CARRIACOU REGATTA FESTIVAL 2007
Light Air, Hot Sun, Long Open Boatsby Orbin OllivierreIs August de 4th an' ah standin' on de beach at Lesterre, Carriacou. Yo' want to know what's up? Is de start ah de first boat race in de 42nd anniversary regatta. An' ah tell yo', is ah replica ah last time ah been here, two years ago. It hardly got ah cloud in de sky, ah ain't seein' no wind on de water, de sun shinin' hot like fire. Ah sorry fo' dem poor sailors out dey today.
Well, is ah open race, dat mean no matter what size yo' be, all sailin' together, call it ah party race! Eight boats altogether: Bluff, Cloudy Bay an' Limbo from Bequia, an' Passion, Ace, Outrage, East Wind an' Ghost from Carriacou an' Petite Martinique. As ah say, 12 o'clock dey start after ah long wait. On de course map, dem put down 11 o'clock start but, fo' tell yo' de truth, when in Carriacou, stop worryin' 'bout time; after all, 11 ain't far from 12. Anyway, dem start. De wind dead light an' dem snailin' dem way up to de mark in Hillsborough. As dem reach dat mark, it look like dem not goin' any further. De little air say, "Ah done wid dat": ah say dem go' call it off. Not to be, yo' see, in Carriacou, dem accustom to dem conditions, dat is why ah 20-foot boat got sails bigger dan any in de other islands. Dem sailmakers does smile when dem walk in! Dey slammin' to de outer mark den downwind an' back up. Ah cyan't watch dem fo' long, de sun glare on de water hurtin' me eye. An' I on de land - sorry fo' dem in de boats all white sails out dey. Ah hope dey got Raybans, ha ha! About 3 o'clock, de first one finish: Passion, she slip past Outrage right at de finish, den Ghost, de others slammin' dey way up. Ah hope we got better luck next day.
Ah decide fo' tek ah tour out to Windward, see how de party goin'. Yo' see, dem sloops does race around de island on de Saturday an' do dem party fo' demself up dey. Well, ah was ah bit shocked when ah see de erosion dat tek place durin' Ivan an' Emily. Most ah de mangrove an' de manchineel trees gone, de water almost up in de road, an' de shore line up wid small steel boats rustin' away. Yo' notice ah say shocked, well, Windward famous fo' its wooden boat-buildin' so ah surprise fo' see so much iron on de beach. Good news, though. Ah see two new sloops building dey; might be ready fo' next year Regatta. Well, all dem sailors partyin' an' arguin' who mek bad tack an' who go' get dem ass cut tomorrow, very good, back to town.
Well, is Sunday mornin' an' ah look down on de harbour an' fo' tell de truth, it pretty fo' so but fo' swimmin' an' snorkellin' not fo' sailin'. Is like glass on de water. It got ah small tanker in de harbour - ah was wonderin' if she pump out she oil in de bay, it so calm. Eleven o'clock now an' ah feelin' ah little air on me skin an' ah shadow on de water, good sign. De little air comin' from de south so de land tekin' half. Dem got two races today, about 40 boats sailin' including six deck sloops, nice fo' see dem increasin'. Last time ah was here, dem had three left after de hurricane but now dem buildin' back. Dey does look so nice downwind wid all de pretty spinnakers. Well, as ah say, 40 boats out in de harbour, lookin' good, but my eyes on de long open boats as dey call dem down dey. We also got Tornado, Divine, Worries, Sweet Image an' My Love from Bequia. Ah don't know all de names so, as de old people say, ah go' tell yo' what ah know. Dem do dey laps an' comin' to de finish, Passion in de lead, Bluff in second place - but not fo' long. De wind cut about 100 feet from de finish. Ah stand up 'pon de end ah de wharf, me heart in me mouth. Cloudy Bay 100 yards behind an' got ah puff comin' wid ah bone in she t'roat. Bam! She pass Bluff 20 feet to de mark an' tek second place. Ah couldn't believe it although ah see it happen already right here in Carriacou. Limbo beatin' Ace by a long way, Sweet Image just' beatin' out Worries, an' Tornado behind by ah long shot.
De second race start about half past two, still de same conditions, same course, not much change only dis time, Bluff in second place. So yo' know who behind. Ah hope it blow ah little wind tomorrow but de weatherman say stable conditions affectin' de islands - we go' see.
