The 6th Edition of the South Grenada Regatta (SGR) was a weekend filled with fun, excitement, big parties and great entertainment. Grenadians and visitors of all ages took part in the regatta’s wide range of water and shore activities, and the great live music and after-race parties had the house rocking and dance floor hopping all weekend long.
Kicking off the regatta on 5th March was a fantastic ‘floating’ Dinghy Concert in the middle of Clarkes Court Bay, featuring the Rocky Pontoons party band from Switzerland. Their lively tunes and special Grenada songs made for a wonderful kickoff. Some guests came in their own dinghies, but a much larger crowd started the party early by hopping on the Rhum Runner at Le Phare Bleu for a fun-filled journey to and from the concert.
This year’s regatta was blessed with superb weather and great racing conditions along Grenada’s south coast. The fleet racing program featured four cup races, plus the esteemed cup for overall winner. 14 boats participated in the fleet races, and the mix of Caribbean and international boats and crew provided an interesting blend of racing talent. Participating boats ranged from a Diam F18 to a Swan 53.
Competition was tight in the Cruising Class, but it was Grenada’s own sailors who took the majority of the fleet racing awards. Friday’s first race was for the ‘North South Wines Veuve
Clicquot Cup’, and Robbie Yearwood on Island Water World’s Die Hard placed 1st and was trophy winner, with Peter Champy Evans on Quay 3 in 2nd place, and Jason Fletcher on Apero in 3rd. The ‘Netherlands Insurance Cup’ was the second race on Friday, and IWW Die Hard again placed 1st and was trophy winner, followed by Apero and Quay 3.
After a lay day on Saturday, the fleet racing continued on Sunday and first up was the‘Westerhall Rum Cup’. Yet again, IWW Die Hard placed 1st and was trophy winner, followed by Quay 3 in 2nd, and Piccolo in 3rd. The final race on Sunday was for the ‘Island Water World Cup’, and Mike Bingley on Piccolo pulled out all stops to place 1st, thereby becoming trophy winner and preventing Robbie from taking the grand slam of trophies. Quay 3 placed 2nd, and IWW Die Hard took 3rd.
In the Fun Class, UK’s Tom Batty on Madonna took 1st place in all four fleet races, while Rene Froehlich on Dione and Rodney Hall on Caradow jostled for 2nd and 3rd place. In the Multi-Hull Class, Richard Szyjan on Category 6, the only entry in this class, took 1st place in all four races.
Once all other fleet race awards were presented, excitement grew as next up was the ‘Le Phare Bleu Cup’ for Overall Winner of the 2014 South Grenada Regatta. The crowd cheered loudly as Robbie Yearwood on IWW Die Hard was awarded this much-deserved distinction, knocking last year’s overall winner, Jason Fletcher on Apero, off the podium.
At the end of the awards ceremonies, Grenada’s Senator the Hon. Brenda Hood addressed the audience on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, who was unable to attend due to the ITB Travel Trade show in Berlin.
“The South Grenada Regatta is a platform which promotes sailing to everyone and is not just for sailors”, said Senator Hood. “We wish to thank the Organising Committee for hosting this successful annual event which supports junior sailing and promotes tourism”, she continued, “and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone back here again in 2015!”
In addition to fleet racing, many other land and water activities took place over regatta weekend. SGR switched modes between the Friday and Sunday fleet races, and on Saturday hosted an exhilarating day of match racing on two identical 10m/33ft Rush 10 catamarans provided by Chocolate Rush Transport. This was the first time using the Rush 10 catamarans for match racing, and by all accounts they were a much-enjoyed change. The Rush 10’s are available for charter in Grenada and, as the Grenada Chocolate Company’s Caribbean distributor, will be making deliveries under sail to neighboring islands, thereby following the dreams of deceased founder, Mott Green.
10 teams registered for the match races; some team members were also participating in the fleet races, but the match races attracted many additional island-wide racing enthusiasts, including two teams from yachts currently at Le Phare Bleu who recently participated in the Oyster World Rally.
