St. Lucia Emancipation Race
Appropriately on this day the two sailing areas of St Lucia, Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay celebrated the occasion with a friendly sailing event joining the two sailing resort bays in competition on the water. Two races were held starting in Rodney Bay at 10am and finishing around one and a half hours later. This race was an unusual start sequence where yachts started at pre determined times according to their own handicaps as determined by their measurement ratings, thereby giving the slower boats an earlier start with the intention of getting the boats to the finish at Marigot Bay as a more collective group.
14 yachts turned out to compete on the almost perfect sailing day conditions, 15 knots of wind from the ENE, sunshine and a gorgeous blue Caribbean sea — MAGIC!
Perfect for some but as is the fate of others, a dismasting of the yacht Doubloon from Discovery at Marigot Bay put paid to their racing for the day. Luckily there were no injuries and the mast was recovered by the experienced crew without any assistance from the race committee and returned safely back into Rodney Bay Marina.
After a short break in Marigot for lunch where all the yachts rafted up, the game was on for the return battle! This, albeit a beautiful sailing breeze which had whipped the fleet down to Marigot earlier now turned into a beat into the wind or at least a fine fetch to the Pigeon Island turning mark into Rodney Bay and then to the SLYC finishing line in front of the beach. Horn blowing to greet the finishers and to record their times kept the scene of fun and sport going on for the visitors and guests and for the anxious parents awaiting the return of their sailing youngsters.
Prize giving followed their trip ashore, wet and tired but ready for the club BBQ and refreshments kindly donated by Heineken. The various sponsors, Heineken, Diamonds International, Rodney Bay Marina, Marigot Bay Marina, Discovery Marigot, Rain Forest Sky Rides and Digicel made this, now to be the annual Emancipation day event, possible. Representatives present were duly thanked by the committee for their participation.
The new Trophy, which was kindly donated for the event by Frank Capers Senior, was duly won by his son Frank Capers junior in the club J24 Grayling and the oldest participant in the event! 71 !
The two races were individually scored but amalgamated to give the final positions as follows:
1st. J24 “Grayling” Frank Capers and the winner of the Overall Trophy
2nd J24 “Loose Cannon” Edgar Roe
3rd J24 “Banana Wind” Marcus Sweeney
1st “Beneteau 50 ” Spirit of the Wind” Christian Richings
1st “Elvira D 49” Sun Odyssey Ulrich Meixner
3rd “Sovereign 40 “Kaiso” Sean Fuller