Weekend on the water

Eleven yachts slated for open regatta on west coast

Yachting moves to the west coast of Barbados this weekend with the staging of the 2014 First Citizens Investments Services’ J24 Open Regatta off Holetown, St James, on Saturday and Sunday.

Eleven yachts, with several visiting Caribbean sailors among them, will contest the two-day event which will be sailed over a new Windward to Leeward course, just off the Sunset Crest area, and will be visible to spectators on shore .

Activities coinciding with the regatta will also raise funds for the New Horizons Academy, a charity being supported by First Citizens Investments and the J24-Club of Barbados.

Last year’s winners, Banks Esperanza, skippered by Ian Mayers, will be looking to defend the title but can expect stiff competition from Republic Bank Impulse, College Funds, Williams Industries HawkEye and ISIS, which are all among the front-runners in the race for the overall 2014 J24 Championship.

Die Hard of Grenada, Paddington of Trinidad and Tobago, Bad Attitude of St Lucia are  the regional teams contesting the two-day regatta which will see four races being contested each day.

This year’s open regatta was formally launched during a media conference at the Drift Restaurant today where sponsors and organizers outlined plans for the major yachting event.

Country manager of First Citizens Investments, Elizabeth Morgan, said her company was happy to partner with the J24 Club in staging the event over the past five years and supporting the regatta was one of the ways in which they have been able to give back to the community.

She added that partnering with the J24 Club in raising funds for the New Horizon Academy was also a good fit with their mandate of giving back.

President of the J24 Club, Greg Webster, also the tactician on ISIS, thanked the sponsors for their support of yachting and other events over the years and promised that this weekend’s regatta would produce some exciting sailing.

“The course will give sailors tactical options and those with the best skills, and those making the right decisions will be in the money,” said Webster.

Karen Best of the Ministry of Education praised First Citizens Investments and the J24 Club for their support of the New Horizons Academy and disclosed that it was a school for academically challenged children that would need all the public and private sector support it can get.

Racing starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

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