Small, but perfectly formed

A report from Grenada Sailing Festival with photos by Onne van der Wal
Way down the Caribbean island chain…way, way down (100 miles north of Venezuela) lies Grenada. Some sailors think this far ‘down island’ is a bit too far - though a good number of sailors are onto the island's charm and found their way south this year. Around 300 competitors were on hand for the 16th edition of the Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival, a unique event that attracts racing and cruising sailors, as well as the local workboat community fleets. The race committee team delivered top-notch racing for the 35 boats competing in Racing, Cruising and Charter divisions. The 'modern' yacht racing portion consisted of a mix of windward/leeward, ocean triangles and a pursuit race. Courses were set in the flat waters on the islands’ leeward side off Grand Anse Beach, as well as off the southern coast, exposed to the full brunt of the trade winds and big ocean swells. There conditions were lively and the breeze fluctuated from 22-30+ knots in the squalls that continually swept down the coast. While the fleet is predominantly from the Caribbean - Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Antigua - but competitors also came from Austria, UK, Canada, US, and the Netherlands. Many of the boats were based at Peter de Savary’s newly opened mega-yacht resort and marina at Port Louis near the port of St. George’s. The Racing class was won by James Dobbs (ANT), on the J/122 Lost Horizon. Lost Horizon is a regular on the Caribbean regattas circuit, including Culebra, St Thomas (winning class at the International Rolex Regatta last year), BVI and Antigua. Dobbs and his partner Nicki have made lots of friends in their travels and have no trouble rounding up crew for racing. Which made Lost Horizon’s string of bullets - six out of eight races - even more