Caribbean Racing Regattas
What’s it like to be part of the crew…
While watching America’s Cup you could imagine yourself there – reading the wind, grinding the wench, and waving to the fans during the victory lap? Don’t you wish you could be a part of that – a part of the crew? What’s it like? Is it hard work? Do you party like a pirate? Well, yes and no.
Get to know the boat and practice with the crew. “Don’t I need experience?” you might ask, “No” is the answer! LTD Sailing will have an instructor on board to walk you through the steps – no problem. You will get the opportunity to practice at all the positions: tactician, helmsmen, main trimmer, jib trimmer, pit crew, and most important of all – RAIL MEAT!
The skipper gets information on the courses to be raced, any special rules AND the SCHWAG BAG! The Schwag Bag could include the coveted RED CAP with the specific really cool Caribbean racing regatta name emblazed on the front. (Where THAT to the next yacht club meeting!) It could also include t-shirts, rum, etc. and maybe even a case of beer!
Check out the competition on the way to the mark. Are you anxious to get racing? LTD Sailing race clinic will have you ready to race! Once all the boats get to the mark the dance begins! Race boats sail around the committee boat like moths to a flame. Everyone is setting their watch, waiting for the flag sequence and listening for the blasts.
The Race Begins!
They’re off! Be the first to cross the line! But don’t go over early or else! It’s all about strategy and reading the wind. Watch the wind. Look for the dark line as it travels across the water. e water. Hopefully, you will get a lift to help propel the boat forward. If you hear someone yell “STARBOARD!” will you know what to do? When should you hike out?
Next Race Day
Back at it! What’s the weather like? Wind? What will be your tactic today? Make a plan then work the plan! Looking around you can see who may or may not have stayed out too late the night before. All part of the strategy!
TIME TO LIME! This is the Caribbean! Relax! Some regattas will have a lay day during the middle of the regatta. This gives the crew a chance to take a break or if you’re really competitive, go out and practice. The lay day usually has some type of other activity going on such as dingy races during Grenada Race week or classic workboat racing during Bequia Easter Regatta.
Party like a Pirate! Literally!
Most regattas will have a “Welcome” party to greet all the team members and make sure everyone is signed up. This often includes music and beverages (ok, rum!). At the end of each race day, there will be an award ceremony with music and beverages to follow. (Again, with the rum!) How big the party usually depends on who sponsors it. Examples: English Harbor Rum, Yachting World, Veuve Clicquot, Port Louis Marina, Mount Gay Rum – well, you get the idea! It’s ALWAYS a good time just beware the rum squall!
At the end of the week, you say goodbye to your teammates, stuff your schwag in your sea bag and head for home with amazing memories of the thrill of racing in the Caribbean. Oh, and don’t forget your red cap!!!