Grenada Round-the-Island Race and the Girl Pat Feeder Race
A little history
From the completion of the opening of the channel into St. George´s Lagoon in 1960, Grenada saw a growing number of pleasure boats anchoring in the yacht basin. On 5 January 1969, the Grenada Yacht Club held its first annual Tall Yachts Race; with 18 boats competing, making it one of the finest spectacles beheld in the Caribbean at that time.
The following year brought a steady stream of yachts of all sizes arriving in the basin all with the common goal - to take part in the second annual, now called, Round Grenada Race. Under the auspices of the West Indies Yachting Association, on 4 January 1970, The Grenada Yacht Club hosted the event with 33 entries, a number that exceeded all expectations. That year the yachts were divided into four classes. To allow the traditional yachts to stay in the running they were allowed to run their engines for two hours at the start.
Class 1 with 12 starters attracted the greatest interest and entries read like a global "Who´s Who" of successful racing yachts according to Mr. Alister Hughes with the Express Newspaper. A favorite was Stormvogle. A 73-foot ketch, it was a light displacement boat with a plywood hull and was one of the best known ocean racers in the world at the time with outstanding credits in Australia, Europe and the USA and in both the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic races. Another famous entry in Class 1 was Bolero, a 73-foot yawl built in 1952 for Mr. Nicholas Brown, the commodore of the New York Yacht Club and sponsor of the Americas Cup Race. She had previous wins in the New York to Bermuda Race and at one time held the record for the Newport to Bermuda Race. Also in Class 1 was the much debated 56-foot ketch, Sir Thomas Lipton. The winner and the only catamaran in the race, the 50-foot Archelios finished five minutes and 35 seconds ahead of Bolero.
This prestigious race was the forerunner for all the round the island races which take place in many of our neighboring islands today.
Seeing this popular race attracted many yachts from Trinidad. In the 1970s the Trinidad Sailing Association along with Bob Leverson and his famous Yacht Girl Pat organized a feederrace from Trinidad to Grenada. It became so popular that in order to accommodate all the entries the race was changed to the Easter holiday weekend.
1991 saw the last of the Grenada Round-the-Island Race until just recently when a whole new generation of young enthusiastic sailors decided a revival was most necessary and are working to breathe new life into the tradition.