With just ten days to go before the start of the 2017 Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series (16-24 January), the festival atmosphere in Barbados is starting to rumble.
Overseas entries, including Tony Lawson’s record-breaking MOD70 – MS Barbados Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield is already in Bridgetown preparing to defend the Absolute Multihull record the team broke last year in the event’s 80th anniversary year. They wowed the crowds in a thrilling finish that saw them complete the 60nm course just 12 seconds ahead of Phaedo3, co-skippered by Lloyd Thornburg and Brian Thompson, with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, 38 seconds.
Organisers – Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and Mount Gay – are currently in the process of welcoming a stream of visitors to Bridgetown’s new marina facilities. Those currently en route include the Austrian team on X41 Godspeed.
Peter Gilkes – Consultant to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc for Yachting Development – who has been involved in the organisation of the event for many years, believes the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta has many attractive qualities. Commenting on the 2017 event, Gilkes said, “Following last year’s most successful event to date where some impressive times were achieved during our signature round Barbados race, I am looking forward to welcoming even more entries this year.
“I believe we have a unique event here on the island of Barbados and, after many years of hard work in promoting the regatta globally, it is now a recognised Caribbean circuit favourite. The record breaking sprint around the island and the chance of winning your skipper’s weight in rum is, I believe, a really attractive incentive.”
Other interesting entries lined up to have a crack at the records include the custom 63ft Irens/Cabaret-designed high-performance multihull Paradox. Ocean Phoenix, the Custom Humphries 78, Maximizer, Farr 72, and Spirit of Juno, Farr 65 are also likely to produce some stiff competition. One of the most interesting entries to watch this year, in the hands of her new owner Roman Guerra, is Monster Project still holds the Absolute Monohull Mount Gay Round Barbados record.
In an effort to maintain the event’s tradition, which saw the first race in 1936 based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner round Barbados, there’s a strong classic revival this year.
During the run-up to the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, competitors will enjoy a mix of serious and fun racing in the three-day Coastal Series. Those heading north, post event can also enjoy a final 265nm Ocean Passage Race to Antigua to link up with the Superyacht Challenge.