Winter is an exciting time for nautical sports in Grenada. February plays host to Grenada Sailing Week and the island’s two major sailing festivals: The Grenada Sailing Festival and the South Grenada Regatta.
Grenada Sailing Week
Held January 31st – February 5th, 2013, Grenada Sail week replaces the keelboat regatta previously held by the Grenada Sailing Festival. Sailors from far and wide come to “Sail de Spice” and enjoy the week’s activities. Rich in local traditions, the week includes four days of competitive racing, one Lay Day, and six nights of parties around the island.
Things start off on Thursday, January 31st, with a Skippers’ Briefing and Welcome Party at the Victory Bar and Restaurant, followed by the Camper & Nicholson Pirate Themed Party, held at Port Louis Marina, on Friday. Saturday is a favorite – the Mount Gay Red Cap party. Every year, a different commemorative red cap is given, which becomes a collectors items among sailors. Sunday is a Lay Day, giving participants time to explore Grenada and relax before the festivities hit back up on Monday with the Sea Hawk Paints Party and finish with the Island Water World Party on Tuesday.
Of course, it isn’t all about the parties – there is sailing to be done! Sailors compete in Racing 1 and 2, Cruising 1 and 2, Charter, Multihull, and Fun categories throughout the week, with races on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. With competitors coming in from Grenada, Carriacou, Trinidad, Barbados, the UK, USA, and Austria, the festival has grown into an international event.
The Grenada Sailing Festival
2013 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Grenada Sailing Festival. The United Insurance Workboat Regatta is held the 1st to 3rd of February on Grand Anse Beach, and attracts sailors from Grand Mal, Gouyave, Sauters, and Woburn, as well as Grenada’s Sister Islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Historically, the boats raced in the Workboat Regatta were just that – the working fishing boats of the community. 16 to 17 feet long and made from local materials including hardwood hulls and bamboo masts, the traditional boats have now been replaced with specially built racing boats meant only for competition.
The event is a weekend-long affair, with the individual communities racing within their own classes on Saturday and Sunday morning. Everything comes together on Sunday afternoon, when the winners of the community classes race one another using the GSF’s – the fleet of boats that the Grenada Sailing festival has built specifically for match racing.
South Grenada Regatta
Held February 21st – 24th, 2013, the South Grenada Regatta caps off Grenada’s competitive racing season. Racing under CSA rules, the Regatta offers the racing classes of Spinnaker, Without Spinnaker, Catamaran, and Fun. Races occur around the island, with events taking place in Clarkes Court/Woburn Bay, Glovers Island, Westerhall, and Le Phare Bleu.
The event kicks off on Wednesday, February 20th with a Dinghy Concert, leading to Thursday’s Skippers Briefing and Count Down Party. The racing officially begins on Friday, with two Fleet Races and an evening party with live music. Saturday is when the majority of the action occurs, with Match Racing, Junior Sailing, Pirates Trail, Power Boat Rides, and a party with live music. The weekend ends with two Fleet Races, Pirates Trail, and – of course – a party with live music.
Staying on Grenada During the Events
Many visitors that come to the island during February for the various sailing events choose to turn it into a Caribbean vacation. It is not unusual for competitors to stay on after the events wrap up for some relaxation and restoration. With Laluna Resort’s Concierge Services, guests can easily have transport arranged back and forth to the various activities around the island, with a comfortable bed and delicious food to come home to when the day is done.