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SPORTING BARBADOS 2016 EDITION

/ w w w. s p o r t i n g b a r b a d o s . c o m


Mechanical chronograph movement, Self-winding, IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre, 68-hour power reserve, Date display, Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds, Flyback function, Sapphire glass, See-through sapphire-glass back, Water-resistant 6 bar, Diameter 43.5 mm


CONTENTS

CONTENTS 112 - A ROLLERCOASTER OF A DAY

6 - INTRODUCTION

AT BUSHY PARK

8 - FOREWORD 10 - FOREWORD

118 - SAILING DAYS IN BARBADOS

12 - SPORTING CONTACTS

128 - SURFING DAYS

26 - LAZY DAYS AT THE BEACH

132 - deACTION DAY

32 - EXPLORING DOWNTOWN

138 - EVERYDAY WATERSPORT ACTION

BRIDGETOWN 36 - A DAY SPENT SHOPPING

142 - A CATCHY DAY

44 - RAMBLING AROUND HISTORIC

144 - UNFORGETTABLE DAYS WITH SUNKEN TREASURES

GARRISON 50 - A FULL DAY

148 - LIVELY FOOTIE

56 - ‘GLORIOUS GARRISON’ RACEDAYS

152 - RUGBY DAY ACTION

66 - GLITZ & FIZZ AT POLO

156 - TRIATHALON SUNDAY

76 - DAYS, RAYS & FAIRWAYS

160 - RUN EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR

86 - SPORTING CELEBRITY GOLF DAY

164 - PLAYED ON THE ROAD

88 - DAYS (& NIGHTS) WITH BOUNCERS, YORKERS & MAIDENS 102 - A DAY AT SOL RALLY BARBADOS

EVERYDAY 168 - BIKING DAYS OF OUR LIVES 172 - PEACEFUL CONGO ROAD 174 - 2016 SPORTING CALENDAR

Cover Image by Peter Marshall

Credits Publisher – Hiltop Publications Ltd, 11 Cottage Ridge, St George, Barbados, BB19071 Tel (246) 228-9122 Fax (246) 228-0243 Email sportingb@caribsurf.com www.sportingbarbados.com www.barbadospropertynews.com www.caribbeanpropertymag.com Editor – Pamela L Hiles Editorial – J Clarence Hiles, Pamela L Hiles, Mark Wheeler Advertising – Pamela L Hiles Photography – J Clarence Hiles, Pamela L Hiles, Peter Marshall, Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, Sandy Lane Hotel, Apes Hill Golf Club, BTMI,

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Bob Crockett, Best of Barbados, David Speiler, Himal Reece, Gerrard Wilson, Roberto Hardie, Corey Reece, Nicholas Bhajan, Charles Osbourne, Kenmore Bynoe, Caribbean Aerial Photography, Zary & Kristina Evelyn, Alan Burke & Brian Talma Design and Art Direction – Neil Barnard at 809 Design Associates, Barbados Distribution – Hiltop Publications Ltd, CITO Distribution (UK) Printed in the UK The Material and editorial contained in this publication was deemed correct at the time of going to print but may be subject to change thereafter. No part of this publication should be reproduced without the consent of the publishers.

Copyright 2016 Sporting Barbados


INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

We pride ourselves in Sporting Barbados on our ever-changing dynamic and the 2016 edition will follow this trend as the pages are full of vibrant and high quality photographs that cover many sporting and leisure activities. We also change the editorial theme annually and this year we have used the concept of “a day out” and embraced a plethora of activities and events, including shopping and sightseeing. Sporting Barbados is a sports tourism magazine and although it is tempting to fill the pages with sporting events, we recognize that even the most enthusiastic sports visitor wants to enjoy some of the other attractions our idyllic island has to offer. For years sand, sea and sunshine were big enough attractions to bring thousands of visitors from all over the world to our shores, but the modern tourist is a much more discerning individual and is looking for added value for their spend. We hope through the pages of Sporting Barbados we have highlighted enough gems to entice you to visit our little rock of paradise in the Caribbean, or if you have been before, then to entice you back. Barbados has probably the highest percentage of return visitors than any other international destination, so we value the loyalty. 2016 will be a very special year in the history of Barbados as it marks the 50th Anniversary of Independence. To commemorate the occasion Hiltop Publications will be publishing a high quality coffee table book featuring 50 Sporting Greats who have made an 6 • www.sportingbarbados.com

outstanding contribution to Barbados in that time through personal achievement or exceptional service. More details can be found on our website www.sportingbarbados.com Many of the world’s best sportspeople visit Barbados and it seems every year we host a world championship. In March 2016 we welcome the GP14 sailing community to beautiful Carlisle Bay for their World Championships and this will bring back special memories for two of the island’s most distinguished sailors Jackie Hoad and Bill Tempro, who won the first GP14 World Championships in Canada in 1967. This will be our 19th edition of Sporting Barbados and over the years we have worked hard to build a team that is as passionate as ourselves in promoting the sports tourism product of Barbados. Our team includes Government Ministers the Rt. Hon. Richard Sealy and the Hon. Stephen Lashley, who work tirelessly in their respective Ministries, Neil Barnard and his excellent design team at 809 Design, photographers Kenmore Bynoe and Peter Marshall for some amazing shots, Clarence Hiles for his editorial, various contributors throughout sport and tourism, and the most important members of the team-the advertisers. Sporting Barbados could not happen without our advertisers and to them we offer our sincere thanks for sharing the vision of a unique publication that has no equal in global tourism. As a reader you can get this high quality publication free of charge and you can also access it from anywhere in the world through our website www.sportingbarbados.com. This year, with the kind sponsorship from the Tourism Development Corporation, we are able to produce Sporting Barbados on a specially printed stick to be used at trade shows for travel agents and tour operators. Please enjoy and if you require any further advice or assistance do not hesitate to contact us though our Facebook page or by email at sportingb@caribsurf.com Pamela Hiles Editor

CONTRIBUTORS CLARENCE HILES Feature Writer Clarence is the Feature Writer in all Hiltop Publications magazines and has a wealth of journalistic experience and business acumen covering finance, real estate, consultancy and sport. NEIL BARNARD 809 Neil has been the design talent behind Sporting Barbados since inception and is one of the most talented designers in the Caribbean.

PETER MARSHALL Photographer A popular Barbados businessman Peter turned a passion for photography into a successful hobby on retirement with sailing at the top of his favourite subjects.

KENMORE BYNOE - Photographer Since 1982 Kenmore Bynoe has been known as 'The Voice' of volleyball but after taking up photography he has earned the status of number one sports photographer in Barbados.

Log onto www.sportingbarbados.com for up to date news on events in Barbados!


FOREWORD

Foreword by the Hon. Richard Sealy, M.P. Minister of Tourism and International Transport

I am delighted once again to make a contribution to the prestigious magazine, “Sporting Barbados”. It is a magazine which holds interest for locals and visitors alike. Although the magazine normally speaks to the various sporting activities that take place on the island, this year I wish to focus specifically on the editor’s theme “What’s in a Day”. Indeed, as we leaf through “Sporting Barbados” , it is clear that there is no shortage of activities to pursue on any given day in Barbados. We can boast a very dynamic destination which seeks to provide its visitors with more fulfilling experiences. To achieve this, Barbados has diversified its tourism product and developed niche markets that attract visitors both in the traditional season and off-peak periods. We can also boast that as a destination we appeal to every category of traveler, given the range of land and water based attractions and activities. There are currently many attractions on record which are marketed by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporation. These consist primarily of soft adventure, cultural activities, built heritage and natural assets. “In a day”, the sports enthusiast or thrill seeker can enjoy watersports, the island safari, horse-back riding, swimming with the turtles, visits to museums, plantation great houses, historic churches, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, Harrisons Cave, Atlantis Submarines and Welchman Hall Gully, to mention a few. Equally, the visitor can immerse himself in our culture and interact with our locals. Specifically in the field of sports, Barbados is no doubt one of the leading countries in the arena of cricket. Just recently the 27th Annual Sir Garfield Sobers Invitational Schools Cricket Tournament was launched and, with its focus on youth, guarantees our future in cricket. 8 • www.sportingbarbados.com

Barbados has also just concluded it’s leg of the Caribbean Premier League at Kensington Oval having won four of the seven matches played to date. Regionally, Barbados is known in other sporting disciplines such as volleyball, lawn and table tennis, golf, marathon, yachting, surfing, motor racing, rallying, horse racing and polo and more recently road tennis which has been receiving considerable international exposure. In terms of sailing, Barbados will play host to the 2016 GP14 World Championship in March-April and the Barbados 50 Sailing Odyssey. But even the sporting enthusiast needs to take a rest. I invite visitors to dine at our excellent restaurants, as Barbados has earned the reputation for being the culinary capital of the Caribbean. We offer diverse and eclectic culinary experiences in settings that range from fine-dining to casual beachside bistros, roadside barbeques and community fish frys. The period June to August is the highlight of our Crop Over festival. There are the usual calypso tents, showcasing the calypsonians at their best, the nightly parties, : events such as “Pan Pun De Sand”; “Soca on the Hill”; ‘The Soca Royale”; the Pic-O-De-Crop Semi-Finals and Pic-O-De-Crop Finals of the Calypso competitions; ‘The Foreday Morning Jam” and culminating with the ‘Grand Kadooment”, all exposing Barbadian culture and heritage. Indeed taking all elements into account, it can be truly and unequivocally trumpeted that when the focus is on our beautiful island Barbados, there is really no need to ask what’s in a day – everything is!


FOREWORD

Foreword by the Honourable Stephen A. Lashley, M.P. Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth It is my pleasure to congratulate the principals of Sporting Barbados on this excellent sports tourism publication, which encapsulates the uniqueness of Barbados and shares its secrets with the world. Especially commendable is this year’s theme “What’s in a Day”, which for Barbados includes a menu of delicacies for sports adventurers and lovers of fun. Those who enjoy water oriented activities will find a platter of attractions, ranging from sports fishing, scuba and snorkel diving to exploring the shipwrecks and their kaleidoscopic array of fish and fauna or simply swimming with the turtles. Of course there is the high speed jet-ski riding, water skiing, surfing at the infamous Bathsheba Soup Bowl and many other types of surfing and sailing for those preferring a more exhilarating adventure. Persons who are not desirous of getting wet and the non swimmers can navigate the colourful splendour of the undersea world aboard our glass bottom boats and submarines, or choose to remain on our pristine beaches for a game of beach football, cricket, paddleball or the many other exciting beach sports. I must highlight that Barbados is renowned for the hosting of local, regional and international tournaments ranging from golf to polo, horse racing and cycling to motorsports and a variety of martial sports and ball games, all a part of the 62 sporting disciplines on offer in Barbados. These sports are also available in bite sizes or as main courses, for the consumption of the amateur, professional, friends, families or persons simply seeking to have fun. I must add that persons who wish to escape their winter seasons and enjoy any of these sporting delicacies as a daily staple can do so in the beautiful weather in Barbados. The connoisseurs of cricket and all curious 10 • www.sportingbarbados.com

others may become immersed in cricket history by visiting the world renowned historic Kensington Oval, cricketing home of Sir Garfield Sobers – the world’s greatest cricketer; the 3Ws Oval, located on the grounds of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies and named in memory of the great Barbados and West Indies cricketers - Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and in honour of Sir Everton Weekes; or enjoy a voyage through cricket history at the Legends of Barbados Cricket Museum. No sporting menu in Barbados would be complete without the road-tennis experience, a fast paced and exciting tennis game that is indigenous to our shores. This easy-to-play game caters to the young and young at heart, and provides a thrill for spectators of all ages. As the sun sets on each day of Barbadian sporting adventure, one can unwind with an infamous Bajan cocktail and a game of dominoes, draughts or another mind sport, or even enjoy a game of warri – one of the oldest board games in the world. The Government of Barbados continues its strategic focus on building out sports as a full fledged industry and we welcome the consistent publication of ‘Sporting Barbados”. I am therefore happy once more to congratulate the publishers on yet another inspiring publication.


SPORTING CONTACTS

SPORTING CONTACTS BALL SPORTS

COMBAT GAMES

TARGET SPORTS

CRICKET: BARBADOS CRICKET ASSOCIATION President: Joel Garner CEO: Deighton Smith Tel: 246 274 1325 Add: Kensington Oval, Fontabelle, St. Michael theoffice@bca.org.bb www.bcacricket.org www.windiescricket.com

JUDO: BARBADOS JUDO ASSOCIATION President: Hoskins Caddle President Tel: 246 436 2608 (h) 246 263 7792 (c) www.barjudo.com president@barjudo.com/ hoskins@caribsurf.com

ARCHERY: BARBADOS ARCHERY ASSOCIATION President: John Annel Tel: 246 437 9479/429 1998 johnannel@gmail.com www.barbadosarchery.org

TAEKWONDO: TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Anthony Williams taekwondo@olympic.org.bb

SHOOTING: BARBADOS RIFLE ASSOCIATION President: Michael Holder Secretary: Brian Hennis Tel: 246 428 0158 Add: PO Box 608, Bridgetown, St. Michael info@barbadosrifleassociation.com

BASKETBALL: BARBADOS AMATEUR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION President: Derrick Garrett Tel: 246 2431517 barbadosbasketball@olympic.org.bb NETBALL: BARBADOS NETBALL ASSOCIATION President Nisha Craigwell Tel246 231 4344 (c) netballbarbados@olympic.org.bb FOOTBALL: BARBADOS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION President: Randolph Harris Tel: 246 228 1707 Add: BFA Artificial Turf, Wildey Complex, Wildey, St. Michael www.barbadosfa.com office@barbadosfa.com GOLF: BARBADOS GOLF ASSOCIATION President: Cally Boyea Tel: 246 2301945 Secretary: Trenton Weekes Tel: 246 836 9969 www.barbadosgolfassociation.com bga@caribsurf.com RUGBY: BARBADOS RUGBY CLUB President: George Nicholson gnicholson@adebbarbados.com scopeland@jadagroup.com www.rugbybarbados.com HOCKEY: BARBADOS HOCKEY FEDERATION INC President: David Rouse Tel: 246 233 www.barbadoshockey.org Email: bhf@barbadoshockey.org president@barbadoshockey.org - Mr David Rouse secretariat@barbadoshockey.org - Mr Kofi Hinds secretary

KARATE: THE BARBADOS KARATE ASSOCIATION- BARBADOS SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB President: Paul Bernstein www.Shotokanbarbados.com 246 435 6734 FENCING; THE BARBADOS FENCING CLUB Contact: Jospeh Rodriguez Tel: 246 425 1360/ 246 243-7878 (c) bacflip@yahoo.com AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Anthony Jones Tel: 246 258 9833 captainj@caribsurf.com BAT AND RACKET SPORTS ROAD TENNIS: PROFESSIONAL ROAD TENNIS ASSOCIATION Contact: Dale Clarke Tel: 246 2453953 proroadtennis@hotmail.com/ proroadtennis2@gmail.com www.proroadtennis.com

THE BARBADOS RIFLE & PISTOL FEDERATION INC. President: Antonio Rudder info@rifleandpistol.org Tel 246 427 0966 www.rifleandpistol.org International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Geoffrey Browne, President geoff@ipscbarbados.com Tel 246 262 9984 www.ipscbarbados.com KENDAL SPORTING Contact: Richard Bradshaw www.gokendal.net kendalsports@caribsurf.com Tel: 246 437 5306 BARBADOS CLAY TARGET SHOOTING ASSOCIATION Contact: Bruce Skeete Tel: 246 231 1619 bskeete@caribsurf.com www.bctsa.com HEALTH AND FITNESS

TABLE TENNIS: BARBADOS TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Ray Jackman Tel: 246 838 9506 barbadostabletennisassociation@gmail.com

SURFSIDE WELLNESS GYM Tel: 246 436 1024/ 246 436 5669 Add: Unit 1B, 5 Wildey Industrial Estate, St. Michael admin@surfsidewellness.com www.surfsidewellness.com

BARBADOS TENNIS ASSOCIATION INC. President: Dr Raymond Forde Tel: 246 433 3889 raydoc@caribsurf.com/ tennisbarbados@caribsurf.com www.tennisbarbados.org

BARBADOS BODY BUILDING AND FITNESS FEDERATION Contact: Shirley Garnes Tel: 246 424 0888 Add: PO Box 383, Bridgetown, St. Michael

SPORTING CONTACTS

BARBADOS BALL HOCKEY LEAGUE Stevmar House, Suite 1 Rockley, Christ Church Barbados WI BB15137 www.barbadosballhockey.com info@barbadosballhockey.com

VOLLEYBALL: BARBADOS VOLLEYBALL ASSOCIATION President: John Griffith Tel: 246 429 1998 (w) 246 428 1243 (h) 246 266 4818 (c) jfgriffith@olympic.org.bb www.volleybarbados.com

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SQUASH: BARBADOS SQUASH ASSOCIATION President: Mr. William “Monty” Cumberbatch m_cumberbatch@live.com Tel: 246 230 5065 Secretary: Mr. Don Bennsquashbarbados@olympic.org.bb International Delegate: Craig Archer www.squashbarbados.org

