A Look at SoCal’s Robbie Haines – 2018 Breitbard Hall of Fame inductee

From the San Diego Union Tribune

Haines followed father into life of sailing

By Bill Center  Contact Reporter

Sailing great Robbie Haines (right) will be inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame this month along with Garry Templeton (left) and Claude Gilbert. (Eduardo Contreras / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Robbie Haines was almost pre-destined for a career in sailing.

His father, Bob, was not only one of the most respected navigators in offshore sailboat racing, he also was a captain of research vessels for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

On one of his trips around the world, Bob Haines built an 8-foot Sabot for his young son on the deck of the Scripps research vessel.

“My dad launched and tested the Sabot in the Suez Canal,” Robbie Haines recalled recently. “When he got home, he put it in the water just west of Shelter Island. I sailed it to Coronado.”

By himself. At the age of eight.

Fifty-six years later, Robbie Haines will be inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame during the 72nd annual Salute to the Champions dinner on Thursday.

Haines won seven world championships and an Olympic gold medal during a career that morphed from one-design sailing to long-distance offshore racing.

He’s best known for winning the gold medal as skipper in the three-man keelboat Soling class with fellow Coronado natives Rod Davis and Eddie Trevelyan in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Haines, then 30, had raced with Davis and Trevelyan since the trio were teenagers at Coronado Yacht Club.

“Winning the Olympics was one of the highlights of my career,” Haines said.

Not that his career/life can be confined to one memory.

“Probably the highlights of my sailing career were my 21 years sailing with Roy Disney, the Olympics and my four-decade-plus association with Lowell North and North Sails,” Haines said. “And family. Amy and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on Dec. 30. And there’s always the memory of Dad making me that first Sabot.”

Haines was 16 when he first gained notice nationally while sailing with Davis and Trevelyan in youth championships.

“As a team, the three of us sailed in the Mallory and Sears cups,” Haines said. “Eddie was the only one of us to win a national youth championship while sailing solo.”

But the three-man national youth championships led to campaigns that resulted in two Olympic berths and the 1984 gold medal in the Soling class, which wasn’t as popular in the United States as elsewhere in the world.

“My dad bought a Soling for himself with me crewing when I was 15 or 16,” Haines recalled. “Then I started sailing it a bit, sold it, got a Star and sailed that for a while. Then in 1974, Lowell approached me to crew for me in a Soling Olympic campaign. I was stunned.”

North, who is also a member of the Breitbard Hall of Fame, was himself an Olympic gold medalist skipper and two years removed from his fifth world championship (claimed in San Diego) in the Star Class when he approached Haines about serving on the 20-year-old skipper’s crew in an Olympic bid.

Haines, with North and Rodney Eales as crew, finished second in the 1976 Olympic trials, and Robbie was selected as an alternate to the 1976 team.

Two years later, Haines reunited with Davis and Trevelyan to mount a Soling campaign for the 1980 Olympics. This time, the Haines-led team won the 1979 Soling worlds and the Olympic berth, and was a heavy gold medal favorite — only to be denied a trip to the Olympics when the United States boycotted the 1980 Games.

“I remember receiving the Congressional Gold Medal with other members of the Olympic team from President Carter,” Haines said.

The Coronado trio vowed to return in 1984, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. Davis and Trevelyan were sailing in the 1983 America’s Cup when Haines won his second Soling worlds with Vince Brun and Robert Kenney.

“In 1984, Rod, Eddie and I weren’t that consistent leading up to the Olympics,” he said. “We weren’t the favorites we had been in 1980.”

But they claimed the gold medal off Long Beach without having to sail in the final race of a very competitive series.

“My career changed after 1984,” Haines said. “I was burned out. I wanted to get a real job. I got a job as executive director with the North American Yacht Racing Union. Dennis Conner then lured me away to be involved in America’s Cup effort as the tactician on his ‘B’ boat.”

But while the Stars & Stripes team was training in Hawaii, North called Haines and offered him a position running the North Sails loft in Huntington Beach.

That opened the door to the most enduring part of Haines’ sailing career.

“I was sitting in my office one day, and Roy Disney called and said, ‘Can I meet with you?’” Haines recalled. “At that time, I was sailing just with North Sails customers. I had a feeling he was coming in to say I’d like to buy your sails.

“I remember him saying, ‘I want to switch my boats to North Sails and I want you to come aboard.’”

Haines spent the final 18 years with Roy Disney as the project manager and sailing master for the late Disney’s series of Pyewackets. Later, he served in the same capacity for Disney’s son, Roy Pat Disney.

Together, Haines sailed in 13 Transpac races from Los Angeles to Hawaii with Roy Disney. They were also together for 30 international races into Mexico, two Pacific Cups, two Newport-to-Bermuda races, a Trans-Alantic race, two CORK Race Weeks, one Sardinia Cup, one Chicago-to-Mackinac race, two Miami-to-Montego Bay races and one St. Tropez race.