The match races were fast and exciting, and competition was often very tight between the two race boats during the first round. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the second round, one of the Rush 10 masts came down and racing was stopped. Thankfully no one was hurt, and every team had at least raced once in the first round, so all racers walked away happy and The Deck After Race Lime at Le Phare Bleu started earlier than expected. Because the match races were halted due to unexpected circumstances, all participating teams received a prize, which included Grenada Chocolate Company’s award-winning organic chocolate.
The Junior Sailing Regatta also took place at Le Phare Bleu on Saturday, and these energetic juniors had a great day of racing. Ranging in age from 9-16 years, a total of 15 young sailors competed in Mosquito sailing dinghies; six racers from the Grenada Yacht Club, and nine from Gouyave. Winners of the ‘Under 13 Class’ were: 1st Jamel Charles (GYC), 2nd Avin McPhie & Sharevin Joseph (Gouyave), and 3rd Javon Noel (Gouyave). Winners of the ‘Over 13 Class’ were: 1st Krzim James (Gouyave), 2nd Shaqille Derick (GYC), and 3rd Trevell James & Sharkim Robertson (Gouyave).
Senator the Hon. Brenda Hood thanked the South The Pirate’s Trail on Saturday and Sunday afternoon is always a popular event with the kids, and this year was promoting tourism in Grenada. no exception. Many young pirates had great fun while demonstrating their skills and daring as they walked the plank, swam, ziplined, and participated in a variety of other fun-filled activities along the trail.
SGR’s racing program was wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with fast and fun 15 Horsepower Dinghy Time Trials. 16 competitors tried their luck at being the fastest dinghy driver, but it was Mike Bingley who placed 1st, followed by Adam Rose, and Kenny Modeste.
Fantastic regatta parties are also a well-known feature of SGR, and this year they started each afternoon with an After Race Lime, then heated up at night with specially-themed parties hosted by SGR Gold Sponsors, Westerhall Rum, Le Phare Bleu, and Island Water World.
The Rocky Pontoons, with the dynamic voice of Freda Goodlett, had the whole house rocking on Friday night, and again played to a full house and crowded dance floor on Saturday night when they invited special guests Gary (Doc) Adams, and up-and-coming Grenada artists, Tammy Baldeo and Sabrina Francis, to join them on stage.
On Sunday, the music kicked off with an energetic talented young Grenadian artists, Sabrina Francis performance by The Pan Wizards, followed by the groovy tunes of The Royal Grenada Police Party Band. Following the final prize-giving ceremonies, The Police Party Band returned to the stage to rock the house and eventually shut the regatta down at the final Regatta Wrap-Up Party.
“Our Organising Committee is overall extremely pleased with this year’s regatta”, says Jana Caniga, SGR Chairman. “We had a good selection of boats, the racers and other participants had a great time, and we had record attendance at all of our nightly parties!”
“We’ve already received many compliments about this year’s regatta from participants and guests”, added Caniga. “There are always things that can be improved upon when organizing an event such as this, but we’re very encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received to date”.
The SGR Committee would like to thank all Sponsors, especially Grenada Tourism Authority, Island Water World, Le Phare Bleu Marina & Boutique Hotel, North South Wines, Netherlands Insurance, and Westerhall Rum as Gold Sponsors; Budget Marine, Carib-Grenada Breweries, Chocolate Rush Transport, LIME, Real Value IGA Supermarket, The Moorings, and The Wireman’s House/AC-DC Electric as Silver Sponsors; Act Art & Design as Bronze Sponsor; Grenada Chiropractic, Grenada Marine, Island Dreams Yacht Services, ModOne, Palm Tree Marine, The Canvas Shop, and Underwater Solutions as Mainsail Sponsors; and Art Fabrik, Carib Sushi, Coconut Beach Restaurant, Dive Grenada, Glenelg Spring Water, McIntyre Brothers, Mount Cinnamon, Sol, Surana’s Mobile Massage, True Blue Bay Resort, and Umbrellas Beach Bar as Prize Sponsors and Supporters.