Over its ten year history LaSource Grenada Sailing Festival has become best known as the 'Friendly Regatta', with a great mix each year of exciting new faces and familiar friends.
The organizers are pleased to report that this will again be the case for the eleventh year when the event takes place from Friday 30 January to Tuesday 3 February 2004.
From the entries confirmed so far it is clear that there will be some hot competition in every class. In Racing, the 2003 festival winner Paul KING will be returning from Great Britain to defend his title in Disco Inferno, a Beneteau 47.7, but this year he'll be up against some strong competition. One contender from Great Britain will be Northern Child, a Swann 47 already showing her colours crossing the Atlantic in the ARC, and of course Festival favourite Doug MYERS in his Soverel Legacy, will be looking to take the LaSource Trophy back to Trinidad after two years in second place. Also look out for the 2004 entry from Gosport-based Formula 1 Sailing, a brand new 'state of the art' carbon fibre rigged Farr65, Spirit of Mertice.
Cruising will also be a strongly contended class, with local yachtsman Jason FLETCHER of Grenada Marine aiming to take first place again in his Albin Stratos Apero. The boat was new to Jason for the 2003 festival, and a year of racing later the combination is going to be hard to beat.
However another local boat - Saga, helmed by well known festival competitor Tim SUDELL, will make it a close race.
With entries up already on last year, the Charter Class will also be closely fought. The Organisers report two strong Dutch teams in Sunsail Beneteau 5Os sailing down from St.Vincent. They are aiming to take the class again to repeat the 2003 European win. However George Cooper and his Texan crew in the Dufour 43 Savanna Starr and a strong fleet of locally chartered Moorings and Horizon Yacht Charters boats will also be in contention.
Multihulls could again be the 'David and Goliath' class, with Grenada Yacht Club Commodore Darryl BRATHWAITE in Second Wind, his 24 foot Corsair, battling it out with an American owned 62 footer due to be in the Caribbean again for the Festival.
The Caribbean Sailing circuit takes in many of the islands, with the more renowned events, interspersed with some of the island race weeks.
Getting underway from today through until 18 January is the St Lucia Regatta 2004, from 26 January- 1 February is the Curacao Regatta, which will be followed by the St Croix International Regatta 14-16 February. For further information on events taking place in the Caribbean, visit the Caribbean Racing website via the link below.