The Grenada Regatta
26 January 2008 | Grenada
We had met the folks on Helen Mary Gee a few days back when they helped us get the cross beam bolted back down on Swingin' on a Star. Paul and Helen are a wonderful couple from the south of England who have sailed to the Caribbean on their Sovereign 470. When they asked me to help out aboard Helen Mary Gee as they raced in the Grenada regatta I happily agreed. I'm not a big racing talent but I always enjoy helping out. We were in the cruising class so things would be focused on the fun side of competition, but competition all the same!
There were two other crew members aboard Helen Mary Gee, Matt who had crossed the Atlantic in the ARC with them and Georgy, the Mate on a charter racing Beneteau 40.4. Matt is about seven feet tall and knows the boat backwards and forwards. Georgy normally races on her Beneteau, Combat, but it was fully crewed for the Regatta with the Captain and the charter guests. This was fortunate for us because Georgy has considerable racing talents which were very valuable to the Helen Mary Gee team.
Paul came by at about 8AM, swung the port beam of HMG close enough to Swingin' on a Star for me to jump aboard and we were off. Most of the races take place on the south side of the island so we had to motor for a ways to get into the start zone. There were several Beneteau 40.4s in the racing class. They seem to have almost a one design popularity. The obligatory J Boats were involved, an open 60 was there for fun, many local boats were participating in their own races and there were several cruising boats.
The races were a lot of fun. We had three to run today. The crew was pretty motley and though our skipper tried hard to whip us into shape it took most of the day for us to get into a groove. We had some pretty clean tacks working by the last race and finished in decent standing. I don't think anyone aboard really cared how we did, it was all about the joy of racing just to race.
Paul brought HMG back to the Port Louis dock as the sun sunk low. Everyone was tired and ready for a cold drink. Within moments after we tied Helen Mary Gee up in her berth Paul and Helen produce some icey cold beers, the end of a perfect day.