Pyewackets won races and set elapsed time records.

“Roy loved being out in the middle of an ocean with his boat and his crew,” Haines said.

“My relationships with North and Roy were so great. I was aligned with North Sails for 41 years. Roy always wanted his boat to be able to win the Transpac race.”

Haines and his wife live in Coronado near their two children — Brian and Molly — and four grandchildren.

Center is a freelance writer.

72nd annual Salute to the Champions

Thursday: 5 p.m., Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine

2018 Breitbard Hall of Fame inductees: Claude Gilbert, Robbie Haines, Garry Templeton

Info: sdhoc.com

Godspeed Warren Miller

Warren A. Miller, Oct 15, 1924 – Jan 24, 2018

www.warrenmiller.org

Warren A. Miller, who rose up from a Depression-era childhood to become the world’s foremost ski filmmaker and a beloved spokesperson for the sport, passed away January 24, 2018, at his home on Orcas Island, WA. He was 93 years old.

 

 

 

CONGRESSIONAL CUP RETURNS TO STIRRING 10-BOAT, DOUBLE ROUND-ROBIN FORMAT APRIL 17-22, 2018

24 JANUARY 2018 LONG BEACH, CA – – The 54th Congressional Cup goes back to its roots this year, returning to the exciting 10-boat format favored by spectators and competitors alike!

The Congressional Cup is recognized as the ‘granddaddy’ of modern world-class match racing. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, it set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring, in a spectator-friendly venue.

This thrilling event returns to Long Beach April 17 to 22, 2018 with an all-star, international lineup. According to Congressional Cup Chairman Eric Dickinson, five of the world’s top 10 ranked match racing skippers will compete, including three-time Congressional Cup winner Taylor Canfield (ISV), Harry Price (AUS), Sam Gilmour (AUS) and Chris Steele (NZL). Swiss sailor Eric Monnin will also return, plus Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) and hometown favorite Scott Dickson.

Reigning Congressional Cup champion Ian Williams (GBR) will be back, to defend his 2017 title. In last year’s edition, Williams went from rags to riches: scrapping his way to victory after a shocking last-place finish in 2016.

The Congressional Cup – with teams competing in a series of one-on-one races – is famous for turning the leaderboard upside down, and the 10-boat, double round-robin format intensifies that. Double round-robins give competitors twice the chance to familiarize with the boats and conditions and sharpen their skills, making for more rousing competition, which delights racers and fans alike.

And there’s more, announced Dickinson. The LBYC 2018 Congressional Cup is raising the bar yet again, with the introduction of multiple channel worldwide live streaming coverage on the major Social Media platforms and broadcast television. Improved media coverage is expected to benefit the teams, sponsors and virtual spectators, as the eyes of the world turn to Long Beach this spring.

Racing will commence Wednesday April 18 off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier immediately after the Ficker Cup regatta – which determines the final two contestants in Congressional Cup.

With matches held directly off the pier, spectators can enjoy live commentary and camaraderie every day from 11:30 to 5:00. Roughly three days of double round-robins will be followed by semi-finals and petit finals, culminating with the final matches Sunday April 22: where the winner of the Congressional Cup will receive the coveted Crimson Blazer.

“What The Masters Green Jacket is to pro golfing, the Crimson Blazer is to yacht racing,” explained Dickinson. “The Congressional Cup is one of the most prestigious yacht racing events in the world and a gateway to the America’s Cup; and the members of Long Beach Yacht Club are proud to present this premier event for the 54th year.”

With the format changes, Dickinson continued, LBYC bids adieu and best of luck to the World Match Racing Tour, which was linked to the Congressional Cup for the last several years.

CONGRESSIONAL CUP

The Congressional Cup is hosted by LBYC, renowned for its outstanding hospitality and organization, utilizing the talents and energy of more than 300 member volunteers to host this Grade WC competition. Since 1965 the world’s top ranked skippers have come here to vie for the esteemed Congressional Cup and the Crimson Blazer – an honor bestowed to sailing icons like Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner, Taylor Canfield and more. Races are sailed in a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina monohulls designed specifically for the event, which guarantees an even platform and exciting competition.

Barbados Sailing Week finale – Gala prize-giving marks end of successful regatta

Bridgetown, Barbados (23 January, 2018): Barbados Sailing Week incorporating the Coastal Racing Series and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous rum-themed prizegiving dinner and party at the glitzy Beach House location at Holetown. The final 300-mile Ocean Passage Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts tomorrow (24 January) writes Sue Pelling.

Barbados Sailing Week, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, attracted a good mix of local and international competitors and a wide range of boats from an International Moth to Fryderyk Chopin the largest operating Brigantine in the world. Representatives from the UK, Russia, Poland, Australia, Germany, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, the Netherlands and the USA were included in the line-up of overseas entries.

Organisers of the event also welcomed the popular charter boats including OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno, and Mat Barker’s beautiful Alfred Mylne 65 classic, The Blue Peter. One of the most eye-catching entries this year was the globally-recognised Australian 100ft super-maxi – CQS – owned and skippered by Ludde Ingvall.

