Senior Sports Reporter
The sister isle of Tobago will soon have its own Regatta ahead of the Great Race this year. It will be the first time a regatta will be held in Tobago.
President of the T&T Powerboat Association Jonathan Tardieu confirmed his association’s intention yesterday and said they are targeting April 21, which will be the date for the third regatta, for it to happen.
Tardieu said the idea is to allow the Tobago boats to have their day and have a home advantage at one of the regattas.
“Usually we have those Tobago boats that normally come down to race at the regattas, but now we want to show them how much we appreciate them by taking a regatta to them there,” Tardieu explained.
A proposal for this new development is being done currently for it to be submitted to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and other relevant persons.
Only recently, about five boats from the sister isle were accepted into a newly formed 50mph class category that takes place every year.
“ Apart from those boats, Blue Ice has been the lone Tobago boat competing at the Great Race regularly. However, the 50mph class boats have produced an interesting show. They are all about 14 feet in length with 115-size engines. They are called the zesser boats,” Tardieu explained.
Meanwhile, there will also be another change for the opening regatta which will take place on February 25 at Casters Cove in Chaguaramas. Tardieu said, in the interest of getting the participants out early this year, they have implemented a double-point system for racers.
The double-point system will enable racers to receive double points for their performance on the day, which will be put toward the crowning of the national champion boat and the top boat in the different classes. Tardieu said the biggest challenge is to get the boats out early to race.
The double-point system will be used for the fifth of the five regattas this year.
After the first regatta on February 25, the second, third, and fourth regattas will be on March 24 at the T&T Yacht Club, April 21 in Tobago, and May 19 at Casters Cove.
The final regatta will take place on June 22 at the yacht club, to be followed by the annual boat show that is held before the great race on August 3. Tardieu said this year, the great race has been moved to the third Saturday in August to alleviate the uncertainty of it being held on the penultimate week or the last week of the month, as some months have five weeks.
Because of the short time to put on the first regatta, Tardieu and his members have been having regular meetings to put things in place. He said from last year, they had to go from the great race straight into the Christmas season, and now to the Carnival season, so it leaves them with little to no time at all to prepare.