The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series 2013

This Bank Holiday weekend the 77th anniversary Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series returns to our shores, organized by the Barbados Cruising Club in association with Mount Gay Rum and The Barbados Tourism Authority. All Barbadians are invited to join the festivities around the Island, and witness this spectacular event, known as “Barbados’ ultimate sailing challenge”.

The signature Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race is held on January 21st as a mark of respect for one of the Cruising Club’s founder members, and the first Prime Minister of independent Barbados, The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, and forms part of a 6 day sailing and social programme designed to capture the imagination of the Barbadian people and bring some of the World’s finest sailing vessels to our shores.

With 38 international and local yachts provisionally entered in the Race Series, the event is bigger than ever before. Competitors include vessels from the Panerai Classic Transat that arrived into Barbados over Christmas and returning champions from last year including Absolute Monohull Record Holder, Idea owned by John Wilson from the UK, and Absolute Multihull Record Holder Silver Bullet, owned by Cruising Club member Bryn Palmer. Where else in the world but in the Island that invented Rum could yachts compete to win their Skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum Extra Old? (Images Courtesy Bim.bb)

With 38 international and local yachts provisionally entered in the Race Series, the event is bigger than ever before. Competitors include vessels from the Panerai Classic Transat that arrived into Barbados over Christmas and returning champions from last year including Absolute Monohull Record Holder, Idea owned by John Wilson from the UK, and Absolute Multihull Record Holder Silver Bullet, owned by Cruising Club member Bryn Palmer. Where else in the world but in the Island that invented Rum could yachts compete to win their Skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum Extra Old? (Images Courtesy Bim.bb)

To recognise the inscription of Historic Bridgetown on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites once again competing yachts have been invited to moor in the inner basin of the Careenage. The Chamberlain Bridge will be raised at regular intervals to allow the passage of yachts in and out of the area.

On Saturday 19th January yachts and their crews will have the opportunity for a practice session as the Cruising Club in association with Tapas and The Beach House host the Two Restaurants Race. An 18 mile handicapped race designed to be visible along the coast from Hastings on the South to Holetown on the West. Yachts will turn at marks situated off two of Barbados’ finest restaurants, Tapas on the South and The Beach House on the West. Racing starts mid morning, and the after race party will continue into the evening at the Cruising Club featuring live music from local band Z-Rox.

As dawn breaks on Errol Barrow Day, January 21st, the first yachts will be setting off from the inner basin and making their way to the start line which will lie between the Barbados Cruising Club, and the race committee boat, Destination Fox Harb’r Too, courtesy of Ron Joyce. Starting first will be the smaller slower boats, with the faster boats starting between 9 and 11am. The aim being for all boats to finish the race between 4 and 5pm. Many class record holders will be returning to defend their records, including Paul Johnson’s Bruggadung 2, Ralph Johnson’s Rapajam, David Staples’ Immigrant and Peter Hoad’s Jabulani. Two world class race officials will be on hand to ensure a fair and safe race.

For those not sailing, excellent views of the race will be gained at vantage points around the island. But be prepared, last year there was elbowroom only up at North Point as many ventured out to catch a glimpse of the action from the shore.

Yachts sail ‘North About’ the Island, starting off the Cruising Club and heading up the West Coast before rounding North Point and facing the full force of the Atlantic on the East. For those not able to join in the excitement around the island or at the Cruising Club, with thanks to event sponsor Miele, all yachts will carry transponders allowing the race to be followed on line. (Images Courtesy Bim.bb)

Yachts sail ‘North About’ the Island, starting off the Cruising Club and heading up the West Coast before rounding North Point and facing the full force of the Atlantic on the East. For those not able to join in the excitement around the island or at the Cruising Club, with thanks to event sponsor Miele, all yachts will carry transponders allowing the race to be followed on line. (Images Courtesy Bim.bb)

All eyes will be on the clock as the yachts return to Carlisle Bay to see if once again the Mount Gay Rum warehouse will be emptied to reward the winning Skippers.

The final event of the Race Series, a new addition this year will be the start of a 300 mile open ocean race to Antigua on January 23rd. Designed to link Barbados with the Super Yacht Challenge in Antigua with the aim of encouraging some of the world’s largest sailing yachts to journey to Barbados and compete in future years.

Whether you are a sailor, or prefer to keep your feet firmly on solid ground, there is something for everyone to enjoy as part of the 77th anniversary Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series. Join us at the Barbados Cruising Club, visit the yachts in Independence Square and the Inner Basin, or watch the race from beaches around the Island and be a part of this unique world-class event on January 21st.

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