Peter Gilkes – Consultant to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc for Yachting congratulates Ludde Ingall and team CQS for breaking the Absolute 100ft and Under Record

Another interesting entry, from Russia, was Pjotr Lezhnin in his Mini Transat 6.50, who finished 4th overall in the CSA Racing Series and third in 35ft and Under class in the Round Barbados Race with a time of 9h 17m 54s. Lezhnin says he hopes that more Mini Transat sailors take the opportunity to compete at the event in the future. “With the 2019 Mini Transat finishing in Martinique I think this event would be the ideal for competitors whose boats remain in the Caribbean after the event. I will be back for sure next year.”

Given the huge diversity of the fleet and big winds that reached over 30kts, it was no great surprise that a total of seven records were smashed at the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados Race on 21 January. Although the extreme wind and sea conditions led to many retirements, it was, as far as records go, the most successful in the history of the event.

Andreas Berg from Germany who broke his own Singlehanded record from last year on Luna (Dufour 44)

At last night’s grand finale, hundreds of guests tuned out to celebrate the success of those who had taken part and achieved outstanding results in both the Coastal Series and the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race. With each of the sevens team winning their skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum, the Beach House temporarily turned into what looked like the packing department of a distillery with boxes of rum stacked to the rafters.

Record-breakers representing Conviction (TP52), Pata Negra (Custom-built Marc Lombard 46), College Funds (J/24), Luna (Dufour 44), Whistler (J/105), Trevor Hunte (Windsurfer) and, of course, Ludde Ingvall and his team from supermaxi CQS that took the 100ft and under record and the Absolute Monohull records with a time of 4h 13m 37s celebrated in style with, not surprisingly, copious amounts of Mount Gay Rum.

Popular winner Trevor Hunte wins stashes of rum for breaking the Windsurfer record once again

Mention must also be made Franchero Ellis and his young youth project team on the 19ft, 41-year-old Pen Duick 600 – Oiseau – Noir who was presented the Spirit of Barbados award for perseverance in both the Coastal Series and for completing the 60nm Round Barbados Race.

Ellis who sailed double-handed with Colville Thompson around Barbados said: “We basically had two objectives: 1 to cross the start line, and 2 to finish.” Talking about the most concerning moment of the race, Ellis added: “It was on the approach to North Point at Speightstown in 28+kts when the sail split along the foot. We reefed it above the split and, although we lost a lot of power and could have done with full sail at East Point when the wind dropped, we were happy just to get round. Even though we were out of the time limit, the most exciting point was crossing the ‘finish line’ under a silver moon and sparkling stars in the sky at 2100.”

John Coveney, the event’s Principal Race Officer, said overall the series and the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race on Sunday went as smoothly as he could have hoped for. “The race committee worked tirelessly to ensure the competitors had the best possible experience at this fantastic location. The generally predictable prevailing winds allow us to set good courses for the Coastal Series racing and, this year with the return of the J/24s, we were able to provide a short-sharp two day-eight race series which, appears to have gone down well with the J/24 class. Hopefully this will encourage more teams to join in next year, or even consider charting out their boats.”

Report written by Sue Pelling.

About Barbados Sailing Week

Early years
The first recorded race round Barbados was in 1936 when five trading schooners (Sea Fox, Mona Marie, Marion B Wolfe, Lucille Smith and Rhode Island) took up the challenge. Sea Fox (Captain Lou Kenedy) was the overall winner with a time of 10 hours 20 minutes.

The original race was based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner. In an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium, this was a lucrative race for captains.

The consolation prize of a barrel of Mount Gay Rum for the slowest yacht was discontinued several years later following the discovery that some competitors purposely stalled and remained out at sea for days to ensure they won the prize.

Current

In 2012 The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race expanded to incorporate the Two Restaurants Race, which meant racing took place over two days. The idea proved such a success, it was decided to expand the event further in 2014, in line with most other Caribbean regattas, and run a series of coastal, round-the-buoy races including the Two Restaurants Race, and The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

 

The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race traditionally takes place on Errol Barrow Day (a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence). There are currently 20 records to contest.

The 265-mile Ocean Race from Barbados to Antigua at the end of the regatta was specifically designed to tie in with the start of the Superyacht Challenge in Antigua.

 

2018 SlBYC Saturday Sailors Race #2

Seal Beach, CA   (January 20, 2018)

RESULTS

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Record Breakers – Thrilling conditions for Caribbean classic

Bridgetown, Barbados (21 January, 2018): Squally winds reaching 30kts from the north-east made for magical sleigh-ride, record-breaking conditions in the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, writes Sue Pelling.

While the lively conditions in big seas proved too much for many of the 34 entries in the 60nm sprint around the Island of Barbados, for others it couldn’t have been more thrilling. In total seven records were broken – the largest ever number of records broken in the history of the event.

