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Foreword From Minister Of Tourism Foreword From Minister Of Sport Sporting Calendar Sporting Contacts Sporting Barbados Web Launch Beautiful, Beautiful, Barbados Chic Nightlife Shopping

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Sporting Days First Day At The Test Match Sir Garry Sobers Tournament Profile: Sir Wes Hall Scotiabank Kiddies Cricket Profile: Sir Everton Weekes Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day Profile: Sir David Seale Profile: The Racing Parravicinos An Afternoon At Holder’s Hill Sol Rally Barbados Opening Day Profile: Roger Skeete

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Sporty Events Jewels In The Crown-Sporting Lifestyles Profile: Roger Beale Jr. Sandy Lane Trust Charity Golf Tournament The Mount Gay Regatta Mount Gay Faces Team Prostate Marksman Banks Hockey Festival Banks International Football Masters Rugby At The Garrison The Run Barbados Series Profile: Ryan Brathwaite Sporty Things To Do Watersports On Tap Taking A Dive Picking Up A Racket In The Saddle Making A Hash Of It Having A Splashing Time

Credits Publisher – Hiltop Publications Ltd, 11 Cottage Ridge, St George, Barbados, BB19071 Tel (246) 228-9122 Fax (246) 228-0243 Email Editor – Pamela L Hiles Editorial – J Clarence Hiles, Pamela Hiles, Mark Wheeler, Clare Hiles, Martyn Norsworthy Advertising – Pamela L Hiles Photography – Peter Marshall, Barbados Tourism Authority, Diamonds International, Joanne Spencer, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Michael Cadogan, Melanie Pitcher, Sandy Lane Hotel, Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, Apes Hill Club,


Mona Walker, Natalie Manning, Pamela Hiles, Clarence Hiles, Barbados Game Fishing Association, Earthworks Pottery, Himal Reece, Gerrard Wilson, Corey Reece, Robin Boot Photography, Lime Bar 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 2013 Sporting Barbados


Introduction T

his is our 16th edition of Sporting Barbados and it has been an interesting marketing journey through good and not so good economic times. However, if there is one consistent theme then it is life goes on and everyone has to adapt to changing circumstances and move with the times. We have a beautiful 2013 Editor Pamela Hiles with Andy Cole at Sporting Barbados magazine the launch of that showcases many of the in London sporting and leisure attributes of our unique island that has sand, sea and sunshine to die for, and a friendly people who are very proud of their heritage, culture and lifestyle. Tourism is the lifeblood of our economy and although it is an industry fighting in the face of adversity in current times, it is also a huge global economic force that has grown out of all recognition in the last 50 years. Barbados has a special place in that growth and it remains one of the favourite haunts of the rich and famous because visitors can relax and chill in a unique atmosphere far from the hustle and bustle of stressful homelands. The Caribbean offers a relaxed tropical ambience and beautiful climate all year round so it is little wonder so many visitors become addicted and from their midst some make it their second home or their retirement home. Sports tourism is not a modern phenomenon, but its profile has risen dramatically in the last 20 years and we are very proud to have played a small part in that process with our unique niche sports tourism publication and a dedicated website that carries an electronic copy to all corners of the globe. Barbados has much to offer the discerning sports tourist and through these pages we hope you will find something to suit your taste and stimulate your interest. We are very grateful to the people who make Sporting Barbados happen every year and they include feature writers, photographers, sports enthusiasts, business people, Neil Barnard at 809 design, Colin Moffatt at our printers and our esteemed Government Ministers the Hon. Richard Sealy and the Hon. Stephen Lashley who endorse our product and work so hard to promote sport and tourism. We especially thank our advertisers as without them nothing can happen. In tough economic times many businesses and institutions cut marketing budgets, but this dilutes their ability to maintain and generate new business. It is a flawed business model that has only one ending in stark contrast to the smart business people who have vision and a better understanding of economic cycles. We thank the advertisers in this publication and commend their products to you. Enjoy Sporting Barbados 2013 and enjoy beautiful Barbados and all its sporting and leisure attributes.


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.

CLARE HILES - Feature Writer Clare is an Hons. Arts Graduate of Essex University and is currently doing a Masters Degree in journalism at the London University of the Arts.

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.

MIKE CADOGAN - Photographer Mike is an institution in Barbados photography and covers a wide range of sporting, business and social activities.

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.


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


s the management team of Sporting Barbados embarks on another year of success, it is my pleasure once again to acknowledge the importance of your publication. Sporting Barbados since being launched in 1998 has played a vital role in portraying the many sporting and leisure opportunities available here in Barbados to locals and visitors to the island. Barbados, as a tourist destination, recognizes the importance of maintaining its competitive edge in a global economy that continues to be challenged by a recession. Consequently, through a number of initiatives the Minister of Tourism has embarked on a path to revitalize and expand its tourism product in tangible and creative ways. One aspect of this renewal has been in the sports tourism arena. We have been ably assisted in this initiative by the Commonwealth Secretariat which has provided the framework for the development of a sports tourism strategy – a strategy which will enable us to make significant inroads into this very important aspect of tourism. Over the years we have showcased through sports tourism what our island has to offer to the world by hosting several major international and regional events that include cricket, tennis, polo, horseracing and boxing, to name a few. Our success in this area demonstrates that we have the infrastructure, the resources and commitment to maintain and build on our sports tourism product. We need to spend time celebrating what we have. I was happy that last year, at the recently concluded Barbados Network Diaspora Conference, Barbados had the opportunity to showcase road tennis, considered an indigenous sport in Barbados, to visitors attending the forum. Persons were intrigued and happy to learn and practise how the game is played. Allow me once again to congratulate Pamela and Clarence Hiles on another year of success and invite every reader of this informative publication to come and visit Barbados and experience the beauty, cuisine, culture and our Barbadian hospitality that are second to none – our own paradise. Of course, I do not have to entice you to enjoy one of the over 60 sporting events offered on our island. Have fun in Barbados!