BARBADOS BADMINTON ASSOCIATION Contact: Mr. Kevin Wood (President) / Mr. Mervyn Gordon (Secretary) Telephone: {President} (246) 420-1800(w)/2317390(c) {Secretary} 437-1305(h)/420-1902(w) Address: P.O. Box 659, Bridgetown, Barbados www.barbadosbadminton.com Email: bba.association@gmail.com

BARBADOS AMATEUR GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION President: Douglas Patrick Luke Tel: 246 822 3218 douglaspatrickluke@me.com MIND GAMES

DOMINOES: BARBADOS NATIONAL DOMINO WHIST & HEARTS CLUBS’ ASSOCIATION President: Callam Barnard Tel: 246 235 3543 General Secretary: Mrs. Veda De Bellotte Tel: 246 249 2224 WARRI Contact: Lee Farnum-Badley leefarnumbadley@gmail.com Tel: 246 432 1292


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SPORTING CONTACTS

SPORTING CONTACTS BRIDGE: BARBADOS BRIDGE LEAGUE Contact: Roglyn Hinds Tel: 246 231 0149 roglyn@caribsurf.com/ barbadosbridge@gmail.com www.barbadosbridge.org

BARBADOS SAILING ASSOCIATION Contact: Ms. Renata Goodridge Tel: 246 233 2170 renatabdos@gmail.com www.sailbarbados.com

Barbados Chess Federation Contact: Rohan Waithe Tel: 246 269 3607 www.barbadoschess.org

SURFING

TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS President: Catherine Jordan Tel: 246 427 4684/ 246 262 1071 Fax: 246 427 2658 aabarbados@caribsurf.com www.aabarbados.com BARBADOS OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION INC. Contact: Erskine Simmons Tel: 246 429 1998 www.olympic.org.bb info@olympic.org.bb SPECIAL OLYMPICS (BARBADOS) Arbor House, #23 James Street, Bridgetown, Barbados Tel: 246 426 9064 Website: www.specialolympicsbarbados.org PR Edward Thompson: 246 423 0967 (h) 246 825 0021 (c) publicrelations@specialolympicsbarbados.org BARBADOS FEDERATION OF ISLAND TRIATHLETES President: Peter Gibbs Tel: 246-428-3211 or 246 840-1233 pgibbs1947@hotmail.com http://www.triathlonbarbados.com SWIMMING BARBADOS AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION President: Andrew Kirby Facilities Manager: Robert Armstrong Tel: 246 429 7946 basa@caribsurf.com www.swimbarbados.com

BARBADOS JUNIOR SURFING CLUB President: Alan Burke Tel 246 2302456 Email burkesinc@caribsurf.com NSSA Caribbean Conference Executive Director: Alan Burke Director: Gregory Rose www.nssa.org WINDSURFING AND WATER FESTIVAL Contact: Brian Talma Tel: 246 428 6596 www.briantalma.pro BARBADOS KAYAK AND CANOE FEDERATION Contact: Nicholas Neckles Tel: 246 256 3848 nickneckles_@hotmail.com DIVING: DIVE HIGHTIDE WATERSPORTS Contact: Martyn Norsworthy or Gavin Smith Coral Reef Club, Holetown, St James info@divehightide.com www.divehightide.com Tel 800 970 0016/ 246 432 0931 MOTOR SPORT BARBADOS MOTORING FEDERATION Contact: Andrew Mallalieu Tel: 246 266 3791 andrew.mallalieu@terracaribbean.com BARBADOS RALLY CLUB: Sol RALLY BARBADOS Contact: Jeanne Crawfordrallyoffice@rallybarbados.net Add: PO Box 71, Bridgetown, St. Michael www.rallybarbados.net

BARBADOS EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION President: Mrs. Monique Archer Tel: 246 422 0607/ 246 262 3754 (c) monique@archershall.com/ barbadosequestrian@gmail.com www.barbadosequestrian.com SOME USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS THE BARBADOS TURF CLUB The Garrison, St. Michael Tel: 246 626 3980 www.barbadosturfclub.org BARBADOS POLO CLUB AT HOLDER’S HILL www.barbadospoloclub.com Tel: 246 432-1802/ 246 230-1308/ 236 437-5410 CLIFTON POLO CLUB Tel: 246 433 8800/ 246 826 POLO bbayley@insurecgi.com APES HILL POLO CLUB Tel: 246 432 9550/ 246 262-3282 info@apeshillpolo.com LION CASTLE POLO CLUB Tel: 246 427 0022 cps1@sunbeach.net NATIONAL SPORTS COUNCIL Contact: Ryan Toppin Tel: 246 430 7700 http://www.nscbarbados.com/ Email: nsc-bdos@caribsurf.com NATIONAL STADIUM AT WATERFORD Tel: 246 426 0627 YMCA Tel: 246 426 3910/ 246 435 2230 ymca_bdos@caribsurf.com YWCA Tel: 246 425 7308/ 236 425 6290 ywca@sunbeach.net

SPORTING CONTACTS

GAME FISHING

BARBADOS GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION Contact: Dennis Marsh or Craig Batstone Add: PO Box 80, Bridgetown, St. Michael info@barbadosgamefishing.com www.barbadosgamefishing.com YACHTING

BARBADOS SURFING ASSOCIATION President: Christopher Clarke Secretary: Margot Tuach- 246 231 0296 secretary@barbadossurfingassociation.org www.barbadossurfingassociation.org

EQUESTRIAN

BARBADOS YACHT CLUB Tel: 246 427 1125 Add: Bay Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael byc@caribsurf.com www.barbadosyachtclub.com

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BARBADOS AUTO RACING LEAGUE barl@barl.com.bb www.barl.com.bb Tel 246 266 2344 CYCLING

BARBADOS CYCLING UNION President: Mr. Keith Yearwood Tel: 246 248 1299 keitheyearwood@hotmail.com www.barbadoscyclingunion.org

BARBADOS TOURISM MARKETING INC Tel: 246 427 2623 www.visitbarbados.org Barbados- btainfo@visitbarbados.org UK- btauk@visitbarbados.org Canada- canada@visitbarbados.org Miami- btamiami@visitbarbados.org New York- btany@visitbarbados.org Los Angeles- btany@visitbarbados.org

BARBADOS NATIONAL TRUST – HIKE BARBADOS Tel 246 436-9033 Email reservations@hikebarbados.com/ hikebarbados@yahoo.com www.hikebarbados.com Barbados Hash House Harriers www.barbadoshash.com


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Elegance is an attitude Simon Baker

Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St. James Tel: 271-8228 Lower Broad Street, Bridgetown Tel: 430-2412 Grantley Adams International Airport Tel: 418-2300

Conquest Classic Moonphase


SPORTING IMAGES

Triathalon start Photo: Clarence Hiles 16 • www.sportingbarbados.com


SPORTING IMAGES

Chelsea Tuach at Soup Bowl, Barbados Photo: Ozzy Osbourne 18 • www.sportingbarbados.com


Š 2015 John Hardy Limited

Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St.James T: 271 8230 Lower broad St, Bridgetown T: 430-2400 The Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ Church T: 418-2300 www.DiamondsInternational.com


SPORTING IMAGES

Race of Champions 2014, Bushy Park Barbados Photo: Gerrard Wilson 20 • www.sportingbarbados.com


SPORTING IMAGES

Kim Holder - Barbadian road tennis champion. Photo: Kenmore Bynoe 22 • www.sportingbarbados.com


SPORTING IMAGES

‘Monster Project’ Mount Gay Round the Island Race Photo: Neil Barnard 24 • www.sportingbarbados.com


THE BEACH

LAZY DAYS AT THE BEACH Many visitors come to Barbados specifically to spend their holiday on the beach and for an island that has built its reputation on sand, sea and sunshine we have plenty to offer. There are over 30 beaches that are worth visiting and several others a little off the beaten path, but well worth the extra effort to find them. Alternatively, if you’ve found the beach that suits you best then why look outside the box? Barbados has four coastlines with very different characteristics and cultures. The North Coast is rugged and pounded by the Atlantic winds and waves so it is not the place to seek out a relaxing beach. The East Coast is just as vibrant, but the beach is protected by huge natural rock formations close to the shore that create large breakers, as the waves get closer to land. This makes it ideal for surfing and the long strand perfect for walking and picnics, but not for swimming. The West Coast is placid for most of the year and the perfect coast for lazy days soaking up the sunshine under clear blue skies. The South Coast is a mixture of both east and west coast cultures and features the beaches with the most action. All the holiday brochures promote the serene West Coast beaches in their full glory and from dawn to dusk most days of the year they are idyllic. Sunsets are spectacular with many visitors gathering in 26 • www.sportingbarbados.com


THE BEACH

bars and lounges for cocktails just as the final glimpse of the sun disappears, hoping to catch a view of the mythical green flash. Sandy Lane Beach and Paynes Bay Beach are in the heart of St James and best known for spotting celebrities or their famous yachts. All beaches have public access in Barbados, but some are easier to get to than others. Mullins Beach further north and close to Speightstown is very popular with visitors because it offers watersports and the famous Mullins Beach Bar, while north of Speightstown there are long stretches of beautiful beach including Heywood’s Beach and Port St. Charles, most of it sparsely populated. Coming down the West Coast towards Bridgetown the Fitts Village Beach, Brighton Beach and Brandons Beach are more popular with locals than tourists, although being close to the port many cruise ship visitors walk to Brandons 28 • www.sportingbarbados.com

because they can see it from their ship. Carlisle Bay on the south side of Bridgetown is perhaps geographically on the South West Coast, but it is widely known as a South Coast Beach. It is arguably the best beach in Barbados and stretches from the Barbados Hilton Hotel to the mouth of the Careenage. It is usually full of activity, but because it stretches so far there is plenty of space to chill out or get involved in one of the many watersports activities that take place every day. The bay is littered with small boats and craft and there are plenty of eating and drinking options onshore. The South Coast Road is a busy part of the island with numerous hotels, shops and restaurants and the beaches stretch from Hastings to St Lawrence Gap and Maxwell Coast Road. Most visitors tend to go to the nearest beach so a lot depends on your hotel location. Drill Hall Beach just

east of the Barbados Hilton Hotel typifies many of the South Coast beaches as it normally has light waves, but sometimes they swell and can be good for surfing. Accra Beach is probably the most active and most populated beach in Barbados because it has all the onshore facilities close-by, including lifeguards, hotels, toilets, shops, restaurants, bars, taxis, Chefette and the Boardwalk. Accra Beach and the popular Accra Beach Hotel where many top sports teams stay are in the heart of the South Coast tourist sector and very popular. Further along the coast Worthing Beach, St Lawrence Gap and Dover Beach have their own charm and character while Casuarina and Maxwell Beach open up the view across Oistins Bay to Miami Beach on Atlantic Shores. This beach is very popular with locals and tourists alike and generally busy from dawn to dusk.


THE BEACH

When you travel east of Oistins and past the famous old Gordon’s Lighthouse the beaches are more populated by surfers, windsurfers, kitesurfers and paddle surfers as the waves and the breezes provide ideal conditions for watersports. Large stretches of the South Coast are protected by a reef close to the shore, which also provides ideal swimming conditions, although there are undercurrents that need to be respected. Best advice is to swim within your comfort zone and always observe the lifeguard flags. Silver Sands Beach, Foul Bay Beach and Crane Beach are all very special. Most of the action at Silver Sands has been generated by the ebullient Brian ‘Irie Man” Talma and his watersports shop and activities. Foul Bay is beautiful, but much quieter and an ideal spot to picnic or laze, while Crane Beach is renowned the world over for its majestic setting under the cliff 30 • www.sportingbarbados.com

of the Crane Resort, its vibrant waves, and the spectacular view out over the reef into the ocean. Sam Lord’s Beach completes the South East corner of the coast, but moving back up the East Coast there are several picturesque little bays with secluded and sparsely-used beaches that are well worth making the effort to find. For visitors looking for some adventure try Foul Bay, Conset Bay, Martin’s Bay and Bath Beach near the historic Codrington College. A day at the beach? You are more likely to need a month if you want to really enjoy the great contrasts in Barbados beaches, but if you have found a favourite spot then simply enjoy it!

A day at the beach? You are more likely to need a month if you want to really enjoy the great contrasts in Barbados beaches, but if you have found a favourite spot then simply enjoy it!


BRIDGETOWN

EXPLORING DOWNTOWN BRIDGETOWN You can’t come to Barbados and not spend a day in Bridgetown. It is a Must-do for many reasons, not least because all the best shops are on Broad Street and within a short distance you can walk to Heroes Square, Parliament Buildings and across the famous Chamberlain Bridge.

You can make the sightseeing visit, as long or as short as you want as there are plenty of interesting things to see and do in downtown Bridgetown. The old colonial seaport is largely undeveloped and many of its buildings are relics dating back over 200 years. The Careenage dominates the landscape. It is a narrow waterway still used by leisure boats and in bygone years the main commercial thoroughfare for merchandise to be brought in and out of the city. The Old Spirit Bond building beside the Boardwalk was heavily used in the rum trade in those days and has been carefully restored. The waterway runs parallel to Broad Street, the main shopping area where most of the leading banks are also located. Swan Street is another busy shopping street on the other side of Broad Street and famous for its bubbly ambience, cheaper shopping and street vendors. The Careenage comes right up into the heart of the city and the best way to capture the ambience is to walk along the Wickam Lewis Boardwalk or sit on a bench and watch the boats trickle in and out of the harbour. The Chamberlain Bridge is the dominant feature and was built 32 • www.sportingbarbados.com


BRIDGETOWN

1865-72 and named after Joseph Chamberlain the British Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Independence Arch on the south side of the bridge was erected in 1987 to mark the 21st Anniversary of Independence and depicts the National Coat of Arms and the Barbados National Motto-:”For Pride and Industry.” The bridge was originally built as a swing bridge, but in 2006 it was converted to a more practical lift bridge and is currently used to bring boats into the inner Careenage. Nearby Independence Square overlooks this little marine sanctuary and is a good place to rest and observe Parliament Buildings and Heroes Square on the other side of the waterway. The Barbados Parliament dates back to 1639 and is the third oldest in the British Commonwealth. The Parliament Buildings with the clock and Barbados flag are 34 • www.sportingbarbados.com

impressive and were originally built in 1871, but have been extensively modified over the years and include both the Lower House and the Senate. In the Parliament Buildings you willl find the museum of Parliament and the National Heroes Gallery. A modern, interesting museum well worth a visit. Heroes Square was originally Trafalgar Square, but renamed in 1999 to mark the contribution of ten very special Barbados citizens and National Heroes. Sir Garfield Sobers is the only living National Hero and the only sportsperson to be honoured. The other nine icons are made up of social activists and politicians. The Square has several interesting monuments including a statue erected in 1813 in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson, the Dolphin Fountain built in 1865 to mark the arrival of piped water in Bridgetown in 1861 and the Cenotaph

erected in 1929 to mark the fallen soldiers of Barbados and further afield, who made the supreme sacrifice. Close to Nelson’s statue is St Michael’s Cathedral, which dates back to 1665 although the existing building was erected in 1789 after the 1831 hurricane destroyed the original church. Another interesting church is the Barbados Synagogue with the Nidhe Israel Museum close-by. The original synagogue was built in 1654, but it was also destroyed in the 1831 although rebuilt two years later. The museum is a beautifully restored old Jewish Community Centre that dates back to 1750 and is located between James Street and Magazine Lane, a short distance from Swan Street. You don’t have to travel too far from Broad Street in the heart of downtown Bridgetown to find places of interest. It is a day well worth planning.


