One Day: Jan 21/11, One Race: Around Barbados, One Goal: Break Records

RC01 - The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Raphael Grisoni
The 2011 Caribbean Sailing Calendar just added a unique premium event with the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. It will be held on January 21, 2011 and will mark the 75th anniversary of the Round Barbados Race.

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. 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.

Back in 1936, five trading schooners raced around Barbados, the winner Captain Lou Kennedy's 'Sea Fox' in a time of 10 hours and 20 minutes.

We're delighted share the news that once again Barbados will be treated to the sight of a racing schooner under full sail with the entry of 'Elena' to the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race 2011. Elena - A Class Racing Schooner, designed by Nathaniel G. Herreshoff, length 55m. Elena, originally built in 1911, was one of the fastest yachts in commission when she was first launched. Commissioned in 1910 by Morton Plant with one simple design brief, 'build me a schooner that can win!' Looking back at her history, reports from The New York Times in 1912 show her racing against our 1936 race winner Sea Fox.

The Race:
Starting at the Barbados Cruising Club, you will sail through the historic Carlisle Bay, pass the deep water harbour to starboard and then begin a 20 mile tight reach in calm water up the platinum coast of Barbados passing the homes and haunts of the very rich and very famous.

After rounding the top of the island you will encounter the full force of the Atlantic with nothing between you and Africa. You will then face a good 7 mile plus beat in tricky currents, windshifts and some big waves. Follow this with a 20 mile fetch, riding those same waves beam on, trying to maximize speed without losing height enough to clear East Point.

Bear away and hoist through the big breaking Atlantic rollers for a fantastic 18 mile downwind slide along the south coast. Drop the kites and skate round the South West corner of the island to the finish!

Stop the clock and see if it’s time to fatten the skipper for the weigh in!

For further information and to register, please visit www.mountgayrumroundbarbadosrace.com