One of the biggest heroes of the day was undoubtedly Trevor Hunte, the local adrenalin junkie who, on his Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard windsurfer, smashed his own record set in 2016 by just over four minutes with a time of 5h 30m 46s.

As he arrived on the beach at Barbados Cruising Club to crowds of well wishers, an elated and exhausted Hunte confessed it was the most emotional and difficult sail of his life, and said he was just so happy to be back in one piece.

“You can’t train for a sail like that. North point was incredibly dangerous with swells of easily three metres. It was scary with wind squalls coming in at over 25kts, maybe more, under the clouds. It was an incredible and difficult challenge.”

Commenting in the most difficult part of the race, Hunte added: “At East Point the waves finally got me. They were huge and I got bombed off a couple of times and, as I fell I cut my toe in the metal mast-foot track. If that hadn’t happened I would have been her 10 minutes earlier.”

Arguably the most notable result of the day with a finish time of 4h, 13m, 37s was CQS, the 100ft multi-winged supermaxi from Australia skippered by Ludde Ingvall that not only broke the Absolute Monohull record but also established the 100ft and under record.

CQS on her way to breaking the 100ft and under record and Absolute Monohull record

As she crossed the line this morning, it didn’t take long for her and her super-tuned crew to power up, weave their way through the fleet and prepare for the extreme conditions and big seas at North Point. Ingvall, a former round the world yachtsman, world champion and record holder, commenting after the race, said: “We are delighted because that is what we came here for. I felt we should have been a bit quicker but we are happy nevertheless. It was wild out there and we had 30+knts of wind on the nose going round the north-west/north-east point but the boat performed well recording 24-25kts of boat speed at times offwind. All in all a good day and lots of good team spirit.”

Among the young sailors taking on the challenging course today was Jason Tindale (27) in College Funds. He and his team from Barbados Yacht Club once again demonstrated their skill by sailing a tactically sound race. Having established the J/24 record in 2015 and bettered their time in 2016, they’ve done it again with a time of 8h 18m 9s.

Commenting on his epic sail, Tindale said: “It was, without doubt, the worst conditions I have ever seen at North Point. We had squalls of 30+kts with gusts but by they we had no option other than to carry on. I think the most wonderful part was sailing on one tack down the east coast. Basically you can’t get much better than that. It was, to coin a much-used phrase ‘Champagne sailing’. I think we also had a bit of luck today because, on the approach to the finish line the eyelets pulled out of the spinnaker pole. Had that happened further up the coast we would have lost the record for sure because we would have been under jib only.”

College Funds took the One-design J/24 record

The 50ft and under record went to the two-year old British custom-built Marc Lombard 46 IRC cruiser racer – Pata Negra – owned and skippered by Giles Redpath with a time of 6h 19m 53s. Having sailed from St Vincent yesterday, Redpath and his team of mainly locals, and some of who had never sailed before, did exceptionally well given the extreme conditions. Commenting on his success, Redpath said: “It was a fantastic race but quite challenging at the North Point in particular because it was lumpy and quite shifty and we ended up having to beat into the big seas, which was fairly uncomfortable. However, I think the highlight of the day was coming down the east coast, it was a real sleigh ride and we did 20nm in about an hour and a quarter and hit 20kts of boat speed at times, which really was thoroughly enjoyable.”

Pata Negra from the UK broke the 50ft and under record

Sailing such a challenging race with a crew is tough enough but to race it alone is a huge feat. However, Andreas Berg from Germany sailed an impressive race and managed to break his Singlehanded record from last year in his Dufour 44 Luna. This highly focused sailor prepared well used his previous experience to improve his overall record time by just over 10 minutes with a time of 7h 57m 19s.

The Singlehanded Monohull record went to Luna from Germany

Conviction, the local Botin Carkeek-designed TP52 with David Staples at the helm sailed a great race and broke the 60ft and under record from last year by just over three minutes. Mention must also be made of the consistently fast local team on the J/105 Whistler. Fresh from her CSA Racing Coastal Series overall win Whistler with Peter Lewis on the helm took the CSA Record with a time of 6h 11m 40s.

Whistler on her way to taking the CSA record

The extreme conditions were far from ideal for the four foiling kitesurfers who started out this morning. However, Kevin Talma persevered and was the only one who managed to complete the course and establish the Foiling Kitesurfer record with a time of 5h 42m 33s.

The Classic fleet, including The Blue Peter, Mat Barker’s Alfred Mylne 65, Ruth, the local schooner, and a couple of working Brigantine – Tres Hombres and Fryderyk Chopin, glided gracefully up the west coast but the conditions took their toll and none managed to complete the course.

Barbados Sailing Week’s headline event, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, once again attracted crowds of spectators keen to support this important sporting event. Locals and holidaymakers not only headed to the south of the island to the hub of the event at Barbados Cruising Club, and Barbados Yacht Club to watch the starts and finishes, but supporters also followed the fleet round the island enjoying the party spirit at key vantage points along the coast, including the North Point, historically the most challenging part of the race.