SHOPPING

A DAY SPENT SHOPPING

It is often said Barbados is a luxury destination and with it comes high prices across a wide spectrum of products and services. There is plenty of truth in this generalization, but in many cases you get what you pay for and this means there are many wonderful shopping opportunities. A lot depends on what you are shopping for, but no holiday would be complete without a shopping experience. Luxury items are backbone of Barbados shopping with jewellery and niche products at the top of the list. The island 36 • www.sportingbarbados.com

boosts one of the best shopping arcades in the Caribbean fully stocked with highend world famous designer brands, restaurants, deluxe cinema and one of the most popular meeting places on the island, the Lime Bar. The Lime Grove complex is in the heart of the bustling West Coast at Holetown where the first English settlers first landed in Barbados in 1627. It is a magnificent shopping experience and with Diamonds International, Colombian Emeralds and Cartier stores there’s no shortage of unique


SHOPPING

quality merchandise. Whether it is for a special occasion or an addition to your personal collection a jewellery masterpiece is something to savour for a lifetime. Lime Grove has plenty to offer and a welcome ‘breather’ is the Relish delicatessen where fresh food and tea/coffee to meet your personal requests are available in a quiet idyllic setting. For top quality attire look no further than the expansive Ralph Lauren store as you enter the mall as it offers one of the best Polo displays in the Caribbean for both ladies and gents. There are plenty of little arcades and shopping malls scattered all over the island, but shopping in Bridgetown is an experience not to be missed. Some people are put off because they dislike the bustle and confusion of the old colonial seaport, 38 • www.sportingbarbados.com

but therein lies its character and appeal. Broad Street has a bevy of shops and even bigger jewellery stores at Diamonds International, Colombian Emeralds and the Royal Shop. Experience all three as they are close to each other and don’t miss Cave Shepherd the island’s premier department store. There are several Cave Shepherd stores in Barbados but the flagship store is in Broad Street and it is often said, “If you can’t get something to buy at Cave Shepherd then you don’t really want to shop!” One hugely popular store on the ground floor not to be missed is the Broad Street Mens and Womens Designer Store featuring all the top brands and a superb Tommy Hilfiger section. If you want to lose the husband for a few hours you can safely leave him with Evans

Husbands and his lovely wife Jan who add a special personal touch to a remarkable shopping experience. Swan Street runs parallel to Broad Street and is a bustling scene with cut-price shops and street traders, but all the quality shops are on Broad Street. Many shoppers crave for a unique product to remind them of their Barbados holiday or to take home for friends and family. Earthworks and the Best of Barbados shops provide the best range of items. Earthworks produce beautiful colourful pottery stocked in many shops throughout the island and Best of Barbados has a magnificent range of local and overseas products that are unique, authentic and innovative. Aladdin’s Cave always comes to mind when you enter a


SHOPPING

Best of Barbados store such is the variety and volume of products on display. And for something really authentic why not visit a Harley Davidson store or a Legends of Barbados cricket shop? For the lazy shopper they are joined together at the airport in the departure lounge, but there is also a Harley Davidson store on the South Coast at Hastings and another Legends of Barbados shop close to the Kensington Oval at Fontabelle. Harley Davidson products are world famous and there’s no better shop offering West Indies 40 • www.sportingbarbados.com

and Barbados cricket memorabilia and merchandise than the Legends shops. Everyday shopping can be an enjoyable experience for visitors as Barbados has some excellent supermarkets large and small. You can buy most items, but remember produce shipped from overseas will be more expensive than the local products or your favourite supermarket back home. Massy Supermarkets are the best stocked on the island and strategically placed in the popular urban and tourist areas. For West Coast visitors close to the

Sunset Crest area there is the added bonus of a visit to the Grape Vine Wine Store. There is also another store at Lantern’s Mall opposite Tapas Restaurant on the South Coast. The selection is amazing and if you know your wines and have a particular taste then you won’t be disappointed. Again don’t quibble about the price, as it’s the quality that counts. Infact, you could say that about the whole shopping experience in Barbados!


THE GARRISON

RAMBLING AROUND HISTORIC GARRISON The Garrison Savannah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that embraces many historical and sporting features that make it a must-visit attraction and well worth a day spent walking around its environs. There are organized tours with excellent informative guides or you can simply do your own thing and create a personal tour by walking around the area at your own pace and discretion. There are at least 15 attractions that make this walk special and well worth the effort. The central area is a former swampland that was drained by the Royal Engineers 200 years ago for army drilling, training and recreational use. In due course the recreation activities included a variety of sports including equestrian and over the years horseracing, polo, cricket, football, rugby, basketball, kite flying, walking and running. Many of the old army barracks still remain and some are used for other businesses. The Main Guard with its Clock Tower is a prominent feature and heavily photographed by visitors. Every Saturday sport dominates the landscape and it is not unusual to have a horse race circling the track with football, rugby, basketball and running taking place inside the course. The Barbados Turf Club has a towering grandstand and 12 hospitality boxes close to the Finish Line and there is an impressive statue of Blast of Storm in the Parade Ring to commemorate 44 • www.sportingbarbados.com


THE GARRISON

his historic three successive Gold Cup wins. The rugby club headquarters are inside the track and matches have been played there for over 50 years. The Barbados Defence Regiment uses the football pitch and the basketball court is available to all and sundry. The Garrison area offers free access to everyone and total safety from traffic inside the course, which is why runners and joggers use it extensively every evening and most mornings. The first cricket and polo games were played here in their embryonic days 150 years ago, but they have since moved to Holder’s Hill and Kensington Oval respectively. But there’s much more to the famous Garrison Savannah area than sport and why 46 • www.sportingbarbados.com

many historians want Government and kind Patrons to step forward to develop its huge tourism potential and at the same time preserve its heritage. Some positive steps have already been taken with the Barbados Museum and George Washington House already well established, but much more is possible. The Barbados Museum was formerly the Military prison and is located close to the stables. It has a great collection of historical, geographical and cultural effects and a shop with many gifts, books and refreshments. The road from the Museum to the South Coast Road (Highway 7) is lined with old army barracks and military houses all of which are now Government

buildings or residential homes. Turning left away from Bridgetown the impressive restored Pavilion and Pavilion Court Building beside the Marriott’s Hotel was once the Garrison Hospital and a few hundred yards further away at Hart’s Gap sits St Matthias Church, the Military Church for hundreds of years. Turning right on the main road heading to Bridgetown St. Ann’s Fort and Barracks is an impressive old fort still used by the Barbados Defence Regiment. In the old days the barracks stretched all the way to the coast to Charles Fort, which had dozens of heavy canons on its ramparts to protect Carlisle Bay and Bridgetown. The old Charles Fort is now part of the Barbados


THE GARRISON

Hilton Hotel, but the public can easily access the ramparts and see the mounted canons and the old fallen canons lying in a few feet of water below. The view across the bay to Bridgetown is picture perfect. In between the Hilton and the Garrison are the Barbados Light and Power Building, which was formerly the Commissariat Provision Store, and closer to the hotel is the Military Cemetery, a sombre and peaceful spot, which was first used in 1780. The Barbados Yacht Club Headquarters nearby was formerly Shot Hall, which was built in 1810 for the Royal Engineers and is currently the clubhouse. Returning back up to the Racetrack area the imposing National Canon Collection is a striking landmark overlooking the track. There are over 30 mounted canons with 48 • www.sportingbarbados.com

one dating back to 1600. The Main Guard and Clock Tower is located close to the canon collection and a short distance along the road towards the grandstand a white monument has been erected on a little island in memory of soldiers who died of fever 200 years ago. George Washington House is closeby with a welcome cafĂŠ for refreshments and a chance to catch your breath. The famous American statesman visited Barbados with an ailing relative in 1751 and stayed at Bush Hill House, which has since been extensively renovated, restored, and renamed George Washington House in his honour. It is a beautifully restored property and museum available for casual visits and special period dinners with the former American President in attendance!

There are many facets to the Garrison area that are still being developed and if its promoters can get the funding they hope to develop some of the tunnels that runs below the racetrack and perhaps add some antique transport with historic trams or carts. The tunnels are particularly interesting as they have sat derelict for hundreds of years but could be a fascinating insight into how the military moved around under the Garrison in former years. If all that comes to pass it will make moving around the area much easier for everyone and ensure any day spent around this historic area is enlightening, rewarding and memorable. It is an amazing piece of living Barbados history.


CARLISLE BAY

A FULL DAY AT CARLISLE BAY With so many beaches to pick from you can’t go wrong when you select a location to bury yourself in a lounger and settle into a good book for the day. Every beach has its own character and attributes, but for the discerning visitor who wants more than just sand, sea and sunshine under a clear blue sky then Carlisle Bay ticks most of the right boxes. Located just outside Bridgetown on the South Coast Road this crescent-shaped beach can be busy, but never packed because its long rambling strand stretches from the Hilton Hotel to Pierhead and the inlet into the Careenage in the heart of the old Colonial seaport. Sundays are the most active days, but Carlisle Bay never sits still as it offers much more than a lazy day at the beach. The first impression when you arrive at the bay is one of beauty and serenity with lots of little boats and catamarans bobbling up and down in the water and a few larger merchant ships anchored sedately out in the deeper water. Occasionally a kayak or SUP (Stand Up Paddler) will pass or a bunch of sailing dinghies from the Yacht Club heading out to race at the far end of the bay where they have total freedom. There are several hubs in the bay, most notably the bustling Boatyard Bar and Restaurant, the historic Barbados Yacht Club, and the Radisson Hotel/Barbados Cruising Club area where kayaks, boogie boards and paddle boards meander in and out continuously on Sunday afternoons. The Boatyard hires out beach chairs, jet 50 • www.sportingbarbados.com


Photo: Caribbean Aerial Photography


CARLISLE BAY

skis and provides drinks and food aplenty so it is very popular with cruise ship visitors in the day and for nightclub party animals in the evening. The Barbados Yacht Club is just as active, but at a much more leisurely pace. The main clubhouse was formerly Shot Hall the headquarters of the Royal Engineers, but purchased by the club when the forces left the island over 100 years ago. Many sailors and boating enthusiasts operate from the Yacht Club, which is the Mecca for competitive sailing and the major regattas and world championships. The beach facility with its bustling bar and restaurant is very popular with members and their guests, who can acquire temporary membership during 52 • www.sportingbarbados.com

their stay on the island. It can be easily forgotten that Carlisle Bay is steeped in history given the modern façade, which is bustling with watersports and activity. Joggers and walkers love the beach because it is long and the sand is firm. Watersports enthusiasts love it because the sea is calm and the waters are shallow and ideal for swimming. Some of the keener local swimmers gather several evenings every week to swim across the bay and back, almost like a morning stroll. Historically Carlisle Bay was the commercial port of Bridgetown and merchant ships from Europe sailed back and forth with merchandise for hundreds of years. It was named after James Hay, the

Earl of Carlisle and second Lord Proprietor of Barbados following settlement in 1627. The bay was also an important part of the island’s defence so many military stations were established nearby and the current St. Anne’s Fort overlooks it from a few hundred yards inland. The Military Cemetery is also close to the beach and holds many treasured memories of lives lost in service, some of soldiers barely 16 years old. In those turbulent times the navy mounted dozens of canons strategically on the ramparts, which are still in place at the Hilton Hotel and they bombarded hostile enemy ships, that tried to invade the British Colony. Barbados was never invaded and


CARLISLE BAY

the bay must harbour thousands of remnants buried in the sand with horrific stories to tell. Some of the old canons can still be seen in the shallow waters below the ramparts and of course, the National Canon Collections sits ominously overlooking the Garrison Racetrack a few hundred yards inland from the bay. Today Carlisle Bay has a much more peaceful ambience, with dozens of small boats and catamarans coming and going all the time. Overseas sailors cross the Atlantic from all over the world and often their first port of call is Carlisle Bay and registration with the port authorities. However, six ships won’t be going anywhere as they are sunk in the bay and 54 • www.sportingbarbados.com

are now provide man-made homes for a plethora of marine life and consequently divers and snorkellers. A Marine Park has been created in the centre of the bay close to the shore and within reach of the beach for good swimmers, although many people access it by boat. The wrecks are sunk in up to 50ft of clear water and offer a wonderful experience to watch octopus, turtles, rays, eels and a plethora of colourful fish. The wrecks include the old French military tug Berwyn, which was reputedly sunk by its crew in 1919 so that they could stay in Barbados and the Cornwallis, which was sunk by a German torpedo during World War Two. The 110ft Eilon was a

Colombian drug freighter seized by the Barbados authorities and eventually sunk to become part of the Marine Park. What makes Carlisle Bay so appealing to visitors is the wide range of amenities that exist to support all the activities onshore and offshore. There are public toilets, a lifeguard, plenty of car parking, easy access to the beach, restaurants, beach chairs, and watersports equipment for hire. Carlisle Bay is a special beach on the Barbados landscape and one that offers virtually everything for the visitor, including a simple beach chair, unlimited sand, sea and sunshine and the opportunity to do nothing, but chill out from dawn to dusk. Don’t miss the boat-make is a special day.


HORSE RACING

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‘GLORIOUS GARRISON’ RACEDAYS You don’t have to be a horseracing aficionado to enjoy a bustling day at the races!


HORSE RACING

Horseracing in Barbados is centred on the Garrison Racetrack and it is a magnificent scene of activity on race days, especially the big events. You can get as close to action as you want because the grandstands in front of the Finish Line are great vantage points to see the horses and their connections in the Parade Ring, watch them canter off to starting stalls, view the race, witness them coming down the final few furlongs to the finish and then enjoy the celebrations and presentations to the jubilant owners. Or you can watch it around the perimeter of the course and 58 • www.sportingbarbados.com

enjoy a different atmosphere and ambience as regular racegoers crash a few beers, enjoy some pudding and souse or fish cakes, place a bet and shout their favourites home. And the cost for a ring seat around the Garrison is nothing! You can’t beat that for value. The Garrison Racetrack is situated on the south of the island close to St. Ann’s Army Barracks and the Barbados Yacht Club on the outskirts of Bridgetown on the South Coast Road. It is a unique setting as the oval track is always a bustling scene

because the inside of the track is used by footballers, rugby players, joggers, walkers and the Barbados Defence Force as a recreational area. It is also a hive of activity every morning as trainers, grooms, jockeys and owners congregate to put their charges through their paces and test them prior to race days. Many people who have never enjoyed the experience ask what makes a Race Day at the Garrison so special? There are many factors, not least the tropical setting of a warm sunny Saturday afternoon and all the buzz and activity generated by racing fans


HORSE RACING

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HORSE RACING

Ken Ramsey leading in Sayler’s Creek ridden by Rico Walcott

and racing people. Some spectators gather early morning to get special seats, but in reality only the big race days need such preparation as the Garrison is large and there are many places to watch the races and enjoy the off course facilities. Another important factor is the closeness to the action. In and around the grandstand you can mix freely with many of the leading personalities including the jockeys and special celebrity guests and you see everyone and everything that happens in the Parade Ring prior to each race. There are plenty of eating and drinking facilities and betting booths are well placed for easy access. All around the 62 • www.sportingbarbados.com

course there are betting booths and fastfood stands and while the Carte du jour may not be fine dining it is traditional Bajan cuisine full of flavour and at a modest tariff. All the race days are on Saturdays spread over three seasons during the year. The only exception is Boxing Day and while some people are keen to introduce evening meetings that still seems a long way off. Throughout the year there are plenty of entertaining race days, but the biggest event is the Sandy Lane Gold Cup held on the first Saturday in March. The Gold Cup dates back to 1982 and has a rich tradition and is as much a festival as a

race because so many events are planned and organized around it. The race itself is a fantastic spectacle full of pomp and ceremony as the starting time nears in a packed arena with thousands of spectators jammed into the grandstand and the hospitality boxes and just as many inside the racecourse at gaming stalls and improvised shops. Thousands more are camped around the perimeter of the course as this is the one race day that everyone wants to attend. The big race is run late in the afternoon and follows a parade of dancers, gymnasts and ceremonial bands, national anthems and singing of “Beautiful Barbados” one of


HORSE RACING

People at the Sandy Lane Gold Cup. Top left is trainer Jonathan Simpson, jockey Jalon Samuel and Angela Simpson

the island’s favourite songs. The race is short and lasts just under two minutes, but the crescendo of noise that greets the leading riders as they enter the final straight is as loud as it gets at any sporting event in the Caribbean. And for the winning connections it starts weeks of celebration and fulfilment. Barbados racing has many personalities where Knights of the Realm and the rich and famous mix easily with everyone. The President of the Barbados Turf Club Sir David Seale is one of the island’s most successful owners and breeders and Sir Charles and Lady Williams, Sir Martyn and Lady Arbib, Derrick and Mrs. Gay Smith 64 • www.sportingbarbados.com

are also very prominent and popular patrons. In recent times top American owner and breeder Ken Ramsay has fallen in love with the Gold Cup and produced two successive winners and given the race massive international publicity to enhance its reputation as one of the biggest events in the Caribbean sports tourism calendar. Barbados horseracing has a strong international following and thanks to two of its most successful leading personalities it will continue to have a high profile in the immediate future. Sir Michael Stoute, arguably the greatest trainer in the history of flat racing started his illustrious career at the Garrison and the top man in the saddle

in Canada over the last decade has been Patrick Husbands, Barbados’s finest ever jockey. Getting to the Garrison is simple. Catch a bus along the South Coast Road to St. Ann’s Fort or take a taxi from anywhere on the island. If you plan to drive there are plenty of parking spots within easy walking distance, although you might find it a little more difficult on Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day. It’s the biggest day in the racing calendar, but every racing day is bustling and pulsating so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy it.


