Friday, August 1, 2014

Carriacou Regatta 2014

Carriacou, a small island that is part of Grenada, is a charming little island located twenty miles north of Grenada just south of the Grenadine island chain. Known as the Land of Reefs by the original Amerindians, it has a strong Scottish and Irish heritage and seafaring is in the blood. The building of traditional timber sloops is undergoing something of a renaissance and Carriacou’s hugely anticipated Carriacou Regatta celebrated its 49th anniversary from August 1-4 over the Emancipation holiday weekend.  We were lucky to be there to enjoy the racing action.

Inaugurated by Jamaican-born John Linton Riggs in 1965 to help stimulate the boat building trade, the Carriacou Regatta has  developed into a popular event drawing sailors and visitors alike from Grenada, Tobago, Union, Martinique, St Vincent and from as far north as Antigua in a raucous festival of seamanship and fun sailing. The event attracts competitors from around the world with work boats, racing boats, sailing boats and yachts. However, the sturdy workboats remain the focal point today and are raced in four different classes up to 35 feet in length.  There are races beginning in Tyrell Bay, Hillsborough Bay, and Round the Island races.


Other sporting and cultural events take place on land and fierce competition is the order of the day. Rum drinking is king, with lots of local Jack Iron rum consumed. Everyone is involved... even the cruising sailors' dogs!  Here's our friends Stacy and Rene Foree with some local pups.

I had a fun day out on the Carriacou Fun Runner owned by Sherwin of Lambi Queen restaurant to see the racing action up close.



Dinghies ferried partygoers from shore to the Lambi Queen.

There was plenty of fun, food, and drink aboard the catamaran-turned-party barge.

The top of the party boat provided an excellent vantage point to watch the regatta and enjoy the sun.


Enthralled by the beautiful scenery and gorgeous boats, I took photograph after photograph of the racing action.

The next day, LA and I took a ride on the Carriacou Fun Runner to see the start of the races in nearby Hillsborough. We walked through town, and had a delightful lunch at the Moringa Cafe.

We saw the launch of many racing workboats along the shore. It was interesting to watch them roll the boats into the water using fenders and brute strength.


Click on the video to see a boat launching.

Here are some pics of the racing action from the regatta. A good time was had by all!



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