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Ship ahoy!

Ship ahoy!


The waters around the tiny Grenadine Island of Bequia were awash with boats of all sizes over the Easter weekend, as the Bequia Sailing Club’s 26th annual Bequia Easter Regatta got underway. Near perfect sailing weather guaranteed that it would be a weekend of excellent and skilful competition.

A total of 32 local double-enders took part in the fishing boat competition, with entries coming from Mayreau, Canouan and Carriacou to compete with Bequia fleet.{{more}} In the 28ft Class 7, it was “Bluff”, skippered by Lachie King (in photo below) from Bequia that took a well-earned overall first. “Iron Duke”, the much-loved 130-year-old Bequia whaleboat that was re-launched after restoration in 2006, triumphed once again with overall first in Class 6 with Junior Hazell at the helm. Bequia’s newest boat, the 18ft “Sweet Image” built by Arnold Hazell and skippered by Robert Hazell proved unbeatable taking overall first in her Class VA category.

Despite fears that the Cricket World Cup would affect attendance, a bumper 36 yachts entered the regatta this year which was only slightly down on last year’s record turnout. A massive one third of these yachts came from Martinique, whose young and not-so-young sailors have enthusiastically supported the Bequia regatta for many years, bringing sportsmanship, skill and a great party spirit to the event. Other Caribbean countries represented included Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and Dominica, with international entries from Germany, Greece, the USA and the UK. Overall honours in Racing Class, which was dominated by highly competitive French boats, went to the 24ft Surprise “Clippers Ship” from Martinique skippered by the very talented 24-year old Nicolas Gillet. Vincentian Kelly Glass in his Beneteau 41s5 “Beowolf” had the misfortune to dismast during Saturday’s Around Bequia Race and was forced to retire from the competition.

Full results for both the fishing boat and yacht competition are given below.

There was something for everyone during Regatta, with Optimists Dinghy Races for junior sailors, organised by the Bequia Rotary Club assisted by Jennifer Arrindell from Trinidad, traditional Bequia coconut boats races, plus the ever-popular Sandcastle Competition and Crazy Craft Race on Easter Sunday at Lower Bay.

Ashore, there were activities, games, stalls and music under the Almond Trees organized by the local community which entertained Bequians on Saturday and drew crowds of visitors from the mainland for the Sunday and Monday festivities.

The Bequia Sailing Club would like to thank their main sponsors Heineken (St. Vincent Brewery), Mount Gay and Pepsi (Bottlers Ltd.), The SVG Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Youth, Digicel, Mountain Top Water, Tradewinds Cruise Club and the Frangipani Hotel for their exceptionally generous and loyal support of this prestigious event. Thanks must also go to all business and private donors and all the volunteers within in the Sailing Club who worked so hard to make Regatta 2007 another huge success. A full list of donors will be published in a future issue.