If the crow flew in a circle, the Mount Gay Round Barbados race is about 60 miles in length, but as the participants are not racing on birds, the yachts end up doing 70-plus miles, having to contend with the trade winds and very changeable sailing conditions as they make their way around this historic course.
Gathering at the starting line situated at the Barbados Cruising Club, the fleet will sail through the historic Carlisle Bay, pass the deep water harbour to starboard and then begin a 20 mile tight reach in calm water up the platinum coast of Barbados, passing the homes and haunts of the very rich and very famous.
After rounding the top of the island they will be met with the full force of the Atlantic, with nothing between them and Africa. They will then face a good 7-plus mile beat in tricky currents, wind shifts and some big waves. This is followed by a 20 mile fetch, riding those same waves beam on, trying to maximize speed without losing height enough to clear East Point. They will be forced to bear away and hoist through the big breaking Atlantic rollers for a fantastic 18 mile downwind slide along the south coast, finally dropping kites and skating round the South West corner of the island to the finish line.
On breaking any of the existing Round Barbados records, the record breaking yacht will be awarded Mount Gay Rum Extra Old equivalent to the weight of the registered skipper, as recorded at the official skippers weighing, so decisions need to be made before hand whether to feed him salad for speed or fast food for more rum all round!
Each of the competing yachts will have a YB tracker installed before the starting klaxon goes off. At predetermined intervals the trackers will gather and transmit data such as speed, direction and GPS co ordinates. This data is received at YB HQ servers where it is visualised onto our race player, so friends, family and arm chair admirals can follow this fast and furious race.
For more information on this race please visit the race website.