Well, Monday is here. Last race today an' no change in de harbour, calm like a pond as dey say. Eleven o'clock reach an' not much difference, only some clouds hangin' about, puttin' doubt in dem skipper mind it go blow or not: yo' t'ink we should change de sail? Yo' t'ink we should carry mo' ballast? Well, ah tell Bluff go wid what she carry yesterday, blow or not - she stiff, she go' stand up. Dem start; downwind dem go, Passion in de lead, Bluff, Cloudy Bay. Dem in de second lap now an' same position but de wind doin' ah shift aroun' every now an' den. As ah say, Passion in de lead, Bluff right behind. Is de first time in de four races dey ha' fo' tack, Passion on starboard, Bluff on port - watch it! Bluff tack fo' get out she way an' mo' tack to de finish, Passion still in front. About 100 feet to de finish, de wind drop. Passion stop in she tracks, Bluff jump she sheets, tek de little air an' slide right past Passion fo' tek de first! Ah know me friend Leo nah like dat. But, after all, he know anyt'in' over 12 knot, Bluff is better dan Passion. Cloudy Bay trudgin' behind, Limbo way ahead ah Ace, Sweet Image way ahead ah Worries. Imagine, wind at five knots an' Worries capsizing. Fo' all de year ah know Andy sailin', he cyan't complete ah regatta without swimmin'!
All in all, ah enjoyed meself. It was ah very good regatta, ah bit low-keyed, but so ah like it. I must thank Leo an' Bernard an' de rest ah de regatta committee for mekin' my stay an enjoyable one an' puttin' on ah good show. Hats off - see yo' next year.
Carriacou Regatta 2007 Winners
Small Open Boat A
1) Ark Royal, Roy Delisle, Petite Martinique
2) Pimpy, Verrol Compton, Carriacou
3) Wet, David Noel, Carriacou
Small Open Boat A1
1) Sweet Image, Robert Hazell, Bequia
2) Worries, Andrew Mitchell, Bequia
3) Tornado, Kingsley Stowe, Bequia
Small Open Boat B
1) Now For Now, Clayton DeRoche, Petite Martinique
2) Parasite, Clint Bethel, Petite Martinique
3) Perceive, Adlion Bethel, Petite Martinique
Small Open Boat C
1) My Love, Stanley Harry, Bequia
2) Bad Feelings, Samuel Forde, Mayreau
3) Hard Target, Victor Hazell, Mayreau
Small Open Boat D
1) Swift, Sean Martin, Sauteurs
2) Classic, Ted Richards, Gouyave
3) Passage, Nicholas Bethel, Sauteurs
Long Open Boat A (Budget Marine)
1) Passion, Matthew Joseph, Carriacou
2) Bluff, Lashie King, Bequia
3) Cloudy Bay, Arnold Hazell, Bequia
Long Open Boat B (Budget Marine)
1) Limbo, Alec Daniel, Bequia
2) Ace, Devas Joseph, Carriacou
1) Out-Rage, Emmanuel Bethel, Petite Martinique
2) Ghost, Emmanuel Clement, Petite Martinique
3) East Wind, Gerald Bethel, Petite Martinique
Large Decked Sloop (Republic Bank)
1) Margeta O, Bernard Compton, Carriacou
2) Glacier, Cheesman Patrice, Carriacou
3) Marie Stella, Michael Bethel, Carriacou
Small Decked Sloop (Republic Bank)
1) Rosalina, Petroc Patrice, Carriacou
2) Run Away, Javid McLawrence, Carriacou
3) Small Pin, Hope McLawrence, Carriacou
Round-D-Island Race (PSV Resort)
1) Glacier, Cheesman Patrice, Carriacou
2) Marie Stella, Michael Bethel, Carriacou
3) Margeta O II, Cyril Compton, Carriacou
Long Open Boat Saturday
1) Passion, Leo Joseph, Carriacou
2) Out-Rage, Emmanuel Bethel, Petite Martinique
3) Ghost, Emmanuel Clement, Petite Martinique
'Benign' Race Weekend for Yachts
by Jerry Stewart
One thing you can count on when holding a Caribbean regatta in August is the uncertainty of the weather. That, coupled with the ability to track tropical waves while still over the African continent, caused a mass exodus of visiting yachts from Carriacou when a low pressure system formed in a wave several thousand miles to the east of the island. The low filled in, but at this year's annual Carriacou Regatta yacht races, held August 3rd through 6th, Tyrrel Bay didn't quite see the numbers of competitors as previous years.