Barbados Sailing Week gala prizegiving party and dinner to mark the end of the 2018 event, takes place tomorrow evening at the Beach House, Holetown on the west coast of the island.

2018 records

· 100ft and under – CQS – 04:13:37

· 60ft and under – Conviction – 05:17:29

· 50ft and under – Pata Negra – 06:19:53

· One-design J/24 – College Funds – 08:18:09

· Singlehanded – Luna – 07:57:19

· CSA – Whistler – 06:11:40

· Windsurfer – Trevor Hunte – 05:30:46

Click here for Mount Gay Round Barbados 2018 results.

Report written by Sue Pelling.

Barbados Sailing Week prepares for headline event

J/24s complete series and countdown to Mount Gay Round Barbados Race underway

Bridgetown, Barbados (20 January, 2018): While final preparations are underway for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race tomorrow, the J/24 fleet crowned its winner in the closely contested final showdown in the J/24 Coastal Racing Series at Barbados Sailing Week, writes Sue Pelling.

J/24 racing in Barbados never fails to attract a quality fleet so it was no surprise that competition at the two-day J/24 series at Barbados Sailing Week reached new levels. Today overnight leader Robbie Yearwood from Grenada and his team on Die Hard continued their form with wins in the two opening races. However, a shredded jib halyard and spinnaker halyard in race three, while leading, almost cost them the series but they still managed fourth place in that race. Thankfully they had done enough to secure the series with a race to spare, leaving Cyril Lecrenay and Bunga Bunga in second place just two points adrift.

The winning J/24 team – Robbie Yearwood’s Die Hard

A delighted/exhausted Yearwood commented: “It was a tough day having to contend with gear problems but we gathered ourselves together and got it sorted. It was a bit of a disaster not being able to take down the jib because we couldn’t have re-hoisted it, so we had to sail with it all the time plus we had to use jam cleats on the spinnaker halyard and tie it but there was so much tension that when we went to take it down it at the end of the run when we were leading it jammed and we sailed right past the mark. Funnily enough we didn’t actually have to sail the final race but we weren’t sure about our maths so we did it anyway, and really enjoyed it.”

Yearwood is now preparing the boat for the 134nm sail back to Grenada tomorrow. “Going home is easy because it’s all downwind but it will still take 24hour to get there.”

Cyril Lecrenay’s team on Bunga Bunga sailed a good series to finish second overall

Elsewhere some competitors treated themselves to an afternoon of colonial indulgence at the specially laid on Regatta Surf & Turf Polo Match at Holders Polo Field, while others used the lay day to prepare for Barbados Sailing Week’s headline event – the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

This 60nm sprint around the Island of Barbados, which traditionally takes place on a public holiday to celebrate Errol Barrow Day (the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence), has sparked a lot of interest with many teams keen to have a serious attempt at breaking one of the 20 records and a chance to win their skipper’s weight in rum.

The Russian Mini Transat 6.50, Pjotr Lezhnin Racing fresh from the Mini Transat 2018, had a good week

Its unique format has, over the last few years, attracted serious race teams using the event as a ‘warm up’ to the Caribbean race season. Leading the charge this year at the professional/performance end of the international entry list is CQS, the 100ft multi-winged supermaxi from Australia skippered by Ludde Ingvall a former round the world yachtsman, world champion and record holder, who arrived in town yesterday.

Other high-powered speedsters ready for business tomorrow include Conviction, the Botin Carkeek-designed TP52 sailed by David Staples and team from the Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate (BOSS), also Bryn Palmer on his RC30 catamaran Silver Bullet, and the Windrider Rave Foiling Tri sailed by local entry Sebastian O’Hara.

Charles Trevor Hunte, the current holder of the Windsurfer record with a time of 5hrs, 34mins, 55secs, on a Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard has some competition this year with Frenchmen Fabrice Cornic on a Fanatic, and Frederic Vernhes on a Starboard Phantom hoping to break Hunte’s record domination.

 

With foiling all the rage it is not surprising that, for the first time ever in the history of this race, four foiling kitesurfers are taking part, which means there’ll be plenty of action around the coast for spectators.

Andreas Berg who sailed from Germany last year and broke the Singlehanded Monohull record is back to defend his title on his Dufour 44 Luna, and Mat Barker’s stunning Alfred Mylne 65 The Blue Peter will attempt to break the 6hr, 11min, 19secs Classic record.

The schooner and brigs contingent also sailing in the Classic category may be the slowest in the fleet, but the three imposing tall ships, for which this race was traditionally known, will grace the waters and provide a highlight for the thousands of spectators expected to gather at vantage points around the island.

