55 boats for Barbados’ 50th celebrations
This year’s Barbados’ Transatlantic Rally Event promises to be the most exciting and competitive the island has ever seen.
That was the word this morning from organizers during a media briefing held at the Barbados Yacht Club, Bay Street, St Michael, to discuss plans for Barbados’ 50th Transatlantic Rally Event which commenced earlier this year from July 31st in London, and will conclude here in Barbados on December 17th.
Present at Tuesday morning’s briefing was director of Cornell Sailing Events, Jimmy Cornell, as well as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s manager of sports, Devon Chase.
Cornell was very delighted to reveal that this year’s number of boats had exceeded expectations, and added that throughout the years he had noticed a trend in terms of participants.
“We usually set ourselves a symbolic figure of 50 boats to cross the Atlantic, but in fact I am very pleased to say that we have 55 boats which include 51 which are currently sailing across the Atlantic at this very moment, and 4 which have already arrived in Barbados.
Cornell added: “The most interesting aspect is that among the 55 boats, we have a total of 35 children under 16, which is quite unheard of. However, I have detected a new trend where quite a few families are setting off on a long voyage with their children, and we have benefited from this trend, because when you have so many young children along with their families arriving into Barbados, this is usually the best promotion material for the island. Anyone who usually comes into Barbados once will certainly come again.”
Apart from this year’s Transatlantic Rally Event commemorating with Barbados’ 50th year of Independence, it is also a special occasion for Cornell personally as he revealed it has been 40 years since he crossed the Atlantic with his wife and two children and arrived here in Barbados at Carlisle Bay back in December 1976.
Chase stated that the BTMI were always on the lookout for such yachting and sailing events, and added that it was a special honour to host the island’s 50th Transatlantic Rally Event at a time when the people of Barbados would be celebrating their 50th year of Independence.
“We at the BTMI continue to be on the lookout for exciting yachting and sailing activities, and we are therefore happy to embrace the opportunity presented to host Barbados’ 50th Transatlantic Rally Event. The Barbados 50th is especially significant to us, taking into consideration that it was time to commemorate our 50 years of Independence,” Chase said.
Several individuals and entities have worked alongside Cornell and Chase to make this event possible. These include: Yachting and Sailing Consultant Peter Gilkes, The Barbados Port Inc. and the team head Billy Ferguson, The Barbados Yacht Club, The Barbados Sailing Association, RDL Logistics, MC Yachts and Shipping, The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.