POLO

GLITZ & FIZZ AT POLO Despite the cut and thrust of all-action polo on the field a day spent watching this noble game is relaxing and entertaining. 66 • www.sportingbarbados.com


Steven Williams (left) and Lucas Nicalao (right)


POLO

Alex Cole (left) and Wayne Archer (right)

Visitors are always welcome to polo matches and during the season they are spoiled for choice. The Barbados International Polo Season runs from January to May and the majority of the matches are played at Holder’s Hill, Apes Hill and Lion Castle polo fields, all within a few miles of each other on the West Coast. Polo in Barbados is a sport that has made massive strides in the last 15 years although it has been played on the island for over 130 years. For most of that time it had a low profile although in its early days around 1880 it was a grand occasion and matches at the Garrison attracted all the 68 • www.sportingbarbados.com

leading lights in Barbados society including many attractive ladies. Much of their attention was focused on the dashing cavalry officers who had brought the game to the island, although the local planters were also accomplished horsemen, who could hold their own and give their highly trained opponents a good match. In some ways not much has changed in Barbados polo as the spectators in modern times are essentially high society and many of them are there to be seen as much as to see. And therein lies one of the great attractions of polo as it is just as much social as sporting and while matches are fiercely

competitive on the field the culture off it is cordial, social and engaging. Spectators mingle comfortably around the clubhouses with celebrity visitors and paparazzi aplenty and has there ever been a sport that attracts so many people with a camera? Polo is played in late afternoon and usually at weekends although when visiting clubs are touring there are often matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the grand finale on Sunday. The Cheshire Club from England and the Villages Club from Florida are two clubs that have been visiting for many years and The Ladies Tour formerly the Battle of the Sexes Series is the


   

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POLO

Top Left: Sarah Wiseman, Monique Archer, Tiva Gross & Hazel Jackson; Top right: Betty Cathrow & Lucy Taylor; Above right: Sir Charles Williams; Above left: Johnny Codrington suffers a saddle malfunction.

tournament that attracts the biggest crowds and some deafening vociferous support for the ladies. A thriving local polo scene exists behind the pomp and glitz of the International Season, but these games are privately organized and essentially training sessions to hone the skills of the players and to finetune the amazing skills of the polo ponies. In addition to the three main polo fields there are also polo pitches at Clifton and Buttals. But the two main centres of polo these days are at the home of the Barbados Polo Club at Holder’s and the impressive Apes Hill Polo Club, which is 70 • www.sportingbarbados.com

part of the visionary Apes Hill Resort. Both clubs have strong, but very different identities and this has strengthened the overall polo product on the island and helped build an international awareness that has attracted many teams and clubs from all over the world. The Barbados Polo Club is the governing body of polo on the island and sets and controls the handicaps of all the players. It is administered through a traditional club structure with a President, Club Captain and club officials. Most of the leading personalities in Barbados polo sit on the Club Committee and representatives of all

the polo grounds liaise with each other to promote the game and to avoid fixture clashes. The club has a colourful history and while the current President Wayne Archer and Club Captain Richard Deane are very active players, the former President Keith Melville retired several years ago after a dedicated 39 seasons as head of the club. Longevity in the saddle is well-known in international polo with legendary statesman Sir Winston Churchill and Australian media magnate Kerry Packer two of the best-known celebrities who played the game well into their twilight years, but neither can match the


POLO

Above Left: Charlie Walton and Stewart Gill; Top right: The Diamonds International team!; Above right: Stephen Jones and friend

amazing Sir Charles Williams who continues to play well into his Eighties and is now in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest player in competitive polo. Sir Charles “COW” Williams is undoubtedly the First Citizen of Barbados polo and the undisputed leading personality. A vivacious and colourful businessman he has been the driving force establishing the Williams Group of companies as a leading light in Caribbean commerce while at the same time creating a comparable empire within polo. He has been the visionary developer in building the impressive Apes Hill Polo Club to its 72 • www.sportingbarbados.com

current status, which ranks alongside any of the premier polo clubs in the Caribbean and is the envy of many overseas clubs. Apes Hill Polo Club is a privately-owned club, but visitors are welcome on match days or to avail of the excellent coaching and training facilities at the Apes Hill Equestrian Centre alongside the polo ground. It is not easy to get into polo as the cost to set up is high and polo clubs are not widespread overseas, but a simple phone call to Apes Hill can open up a new world for any aspiring polo enthusiast. The Apes Hill Polo Club has its own fixture list and over the past decade has

attracted teams from all over the world to its panoramic setting overlooking the South and West Coasts. Last year the club created history when staging the first floodlit polo match with a “Polo under the Stars” tournament. It was a rousing Saturday night success, and like many of the top polo tournaments just as much social as sporting and a Who’s Who gathering of Barbados society and visitors. And therein lies the vision and enterprise of this dynamic sport as nothing sits still in the world of Barbados polo and in the future your day at polo may even be your evening at polo! Either way you won’t be disappointed.


GOLF

Sandy Lane

76 • www.sportingbarbados.com


DAYS, RAYS & FAIRWAYS Serious golfers travel the world to play their favourite sport and serious holidaymakers who enjoy the game combine the sporting experience with a holiday experience and get the best of both worlds. Thankfully Barbados has plenty to offer both types of visitor and provide an unforgettable experience on the fairways.


GOLF

Apes Hill Golf Club

The island has a glitzy image in the international tourist brochures and websites as a favourite haunt of the rich and famous, so it should come as no surprise that the same culture is prevalent in golf. In much the same way that your choice of hotels, restaurants and class of air travel is determined by what you are prepared to pay, golf is as much a question of price as choice for many people. The well-worn cliché of “different strokes for different folks” has never been so appropriate as used when describing the Barbados golf product. The island boasts four magnificent golf courses that come at a price, and two enjoyable golf experiences on good courses that are within the financial reach of any golfer. That’s not to say anyone who comes to holiday in Barbados can’t afford to pay the green fees at Sandy Lane, Apes Hill or Royal Westmoreland, but they may feel the tariff too high in comparison to other locations. But that’s comparing 78 • www.sportingbarbados.com

apples and oranges because all four of the premier golf courses in Barbados are top quality and offer different experiences in unique settings. Like all the great golf courses over the world no two courses are the same, and when it comes to assessing the attributes of Caribbean golf courses there are many features that set them apart. These include idyllic settings, beautiful weather, quality design, pristine fairways, fast challenging greens, excellent clubhouses, well-stocked pro-shops, golf tuition, modern carts, and friendly and efficient staff to enhance the golf experience. But above everything else, golf in the Caribbean is what it is and that’s what makes it unique. It is different, it is exciting, and it is an experience you carry back home. OK it comes at a price, but Barbados is not a cheap destination for anything so when the experience is worth it then the cost is almost irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what your standard you can play golf anywhere, but many golfers

have individual preferences that help determine which golf resort best suits them. Irrespective of cost this may eliminate the longer and more challenging courses for older and less energetic players and make shorter and flatter courses more enjoyable and amenable. In general terms the four main courses on the West Coast will test any standard of golfer and when set up for competitions they can be awesome to play. In contrast, Barbados Golf Club on the South Coast close to the airport offers a flat, but challenging links and parkland style golf course, while Rockley’s tight 9-hole parkland course a few miles closer to Bridgetown offers a shorter version amongst towering mahogany trees and a mature condo community. For the golfing purist it’s once again horses for courses and a question of preference. Apes Hill golf course is the most recent addition to the Barbados golf family and is a golfing gem. Set amongst residential lots


GOLF

Sandy Lane

in the most striking environs of rural Barbados the St. James location offers stunning views to both the East and West coastlines at its highest point. The 12th/13th/14th holes are played through some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the Caribbean and the design makes the best use of natural terrain that is unique. The signature 16th hole across a small lake looks daunting, but the large receptive green provides a comfort zone for the safety shot. Apes Hill continues to grow its product with its new clubhouse under construction and its villa rental programme offering golf, polo and tennis packages, and for a challenging golf experience in a unique Caribbean setting it is second to none. For over 40 years Sandy Lane Golf Club was a Mecca for rich and famous golf patrons from all over the world. The golf 80 • www.sportingbarbados.com

landscape changed when the old hotel was knocked down and rebuilt in 2001 and renowned golf designer Tom Fazio designed two new golf courses. The Old Nine was retained and it remains a big favourite with returning hotel guests and former visitors to the island, and the Country Club was added followed by the visionary Green Monkey Course. A magnificent new clubhouse enhanced the facilities with panoramic views over the West Coast and a restaurant, Pro Shop and locker room were included to match the most famous hotel in the Caribbean. The Sandy Lane Resort offers a complete golf experience embracing three high quality courses, golf tuition, practice facilities and hospitality. The Country Club course is the most used of the three courses and is a pleasant meandering journey through rolling hills, man-made

lakes and parkland. Nine of the holes were retained from the original course and overall it is a very enjoyable challenge especially when the wind blows on the higher ground. The Green Monkey course is one of Tom Fazio’s quarry designs and includes a stunning picturesque setting involving three holes around an idyllic small lake. The Par-three 16th is particularly beautiful driving down into the quarry with the lake in the background and a Green Monkey-designed bunker waiting to capture an errant shot. The Green Monkey is a private club for hotel guests and with high green fees and hotel rates amongst the highest in the region the cost to play may be outside the range of most mortals. The Old Nine is a mature design through some of the most expensive properties on the island. This part of the old course has


GOLF

Above left: Royal Westmoreland; Top and above right: Barbados Golf Club

been expertly maintained and the towering trees add to its popularity and enjoyment. The signature Par-three 7th from an elevated tee box is just a wedge for most players while the winding 9th is a short Par-five, but one that will easily snare a loose shot unless you hit straight. In 2006 Germans Bernard Langer and Marcel Siem won the World Championship of Golf on the Country Club course and two years earlier Tiger and Elen Woods exchanged nuptials on their ill-fated marriage to add further fame to the resort’s image, but throughout the year many international sporting and showbiz personalities pass through the famous clubhouse, almost without notice. The Royal Westmoreland golf course is set on rolling hills descending towards the West Coast. Robert Trent Jones III designed the course within a gated 82 • www.sportingbarbados.com

community of beautiful Caribbean villas and townhouses, some of which are owned by leading UK sportspeople like former Masters Champion Ian Woosnam. State of the Art drainage, a beautifully-manicured course and impressive clubhouse facilities are the hallmarks of Royal Westmoreland’s status as a world-class golfing destination. The design is creative and superbly laidout making the most of an idyllic natural terrain that includes, gullies, rock-faces and lakes. Four very different and challenging Par-threes are big favourites on a course where Tom Lehman once defeated Sir Nick Faldo in a special Challenge Match. Royal Westmoreland is a private club with limited tee times for visitors, but outside the busy Christmas season there are slots at reasonable rates. It is one course that never disappoints and can be very different depending on how difficult it is

set up for competitions and if the wind blows. Moving to the South Coast the Barbados Golf Club and Rockley Golf Club offer excellent golf packages at reasonable prices on courses that may not match the excellence of the three premier golf resorts, but have much livelier club cultures and involve more local members. The Barbados Golf Club was rejuvenated by former Irish professional golfer Roddy Carr 15 years ago and has become the backbone of local golf and the base for the development of the younger players. An 18-hole parkland courses with links features Carr made the most of the old design with a few improvements and it remains a good test of golf on a relatively flat area with consistent wind coming back towards the clubhouse. The long Par-five 5th hole against the wind is a challenging


GOLF

Rockley Golf Course

par, but the other four Par-fives are all birdie opportunities. The Par-three 16th across a lake to a narrow green is tough against the wind and the 18th is a great match-play hole where conservative play should be rewarded with par, but birdies and even eagles are possible for the adventurous shot-maker. Barbados Golf Club has a bubby clubhouse and a driving range with golf tutors to hone and develop skills of young and old. Rockley Golf Club is located close to the South Coast Road and is an idyllic oasis set amongst residential properties. The Rockley estate is comprised of over 400 condo units and the golf course meanders through the development under towering mahogany and flamboyant trees. Rockley is tight, flat and challenging, but ideal for older players, ladies and rookies because 84 • www.sportingbarbados.com

you don’t need to hit long to score. The secret of playing Rockley well is course management and keeping the ball in play, as there is Out of Bounds at every hole. Perhaps the greatest attribute of Rockley is its 19th hole and the fun and camaraderie in the clubhouse. Rockley has a traditional golf club structure with Club Captains and committees and sponsored competitions every week. The ladies play against the men in competitions and all visitors are welcome to participate as long as they travel with their verified club handicaps. The presentation of prizes takes place after each competition and the fun and revelry can continue long and late in Birdies on the Green Restaurant with good music, food and company. Rockley may not compete with the other courses on golf facilities, but it has a unique culture that embraces a large overseas winter

membership, affectionately called the Snowbirds. Throughout the year there are many important golf tournaments. The Sir Garfield Sobers Invitational is now one of the most popular golf events in the region and attracts hundreds of players from overseas. Played over several courses it is excellent value for money. And therein lies the secret to Barbados golf-getting excellent value for money. You can pay the big bucks and be perfectly happy or you can fit your budget to a time in the year when golf is not expensive or a time of the day when cheaper rates apply or a course where the rates are not that expensive. Nothing is cheap, but good value exists and you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable day on the golf course.


The par 4, 1st hole

Ladies & Men’s Captain

The challenging par 4, 7th hole

The 8th green

Winners row

An avid spectator

Come and play at Rockley’s idyllic 9-hole parkland course. Tight fairways and well protected greens make it the ultimate challenge. Visitors can play in all Saturday competitions for smashing prizes! The 19th Hole is world-class! Club hire, carts, golf lessons and a well stocked Pro Shop add to the experience. Great rates and visitors are warmly welcomed. For more information and to book a tee-time call (246) 435-7873 • www.rockleygolfcourse.com


SANDY LANE TRUST

William Blevins, Sir Cliff Richard, Maria O’Hara, John McElynn & Kirsten Lodge

Michael Tabor, J.P. McManus, Derrick Smith & John Magnier Owners of Sandy Lane

Trustees: Julian Sacher, Derrick Smith, Pippa Challis & John Lodge

Derrick Smith

Russ Abbott

Sam Torrance, Paul McGinley, Derrick Smith, Ian Woosnam & Lee Westwood


SPORTING CELEBRITY GOLF DAY It may be a little difficult getting an Invite to the prestigious Sandy Lane Charitable Trust Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner to follow, but if you want to support this worthy cause the organizers will welcome every contribution. The golf day is one of the most celebrated events in the Sandy Lane Calendar because it is all about raising funds for the needy children of Barbados, some of whom are desperate souls searching for better health, a better body and a fair chance in life. The word miracle is often used to describe some of the Trust’s greatest results and the short video presentation at the Gala Dinner prior to the Charity Auction is a heart-rendering presentation of the needy and what can be achieved through the support of kind patrons. The pictures are harrowing, humbling and in some cases overwhelming. They certainly bring reality to the work of the Trust and set the scene for Russ Abbott’s lively and productive auction. The generous support of the donors has been vital to the Trust’s major fund-raising event and is much appreciated by the hard-working Derrick Smith and his fellow Trustees Pip Challis, John Lodge and Julian Sacher. The golf is organized in sponsored teams, but individuals can be accommodated at both the golf tournament and the Gala Dinner, which is a Who’s Who of Barbados society and also attracts many overseas celebrities and leading business people. Last year was unique because the participants included three former Ryder Cup Captains in Paul McGinley, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam and just to add to the golf celebrity buzz an ebullient Lee Westwood, one of the winners at the 2014 event at Glenagles in Scotland. Every year the Trust sets new benchmarks in raising much-needed aid and is very appreciative of the kindness and generosity of so many local business people, friends and guests, who travel from overseas, and the Sandy Lane owners who provide the course and fully support the cause. The work of the Trust is

Patrick O’Hara, Shane Johnson, Gay Smith, Mark O’Hara, Alex Jordan & Paul McGinley

amazing, especially as it continues to run efficiently with negligible expenses thanks to the commitment of the Trustees, Patrons and friends. They take great pride that every dollar raised goes directly to providing a better life for the needy children of Barbados. Education features high in their activities through Day Care and classes at the Sunshine Early Stimulation Centre, funding intervention programs in schools, sponsoring leadership programs, conferences and organizations, sports, recreation and community outreach activities. These activities also embrace the provision of school uniforms, lunch programs and important supplies that ensure needy children are not disadvantaged or made to feel different. A lot of work is done with children who have disability challenges including a wheelchair provision program and providing

assistance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Evaline Smith Children’s Ward in St. Philip. The Trust also supports individual needs in association with the Ministry of Health, local doctors and families, for assistance both home and abroad. You have to be impressed by what the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust does and if golf is the catalyst that brings so much happiness to needy and desperate children and their families, then it is also playing its part. Although not directly connected to the Trust Derrick Smith and Pip Challis have also been the driving forces behind the completion of the much-needed Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre in 2015. Opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart, it will make a massive contribution to the education of the Sunshine children at secondary school level. 87 • www.sportingbarbados.com


CRICKET

88 • www.sportingbarbados.com


DAYS (& NIGHTS) WITH BOUNCERS, YORKERS & MAIDENS

The wonderful thing about cricket in Barbados is that you are spoiled for choice. This is one of the great homes of cricket and over the years the island has produced some the finest players to grace the game.


