Set sail

United Insurance’s David Alleyne (left) handing over the coveted Cup to president of the J-24 Club, Greg Webster.

Next weekend some of the region’s best yachtsmen will take to the high seas for one of Barbados’ premier events on the sporting calendar.

A number of top sailors are fine-tuning their skills and preparing for battle in the 2012 United Insurance J24 Match-Racing Cup, which is a major yachting event to be contested in Carlisle Bay on November 17 and 18.

Organised by the J-24 Club of Barbados, and sponsored for the third year by United Insurance, the United Match-Racing Cup is an exciting ocean-racing event for single design yachts and will be contested using the internationally famous Americas Cup format.

At a media conference at the NU Edge Art Gallery at Limegrove today, organisers disclosed that ten teams, featuring sailors from St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Barbados, were expected to compete for the United Match-Racing Cup, with Hawk Eye of Barbados defending the championship.

Hawk Eye, skippered by Robert Povey and sponsored by Williams Industries, last year turned the tables on arch-rivals ISIS, winning the best-of-three races sail-off (2-0) to take the Cup. In 2010 JADA-sponsored ISIS, skippered by Nicholas Lashley, had defeated Hawk Eye 2-1 in the final.

Operations Manager of United Insurance, David Alleyne, said his company, a leading insurer in the Caribbean with operations in 13 regional territories, was delighted to partner with the J24 Club in staging the Match-Racing Cup again this year and explained that the sponsorship coincided with the company’s continuing support for activities that encourage the pursuit of excellence.

“At a time when many organisations and companies are struggling, United Insurance continues on its successful mission to promote the development of sports, not just in Barbados, but across the region. We are steadfast in our commitment to enriching the communities in which we operate, through promoting the development of sports such as sailing. Our association with the Match-Racing Cup, and other regional events such as the Grenada Sailing Festival and the Bequia Easter Regatta, not only support the advancement of local and regional yachting but also support the growth of sports tourism in the Caribbean,” said Alleyne.

President of the J24 Club of Barbados, Greg Webster, also the owner and tactician of ISIS, said the United Match-Racing Cup was a major event on the local yachting calendar and would climax an exciting season for J24 sailors.

“We are thankful to United Insurance for their support again this year and their assistance in helping the J24 Club to stage such an event which assists in raising the profile of international yachting in Barbados. Match-racing brings out the competitive best of our regional sailors and it will be an exciting weekend,” Webster said.

Teams listed to compete in the 2012 United Insurance Match-Racing Cup are: Esperanza (skippered by Neil Hutchinson); ISIS (skippered by Nicholas Lashley); Hawk Eye (skippered by Robert Povey); Impulse (skippered by Neil Burke); Fully Covered (skippered by Bruce Bailey); Bunga Bunga (skippered by Cyril Lecreany); Glory Daze (skippered by Dr. Gus Reader); Die Hard of Grenada (skippered by Dr. Robbie Yearwood); Summtin Happenin (skippered by Paul Johnson); Team JCB of St. Lucia (skippered by Michael Green) and Team Powerboat of Trinidad (skippered by Don Stollmeyer).

During the two days of exciting ocean racing, sailors will match skills over an Olympic course in Carlisle Bay, with round-robin elimination races, of 20 minutes duration, set to be contested on Saturday (November 17) and semifinals and finals on Sunday (November 18).

The format will see crews sailing, one-on-one, in the elimination stages with each victorious crew being awarded one point. The top four crews will then advance to best-of three races sail-offs in the semifinals before the two finalists are decided and clash for the coveted United Match-Racing Cup.

In all, more than 30 races will be sailed over the two days of the United Insurance Match-Racing Cup which has emerged as one of the biggest ocean-racing events for J24 sailors in the Caribbean. (BB)

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