We grabbed an opportunity to race in the annual regatta held on Carriacou as part of a week-long festival on the island. There are several classes of racing that include sailboats that we’re used to seeing as well as racing by locals on what are called “Working boats”. These are designs that the islanders traditionally use for fishing and other general commerce, but are most likely replaced in recent years by boats driven via outboard motors. We hooked up with Susie on S/V Spirited Lady, a beautiful wooden sailboat built in 2008 on the east coast of England based on a classic design. Susie has been in the Caribbean for over 9 years and races in all of the regattas hosted by various islands. The vessel’s elegance had us looking for the wait staff to serve tea and crumpets, but they never showed. Carl crewed on the first day’s race around the entire island of Carriacou limited to a helmsman and one crewperson, with a guest young person aboard to watch and experience the fun of ocean racing. Needless to say Carl was a bit tired after the first race was completed. Spirited Lady finished second across the line in her class but when handicaps were figured in she dropped to 6th.
On the second day Carrie joined the crew along with our friends Stu and Terry for a great race using small islands and rock formations around Carriacou as markers for the course. You don’t want to get too close to one of these markers! That’s Carrie at the helm while the crew dropped the Main Sail after crossing the finish line. A storm system that later was named Emily cut out the third race of the weekend as cruisers took their boats back to Grenada to prepare for any difficult weather; fortunately none occured. We thank Susie and Spirited Lady for the great opportunity to do some racing, Caribbean style.