Ruth, the locally built 33m schooner is a regular supporter of the race as is Tres Hombres, the 33m working brigantine that will be racing with a total of 20 barrels of rum on board. Fabian Klenner – captain of Tres Hombres – said he and his 14-strong crew are really looking forward to the race with an aim to finish. “We have just loaded six barrels of rum from Barbados so we do have a bit more weight to carry. En-route here, we collected 14 barrels of rum from the Canary Islands and now we have six from Barbados. After this race we’ll be heading back to Den Helder in The Netherlands to deliver the goods.

“We have actually made it round the island once, the first year we were here about nine years ago but it does depend totally on the wind and current. Ideally we are looking for about Force 5 with relatively flat water so we can tack easily.”

Event organisers – Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc – are also delighted to welcome STS Fryderyk Chopin from Poland, which at 54m, is the largest operating brigantine in the world and has a crew of over 50.

Making up the majority of the fleet however, are the cruising and race boats including three J/24s, a Russian Mini Transat 6.50 and Whistler, the J/105 that won CSA Racing Coastal Series.

Racing begins at 0700 with staggered starts just off Barbados Cruising Club. The slowest boats (schooner and brigs) will start first, and fastest boat CQS will be last to start at 1130. From there on, the fleet will make its way around the Island clockwise and return across the finish line from the east in the afternoon.

Spectators following the race can join viewing parties planned a prime vantage points around the coast. Head to East Point Grill – St Philip, Naniki Amphitheatre – St Joseph, or North Point – St Lucy. One of the most talked about locations this year on the west coast is the recently opened Nikki Beach Barbados. Here spectators are invited to view the racing as the fleet passes between 1100-1300 and enjoy breakfast, lunch, specialty cocktails, and music by DJ Jérome Barthélémy.

To follow the racing click here.

One-design racing returns to Barbados Sailing Week

J/24 fleet springs into action as Coastal Series concludes

Bridgetown, Barbados (19 January, 2018): The hugely competitive local J/24 fleet enjoyed the first of its brand-new two-day race series. Today was also the final day of the Coastal Series writes Sue Pelling.

Results by YachtScoring.com

The launch of the J/24 race series attracted quality competition and, with four races, on short windward/leeward-style courses in Carlisle Bay, there was barely time to draw breath. The variable shifty winds up to 17kts also kept the racing exciting and close, which resulted in different winner in each race.

Four J/24 races, four different winners

Gregory Webster and team on the 1981-built Phoenix started the day on a good note with an impressive bit of sailing off the line with a port tack start. Risky it may have been but this well-tuned local team sailed fast, high and, by playing the shifts and taking the favoured right-hand side of the course, they led and went on to win the first race of the day. They then finished second to Robbie Yearwood’s Die Hard in race two.

Neil Burke and team on Impulse claimed the win in race three, while Cyril Lecrenay and team on Bunga Bunga took the final win of the day in race four after a intense covering match with Die Hard on the approach to the finish line.

Commenting on closer than close final win, Lecrenay commented: “It was a tough one and, at one point, I thought we’d lost it but it was just a matter of keeping cover on Die Hard and finally finding a good line to the finish. I think it was tip top crew work that really counted today and, because we have sailed together for three years constantly we barely have to say anything to each other because everything on the boat runs smoothly.”

As well as good team work it was also consistency that paid, which means that with a win and two second places to count Yearwood and team from Grenada on Die Hard lead the series by two points from Bunga Bunga with four races to go. Yearwood chatting after the race said today’s racing was all about risk management. “Putting our lack of preparation, and confusion in the first race to one side we put our heads down, focused on our strengths with the aim to live up to our name – Die Hard. Thankfully it worked and we made a comeback. A two-point lead however, is not a comfortable margin at all so anything can happen tomorrow. Thankfully we have good speed so we plan to continue what we are doing.”

Elsewhere the final day of Coastal Racing was reaching its crescendo with fleets battling it out for all-important overall points. Although the well-sailed J/105 Whistler with Peter Lewis and his seasoned team had already secured the overall win going into the final race, the challenge was on to make it a hat-trick. Their smart pin-end start, and good first beat helped keep Conviction – David Staples’ TP52 – at bay on corrected time and, after a 16nm race that took the fleet along the south coast to Oistins, Conviction once again had to settle for second, and second place overall in the series.

Another CSA Racing win for J/105 – Whistler

Having missed a day of racing to carry out sail repairs, Andreas Berg’s team on Luna (German Dufour 44) was on form again today and took a well-deserved third. However, a final fourth place for Spirit of Juno (UK Farr 65) was enough to secure third place overall.

Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie was today finally able to break Mandy’s (Hunter 29.5) total class domination with a final race win in the Non CSA division. After winning the first two races and securing the overall series win, Bruce Robinson and team on Mandy were unable to match Sail La Vie for speed. She led the fleet round the first mark pulled out enough to take first place, which left her in second place overall by just one point.

Mandy – Hunter 29.5 – wins Non CSA Coastal Series

With the all-comers Coastal Racing now concluded, competitors are looking forward to the next rum-fuelled party just along the beach from the host club at Copacabana Beach Club. Tomorrow’s lay day not only provides an opportunity for competitors to prepare for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race on Sunday, but also gives teams a chance to enjoy the specially laid on Regatta Surf & Turf Polo Match, which is taking place in the afternoon at Holders Polo Field.

