A yacht representing St Vincent placed second in the inaugural 500-mile offshore yacht race around the Windward Islands.
The Windward 500 is organised by the Caribbean Offshore Racing Club (CORC) and sails a 500-mile non-stop course around St Vincent, St Lucia, Martinique, Barbados and Grenada.
Yachts, representing their countries start and finish at their homeports but follow the same course.
The start line or “gate” in St. Vincent is off West Quay, Bequia, with all competitors having to pass through it. The route then heads to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, around Diamond Rock off Martinique, passing the Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados, and around Grenada and back to Bequia.
All yachts are tracked by satellite for safety and to ensure they complete the course correctly.
The sole St. Vincent entry was the yacht “Sweet Janina” from Blue Lagoon, skippered by Mark Wibberley.
“This is a great opportunity to establish SVG on the offshore sailing map. The Windward 500 will hopefully become an annual event with the potential to attract crews from all over the world,” Wibberley said of his yacht’s performance.
President of the SVG Sailing Association, Jenny Trumble said:
“We have worked hard with the organisers of this race for over six months and I’m so happy that, despite recent challenges, we managed to field a competitive entry to represent St Vincent.”
She added: “None of this would have been possible without the approval and support of Tourism Minister Hon. Carlos James, the Maritime Administration and the SVG Coastguard”.
The entry was sponsored by Medicinal, a local company supplying medical cannabis to the pharmaceutical industry.
For Sweet Janina the race started with the other competitors on May 17th at 10 a.m. and finished early May 20 at 1:00 a.m., having completed a total distance of 506 nautical miles.
In addition to 2nd place honours, Sweet Janina also held the record for the fastest time between St. Lucia and Martinique as well as Martinique to Barbados.
The winner was the yacht “Whistler” from Barbados, skippered by Peter Lewis.