CRICKET

Anyone anywhere connected to cricket knows the Barbados cricket heritage and the names of our most famous cricketing sons Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell, affectionately known in international cricket folklore as the 3 Ws. The island has also produced two more cricket Knights of the Realm in Sir Wes Hall and Sir Conrad Hunte. Many people make the pilgrimage to Barbados specifically to watch or to play cricket, and those that don’t, but are cricket enthusiasts, can still savour the cricket culture with a visit to the Kensington Oval, a tour of the Cricket 90 • www.sportingbarbados.com

Legends of Barbados Museum or a photoshoot at the famous Sir Garfield Sobers statue beside the Oval, probably the most photographed monument in the Caribbean. A day at cricket is special because it can be as simple as watching or playing a tour game in the country, or as riveting and consuming as a test match at the Kensington Oval. It might even be a day/night experience to enjoy a Twenty20 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) match, one of the most exciting innovations to hit Caribbean cricket in recent times. Most local cricket is played over the weekend and touring teams are

accommodated in midweek games. Many of these take place in the country and visitors driving around the island often come across a game and simply stop to watch. Tours are popular in Barbados where local clubs go to great lengths to welcome visitors, especially around England tours when many travelling clubs combine the tour with the test match. If you really want to spend a special day at cricket the test match is a great option and when England are here it is the best option. The old rivalry with the Mother Country has never left these encounters and on home turf the West Indies give no quarter and expect to win. The Kensington


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CRICKET

92 • www.sportingbarbados.com


CRICKET

Oval is a magnificent stadium, which was completely renovated and redesigned for the 2007 Cricket World Cup and now ranks as one of the best cricket grounds in the world. The Oval is steeped in history and all the great players in the game have walked on this famous sward. The stands are named after famous Barbadian cricket players and stalwarts including the famous 3Ws Stand, which houses the main hospitality boxes and souvenir shop. But there’s much more to a day at the Kensington Oval than the cricket, because the atmosphere can be electric. Famed Barbados Calypsonian Macfingall and his motley array of musicians are terrific at 94 • www.sportingbarbados.com

entertaining the crowd and the party stand is loud and raucous as the day progresses and the beers hit home. The party stand may not sit comfortably with traditionalists, but the game has changed in the modern era and it’s what many spectators want. Another innovation is the massive TV screen close to the party stand area, which pounds out breaking news, action replays and of course, the scorecard! One of the big features of the new Kensington Oval is the lunchtime gathering at the food stalls and souvenir shops under the Greenidge and Haynes stand. In the old days the spectators poured out onto the narrow streets around

the Oval and packed the impromptu bars and fast-food stalls, and many felt this unique atmosphere could never be replicated in modern stadia. But they were wrong! The bustling scene at lunchtime today is just as chaotic and the mayhem just as manic. Fast food, fast beer and fast talk are the order of the day and it’s here you are likely to see some of the great Barbados and West Indian players of yesteryear as they join with friends to debate the play. It’s a frenetic 40 minutes of action, but when the bell rings and the players return to the pitch the gathering disintegrates in an orderly fashion and everyone retakes their seats for the next


CRICKET

96 • www.sportingbarbados.com


CRICKET

two hours play. The scene is re-created at the end of play as many people meet to debate the day’s action over a few drinks while others go across the road to the Barbados Legends party stand. This is another popular after-match lime where many former cricket legends join spectators and pose freely with old and new friends for photographs. The atmosphere is priceless for the cricket aficionado and provides the icing on the cake for many visitors. The Kensington Oval also hosts the

Insta

98 • www.sportingbarbados.com

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in June and these are high-octane Twenty20 games that pack the ground to capacity. Some are day-night games, others under floodlights, but this is circus not test cricket and the pace is riveting from the outset. A CPL match lasts just over three hours and is played at a pulsating pace. Many neutrals love the electric atmosphere of Twenty20 cricket and with so many stars on parade highscoring games are almost guaranteed. The Oval is home to the Barbados Tridents in

the CPL with Trinidadian Kieron Pollard the captain. The CPL teams are selected by a franchise and feature several overseas players, which adds to the entertainment and enjoyment. CPL Twenty20 cricket is tailor-made for West Indian cricketers and epitomises the way most Caribbean players have played the game for generations. A special day at cricket seems too short. This is Barbados and you are spoiled for choice so give it at least another day, maybe more.


SOL RALLY BARBADOS

A DAY AT SOL RALLY BARBADOS

102 • www.sportingbarbados.com


Never let it be said that island rally fans are anything less than serious about their sport. For many, a day at Sol Rally Barbados is just that - a day – but others will prepare as meticulously as if they were competing. This is the story of the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International, an inland beach . . . and a COW! by Mark Wheeler


SOL RALLY BARBADOS

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) was determined that Sol RB15 would be a worthy celebration of the 25th Anniversary of its premier event; from small beginnings in 1990, with an entry of around 30 local competitors, it has grown into a sporting event of National importance with a huge International following, which helped make 2015 a record-breaking year, with 45 of the 91 starters from overseas. The BRC, which will mark its 60th Anniversary in 2017, drew on its core values to make Sol RB15 special: organising a competitive rally in a safe environment, while maintaining the social element, which plays a key role in attracting overseas visitors time and again. The route was extensively modified from previous years, creating an even more level playing field than normal and using both the island’s permanent motor sport facilities to create unrivalled opportunities for spectators to settle in for the day and 104 • www.sportingbarbados.com

enjoy their motor sport as only island fans know how . . . Thousands lined the route, particularly at the Friday evening Start and Sunday SuperSpecial at Bushy Park Barbados in the south-eastern parish of St Philip and Saturday’s LIME/Banks/Automotive Art party stage at the Vaucluse Raceway in St Thomas . . . This central parish is one of only two (of the 11, the other is St George) that doesn’t have a coastline or, therefore, a beach . . . except, in 2015, at rally time! It has been the norm for years for rally fans to create their own comfort zones at special stage venues around the island, often a necessity, given the terrain. Along with other sporting events, such as cycling or half-marathons, Sol Rally Barbados is run on the island’s intricate network of roads – there’s around 1,400 miles to choose from – temporarily closed with permission from the Ministry of Transport & Works.

While spectator areas cannot be fenced with turnstiles to charge an entry fee, preevent talks with landowners result in an agreement for access. It is common to see a line of twin-cab trucks, reversed up to the stage, rear flaps down, with an Ezee-up tent on top (to protect against both rain and sun) and a barbecue and coolers alongside. In recent years, more sophisticated constructions have been seen, perhaps a trailer with bleachers on the back, some even with plumbed-in conveniences . . . but nothing quite like the beach! Work started on the beach - roughly 20 yards by 15 - in the northern spectator area at Vaucluse three weeks before the event, not using beach sand, mind you (it’s illegal to take sand from the island’s beaches) but ‘proper’ construction sand. There were palm trees, seating, washrooms, a retired fire engine converted into mobile bar and kitchen, and an above-ground paddling


SOL RALLY BARBADOS

Photo: Nicholas Bhajan

106 • www.sportingbarbados.com


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SOL RALLY BARBADOS

pool for the little ones . . . or so this writer thought, until one of the guys in charge explained that, once he and his friends had enjoyed a beverage or two, they would be behaving like children, too! Even those less organised must provision themselves - ask any shopkeeper within a stone’s throw of the event whether Sol Rally Barbados is good for business . . . gas stations with all-night marts will have regular trade from well before sunrise, as rally fans stock up on essentials, such as ice, cutters and drinks. Even major supermarkets like Massy at Warrens, which don’t open until 8.00am, will draft in more staff on the day’s first shift on rally Saturday to cope with the extra demand . . . At Vaucluse, the action comes thick and fast - on Saturday alone, there were more 108 • www.sportingbarbados.com

than 300 passes through the twisting stage, with up to four cars in view at any one time; with the island’s top DJs pumping out music, dancing girls, facepainting and competitions, there was the best part of 10 hours of entertainment . . . It may seem a long time to settle in one place, but spectators are more willing to do so these days, with major improvements in communications meaning the live commentary team were able to provide almost real-time information at each pass, while social media activity ramps up hugely over the weekend, threatening connectivity. Live internet commentary, Facebook and twitter results updates from Rally Control and teams chipping in with quotes and images, mean no-one with a smart phone or tablet could

complain about not know what was happening island-wide . . . Which reminds me, I nearly forgot the COW! Not to be confused with island construction magnate CO Williams, this is an entirely different sort of COW, a ‘cell on wheels’, installed by *LIME on the pasture to the west of Vaucluse a few days before. And that is how an ever-increasing number of fans could access every last byte of data uninterrupted . . . so why wouldn’t you spend your day at Sol Rally Barbados sitting on a man-made beach and soaking up the sun with a bottle of cold Banks standing by? * LIME was re-launched as FLOW in July 2015


BUSHY PARK

112 • www.sportingbarbados.com


A ROLLERCOASTER OF A DAY AT BUSHY PARK by Mark Wheeler

Whenever any of the large number of British race and rally drivers who travel to Barbados to compete, or simply for holidays, ask “What is the biggest problem organisers here face?”, they expect the answers to include power supply, weak internet, lack of volunteers. Few are prepared for the real answer: “Weather!” Photos by Himal Reece


BUSHY PARK

Previous pages photos by Himal Reece. Above: Suzuki powered SR3 Cup with Bushy Park Clubhouse in background. Photo: Kevin Wood. Above right: Bushy Park grid girl. Photo : Himal Reece

After the international attention that Bushy Park Barbados had garnered in 2014, with the first staging in the Americas of Top Gear Festival launching the facility to a worldwide audience in May, followed by the hosting in December of the annual Race Of Champions, 2015 kicked off much more quietly. That is not to say nothing was happening. The arrival in January of the first batch of Easykarts – in 60cc Cadet, 100cc Junior and 125cc Senior specification – followed by the launch shortly after of the Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup were clear evidence of the catalytic effect the redevelopment of the facility could potentially have on motor sport in the island and the region. Talking of the wider Caribbean, September’s Williams Industries Digicel International would be the venue’s biggest circuit racing fixture of the year so far, although the start and finish of Sol Rally Barbados, the 25th Anniversary running of the Barbados Rally Club’s premier event, had brought fans thronging to the facility in June. While events organised by the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD), 114 • www.sportingbarbados.com

the Barbados Karting Association (BKA) and Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BMPSI) had provided regular points-scoring opportunities in the national championships, the arrival of the 2015 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) for round three of four really raised the bar. One Bushy Park regular (since childhood) had this to say about the CMRC Race Meet: “I can’t always get Sunday off, as I work in a restaurant, so I often miss the action, but it worked out for me this time. I headed for Bushy Park early, to make sure I could get a good spot in the Clubhouse, although that’s not such an issue these days - the new building is huge, compared with the one built in the ‘70s, and with loads more viewing space. No need for a feller to pile up six plastic chairs to see over the heads of the guys in front! Believe me, I saw nuff of that in the old Clubhouse! “The other good thing about the Clubhouse, I could park up where I used to, off Gaskin Road. Most of the spectator parking is in the south now. I can see why it has to be that way, there’s limited space to the north . . . but I’m not sure what that walk up from the south car park might be

like, if you’re carrying a cooler and stuff. But they told me shuttle buses were coming in time for Global Rallycross three weeks later, so that should make a real difference. “From past experience, I have to say I didn’t think the organisers had much chance of getting through the day, without cutting something out – 23 races, then the BADD guys with a drag meet starting afterwards and running into the night. Fans don’t expect a timely start – the schedule in the race magazine said first race at 9.00am, but some ‘Bajan time’ is usually added on! “But no! Cars came out of the Pits for the Herringbone from 8.00am, the speechifying started around 8.15am and Adrian Clarke sang the National Anthem. Trevor Thorpe introduced the drivers, it was great to hear the regional drivers saying good things about Bushy Park, then the Herringbone was cleared, and first race returned to get gridded up. It even started early! “That’s when it started to go wrong. Race one was red-flagged on lap one, with a Guyanese feller stranded on the grid when his car wouldn’t start, then a second time


BUSHY PARK

Above left: SR3 Cup. Photo: Kevin Wood; Above right: Suzuki Swft Cup. Photo: Himal Reece

with a big accident just after the start-line at the re-start. Once we got under way again, it was going pretty well, the Superstock bikes were fantastic, I’ve never seen such a big field of bikes at Bushy Park (even if the Guyanese riders did do all the winning), but when the local Championship cars lined up, it clouded over. That race got red-flagged half-way through, it looked more like power boat racing! “I was fine in the Clubhouse, but the crowds were amazing - they just settled under their umbrellas and waited for the

116 • www.sportingbarbados.com

rain to stop. It’s a lot different on The Hill these days, with proper washrooms and a more organised areas for vendors. It doesn’t look so busy, somehow, but there’s just so much more space, like in the Clubhouse, that I suppose it sort of swallows people up. “The organisers switched the programme around during the day, with safety in mind, I suppose – the bikers weren’t expected to race on a very wet track, so they put a couple of car races out to help dry it off. The Joker Lap in the Swift Cup was just

awesome! There were more big downpours, and I saw some real skilful driving, but the only races lost were the two Handicaps at the end of the day. It seems like the Bikers had had enough, and there was a lot of attrition in the cars, too, so the BADD drag racers were ready to go by 6.00pm . . . just in time for another downpour! They ran their races, though, which looked great under floodlights. “I think anyone who helped put that day’s racing on probably didn’t dry out until Wednesday . . . but it was well worth it. Thanks!”


DRIVING EXPERIENCES Contact us today to book one of our exciting Driving Experiences which utilise the Suzuki powered Radical SR3 RS, Suzuki Swift Sport and racing Karts. They offer you the chance to see, hear and feel what it’s like to push a racing car or kart to the limit. Our professional racing drivers and instructors promise you one of the most exhilarating and memorable experiences of your life. Bookings can be made by calling 256-0114 or emailing experiences@bushyparkbarbados.com Bushy Park Barbados Bushy Park, St. Philip, Barbados Email: info@bushyparkbarbados.com www.facebook.com/BushyParkBarbados www.bushyparkbarbados.com



 

 




SAILING DAYS IN BARBADOS SAILING

There are several ways to spend a day sailing in Barbados. You may know a friend in the sport and spend a relaxing day sailing on the South or West Coast or you may come specifically for a sailing event in which case you’ll want more than a day’s action to satisfy your sailing buds.

118 • www.sportingbarbados.com


SAILING

Or alternatively you may do what most visitors do and sign up for a catamaran cruise and sail up and down the West Coast on an idyllic journey that could involve swimming with the turtles, a few drinks and your lunch. Or you may hire a hobie cat and cruise close to the shore. And if you don’t sail then why not contact the Barbados Sailing Association or the Barbados Cruising Club and learn? The Association organizes courses for young and old and uses easy to handle lasers, toppers and dinghies in their learning classes. They also hire out boats. The 120 • www.sportingbarbados.com

conditions in and around Carlisle Bay are ideal to learn with light breezes and shallow water. Sailing is very popular in Barbados and the Barbados Sailing Association coordinates all the sailing interests including the two main clubs. Most of the competitive action is in and around Carlisle Bay organized by the Barbados Yacht Club and the Barbados Cruising Club. The former was founded in 1924 and organizes a series of races and regattas throughout the year and the latter was founded in 1957. The focal point of their season is the

Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Regatta, which is held around Errol Barrow Day 21 January in memory of the former Barbados Prime Minister, who was one of the club’s founding members. The weeklong regatta involves social and tourist events for the overseas crews including a day at polo, and culminates in a 300-mile race to Antigua for the super yachts to compete in Antigua Race Week. The fastest time to sail around the island was set in 2014 by Andy Bugden and his crew on British V070 Monster Project in four hours 42 minutes. It was a far cry from


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SAILING

Lou Kennedy’s Sea Fox that took over ten hours in 1936. In recent years the J24 Class has rejuvenated competitive racing largely because all the boats are similar and this leads to tighter racing and close finishes, but the majestic super yachts are still poetry in motion on the waves. There is no real sailing season as the conditions don’t vary much throughout the year and this means the popular catamarans are always available. The Cats mostly cruise the West Coast, but some now finish with a visit to the Marine Park in Carlisle Bay to snorkel above the wrecks 122 • www.sportingbarbados.com

before returning to the Careenage or Shallow Draught where they started. The catamaran cruises take about four hours and can be great fun days for a group of friends or as quiet as you want on the smaller boats. Some boats can be chartered exclusively for private use and in the busy season evening cruises add to the romance and serenity of a Caribbean cruise. The ultimate in party cruises down the years has been the Jolly Roger and no words can explain the fun and enjoyment this cruise offers. It is especially popular

with sporting groups and no visit to the island would be complete without the experience. But be careful of the rum punch as it has the kick of a mule! The Jolly Roger is probably a million years away from world championship sailing, which has been hosted in Barbados in recent years with the Fireballs in 2010 and the SAP 505s in 2013. Both events attracted some the best sailors in the world and were superbly organized by the local sailors. Over 75 boats competed for the SAP 505 World title, and more boats are expected in 2016 for the GP14 Class


Barbados Black Pearl Party Cruises are pleased to inform you that Pirate Party Cruises are in Barbados aboard the vessel â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Jolly Roger 1â&#x20AC;?. We intend to excite you from the time we set sail. Whether \RXDUHDĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPHURUDYHWHUDQ´3LUDWH3DUWLHUÂľEHSUHSDUHGWRH[SHULHQFHWKHEHVW3LUDWH3DUW\ &UXLVH(YHU We also have The Ultimate Snorkel Tour & The Historic Bridgetown Walking Tour for small groups with a maximum of 20 persons.