Report written by Sue Pelling.

Luna – Dufour 44 – from Germany finished on a good note

About Barbados Sailing Week

Early years
The first recorded race round Barbados was in 1936 when five trading schooners (Sea Fox, Mona Marie, Marion B Wolfe, Lucille Smith and Rhode Island) took up the challenge. Sea Fox (Captain Lou Kenedy) was the overall winner with a time of 10 hours 20 minutes.

The original race was based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner. In an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium, this was a lucrative race for captains.

 

The consolation prize of a barrel of Mount Gay Rum for the slowest yacht was discontinued several years later following the discovery that some competitors purposely stalled and remained out at sea for days to ensure they won the prize.

Current

In 2012 The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race expanded to incorporate the Two Restaurants Race, which meant racing took place over two days. The idea proved such a success, it was decided to expand the event further in 2014, in line with most other Caribbean regattas, and run a series of coastal, round-the-buoy races including the Two Restaurants Race, and The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

 

The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race traditionally takes place on Errol Barrow Day (a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence). There are currently 20 records to contest.

 

The 265-mile Ocean Race from Barbados to Antigua at the end of the regatta was specifically designed to tie in with the start of the Superyacht Challenge in Antigua.

High spirits at Barbados Sailing Week

Coastal Series winners emerge with one race to go

 

SCSN Editor’s Note:  I am down in Barbados for the third year in a row working Race Committee and scoring this event with www.yachtscoring.com.

Bridgetown, Barbados (18 January, 2018): With winds up to 17kts competitors enjoyed more thrilling sailing and tactical racing for the second day of Barbados Sailing Week writes Sue Pelling.

The second and penultimate day of the Coastal Series, traditionally known as the Two Restaurants Race, took place over a 22nm course and offered spectacular sheltered flat water/fast reaching conditions on the leg to and from the northern-most mark at Holetown just off The Beach House restaurant. On the southern part of the course to the Tapas Restaurant mark, the more lively conditions in the stunning, vibrant turquoise waters gave competitors a real taste of Caribbean sailing at its best.

Team Whistler (J/105) battle to keep the spinnaker flying on the tight reach

Racing was close once again particularly in Non CSA division where Mandy (Hunter 29.5) sailed by Bruce Robinson and team managed to hold off their closest rivals on Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie. Tempro and team looked good off the start line and sailed well but there was little they could do to match the impressive speed of Team Mandy and had to settle for second place once again. With two wins Robinson and team have clinched the series, which means the race for second place overall will be decided in the concluding Coastal race tomorrow.

Charles Hunte, the current Windsurfer Mount Gay Round the Island Race record holder was on top form again today on his Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard although he did confess to feeling shattered after enduring a tough three-hour stint on the water. “Had a fab time and it was absolutely beautiful sailing weather but three hours ten minutes on a board was a little long. The first bit in the flat water up the west coast was ideal and was where I had the most speed. There was plenty of excitement out south too because I was joined by a mass of flying fish; they were everywhere and it was quite amazing.”

Charles Hunte enjoys the flat water at the mark off The Beach House

Andy Budgen racing his Exocet foiling International Moth Nano Project had a good sail but suffered with gear failure, which ultimately led to him not completing the course correctly: “It was all a bit crazy today, because I had to stop and carry out more running repairs. I discovered the fitting that attaches the spreader to the shroud had broken off. I actually managed to fix it and was quite pleased with myself but blew it when I discovered I’d missed out the final mark. This week is certainly testing out my seamanship skills, that’s for sure.”

Processional it may have seemed but the long west coast leg from Carlisle Bay to Holetown provided plenty of opportunity for tactical racing. In CSA Racing, Peter Lewis’ team on the J/105 Whistler demonstrated its skill by managing to hold its kite for the duration of the leg (there and back), despite a few debatable moments when the reach looked almost too tight. It paid off however, and this local team of hotshots maintained pace throughout and managed to keep the ever-threatening team on the TP52 Conviction in second place.

The Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate (BOSS) that runs the TP52 Conviction project that promotes youth in sailing was flying today. David Staples on the helm together with Clint Brooks (crew boss) and the young team sailed impressively and finished the day in second place overall.

Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie

Staples commented: “We thought we may have just beat them [Whistler] today but not quite. We had a great day and I have to say that of all my 40 years of sailing here, today was what I regard as classic West Indies sailing conditions; good breeze and enough sea to remind you that you are sailing on an ocean. I was also impressed with the team today they worked well and there were plenty of smiling faces, which is what it is all about.”

Barbados Sailing Week, Organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, Barbados Sailing Week 2018, continues tomorrow with the final of the Coastal Racing Series and the first race of the J/24 two-day series.

