Once again the 'little' sailing Club in Carlisle Bay put Barbados well and truly on the map and showed the world that anything is possible when you have a committed team of people and a lot of help!

The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race 2012 Once again the 'little' sailing Club in Carlisle Bay put Barbados well and truly on the map and showed the world that anything is possible when you have a committed team of people and a lot of help! The Barbados Cruising Club marked the birthday of 'The Dipper', father of our nation, and founder member of the Club by hosting the

2012 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on January 21st 2012.

With the headline race falling on a Saturday this year, we added an optional or warm up race into the programme on Thursday.  Our creativity was running dry as we named it 'The Two Restaurants Race' an 18 mile handicap with marks off two fine Barbados eateries - The Beach House on the West Coast and Tapas on the South.  Our two races, plus 3 days of socialising and briefings gave us a 5 day event, packed with fun, entertainment.... and sailing!  With thanks to the NCC and The Port Authority we opened up the centre of Bridgetown to yachts.  A 'Regatta Village' in Independence Square manned by BCC volunteers and the Chamberlain Bridge opening to allow our competitors in and out of the inner basin.  We all waited nervously for the first bridge opening, but we had nothing to fear as Tedroy pressed the button... and our first two visitors Happy Morning and Hurah made their way in.

The Two Restaurants Race: We gave Principal Race Officer Angus a nightmare with handicapping, but as always, nothing is too great a challenge.  A group start at 11am saw 5 yachts race from the BCC, up to the Beach House, back past the bay to Tapas and then returning to the BCC to finish.  Honours were taken by Stuart and Steph on Matador, followed by Adam and Mel on Liza and in third place Commodore Mike and crew with his trusty vessel Indigo!  Congratulations to you all.  After a day on the water it was time to return to the Club, where Z-Rox performed live down on the beach.

Time To Empty The Mount Gay Rum Warehouse:  Saturday saw the headline race, with 28 boats entered ranging from Wipers and Jerome with their 24 footers Jabulani and Jump Up, to Tres Hombres, the 32 metre trading brigantine currently visiting Barbados as part of her Caribbean adventure.  First starts at 7am saw our competitors racing out of the bay, and by then we knew the wind was good and the conditions excellent.  We smiled knowing the records would tumble.  Our friends at Mount Gay Rum collectively held their breath wondering quite how empty the warehouse would be come Monday morning!  The work put into staggering the start times paid off as many of the smaller boats and early starters held their positions ahead of the pack right the way along the East Coast to Ragged Point.  We were sorry to see 3 retirements on the water, Lantana, Ten Seven and Cat O Nine.  All eyes were glued to the tracking screen as we watched the orange blob of Idea catch the fleet, the green of Tres Hombres heading off into the distance and the little crown marking the lead boat being handed between Fancy Sailor and Asmara!  We worried (for no reason) about the BCC boys on Silver Bullet who's tracker gave us a scare. With great coverage on the radio and television, and of course at viewing points around the coast we watched the excitement and watched the clock.  A simply superb race from Bruggadung saw them cross the finish line first, but the excitement continued as the first 8 boats finished within 25 minutes of each other, with a real on the line battle between Idea and Juno.  The crack of two spinnakers shredding as the line was crossed was only marginally louder than the cheers that went out when Silver Bullet crossed the line.  Our last finisher - Tres Hombres made it back to the bay shortly before 10pm.  By then, the party was in full swing and the rum was flowing.  Simply put, a fabulous day on the water. The Records:  Six Round Barbados records were broken on Saturday.  And six skippers won their weight in Extra Old Mount Gay Rum.  The Hall of Fame is rewritten.  Only the existing 40 foot and under and the schooner records set by Katanga and Elena last year remained.

Absolute Monohull: Idea, Reichel Pugh Maxi 78 foot.  Skipper Tony McBride.  Time 5 hours 3 minutes 34 seconds Absolute Multihull: Silver Bullet, Roberts 30 foot Supercat. Skipper Bryn Palmer. Time 4 hours 24 minutes 27 seconds.

Monohull 60 foot and under: Rapajam, Beneteau 53 foot.

Skipper Ralph Johnson. Time 6 hours 16 minutes 27 seconds.

Monohull 35 foot and under: Bruggadung, Beneteau First 10 metre. Skipper Paul Johnson. Time 6 hours 62 minutes 27 seconds Double Handed: Immigrant, Custom Dubois 40 foot.  Skipper Dave Staples. Time 8 hours 19 minutes 25 seconds.

Single Handed: Jabulani, J24, Skipper Peter Hoad. Time 9 hours 49 minutes 58 seconds.

We held our Prize Giving in the beautiful setting of the Beach House, St James on Sunday evening.  All eyes were on the record holders and the rather large stack of rum awarded to them.  But you know, it's not just about the winners.  The saying goes, there's no prize for finishing second (well there was!) - but you know what I mean, there are an awful lot of people out there who deserve a mention.  The Barnacle budget doesn't run to crates of rum, or to beautiful silver trophies (thank you Nigel!)..... but we'd like to award the highest Barnacle Honour... The Barnacle Gold Star to....