Lunch Cruise Black Pearl Party Cruises promises you that the memories and friendships formed on board will last you a lifetime. This cruise has everything the catamarans do plus rope swinging, plank walking, a fresh BBQ buffet lunch cooked to order, lots of space and shade, a top deck for sunbathing and a great party after snorkeling.

Dinner Cruise & Floor Show 7KH 6KRZ LV IDEXORXV ZLWK Ă&#x20AC;UH HDWLQJ OLPER GDQFLQJ VWLOW ZDONHUV DQ interactive show with theme dancing, beautiful costumes, the notorious FRPLFDO%DMDQFKDUDFWHUV7RZQ&U\HUDQG0RWKHU6DOO\ Includes cocktail eats from Caribbean, BBQ dinner and unlimited drinks including Pina Coladas.

Ultimate Snorkel Tour Includes snorkeling over 5 Beautiful wrecks in Carlisle Bay, feeding and VZLPPLQJZLWKWKHWXUWOHVDQGĂ&#x20AC;VK(QMR\WKHULGHRQRXUFRPIRUWDEOH pontoon boat. $IWHU WKH  KRXU WRXU HQMR\ D VXPSWXRXV %DUEDGLDQ OXQFK   ² DQG refreshing drinks including our tasty rum punch at The Jolly Roger Tavern. Private tours are also available.

Historic Bridgetown Walking Tour Places You Will See in Bridgetown: St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church, The Jewish Synagogue, St. Michaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cathedral, Queens Park, Heroes Square, Parliament Buildings, Chamberlain Bridge, Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Statue. This 2 hour tour leaves ample time to shop in Bridgetown., and includes lunch and dinks Book now: 246.826.SAIL(7245) OR 246.436.2885 | ERRNLQJV#EDUEDGRVEODFNSHDUOMROO\URJHUFRP_ZZZEDUEDGRVEODFNSHDUOMROO\URJHUFRP


SAILING

World Championships. The popular GP 14 Class will bring back memories of Barbados’s only world sailing champions Jackie Hoad and Bill Tempro, who captured the title in 1967 in Canada. The year 2017 will also see Barbados hosting, for the first time, two international yachting competitions in one year, as the island will also play host to the very large and popular Finn Masters World's. That event will feature races among a class of heavier dinghies as seen in the Summer Olympic Games. It is expected that the latter event attract as many as 200 boats 124 • www.sportingbarbados.com

and some 500 sailors and their family and friends. Together, with the arrivals projected for the OK Class World's, Barbados is expected to welcome over 800 visitors to the island through this sports tourism niche over a three-week period. Barbados is offering a huge welcome to international sailing and as part of the Government’s sports tourism strategy 35 new berths for cruising yachts have been built in the Shallow Draught at Bridgetown Port and more berths have been added at the Inner Basin of the Careenage in the

city centre. The Government has also entered into an exciting partnership with Team Concise, one of the biggest attractions in international sailing. Two of Team Concise’s yachts, their amazing 70ft trimaran Concise 10, and the highly successful Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), Class 40 Champion, Concise 8 will be branded "Ms. BARBADOS", for the coming winter season. They will fly the Barbados colours in the UK, France, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Brazil, before heading to their new base near Bridgetown for the West


SAILING

Indies winter racing season. With the trimaran carrying a 30ft tall “Trident,” the iconic symbol of BTMI on its head sail, the Barbados "brand" will be highly visible on race courses on both sides of the Atlantic, north and south. The yachts will arrive in Barbados in December, after Concise 10 completes the RORC Transatlantic Race, and Concise 8 the Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Brazil. As part of their program the two boats will make repeated runs around the island attempting to establish new records for the fastest time. This will 126 • www.sportingbarbados.com

also be a visual feast of speed for visitors on the beaches for Bajans who have a passion for anything fast, on or off the water. In addition, there is a planned show down between Concise 10, and one of the local rally cars to race each other around the island. While Concise 10 surfs down Atlantic breakers off the East Coast of Barbados at speeds in excess of 40 knots, one of the island’s top drivers will be pounding along the adjacent beaches, leaping sand dunes and tearing up dirt roads to see who can get round first.

While all of this is going on, a new challenge, “The Barbados Flying Mile" will be opened up to all comers. Local and visiting yachts will be able to time themselves over a measured mile between two-marker buoys set just off the West Coast's glorious beaches. Captains can then post their elapsed times online and claim bragging rights if they are the fastest. There are exciting times ahead in sailing so why not get on the boat?


SURFING

SURFING DAYS With an international reputation as one of the great places to surf in the world donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the opportunity to try a sport that is often top of the list of things you Must-Do in Barbados. 128 â&#x20AC;˘ www.sportingbarbados.com


S


SURFING

Previous pages - Left: Josh Burke; Right: Chelsea Tuach • Above left: Chelsea Tuach at Brandons, Barbados. Ozzman Photography • Above right: Josh Burke

There are only two types of surfer-the experienced surfer and the rookie. Fortunately Barbados caters for both, so if you are highly skilled or would like to try it then there’s plenty of opportunity. It is said you can surf somewhere in Barbados 12 months a year and when you look at the spectacular variety of coastlines you get an appreciation of the different locations and their possibilities despite the variations in weather. However, most of the popular surfing spots are along the South Coast, although the most spectacular spot is on the East Coast at the famous Soup Bowl. The Soup Bowl is well known in the international surfing world and many of the sport’s best surfers have travelled to the East Coast to experience a special ambience and surfing atmosphere. This region is dominated by a sea culture with the rugged and essentially undeveloped coastline a complete contrast to the busy and highly developed West Coast. You won’t find lots of fancy restaurants, big hotels, fast-food outlets, taxi stands or gas stations, but you will find a peaceful and laidback environment that is at home with nature. It’s easy to see why the surfers love Bathsheba and the East Coast and why the trickle of mini-mokes with colourful surfboards tied to their roofs meander across the island from West to East at daybreak most days of the year. At its best the biting warm sea spray blowing in from the Atlantic is exhilarating and if you can surf there’s no better place in the world to test or develop your skills. For the experts the Soup Bowl is exceptional because you are almost guaranteed clean consistent 130 • www.sportingbarbados.com

even waves with right breaks and heavy right barrels. It is best if the wind blows from the south-west and the waves from the north-west, and the ideal time to surf is on an incoming tide, but for the layman watching onshore it’s all about the action and there’s plenty of it throughout the year. Barbados has been well known in the surfing world for many years, but 11-times world champion Kelly Slater really put it on the map after the first of several visits to the island. Widely regarded as the greatest surfer of all time, the Michael Jackson of the surfing world is credited with lifting the sport’s profile to another level after rating the Soup Bowl in his top three waves. Not surprisingly, its status immediately soared all around the world and over the ensuing years in tandem with his good friends Brian ‘Irie Man’ Talma and Alan Burke he has been a welcome return visitor. Quite simply, Slater loves Barbados. Surfing is a culture in Barbados and although it is often said youngsters are born into cricket the same could be said for surfing. Many schools support surfing within their curriculum and even if they don’t, the lure to hit the waves is inherent outside school hours and at weekends. Surfing is an all-year-round sport although some of the advanced surfers prefer the December to May season. Others like the ‘hurricane season’ from July to November because the swells are generally higher and the National Championships are held in October/November. For visitors the best time to surf is midweek in the morning when local surfers are at school or at work as weekends are busy from dawn

to dusk. Barbados has many surfers and a bustling surfing scene generated and promoted by the Barbados Surfing Association. Some of the best surfers compete overseas and in Josh Burke, Dane Mackie and Chelsea Tuach the island has three exciting young talents that have the potential to go right to the top of professional surfing, no mean achievement in one of the most competitive sports in modern times. Burke is the son of former multiple National Champion Alan Burke, who also performed with distinction overseas and who now provides an ideal entry into surfing for the rookie. Burke’s Surf School is the best on the island and located on the South Coast at Long Beach, not far from the airport. The centre has been in operation for 14 years and its success owes much to Burke’s infectious enthusiasm and his knowledgeable teaching technique that cater for every age. He can get most newcomers surfing after a few lessons and at US$200 for three days tuition it could be the bargain of any trip to Barbados. Waves in the Long Beach/Freights Bay area are generally less than three feet, which is ideal for learners. Burke operates with high safety standards and gives them a high priority in his teaching. Former top lady surfer Melanie Pitcher also offers complete surfing packages for visitors including coaching. Never surfed or are you a competent surfer? Either way we have the perfect place to learn or to test your skills in Barbados.


deACTION

deACTION DAY Brian Talma searches and finds the biggest rideable wave in Barbados.

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deACTION

I’m at deAction shop, it’s opened for the windsurfing season, and I get the word there’s a small North swell pushing down the West Coast and cranking some waves into the Bathsheba region. I organize a boat and a captain, “Blackie”, I know nothing about this fella, apart from the fact that he is a fisherman and he owns a 16foot boat I prepare my equipment, 87 Naish global wave and a 5.7 sail; and two paddle boards Hokua 9’0 and 85. There is no wind, no waves, no swell on the South Coast…no action here today!! I link up with Lola Briann my photographer and we make tracks West. There’s a small swell, it’s enough to create action on the North West coast. We pull into a dusty dirt area, there are abandon food stall and fish pot brimming the beach with a few dinghies pulled up on the sand, I hear a shout and see a black man walking toward us. This must be Blackie, he peers around his sea-drenched hat and says, “ you all ready?” The water is glassy with extremely small 134 • www.sportingbarbados.com

waves peeling off the point, but I know that once we venture further up north the waves will become significantly bigger. Blackie leads us to a small fishing boat with another fella manning it. The conditions slowly change from glassy, to a more energetic ocean. The hotels and the rest of civilization transform into rocky cliffs, with small sandy coves and lush greenery. As we push through the sea, the spray is splashing off the bow. I am wiping the salt water out of my eye and see white lines coming off the far reef, “there are waves!’ Blackie is directing his fellow fishermen with stern hand directions, he then takes control of the boat. We past Duppies a popular surf break, and “Hobbler Cove” This is a heavy windsurfing, but I’ve done it, I want more, I want an adventure, my mission is to find the biggest rideable wave in Barbados. A few weeks ago, I had my “Last Man Standing” race around Barbados. This area is the most intriguing part of the island, and this last trip motivated me to venture back into this area to check out the wave

Action! I paddled around Barbados in 15 hour 17 minute, doing over 70 miles. This was a full on adventure. I know this area, but let me tell you, Blackie knows the break real good too, we are navigating between the inner waves and outer reef, we divert through a channel to the outer reef and the boat is rocking side to side. But I still want to push further. I remember when I paddled in this area I saw what I believed would be the perfect wave for windsurfing and SUPing. Tears, the boat is rocking and its filling up with water, I check for my photographer, and “oh Jeez”, he’s looking a little pale. But I’m focusing on the break ahead, pointing to the far distance, I tell Blackie “that’s it, that’s where I wanna go. We’ve reached, there is a distinctive channel and a perfect wave is rolling off the reef. We are about a mile out, deep in the ocean. I can’t believe this as I left the South Coast with absolutely no action and here I am looking at a mast high wave, this place is massive…Action! There isn’t much wind, and I am pinching


deACTION

up wind to line up for my first wave. Wow, I glide down the face of the wave and it jacks up. I push off the bottom and smack the lip…..this is action, this is what I was searching for.. Now the brain is at ease, and I am absorbing the atmosphere and cranking deAction. Let me tell you, Blackie was amazing-he positioned the boat in the best place for Lola to get the pictures. I can’t tell a lie, I was really concerned that a wave would swamp the boat, but Blackie wasn’t flinched. The man was as cool as can be. The brain is smiling and life is singing but Lola is really feeling really sick now. There’s a lot of water moving and the boat is rocking. I pass the boat and Lola says, “I’ve got enough, I am feeling bad, let’s go!” I am like “I want more action”, I’m feeling the feeling, I’m one mile out and a few miles from the closest beach. All I see are shades of lush greenery and cliffs, nothing 136 • www.sportingbarbados.com

is distinguishable, but I’m not done, I don’t want to go home, I want more, I have to paddle this place too! I am at the line with my SUP, I pull for a set wave. I slide down this massive wave and manoeuvre around the white waterthis ride becomes the longest ride I’ve ever had on board. I shout to Lola, “One more!!” The response is direct, “I’ve got it, I am sick and need to get back on land”. But I steal one more. OK, it’s finished! I pull my body onto the boat and we head home. Looking to shore I marvel at the view of this isolated section of Barbados. Lola is now beyond pale and is only studying how to get off the boat as soon as possible. I’m quenched, I’m soaking up the feeling and enjoying the ride back… the engine made a sputtering noise and stops! I can’t believe what I hear, “We are out of gas!” Man, we could have lost the

boat, all my equipment and Lola’s camera gear. If Lola didn’t get sick, we would have stayed in the area longer, and probably have lost the boat. Typical Brian style! Winging it 100 % and hoping to hit the ball. Time to bring this adventure home ‘though………. I grab the paddle from beneath my gear, and Blackie and I start to dig in. We position the boat toward the safety of the beach and reach it. This has definitely been an adventure. I smashed the ball. I’ve redeemed myself after the Maui action. I found a new break… the biggest rideable break in Barbados! I name it sick breach, in honour of Lola. The beach culture world tour continues… Action!!!


WATERSPORTS

EVERYDAY WATERSPORT ACTION

There are over 20 genuine watersports activities in Barbados and although some could be combined together most demand at least one day to get the most enjoyment. The activities are spread all around the island and most are easily accessed. 138 â&#x20AC;˘ www.sportingbarbados.com


WATERSPORTS

On many beaches you can just arm yourself with a snorkel, boogie board or pair of swimming goggles and have plenty of action. However, if you want to up the ante and get an adrenalin rush then you can easily attract the attention of a jet ski operator, or a sporting boat to water ski or sit on a doughnut or banana boat. Para sailing adds another dimension and is available during the busy tourist season on the West Coast, but diving involves some training for the novice and organization through a Dive School. The Barbados Open Water Festival is a terrific advertisement for open water swimming and takes place across beautiful Carlisle Bay. The event attracts both local swimmers and overseas swimmers including world champions! In 2014 American Alex Meyer won the 5K race and also hosted an open water clinic. His wellpublicised verdict on the event and the setting was-“This is what open water swimming is all about.” And he returned to enjoy the experience. The event attracts swimmers of all ages and abilities. The elite swimmers hold centre stage, but there are numerous other races outside the 1.5K and 5K showpiece races. There are also SUP races and a kayak race for the Children’s Charity. There are great packages on offer from the organizers for overseas visitors and excellent prizes for the winners. However, 140 • www.sportingbarbados.com

this is essentially a fun event to promote open water swimming so it will appeal to everyone. Sailing comes in all shapes and sizes from the super yachts to the little dinghies and includes the catamaran cruises or the quiet and more personal hobie cat along the coast. Cruising tends to very social even if some game fishing is involved, and kayaking is as demanding as you want it to be, but what a great way to enjoy the shallow waters offshore. The more energetic swimmers might fancy swimming across Carlisle Bay for fun and water polo enthusiasts can be accommodated, albeit the sport is not as active as other swimming activities. And if you want to learn to swim there are daily classes at the splendid 50-metre pool at the Aquatic Centre at Wildey. But for some people the real active watersports are surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, with the more placid SUP (Stand Up Paddling) a late addition to the surfing family. There are a number of beaches where each of these activities holds court. The Soup Bowl at Bathsheba on the East Coast is the Mecca for surfing with Foul Bay and some other South Coast areas less challenging for the surfing mortals. Silver Sands is the best beach to windsurf and kitesurf because it is protected by a long reef a few hundred yards off the shore

and has shallow water with consistent wind and waves. It is also the home of Brian ‘Irie Man” Talma and his Irie Man Shop, which caters for virtually every need including tuition, hire of equipment, refreshments and tournaments. Talma is the international face of Barbados beach culture and has done the island proud promoting Barbados watersports and our beach culture all over the world. A former professional surfer he has been the catalyst that has brought thousands of watersport enthusiasts to the island, several of them world champions. His annual Waterman Festivals have been huge in promoting Barbados watersports, but just as important is his everyday promotion of beach activities and particularly the Silver Sands area. Irie Man is the most famous Barbadian surfer to win international recognition, but a whole new generation is following in his footsteps as watersports are becoming more and more popular and several of the best young Barbadian surfers are now making an impact on the professional circuit. The same could be said for visitors, as there has been an increase in the number of rookies who have taken to watersports for the first time because Barbados offers so many options in ideal tropical conditions. Don’t miss the opportunity!


Barbados Open Water Festival

Great water... great prizes!

November 5-6th, 2016 Carlisle Bay

Nov 5th: 1.5km race & 1.5km Just for Fun Nov 6th: 5km race

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Think pinch yourself perfect conditionsâ&#x20AC;? (British Swimmer 2013)

Recreational to Elite Guided practise swims available Nov 2nd-4th

@BarbadosOWSwim facebook.com/swimbarbadosvacations

www.swimbarbadosvacations.com email: info@swimbarbadosvacations.com


FISHING

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A CATCHY DAY There’s nothing quite like a day at sea game fishing and the high expectations heading out from the Careenage or Port St Charles, the two main departures for charter trips.