Nonetheless, 20 yachts were on the start line for Friday's Doyle Offshore Sails-sponsored two-handed Round Carriacou Race, ranging from Phil and Fay Atkinson's Tramontana at 52 feet to the Laser sailed by Michael Weber and crew Ryan.
With conditions of 12 to 16 knots of wind and a flat sea, once again the day's "cruise" went very well, with almost everyone finishing in time for the afternoon's fundraising auction.
Taking just over three hours, the Australian Tramontana was fastest 'round the island, dropping to third place on corrected time, with Phil Renfro's Hughes 38 Otra Mundo showing us how they win races in Texas. Carriacou-based regatta regular Andy Smelt aboard his Spencer 44, Yellowbird, corrected to second.
The CSA Fun Rule worked very well in this regatta, with such disparate yachts as Dominique Weber's Sanctus, a Jeanneau Sun Kiss 47, correcting just 18 seconds in front of Uwe Gerstmann's Joshua Salai for fourth and fifth places.
This regatta has always attracted unusual yachts. This year, "Speedy" John Everton's 50-foot, Manuel Campos-designed ketch Gaucho, at 60 years old, added a classic touch to the fleet.
In CSA Class, Tim Sudell's Grenada-based S&S 44 Saga won line honours but on corrected time Carriacou-based yachts dominated: Roy Hopper's Beneteau First 38 Windborne recorded a convincing victory , with my Hughes 38 Bloody Mary placing second.
Three multihulls joined us this year. Featured as "the battle of the cruising multis", all at about 12 meters long, they sailed boat for boat. Surprising some, but not Irish owner Paul O'Regan, the Wharram cat Stillus finished over 30 minutes in front of Dutchman Bram Van Dijk's trimaran Bad Dog, with British Petra Kopp's Joubert Nivelt cat Kayen two minutes behind in third place.
The evening's celebration at the Lazy Turtle pizzeria featured free Mount Gay rum punch, courtesy of regatta sponsor Mount Gay who also provided a bottle of extra old rum for all competitors.
Saturday's Island Water World-sponsored race started punctually, as do all races controlled by race officer James Benoit, who kindly came up from the Grenada Yacht Club once again to run the yacht regatta. This year, the strong south coast currents did not feature and the lighter winds gave crews the opportunity to appreciate the colours and surroundings offered by the south coast of Carriacou as nine boats raced between the scattered offshore islets.
In CSA Class, once again Windborne sailed to a comfortable win over Bloody Mary and Saga, whose long lead gained by the enthusiastic young crew was destroyed by the handicap system.
Tramontana beat Yellowbird into second and Sanctus into third.
This evening's party was held between Twilight restaurant and the newly reconstructed Old Rum Shop, with entertainment from the Harvey Vale Drummers.
As in previous years, Sunday was for watching the decked sloops race in the local boat regatta that the Carriacou Regatta Committee also run over this weekend. The light winds which were a feature of this day, were to continue through Monday.
In Monday's race, sponsored by Budget Marine, again starting in Hillsborough, ten boats commenced in less than ten knots of wind. The occasional five-minute hole to contend with made the day a little frustrating. Nonetheless, the pattern of results established over the previous two races remained - CSA Class: Windborne, Bloody Mary and Saga; and Fun Class: Tramontana, Yellowbird and Sanctus.
The Carriacou Yacht Club provided the venue for prizegiving on Monday evening. Overall, it was no surprise that Windborne won CSA Class and Tramontana Fun Class - in what proved to be a typically benign August weekend.
This low-key regatta receives prizes from Mount Gay Rum, Doyle Offshore Sails, Budget Marine, Island Water World, The Round House Restaurant, Lumba Dive, Lazy Turtle Restaurant, Fidel Productions (T-shirts) and After Hours Supermarket. Logistical support was provided by Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout. Race officer James Benoit was assisted by Barbara Greenwood and Gus Pierre on the committee boat. The organizers give thanks to all.
Copyright© 2007 Compass Publishing