing expand on the island then it has to start from the grassroots and this is a great way for the youngsters to learn to sail. We are so proud that we can be a part of this and give back to the community,” Kenyon said.
Chairman of Harris Paints, Ralph Johnson, said that the junior sailing was quite extensive and that all were welcome.
Esperanza which is the defending champion will be captained by Neil Mayers. The event will start at 10 a.m. and conclude with the closing ceremony at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday.