After a five-hour first race crews are making the most of the Caribbean hospitality at Tobago Sail Week
Following last night’s festivities at Crown Point Hotel, during the opening ceremony of the 21st Angostura Tobago Sail Week where Angostura Caribbean Club rum punch was the prime source of refreshment, it was not surprising to see so many jaded faces for start of the first race this morning.
With drinking and dancing continuing well in the early hours, the 1000 start provided a kick start to yet another classic Caribbean day. In 90 degrees of blazing sunshine and a fresh north-north-easterly breeze, racing for the Hilton Tobago Trophy got underway after a short postponement and the 56 yachts sailing in five separate classes – Racing Charter 1, Charter 2, Cruising/comfort Cruising and Cruiser-Racer – enjoyed some spectacular sailing.
Fun and games in the Racing Class included a crew member falling overboard off the a locally-sailed Henderson 30, Pressure. While rounding the first windward mark a crewmember missed her footing a fell clean over the side. Fortunately as they were well down the fleet there were no other boats around and she was retrieved within two minutes and suffered no ill effects.
The tight reach that followed, particularly for the asymmetric boats, led to more entertainment with more than a handful of boats exposing their keels to the sunlight. For the cruising classes with no spinnakers it was a case of trimming for optimum speed and heading for the mark leaving the super-fast flyers to head off well downwind in the 25kt plus gusts.
Organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association with sponsors including DHL, Hilton Tobago, BWIA West Indies Airways, and Carib beer adding that special touch to the regatta, it’s easy to understand why competitors from all over the world return year after year. But it’s not just the racing they come for, the onshore entertainment is just as important which is why just one race a day strikes perfect balance giving crews plenty of time to enjoy not only the rum, which is virtually free flowing, but the copious parties which start virtually as soon as crews hit the shore!
Racing (Race 1)
2nd Guardian Star
3rd Slippery when Wet
Racing (Race 1a)
1st Guardian Star
1st Saga Boy
2nd Long Gone
3rd French Connection
2nd Maid of Malin
2nd Spirit of St Nick
2nd After Hours
3rd Sun Beat III