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Grenada Sailing Festival

The 12th Grenada Sailing Festival, which wrapped up just as All At Sea went to press, went way beyond putting the smile back on an island that’s been through the wringer this year. Somehow, against all the odds, the Spice Isle put on a great regatta. Held between Saturday 29 January and Monday 31, in 8-10 knots of breeze off the island’s beautiful south coast, a total of 18 boats in three classes took to the water to resume an annual battle that could so easily have skipped 2005. At the same time, a late flurry of entries meant 32 local boats competed in the Workboat Regatta, the low-technology, high-octane event where the island’s regions go head-to-head for national bragging rights. Class winners in the Workboat regatta qualified for a tense ‘sail-off’ in special GSF 16 one-design boats for the coveted Island Water World Skipper of the Year trophy.

The GSF started on a poignant note – a minute’s silence observed at the skipper’s briefing for the late Dougie Meyers from Trinidad, and the announcement that, for this year, lavish trophies would be replaced by locally made gifts.

In the Racing Class, 6 boats competed over three days in both windward/leeward and pursuit formats. Paul Solomon’s Enzyme turned form on its head to win the Mount Gay Cup and Heineken Cup Race Series over previous holder Disco Inferno, while a collision between these two on Sunday helped Paul Lewis’ Whistler take the GYC Festival Series.

10 boats in Cruising saw daily duels between Craig Dymock’s Jomani and Dieter Huppenkothen’s Rasmus, with honours even, while in the 2-boat Charter Class, Will Groenveld’s Inspiration was a consistent victor over Edwin Pullen on Longhorn.

In the workboat regatta, passions ran high and protests ran overtime, but Gouyave won the overall IWW Skipper of the Year award, beating off Sauteurs.

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