TP52 Conviction on her way to second place in CSA Racing Class

In the meantime crews are taking time to relax after a tough day on the water before preparing for what is arguably the most talked about/popular social event of the week – the ultimate Mount Gay Red Cap Party at the home of Mount Gay at the distillery in nearby Bridgetown.

Report written by Sue Pelling.

About Barbados Sailing Week

Early years
The first recorded race round Barbados was in 1936 when five trading schooners (Sea Fox, Mona Marie, Marion B Wolfe, Lucille Smith and Rhode Island) took up the challenge. Sea Fox (Captain Lou Kenedy) was the overall winner with a time of 10 hours 20 minutes.

The original race was based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner. In an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium, this was a lucrative race for captains.

The consolation prize of a barrel of Mount Gay Rum for the slowest yacht was discontinued several years later following the discovery that some competitors purposely stalled and remained out at sea for days to ensure they won the prize.

Current
In 2012 The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race expanded to incorporate the Two Restaurants Race, which meant racing took place over two days. The idea proved such a success, it was decided to expand the event further in 2014, in line with most other Caribbean regattas, and run a series of coastal, round-the-buoy races including the Two Restaurants Race, and The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race traditionally takes place on Errol Barrow Day (a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence). There are currently 20 records to contest.

The 265-mile Ocean Race from Barbados to Antigua at the end of the regatta was specifically designed to tie in with the start of the Superyacht Challenge in Antigua.

Barbados Sailing Week off to a cracking start

Tip top conditions for Coastal Series opener

 

 

Day 1 Results

 

Bridgetown, Barbados (17 January, 2018): Glorious conditions with up to 18kts of breeze and accompanying swell made for an exciting day on the water for the opening day of the three-day Coastal Series at Barbados Sailing Week writes Sue Pelling.

With the wind and swell from the east, competitors enjoyed a 11-12nm course from Carlisle Bay and were back on shore this afternoon in time to relax, rest their weary limbs and enjoy the delights the local hospitality provided by the organising club – Barbados Cruising Club, and Barbados Yacht Club’s Boogie on the Beach Party.

Racing throughout the day was close and it was a delight to see such a varied mix of yachts taking part, which ranged from windsurfers and an International Moth to the 65ft Alfred Mylne classic, The Blue Peter.

It was a day where the emphasis on good teamwork paid dividends and this was particularly noticeable in CSA Racing Class where the super-tuned crew on Peter Lewis’ J/105 Whistler fought hard to earn their first top spot of the week. After what was probably the best start of the day, team Whistler sailed well in the tricky conditions and although they seemed to struggle with speed on the first downwind leg, they were able to comfortably hold off The Blue Peter, who had to settle for second place in class.

Another impressive performance was in Non CSA division with Mandy (Hunter 29.5) sailed by Bruce Robinson and team who seemed keen to start the week how they intend to continue. After an exceptionally close class battle last year when they were unable to hold off their closest rival Tropic Bird (Hunter 35) sailed by Mark Hioens and Priscilla Richardson, they were on top form today with a first race win. As well as Tropic Bird, who was four minutes late for the start today, Robinson and team are going to have to watch Bill Tempro’s Hunter 36 Sail La Vie who was also on form and finished the day in second place, one place ahead of Tropic Bird.

Robinson talking about his win, said: “It was undoubtedly down to good crew work. They [the crew] worked exceptionally well despite being one member down. I was also impressed with the boat’s performance after my recent boat tuning session where I made a few adjustments to the jib settings. Tomorrow’s course on the west coast will make for an interesting race and I imagine Tropic Bird and Sail La Vie will be ‘on our case, which means, as a team we are going to have to ‘sharpen our pencils’”.

The conditions made it tough work for smaller classes but there was still plenty of fun to be had as demonstrated by Andy Budgen who was racing his new Exocet foiling International Moth Nano Project. Although he won his class, it was not without a few issues. “Today’s conditions were not ideal for me and I have to be honest, I was so off the pace. I am hoping I will improve as the week goes on.

“From my perspective flat water is everything, so in conditions like it was today it pays for me to come round the marks and head inshore immediately because the chop is hard to sail in, and not that fast. The biggest thing I had to do today was to try to slow down. As I came round the top mark it was all I could do to sheet in to slow the thing down. It was going about 25kts downwind but I got it down to about 16kts just to try to stop the thing taking off because that can only results in one thing ‘death’!”

Slightly less frantic but no less exciting was the sole multihull Silver Bullet (RC30 catamaran) – Bryn Palmer and team who zipped round the course at top speed and took their first win of the week in the Multihull class.

With the sun setting across Carlisle Bay and sounds of the Caribbean beat from beach party at Barbados Sailing Club echoing out to sea, there is no doubt this Mount Gay Rum-fuelled regatta is living up to its seriously fun legendary reputation.

Racing will continue tomorrow for Coastal Racing Day 2. The course will take the fleet up the west side of the island towards Holetown where, although potentially shifty, should be relatively flat.

Report written by Sue Pelling.