Being an island Barbados has a great tradition for sea fishing and many local fishermen quietly make their living fishing close to the shoreline and then selling their catch to the fish markets on the West Coast and Oistins on the South Coast. Some small trawlers travel further afield for more commercial catches, but the fishing landscape around the island is largely dominated by small fishing boats and charter boats. Most of the charter boats leave early in the morning and the friendly crews ensure everyone has a day to remember, hopefully with some fish to enhance the experience. Fishing is not fishing without a catch and even if you are a fishing rookie it doesn’t take long to learn the ropes and play your part in reeling in a barracuda, marlin or dolphin. Plenty of refreshments are taken onboard, sometimes too many if all the fishing stories are to be believed about the island’s most experienced sea dogs. Charter boats are available all year round, but for competitive game fishing the biggest event is the Barbados International Fishing Tournament, which is held in April. Over 30 boats, some from neighbouring islands, head out of Port St Charles for three days to pit their skills and good fortune against each other. Crews arrive on the Wednesday evening then fish Thursday and Friday before they rest on Saturday. Rest to game fishermen means a party and from lunchtime on Saturday that’s exactly what happens. The event is as much a festival as a tournament and involves plenty of onshore social events including a bikini contest to complement each day’s fishing. The grand finale is the Sunday evening and follows the last catch being weighed and the results announced. There are many different categories including youth prizes and there’s no sexual discrimination in game fishing as the ladies

win as many prizes as the men, especially the bikini contest! The Barbados Game Fishing Club was founded in 1961 and now boasts over 230 members. The club’s history is riddled with folklore and fishing tales and some lively characters with very colourful names, like long-serving President David ‘Romper’ Marshall, Elson ‘Bunny’ Best and former West Indian cricket captain Denis “Gunner” Atkinson. Many local businessmen in the modern era are keen fishermen including Sir Charles Williams, one of the most colourful sporting and business personalities in the Caribbean.

The main fish targeted offshore are the white marlin, sailfish, blue marlin, spearfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin (Dorado not Skippy). Closer to the shore most charter boats target barracuda, tuna and dolphin, but like any day on the sea you take your chances and you get what you get and be thankful! Put a day at sea game fishing on your bucket-list because it is an activity that all the family can enjoy and if you’re not fishing it’s also a great way to cruise the West Coast and relax with a good book and a glass of wine or a Bank’s beer.


DIVING

UNFORGETTABLE DAYS WITH SUNKEN TREASURES Many divers believe the real beauty of Barbados lies below the sea and with good reason. Barbados has some amazing dives and every year hundreds of visitors take their first dive in our turquoise waters with return visitors who come from all over the world. Photos by Bob Crockett

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DIVING

It is an exhilarating experience and well worth at least one day learning how to dive or adding to your diving experience. There’s nothing routine about diving in Barbados as every new dive is another new adventure and returning to favourite sites can be just as rewarding as nothing sits still in the ocean. Most of the popular dive sites stretch from Maycock’s Bay in St Lucy on the north-west corner of the island to Carlisle Bay in St Michael just outside Bridgetown going south. A lot depends on the diver’s expertise and experience as to which sites to visit, but the best dive schools are very safety-conscious and can quickly align a tour to the standard required. They are also experts at introducing newcomers to diving and long-established diving schools like Hightide Watersports on the West Coast offer the complete package with fully qualified professionals, high safety standards, modern equipment, excellent training packages with certification certificates and education courses on protecting the marine environment. In recent times there has been a lot of speculation about the deterioration in the quality of the coral reefs just off the seashore and several marine conservation groups and institutions are active in ongoing projects to clean up the beaches 146 • www.sportingbarbados.com

and shallow waters, protect the turtles and educate the public on marine conservation. And what a wonderful community they help protect. The shallow reefs just off the shore are home to a wide variety of marine life including huge sea fans, sponges, black corals and hundreds of species of fish too many to list. Sharks are extremely rare in Barbados waters, but whales have been spotted more regularly in recent years. However, the placid hawksbill turtle remains the big favourite with divers and swimming with the turtles is one of the most enjoyable experiences a tourist can have on holiday. Diving with them is just as exciting and protecting them of even greater importance. Each dive site has its own attractions, but many divers love the shipwrecks and find them extra special. Barbados has some excellent wrecks including the signature dive to the 365 ft long SS Stavronikita just off the St James Coast. Sitting in 130 ft of water its mast comes to within 20 ft of the surface and its cabins and corridors are packed with tropical fish, corals and colourful sponges. The Pamir sits in 60 ft of water further north just off the St Peter coast and is largely intact and a muchappreciated home for a wide variety of fish, fauna and fans. The most active and most accessible

wrecks are in Carlisle Bay where a Marine Park is cordoned off to protect the divers and the marine life from jet skis and larger boasts. Six wrecks can be explored in Carlisle Bay including the Berwyn that was sunk in 1919 by the crew, who wanted to stay in Barbados and decided this was the best way to ensure it. The Cornwallis has another sad story to tell as it was sunk by a German submarine during World War II, while the Eilon was a Columbian drug freighter seized by the authorities, stripped of its illegal merchandise, and then sunk to add to the inventory of the Marine Park. All the wrecks have stories to tell and so has Carlisle Bay, which was once the scene of many epic naval battles hundreds of years ago. The bottom of the bay is littered with old maritime artefacts sunk in the sands of time and only the fish know where the treasure is buried! Carlisle Bay dives take place in shallow 40-60 ft of water and in addition to similar marine life and fish prevalent at other sites on the West Coast, the bay is also home to frogfish, batfish, sea horses and large eels. Dive packages or tuition can be customised to suit any needs so best to call the diving centre and see what is on offer. This is one activity that will stimulate your sense of adventure and give you an experience you will never forget.


“experience the thrill of riding a wave” for adults and kids

We carry you to safe and appropriate beaches. Have your own personal instructor or join others to form a group.

SURF SCHOOL

LEARN TO SURF * SURF TOURS

tel: (246) 230-2456

email: burkesinc@caribsurf.com http://blog.surfbarbados.net

SURFING


FOOTBALL

LIVELY FOOTIE OK, you have to love football, but sitting in your hotel room over Whitsun weekend thousands of miles from your favourite sport you may be tempted by the chance to watch some competitive live play. If so, you will be very pleased to learn that one of the most successful Masters Football tournaments is on your doorstep and provides three days of fun and entertainment on and off the field. Opposite: Organiser Grant Trebble (left) and Charles Walcott (right) from sponsors Banks 148 â&#x20AC;˘ www.sportingbarbados.com


FOOTBALL

Photos by David Lewis

The Bank’s International Masters Football Festival is one of the best-organized tournaments on the Caribbean sports calendar and is centred on the famous old Wanderers Cricket Ground at Dayrell’s Road, which is close to the South Coast Road. Matches are also played at Carlton and Dover Sports Ground in St. Lawrence Gap, a unique little ground full of character and noise when the crowds gather on the road to watch matches. What makes this festival special is the fun and camaraderie on and off the pitch as friendships have stood the test of time and some teams have been coming since the tournament was inaugurated 20 years ago. Entry is limited to 28 teams and priority is always given to visiting teams and they have travelled from all over the world to participate. And little wonder, because the festival has a fun culture and is as much about sports tourism as competitive sport. Many clubs travel with their families and the football experience is enhanced by the holiday experience with visits to the beach, restaurants, nightclubs and perhaps the odd rum shop! 150 • www.sportingbarbados.com

Thirsty business this football! Some famous footballers have played in the tournament and their involvement is now part of Masters Festival folklore. Liverpool, Brighton and Southampton legend Jimmy Case and Scottish International, Coventry City and Swansea City stalwart Tommy Hutchinson were the two biggest football names, although West Indian cricket legend Curtley Ambrose, now Sir Curtley, created quite a stir when he paraded his silky midfield skills for one of the Antiguan teams a few years ago. In more recent times Dr. Ian Smith has become one of the tournament’s most popular celebrities. A former professional footballer with Birmingham City, Ian came to work as a doctor in Barbados and his love of the island never left him when he returned to work in England. Father of English professional footballer Matt, Ian is a perennial visitor to the festival. Bank’s Beer backed a winner when they signed up with the first Masters Festival back in 1996 and it is widely rumoured the company’s sales soar every year over the Whitsun weekend. Tradition is a big part of

sports festival culture and this is one that continues to blossom judging by the amount of beer that is passing around the spectators and the players day and night! Every day is a good day to watch football if you are a ‘footie fan,’ but the best day of the festival is Whitsun Monday and Finals Day at Dayrell’s Road. Clockwork timekeeping is one of the hallmarks of the tournament and every match kicks off as per the schedule in all preliminary and final games. A big crowd is almost guaranteed especially if a local team is making a run for glory, but inevitably these days it is the neighbouring Caribbean teams who feature in the final stages. Of course ‘final stages’ is a figure of speech as the festival runs long and late after the onfield action when the festival winners are confirmed in the last games. That’s when the revelry rises to another level as everyone wants to hug the winners and when the beer starts to kick in everyone wants to hug everyone and so the party atmosphere grows and grows in front of the famous Denis and Eric Atkinson clubhouse. If you love your footie this is a lively day of sport and après sport!


RUGBY

RUGBY DAY ACTION Rugby is not for everyone, but if you are a rugby person then a day spent in the company of fellow rugby enthusiasts is always special.

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RUGBY

Barbados rugby is centred on the Garrison Savannah inside the racetrack where the game has been played for over 50 years. The club plays matches all year round and the Fixture List is usually determined by visiting teams and regional tournaments. Barbados has a long and colourful history for hosting visiting teams, with many of them from naval ships and tales of tough matches and even tougher post-match celebrations are part of the club’s folklore. The game was first introduced by Ex-Pats in the 1960s, but it struggled in the early years as the hard grounds and hot temperatures made contact sport less attractive than watersports or a leisurely game of cricket. But not only has rugby survived in the modern era, it has thrived as more local players have been introduced to the game at an early age and they have developed and improved their skills to play at a higher level. The coaching work in the schools has been particularly rewarding and continues to produce a steady flow of young players. Overall the numbers are still small in comparison to King Cricket, but from their midst the next generation of Barbados rugby players will emerge. After all, with 154 • www.sportingbarbados.com

such a small pool of players, who would have thought Barbados could be Caribbean Champions, play in Rugby World Cup qualifiers against US and Canada, participate at the Commonwealth Games and the famous Hong Kong Sevens, and also field a competitive ladies team? It says much for the vision and commitment of the rugby stalwarts that they have brought the game to this level and while it continues to be ‘Work in Progress’ most touring teams are guaranteed a good match at the Garrison. Although there are four clubs within Barbados rugby all of the action remains at the Garrison. Matches are usually played in the late afternoon over weekends, but there’s plenty of flexibility when it comes to accommodating naval teams and touring schools. The players are all amateurs, although some of the best performers have played professionally in England. Matches usually start around 4pm and best to check on the website www.rugbybarbados.com to see what’s happening. There is always a good atmosphere as spectators congregate on one side of the ground in their open-

backed SUVs and if they haven’t brought their own supplies the bar is open before, during and after matches. Watching rugby is thirsty business. Clubs looking to tour should make contact with Barbados rugby through its website. The island is a great place to tour because there are so many things that complement the rugby on a holiday island. The locals are renowned for their hospitality and can field Adult, Vets, Youth and Ladies teams so all types of tourists are welcome. Rugby isn’t totally restricted to live action as many rugby enthusiasts gather at Bert’s Sports Bar when the Home Championship or Lions games are being televised. The atmosphere is great and enhanced by the number of visitors, who join with fellow rugby lovers to support their country. It’s all good sporting fun, which is the culture of Barbados rugby and why an afternoon at the Garrison or a morning in Bert’s Bar watching can be home from home for rugby people. Of course, if you can capture both on the same day it is just about as good as it gets!


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TRIATHALON

TRIATHALON SUNDAY

The demanding sport of Triathlon is the ultimate test of skill and fitness as it involves three disciplines; swimming, cycling and running. Barbados has a small, but enthusiastic body of triathletes and they are organized under the banner of the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT-Be Fit) since 1990. 156 â&#x20AC;˘ www.sportingbarbados.com


TRIATHALON

The Federation welcomes visitors to train with them while on the island and although it may have an elite position in league of general fitness and sport, the offer is genuine and recognizes the bond these special athletes have with each other. For more information contact Peter Gibbs. (pgibbs1947@hotmail.com) The Federation membership includes all age groups and both ladies and men triathletes. There is also a youth section. The main event on the local calendar is the National Championships held in October, although the hosting of the ITU/CAMTRIA Pan Am Continental Cup Spring Triathlon is the biggest event as it attracts world rated triathletes from South America, USA, Canada and Puerto Rico in April. This event is for elite triathletes and Barbados is very proud that in Matthew Wright and Jason Wilson it has two triathletes that are in this category. Last year both performed well in the event with defending champion 158 • www.sportingbarbados.com

Matthew finishing a creditable 4th and Jason a few seconds behind in 8th despite suffering the effects of jet-lag following his return to the island from Australia just before the event. The Barbados course is an ideal venue as it all happens around the Spring Garden Highway on a Sunday morning when the traffic is negligible and easily re-routed when the event is taking place. The Highway runs parallel to Brandons Beach, one of the most expansive beaches on the island with calm turquoise waters offshore making it ideal for competitive swimming. The triathletes start with swimming and on returning to the shore after completing the 1.5K course they make a mad rush to their bikes, which have been carefully and strategically placed at the side of the Highway. There are strict rules governing how and where they mount their bikes, but once they are biking down the road the second tier of their discipline kicks in

quickly. The cycle run is 40K and once completed the 10K run is the final strength-sapping finale to a challenging sport. The Highway is flat and a special curse because it runs alongside a beautiful beach although for around an hour the triathletes have little time to enjoy it. The USA sent a strong team last year and produced the top two finishers in Eric Lagerstrom (Men) and Erin Dolan (Ladies). But the competition for every place was keen as world points were on offer. At local level Barbados has produced several dominant top-class triathletes. Christine Choy is a 13-times National Champion and in the men’s section Don Cadogan has been champion six times. (1997-2002) Jason Wilson won in three consecutive years from 2007-2009 and in more recent times Gregory Austin has captured three titles. As they say in all the PGA ads-“These guys are good!”


RUNNING

RUN EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR

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RUNNING

Fitness has a higher profile today than ever and Barbados is no different to many other parts of the world that extol the virtues of a healthy lifestyle. The island has numerous fitness centres, sports clubs, jogging tracks, and offers plenty of swimming, cycling, walking, hiking and running opportunities. Many visitors are fun runners and with our magnificent climate you can run any day of the year, but if you want a competitive edge then the Run Barbados Series held on the first weekend in December is an ideal time to visit. In Barbados fun runners tend to gather in popular spots like the Garrison Racetrack, the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex at Wildey and the boardwalks close to the sea. Hundreds of runners use these facilities every day and happily join with walkers, fast and slow. Many of these runners also take part in Charity Fun Runs and Walks held throughout the year for good causes, and the biggest and most popular now is the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend. A Run Barbados Series was first started in 2003 largely built around the marathon. Almost immediately it captured the imagination of local runners and overseas running clubs because it offered the opportunity for fun running in a competitive structure and for the visitors the chance to mix a holiday in an exotic location with their sporting passion. The marathon was the Blue Riband of fun running in the Eighties and high profile 162 â&#x20AC;˘ www.sportingbarbados.com

marathons all over the world attracted huge entries and massive publicity. The Barbados Marathon took off on a lower scale, but former England long distance runner Hugh Jones and little Kim Goff from Boston gave it a huge boost with some stirring performances. Many fine athletes have followed in their wake, but the strength and the viability of the Run Barbados Series remains the fun running element. The modern series has seen various changes to the format, but the level of participation has increased and the quality of the top runners remains high. Last year the event was rebranded and revitalized as the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend and promoted by Island Races through their well-known sports administrator Zary Evelyn. The main changes were the return of the popular Sunday Marathon after several yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; omission and an earlier start to the fun mile on the Friday evening. The 5K and 10K races were the feature events of Saturday with the marathon being the grand finale on Sunday morning. Online registration for this event starts on 1 August through www.runbarbados.org One of the principal beneficiaries of the Run Barbados Series is charity and although the designated charities are the Barbados Cancer Society and the Little Pink Gift Foundation, runners can still run for their own good causes. The event takes place over the first weekend in December with swimming and running

elements starting off on the Friday evening. Everything finishes on Sunday morning with the added attraction of a cooling splash into Carlisle Bay, barely 50 yards from the Finish Line. The focal point of the three days is the Esplanade on Carlisle Bay opposite the Prime Ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office, but the courses take runners through the streets of Bridgetown and give them a flavour of the old Colonial seaport. The Run Barbados Marathon Weekend showcases the organized face of running on the island, but every visitor has the option of doing their own thing any day of the week. Obviously a lot depends on where you are staying as some hotels and villas are located beside good running areas or residential areas that have light traffic. This is important, as running on the tight Barbados roads is hazardous and not recommended. Also, running in remote country areas is not advised and runners operating on their own should always inform someone where they are going for personal security reasons. Barbados is a good and safe place to run, but there are basic safety and health practices that every runner should adopt at any location. Best time to run is early or late in the day when the air is cooler and runners should always wear a hat and carry water. This is a hot climate and it only takes a few strides to warm up! Enjoy your running as it is one of the greatest forms of exercise and is costs nothing to participate.