Our Alternate Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Hall of Fame Stars!To Jerome on Jump Up.  He planned to go single handed, but a major technical disaster on launch kept him out of the race.

To Matador, Deliverance and Hurah our 'live aboards'. It's one thing entering your racing yacht in a race, but entering what is technically your home is a whole different ball game!

To Kris and Yvonne from Miele, who made our online tracking a reality.

To Ian who answered my frantic plea to find a last minute set of scales to weigh our skippers, and to Franz for weighing them.

To Leonora, the most musical yacht to finish the race.

To our friends at the Yacht Club who helped us out with all those things we don't yet have to hand.

To Bruce Robinson with the crew of  Mandy, it was great to see a 30 foot Hunter in the race..... though sadly I now worry that Commodore Mike will enter his next year!

To Mike T and the crew of Asmara, who I never expected to start, and never expected to finish!

To all 5 double handed entries - Mo Guffy, Deliverance, Hurah, Immigrant and Matador.  You all broke the previous record.  Great sailing guys!

To Cat O Nine and Phoenix who dared to challenge the legend that is Silver Bullet.

To Charlie H whose efforts single handedly closed the US Embassy on Saturday by entering every staff member as crew in the race.

To our new friends Sam and Jacko, Mr Lancelot and Mr Lancelot who we sent on an extra adventure after the Saturday race.

To Fancy Sailor, Whistler and Bruggadung, the little boats that stormed the course and kept their positions ahead of the pack.

To TropicBird and her hastily assembled crew who braved their first ever race in the Two Restaurants.

To our 4 youth sailors who completed the race aboard Tres Hombres To the Mount Gay Girls who stepped forward and jumped on Happy Morning for their first ever sail.

To Tedroy.... the man with the button who opens the bridge.

To Tony from Idea who took the Commodore on as crew for the race, flew the BCC burgee..... and returned him safely at the end.

And finally to the warehouse manager at Mount Gay Rum who opened the doors on Sunday morning.... and emptied the place of rum With ThanksTo our event sponsors, Mount Gay Rum, The Barbados Tourism Authority, LIMEtv, The Loomba Foundation, The Beach House, Miele, Port Louis Marina, Indigo Island and Diamonds International.

To the Barbados Government, Ministers and Sen.

Gilkes who have supported us throughout.

To The NCC and Port Authority for the use of Independence Square and The Inner Basin.

To Joe Whipple, Commodore Mike, The Dive Shop and Tapas for organising the Two Restaurants Race.

To our Principal Race Officer Angus and Chief Judge Pat.

To the staff of Dippers and The Beach House for looking after us on shore To Ron Joyce and Bizzy Williams for putting their beautiful motor yachts Destination Fox Harb'r Too and Princess Hope at our disposal.

To the Coastguard and Police Force for their continued support throughout the event.

To Charlie Bell and his team who kept us safe and secure in town.

To The Combermere Steel Pan Orchestra, Z-Rox, DJ Mates, DJs Trixta and Emiro and the VSOP for entertaining us.

And of course to all of you who volunteered in any role, be it in the village or for car park raking, painting and weeding!

The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race will be back.... January 21st 2013.  And next year it will be bigger and better yet again!

Photo Of The Week

 If you've got photo's send them through.  With thanks to BIM media group for Silver Bullet flying and Idea our absolute record holders. Malcolm G for the aboard Tropic Bird in the 2 Restaurants and our judges relaxing.  Mike who captured Franz trying his hand at opening the bridge and Malcom again for Happy Morning, first into the inner basin.  Carrie Z for the Lancelot start and Tres Hombres... and one I pinched off Commodore Mike's camera of Tony, Idea's skipper with rather a lot of rum!

This Week Wednesday:  It's quiz night. Sharpen your pencils and delve into the depths of your CD collection.  From 8pm with Quiz Man Terry.  Prizes for 1st, 2nd and last but one.  $5 per head means Terry doesn't go hungry.  Teams of up to 6 people.

On The Horizon

January 29th: Taylors Cycle Centre Dinghy Regatta out of the BYC February 5th: CGI J24 Regatta out of the BYC ~ Special Offers ~

It's great being a member of the Barbados Cruising Club. With thanks to the following companies and organisations who make our members feel loved!

LRN2Sail Barbados offer members a 10% discount on fees for the kids after school sailing club.Barbados Blue Watersports offer members special rates on jetski rentals, scuba courses, snorkel tours, kayaks and dive courses. Phone 246 434 5764 for pricing details.IGYMarinas - Rodney Bay offer members a 10% discount on marina fees.  Speak to Ian or Mike at the club for contact details.The Beach House, St James.