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30 to set sail

More than 30 vessels have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s 2013 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race.†

Boats and crews from as far as Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, in addition to several Caribbean islands, have also registered for the 77th edition of Barbados’ premier circumnavigation sailing event.

“Mount Gay Rum, the finest and oldest brand of rum in existence, has been intimately linked to the sailing world for quite some time now, proudly sponsoring more than 120 international regattas each year,” said brand manager Peter Samuel.†

“As for Barbados, we have enjoyed a long and proud relationship with the local sailing fraternity, and as such, we want to encourage even more Barbadians to get involved in this exciting sport.”

The five-day event got underway today with the official welcome party and ‘Skipper’s Weighing’ at the Barbados Cruising Club, followed by the ‘Skipper’s Briefing’ at the Aquatica Beach Resort.†

Racing begins in earnest tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the optional 18-mile handicap Two Restaurants Race, this year sponsored by The Beach House and Tapas – the two turnaround points for the race.†

On Sunday, the crews enjoy a rest day as they have one last chance to prepare their equipment before they tackle the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on Monday, Errol Barrow Day.

The start/finish line will once again be located at the Barbados Cruising Club, with racing beginning at 7a.m.†

The fleet will†sail through Carlisle Bay, past the deep-water harbour before heading north.

Unpredictable swells

After rounding North Point, crews will have to battle gusty winds and tricky currents as they navigate the unpredictable swells of the Atlantic Ocean.†

Following that, the boats will skim around the south-west corner of the island back to the finish.†

Record holders confirmed for this year’s race include Idea (monohull), Silver Bullet (multihull), Tres Hombres (brigantine), Immigrant (double-handed) and Jabulani (single-handed).†

All three monohull class record holders have also returned with Rapajam in the 60′-and-under class, Katanga in the 40′-and-under, and Bruggadung in the 35′-and under.†

Numerous prizes and perpetual trophies will also be on offer: The Errol Barrow Classic Yacht Trophy (presented to a record-breaking classic yacht), The Barbados Tourism Authority Super Yacht Trophy (presented to a record-breaking monohull yacht), The Mount Gay Rum Multi-hull Trophy (presented to a record-breaking multi-hull yacht), The Barbados Cruising Club Double Handed Trophy (presented to a record-breaking double handed yacht), The Andrew Burke Single Handed Trophy (presented to a record-breaking single handed yacht), The Rapier Trophy (presented to a record-breaking yacht as calculated under the CSA Measurement Handicap Rule).

†The Mount Gay Rum Caribbean Challenge Shield will be presented to the fastest regional yacht, while the Coca Cola Cup will be presented to the fastest Barbadian yacht.

If any of the existing Round Barbados records are broken, the record-breaking yacht will be awarded its captain’s weight in Mount Gay Extra Old Rum.†

Tuesday will be the grand prize-giving ceremony at The Beach House before the curtain comes down on Wednesday with the 300-mile Barbados to Antigua Ocean Race, once again starting at the Barbados Cruising Club.†

“The boats will be passing just a couple hundred yards offshore and I want to encourage all Barbadians to come out and get a glimpse of this remarkable – and now historical – spectacle,” added Samuel. (AH)

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