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ROAD TENNIS

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PLAYED ON THE ROAD EVERYDAY You won’t find it on the sports pages every day of the week and when you do find it the venues are a little off the beaten track, but for anyone wanting to discover the curious game of road tennis the search is well rewarded. Photos by Kenmore Bynoe It may still have humble origins and it may still have a neighbourhood culture, but it’s lively, growing in popularity and authentic Bajan! The origins of road tennis date back over 70 years and because of its rural and ad hoc emergence in the country areas not much is known about the early games other than stories and recollections handed down by the older generation. However, in its infancy it was known to have been played in villages and country roads and some of the games attracted big crowds packed along the side of the road. Sometimes the local bus found it impossible to pass while a game was in play, so in true Bajan style the driver and his passengers simply got out of the bus and watched the game! In due course the game spread into the back streets of Bridgetown, but it never lost its neighbourhood culture and even in modern times it remains a grassroots sport, and indigenous to the island. Road tennis is a hybrid of lawn tennis and table tennis and in the past it was referred to as “the poor man’s tennis” because the equipment was basic and inexpensive. Also, the venue came at no cost because it was played on courts chalked out or painted on country roads in its early days. In later years these courts could be found in car parks, schools, community centres and some hotels. The court is 20 feet by 10 feet in size and an 8-inch plank of wood 12 feet long is used as the net. The bats are hard wooden bats and the ball is an old tennis ball with the fur removed. The scoring and the rules are similar to table tennis. The sport is not without its personalities and some colourful names add much to its character and folklore. Deighton “Pa’ Roach was one of the founding fathers of the sport and the impressive modern road

Opposite: Mark ‘Venom’ Griffith. Above: Julian ‘Michael Jackson’ White

tennis facility at Bush Hall is named in his honour. Other interesting names that have graced the game include Anthony ‘Ears’ Mitchel, Mark ‘Venom’ Griffith, Anthony ‘Baku” Symmonds, Alfred ‘Abbott’ Smith and Julian ‘Michael Jackson’ White. The Bush Hall road tennis facility shows how much road tennis has come on in recent years. The Professional Road Tennis Association is also well organized and promotes tournaments and generates publicity for the sport with good prize money and quality sponsors. Promotional tours to England and North America and websites have also helped boost the international image, and on the London trip a match was arranged with the great Andy Murray of international tennis fame. Murray played Barbadian Slyvan ‘Lama” Barnett in a short exhibition game and gave an excellent account of himself. But

then he is a Grand Slam champion isn’t he? Some of the big tournaments have publicity grabbing titles like the ‘Battle of the Titans’ and ‘Racquets of Fire,’ but others like the Inter-Parish Championships are just as keenly contested and more accessible to watch with games across the island. One of the most recent additions to the tournament itinerary is the Touch of Class Women’s Road Tennis Championships held annually in June and an event that is doing a lot to promote the sport with the fair sex. It may take a little searching to find a game near you, but there are several helpful road tennis websites that will help. At the end of the day the search will be worth the effort because you won’t get the opportunity to learn about the sport anywhere else in the world. This is an opportunity not to be missed!


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MOUNTAIN BIKING

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BIKING DAYS OF OUR LIVES The beautiful thing about mountain biking in Barbados is that you can be a free spirit, go where you like and create your own tour. In much the same way as you hire a car, get out the map and plan places to visit, you can do the same on a mountain bike albeit at a different pace.

Mountain biking in Barbados is not widespread, but enjoyed by a growing number of private individuals or small groups, who sporadically get together for casual biking and events. It has never taken off as a competitive sport and although bike rentals and bike tours are available, the amount of information about them is limited. But the leisure side of mountain biking is very rewarding and while it helps build fitness, it is also a great way to see the country and visit places off the beaten track. Using that well-worn catchphrase “when you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there” the open road is a wonderful invitation to explore the quieter side of Barbados and find adventure for yourself. There are some basic ground rules to mountain biking in Barbados, but once you are properly prepared then you will find the thrill and excitement more fulfilling than conventional jeep, bus or coach tours, and just a little bit more adventurous than hiking. Mountain biking is a sport for everyone, but obviously there are minimum fitness levels and safety requirements. Wearing a helmet is a must and you must also observe the rules of the road. There’s no need to be over ambitious so plan the journey carefully taking cognizance of the terrain, the time you want to cycle and the places you want to see. Some of these places might be ad hoc stops as there is nothing more adventurous than a rum shop stop or coming across an old church to explore or simply a stunning view to savour and enjoy the moment. Best to wear a backpack with a map, a drink and a camera, three essential items leaving the mobile phone as an optional extra. You can lose your way when biking the little roads and byways of inner Barbados, but you can’t get lost because

the island is so small that sooner or later you are going to reach a coast. Also, the bus stops are all carefully signposted to show you are either going towards Bridgetown or going away from it. Barbados is an ideal terrain for mountain biking as it offers plenty of on-road and off-road trails. You have to get away from the busy and heavily populated South and West Coasts and venture into rural Barbados to get the most enjoyment. The East Coast is rugged and sparsely populated with little traffic and plenty of unchartered off-road trails running alongside the main East Coast Road. You can even venture off road onto the beach or climb one of several hills to get a better view of the coastline. Starting and finishing are important

considerations and sometimes the bike rental company will assist by dropping you off at a certain location and picking you up later. The East Coast is a good example, as you can start at St. John’s Church and before leaving the old graveyard view your north and south options from the sundial overlooking much of the south-east coastline. If you go north you will travel past the surfers at the Soup Bowl, Bathsheba and Barclay’s Park as far north as your time allows. En route there are many opportunities to go off road up the slopes of Scotland District or down onto the beach and cycle through the sand dunes. The peaceful St. Andrew’s Parish Church is a good place to stop and visit and all along the route there are rum shops and


MOUNTAIN BIKING

small supermarkets to buy refreshments. The North-East of Barbados is a quiet area with hundreds of winding roads and little hills all descending to wide-open coastline areas. This is an area, which could command a day on its own to explore as several places of interest are within cycling distance of each other. Farley Hill National Park, Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Cherry Tree Hill, St. Nicholas Abbey and Rum factory, and Morgan Lewis Windmill are all located close to each other, but best to come down Cherry Tree Hill than climb it. The view from the top is stunning, but the cycle up it is tough.

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The Parish of St. Lucy in the north of the island is a haven for cyclists as it is sparsely populated, but there are few places of interest unless you cycle to the top of the island and visit Animal Flower Cave and experience the exhilarating vigour that comes from the sea spray splashing over the cliffs. Churches are great landmarks to plan routes to and from and travelling south from St. John’s Church you have several options to either go inland or hug the coast. The steep road down to Bath leads to the Bath Trail which is a popular fourmile off road mountain bike trail hugging the coastline. Alternatively the winding

road to the Southeast takes you past the historic and beautiful Codrington College, which is a must-see place of interest and a terrific photo opportunity. The journey into St. Philip Parish leads to other interesting places like East Point Lighthouse, the ruins of Sam Lord’s Castle and eventually to Crane Beach and the impressive Crane Resort, a great place to stop and recharge the batteries. You can’t mountain bike all of Barbados in one day because there are too many options to explore and enjoy, so best to target a particular area and take everything else as it happens. That’s all part of the adventure!


EQUESTRIAN

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PEACEFUL CONGO ROAD It may be one of the smallest sports on the island, but the graceful Dressage is one of the most challenging and disciplined skills in modern equestrian.

To be an expert in Dressage you have to combine the horsemanship of the rider with the finely-tuned expertise of the horse and that only comes after hours and hours of training and tuition. Watching the harmony between rider and horse in high class Dressage is a sight to behold and watching is to music is a huge favourite with spectators all over the world. Watching Dressage in Barbados is a far cry from other equestrian sports as the whole ambience of an event is one of tranquillity, serenity and peacefulness. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no noise other than the patter of clapping after a performance or the occasional shout from an Official to call a rider into the arena. A few hours spent watching Dressage is relaxing and fulfilling especially if the setting is rural and idyllic. Barbados is fortunate to have an ideal setting for dressage at the Congo Road Equestrian Centre is St. Phillip â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;far from the madding crowdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and bustle of everyday life. The setting is serene and idyllic and although it takes a little finding the journey into the countryside is well worth the effort. The spectator facilities are under canvas so well shaded from the hot sun and well positioned to see all the action including the practice arena where the horses and riders warm-up. Dressage is the French word for training and the history of the discipline dates back hundreds of years within the military where the horses were used both in war situations and on ceremonial occasions. At its best Dressage is an impressive display of horsemanship. There are over 100 active members in Barbados and they range over every age group and include riders who are both competitive and non-competitive. The sport on the island dates back over 40 years, but it became more structured in 1992 when the Barbados Equestrian Association was formed and two years

later it affiliated to the Federation Equestre International. (FEI) Since then the members have organized local, regional and international events and sent teams all over the world to participate in major events. The sport has a healthy youth section and some very experienced riders at the other end of the age spectrum. The current President is Monique Archer, a well-known show jumper and polo player, and the best performer in Dressage over the past two decades has been the accomplished Roberta Foster. Amongst the talented new generation of Dressage riders are Bree-

Ann Hurdle and Mackenzie Manning and while the sport appears to be dominated by ladies, male members are always welcome. Last year Barbados captured the coveted regional title when their four-member team won Caribbean Zone 10 of the 2015 FEI World Dressage Challenge. It was another historic milestone in the quiet but graceful emergence of this elegant equestrian sport. Visitors wishing to keep abreast of events should visit the website www.barbadosequestrian.com


SPORTING CALENDAR JANUARY FEBRUARY

2016 SPORTING CALENDAR

2nd Golf - New Year Better Ball - Rockley GC 3rd Polo - Clifton Charity Match - Clifton PC 9th Golf - BGA Hamper - Rockley GC 10th Polo - Clifton Match - Clifton PC 13th Golf - Nine and Wine - Apes Hill GC 15th Golf - Sandy Lane Charitable Trust - Country Club 16th Golf - 2 ball scramble - Rockley GC 16th Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 16th-24th - Sailing - The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 17th USA Polo Tour - Lion Castle PC 17th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Kids Triathlon #1 Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 20th Polo - Mt Gay Regatta Polo - Holders 21st Polo - USA Polo Tour - Lion Castle PC 24th Polo - USA Polo Tour/Australian Tour - Lion Castle PC 23rd Golf - Banks Medal at Rockley G C 26th Australian Polo Tour - Apes Hill PC 30th Australian Polo Tour - Apes Hill PC 31st Polo - Ladies Polo Tour - Holders BPC 31st Golf - Stableford at - Apes Hill GC

4th Polo - Ladies Polo Tour - Holders BPC 7th Polo - Ladies Polo Tour - Holders BPC 6th Golf - Massy Scramble - Rockley GC 7th Track & Field CHEFETTE/BFIT Kids Triathlon #2 Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 9th Polo - Roger Gooding Mem - Apes Hill PC 11th Polo - Roger Gooding Mem - Holders PC 13th Polo - Roger Gooding Mem - Apes Hill PC 16th Polo - Roger Gooding Mem - Lion Castle PC 18th Polo - Roger Gooding Mem - Apes Hill PC 20thPolo - Roger Gooding Mem - Apes Hill PC 20th Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 20-21st Golf - Rockley Open - Rockley GC 14-21st Holetown Festival 2016 24th Golf - Nine and Wine - Apes Hill GC 27th Golf - Island Ice Stableford - Rockley GC 28th Polo - Cheshire Polo Tour - Holders BPC 28th Golf - Stableford - Apes Hill GC

4th-6th Tennis - Davis Cup at Gymnasium 3rd Polo - Cheshire Polo Tour - Holders BPC 5th Horseracing - Sandy Lane Gold Cup at the Garrison 6th Polo - Cheshire Polo Tour - Holders BPC 6th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #3 8th Polo - Barbados Polo Open - Apes Hill PC 8th-9th Golf - CEI Ladies Open - Royal Westmoreland 10th Polo - Barbados Polo Open - Holders BPC 12th Golf - CEI Open Stableford - Rockley GC 13th Golf - Stableford - Apes Hill GC 13th Polo - Barbados Polo Open - Holders BPC 15th Polo - Barbados Polo Open - Lion Castle PC 17th Polo - Barbados Polo Open - Apes Hill PC 19th Golf - Medal Apes Hill GC 20thTrack & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #4 20thPolo - Barbados Polo Open - Holders BPC Horseracing - Racing at the Garrison on Saturdays 21st Tennis - Junior Tennis Competition 19th Golf - Banks Medal Rockley GC 26th – 13th April - Sailing - GP14 World Championship 26th-28th - Oistins Fish Festival 30th- April 3rd - Game Fishing - Barbados Int’l Fishing Tournament TBA - Windsurfing/Kitesurfing - DeAction Beach Waterman Festival 7th-11th - Sailing - SVOD Dingy Classic 26th Polo - Polo Under the Stars - Apes Hill PC 26th Polo - Canadian Polo Tour - Holders BPC 29th Polo - John Bunn Polo Tour - Apes Hill PC 26th – 4th Sailing - GP14 World Championship 30th Golf - Nine and Wine - Apes Hill GC 30th Polo- Canadian Polo Tour - Holders BPC 31st Polo - John Bunn Polo Tour - Apes Hill PC

2nd Polo - John Bunn Polo Tour - Apes Hill PC 2nd Golf - Mount Gay Stableford - Rockley GC 5th Polo - Ladies International Polo - Apes Hill PC 3rd Polo - Canadian Tour Polo - Holders BPC 3rd Game Fishing - Barbados International Fishing Tournament 7th Polo - Ladies International Polo - Apes Hill PC 9th Polo - Ladies International Polo - Apes Hill PC 9th Horse Charity - Holders BPC 10th Golf - Stableford - Apes Hill GC 16th Golf - Banks Medal - Rockley GC 16th Track & Field - Barbados Sprint Triathlon (4:00PM) 17th Track & Field - ITU/CAMTRI Pan Am Continental Cup Sprint Triathlon (7:30AM) Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 23rd Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 28th-May 1st - Segway Polo - Polo in Paradise March 26th – 4th - Sailing - Barbados 2016 GP14 World Championship 28th - 1st Golf - Sir Garfield Sobers Festival of Golf 30th Polo - Club Matches - Holders BPC

MARCH

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SPORTING CALENDAR MAY JUNE

2016 SPORTING CALENDAR

1st Polo - Segway Polo - Polo in Paradise 7th Polo - Club Matches - Lion Castle PC 12th - 15th Sailing - Barbados May Regatta 14th Polo - Presidents/Kearns Trophy - Holder BPC 15th Golf - Stableford Apes Hill GC I5th Fun Run - Chefette fun Run 15th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #5 21st Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 28th Motorsport - Sol Rally Barbados Scrutineering 29th Motorsport - King of the Hill Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 13th-16th Football - B’dos International Masters Football Festival

Cricket - Australia Vs WI One Day Games 3rd-5th Motorsport - Sol Rally Barbados 10th TBC - Football - British Airways Football Legends Invitational Tournament 11th Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 12th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #6 Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 19th Golf - Stableford Apes Hill GC TBA Sailing - Harris Paints Regatta. Two-day event - Barbados Yacht Club Horseracing - Massy United Derby TBC CROP OVER BEGINS - www.sportingbarbados.com

JULY

AUGUST

2nd Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 10th Golf - Stableford - Apes Hill GC 3-20th Cricket - Sir Garfield Sobers Int Schools Cricket 11th-18th Hockey - Barbados Calypso Hockey Festival Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays Crop Over Action - www.sportingbarbados.com

176 • www.sportingbarbados.com

1st Grand Kadooment - Stadium to Spring Garden Golf - Barbados Open TBC 6th Golf - Hilton Invitational - Rockley GC 13th Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays


SPORTING CALENDAR SEPTEMBER OCTOBER

2016 SPORTING CALENDAR

4th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #7 17th Golf - Medal - Apes Hill GC 25th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #8 Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays 25th Golf - Stableford - Apes Hill GC

2nd - 26th Annual Barbados National Triathlon (6:00AM) 15th Golf - Waitrose 2 ball better ball - Rockley GC 22nd Golf - Banks Medal - Rockley GC 30th Track & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #9

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

5-6th Swimming - Swimming Festival 5th Golf - Bougainvillea Invitational - Rockley GC 19th Golf - Banks Medal - Rockley GC 20thTrack & Field - CHEFETTE/BFIT Triathlon #10 30th Golf - Independence Marshall Trading - RGC Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays

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2-4th Running - Run Barbados Marathon Horseracing - Races at the Garrison on Saturdays


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Sporting Barbados 2016  

Barbados' leading sports tourism publication.

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