The Barbados J/24 Club founded in July 2007 has rejuvenated Barbados to the sport of sailing and yacht racing with its camaraderie and spirit of competition. The J/24 One Design fleet grew from 4 to 10 boats in just 14 months. And, most importantly, it's mission is to encourage and grow the recognition of the J/24 class throughout the Southern Caribbean and in in Barbados.
Following a convincing victory in the Barbados ISAF Nation's Cup Qualifiers, Team USA, skippered by Dustin Durant, will represent the Caribbean and Americas region in the 2013 Nations Cup J/24 yachting championship in Denmark.
Six teams took part in the United Insurance Nations Cup qualifiers which were hosted by the J/24 Club of Barbados and sailed over three days as an international regatta in Carlisle Bay.
The Canadians, skippered by Peter Wickwire, entered the final with 15 points, having defeated all rivals in the round-robin preliminaries, but encountered a more tactically-charged American team in an exciting tussle for the finals.
Durant and his crew, from Long-Beach California, grabbed the championship as they controlled the pre-start sequence and tactically stifled the Canadians in each of the three races in the finals.
The Canadians finished second overall while Team Puerto Rico, captained by Marco Texidor, were third after defeating Robert Povey's Barbados team 2-1 in the sail-off for third place.
The Barbadians, who made the semifinals and were defeated by Team Canada, won the first race in an impressive performance against the Puerto Ricans but were unable to subdue their more aggressive rivals and took fourth place.
"It was truly a new level of competition for us Barbadian sailors but it was also a fantastic week learning from our competitors from North America . It will certainly raise the bar for our local guys to achieve new heights. We look forward to meeting them again in the coming year," said Povey.
The lone female crew in the regatta, an American team skippered by Sandy Hayes, have also qualified for the Nations Cup Women Finals in Denmark as winners of the female division. Part of Sandy's team includes the famous bow/cockpit goddess, Martha Parker of TEAM ONE Newport- the world's leading foul-weather gear experts!
President of the J/24 Club Barbados, Greg Webster, said the International Sailing Federation Grade-2 event was a learning curve for local J/24 sailors and thanked all sponsors for helping to make it a success. Along with title-sponsors United Insurance, other support came from RL Seale, EarthWorks Pottery, 10 Saints Beer, the BYC, and RoseBank Apts.
"The pre-start sequence for each match was fantastic to watch as the competitors were very aggressive and the boats were in extreme close proximity to one another and the helmsmen were required to maintain the control of the boat with assistance from the crew in a precision manner so as to prevent fouls and penalties. It was great to watch and learn from the top international sailors. It was a successful event hosted by Barbados and many thanks to our sponsors and volunteers", he said. For more J/24 Barbados Nation's Cup sailing information