Monday, 04 January 2016 11:21

President's report – Barbados 2017

I'm sure a number of you have been to Barbados or the Caribbean Islands before, so forgive my enthusiasm, as this is the first time for me. From the moment you land you are met with very happy chilled people, the Barbadians, or Bajans, have a great way about them and it doesn't matter if you are in a taxi, a bus or in the centre of a market in Bridgetown, the attitude is the same. For many suspicious Europeans this takes a few days to get used to.

 

Having never done long haul, (8.5 hrs Gatwick) it took me a couple of days to get used to waking up at 3am, I also had a fuzzy head, only to discover it was the rum punch that is available in copious amounts at not a lot of money.

Location

Barbados Yacht Club is situated towards the western end of the southern coast in a region of St Michael. The Club dates back around 90 years and has a really nice Colonial feel to it, with impressive size rooms, bars and restaurant, with the added extra of a lovely beach bar.

It is intended to keep the boats on the beach area, with launching a few feet into the sea on a shallow shelving beach. The sand felt firm so I anticipate no launching issues, and we understand that this area will be patrolled 24hr.

The containers will be stored to the front of the club, near to the road. I have said that we anticipate 30 containers for which this isn't an issue, and they will be stored in the grounds of the club to one corner. The club grounds are extensive and include tennis courts and cruiser boat storage.

The club will operate a non-cash bar for the sailors and guests. This process will require you to sign for your food and drink and pay at the end. Guests will also be able to purchase an event all-access wristband which will give them everything the sailors will enjoy: meal events, drink events and use of the club facilities.

Measurement will take place under a large covered area and there are wash down hoses jotted around, it is proposed to put more hose down points in place for the regatta.

Barbados Cruising Club is located next door to the Yacht Club and is on the beach directly next door to the Radisson Hotel. We have been told by both clubs that they will join forces to assist in the event and both their facilities will be available for sailors and guests. It has a great beach and the 'Dippers Bar' with a view over the bay. They also have sun beds on the sand. The club also rents out paddleboards, small sailing boats, kayaks etc.

Carlyle Bay: Racing will take place in Carlyle Bay just off Needhams point, apparently where the light blue sea meets the darker, deeper Caribbean. There is a rise and fall in the tide of around 2 feet and there is a current that runs along the west coast. The sail out to the race area is not far from the club, apparently no sharks but I did see plenty of sea turtles and you have to watch out for the flying fish.

Bridgetown: is the capital of the island and, if I have to be honest, run down in many places. However there are some great places to visit in the town and despite the look of the streets I didn't find it threatening at all. If anything the people were more than helpful.

Close by the club are the areas of Hastings, Christchurch and St Laurence Gap and for a small fare you can get anywhere, very quickly.

Accommodation

The nearest Accommodation to the Club is the Radisson Hotel (next door) 3-4-star accommodation with pool and walk on to the beach with its own loungers, the rooms seemed ok, similar to that of the Galaxy in Kavala.

The Hilton Hotel is around 200 metres from the sailing club and is situated on Needhams point next to the Ancient Garrison. This offers 4-star accommodation with pools, kiddies club, beach sunbeds and waiter service on the beach. This is a large hotel and offers an excellent viewing point for the racing. The sea was a little rougher on this side as apposed to the conditions outside the Radisson in the bay, however it's a lovely spot and they have made a safe swimming cove with life guard facility.

Self Catering We were shown around Bajan Cottages, next door to the club, we were quoted around £125 per night for 3 bedroom accommodation in apartments or bungalows, this is between 4/6 people, so works out cheap and convenient, supermarkets are close to hand.

Coconut Court. This was where we stayed and it is a very nice family run hotel. It is further away from the club, down the road in Hastings, but we walked to the club a number of times, along the beach or by the road. The hotel has a nice beach and beach bar, rooms had good aircon and most have a sea view.

Savanna Court is next door to Coconut Court a little further towards the Hilton and the Club, the facilities looked very good and again they include the beach and good bar facilities.

Important Note: By the time this report is released its unlikely that the OA will have released to hotels where they have discounted rates for the event. We have been told it will include the above hotels but NOT the self-catering accommodation. You will need a code to qualify for the discount and as of yet we do not have any more information. They may also release other accommodation, so it's advisable to look on Google Maps before committing to somewhere.

Transportation

Air. One of the sponsors for the event is Virgin Airlines and they will be making a service available from Gatwick to Grantley Adams Airport at a discounted rate for competitors. Details will follow later in the year.

Car Hire. Stoutes Car Rentals. David Stoute; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Courtesy Car Rentals. Ian Proverbs; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Most hotels operate a shuttle service from the Airport.

Taxi. Seem to be independent. I only got the one number from Terry who we used a couple of times and was always willing to do a deal. He said he would do an Island trip all day including lunch for US$ 150 telephone 1 246 8242886

Yellow Buses. Independent. Each bus has its own owner and most of them play Reggae with decent base bins, BD$ 2 gets you most places

KR. These are the White Nissan Mini buses. They are everywhere and constantly pitch for your business; tooting and stopping if you are walking along the road. Most people use them. They are great fun and a health and safety nightmare. BD$ 2 gets you everywhere in your district. You have to stop at the main station in Bridgetown and change to another part of town if you wish to go up the coast line. It's a great experience and it is a shame if you don't give it a go.

Attractions

The list is endless and it depends on what takes your fancy. If you are extending your visit, then it is a must to tour the Island. The scenery on the East Coast is in stark contrast to the rest of the island, with a rugged coastline and fantastic Atlantic Surf. The roads are bumpy and there are some great places to eat and drink. Go to the Soup Bowl at Bathsheba and see the surfers. See the view from Cherry Tree Hill, visit the Oval, Banks beer and the Mount Gay distillery.

For the ladies it has to be the shopping in Holetown, with Louis Vuitton and many top brands.
Oistens fish market on a Friday Night is an absolute must with music, eating and dancing in the plaza.

As I said the list is endless.

See you in Barbados
Andy

 

Barbados 2017 Documents

Filename Size Date & Time
A Microsoft Word file FINN-2017-ENTRY-FORM_FINAL.doc 192.5 KB 2016-12-13 10:52:33
An Adobe Acrobat file Notice-of-Race-Finn-World-Masters-2017-FINAL-revA.pdf 521.6 KB 2017-01-27 08:59:07

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