Richard L.Sealy. M.P Minister of Tourism




by the Hon. Stephen A. Lashley, M.P., Minister of Family, Culture, Sports & Youth


t is indeed a pleasure to once again commend Sporting Barbados on a publication that epitomizes and showcases the “essence of Sports at its highest level” in Barbados. On behalf of the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, I congratulate you! The global highlight of sports during 2012 was undoubtedly the London 2012 Summer Olympics, during which the quality of the Barbadian athletes came under the scrutiny of the millions of people who were focused on the keenly competed games. We are extremely proud of all of our athletes who participated and gave of their best, thus elevating this small nation in the eyes of the world. Also deserving of highest accolades are the Barbadian athletes who would have dominated in numerous disciplines and at competitions ranging from the 2012 CARIFTA Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, the Caribbean Netball Championship in St. Vincent, Caribbean Union of Teachers Games in Jamaica, Rugby Sevens in Toronto, CAREBACO in Santo Domingo (Badminton) and Motor Racing in Barbados to the phenomenal successful reign of Mr. Ronald “Suki” King as World Go As You Please Champion. It is certainly reflective of our rich sporting culture which is characterized by the seventy-one sporting disciplines and excellent sports facilities on offer in Barbados. This is complemented by beautiful weather, the recent UNESCO’s Inscription of a World Heritage property in Barbados, fine cuisine and our otherwise rich culture, all of which distinguishes Barbados as an ideal sports and family holiday destination. The year 2013 will see the Government of Barbados enhancing our sporting facilities with the refurbished National Stadium and its newly installed athletics track, with its immense potential for the hosting of regional and international events. Additionally, the usually exciting menu of sporting delights including the Gold Cup Horse Race, the plethora of motor racing meets, Mount Gay Regatta and the Sir Garfield Sobers Cricket Competitions and Golf tournaments will be augmented by a Gymnastics Invitational, the Goodwill Games 2013 (swimming) and the WICB T20 Cricket Tournament. We therefore look forward to welcoming all sportspersons, lovers of sports and your families to our shores during 2013. Once again, I congratulate the publishers of “Sporting Barbados” on the consistently high standard of this publication and its invaluable contribution to sports in Barbados and wish you continued success in the future.

The Hon. Stephen A. Lashley, M.P., Minister of Family, Culture, Sports & Youth


Sporting Calendar 2013

january Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle Hike Barbados – 246 426 2421 – Every weekend Horse racing at the Garrison on Saturdays Equestrian – to be announced Rugby – at the Garrison Saturday Afternoon – Club Matches Sailing – Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Regatta Jan 21st Jan 30th – Feb 3 2013 Nations Cup Regional Finals Inaugural Barbados Open Team Squash Championship Barbados Squash Club Sandy Lane Trust Golf Tournament

march Horse Racing at the Garrison – March Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle Holder’s Season Equestrian – see local papers Barbados Junior International Tennis Tournament (ITF Junior circuit) Oistins Fish Festival Royal Westmoreland Ladies Golf Open The Barbados Cup, Football The Rockley Cup – Golf Barbados International Fishing Tournament Rugby- at the Garrison – B’dos vs Canada – Barry High School U 18. Motor Racing at Bushy Park Surfing – Scholastics at Soup Bowl Table Tennis – Barbados Open Table Tennis Championship 30th


february Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle Cheshire Polo Tour Waterman Festival at Silver Rock Sandy Lane Gold Cup Festival Holetown Festival Hike Barbados Horse racing at the Garrison Golf – Rockley Golf Course Open Diamonds international Charity Golf Rugby – at the Garrison Motor Racing at Bushy Park Cruise to Run Barbados 5K Athletics – 16th Feb Barbados Relay Fair – National Stadium

april Fishing – Barbados International Game Fishing – Port St Charles 18th 21st Polo Holders - Apes Hill and Lion Castle – Battle of the Sexes Horse Racing at the Garrison – Barbados Guineas Sir Garfield Sobers Festival of Golf Championships, 25th 28th . Sailing – April 22nd to May 3rd 505 World Championships Tennis – Barbados International Junior Championships, National Tennis centre 1st -7th Football – 7th-26th Youth International Football Tournament Gymnastics 20th – 21st Barbados Gymnastics Invitational

Sporting Calendar 2013

may International Cricket – WI Vs Sri Lanka Kensington Oval Watersports Month in Barbados Polo at Apes Hill, Holders, Lion Castle and Clifton Banks Barbados international Masters Football Celtic Festival Sailing - Mount Gay Rum/Boatyard International Regatta 16th – 19th Diamonds International/Sandy Lane/Rotary West Charity Golf Classic Rugby- at the Garrison Horse Racing at the Garrison Motor Racing at Bushy Park

july International Cricket – WI vs Pakistan Kensington Oval Start of Crop Over Festival Schools Summerfest Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament 5th – 26th Horse racing at the Garrison Motor Racing at Bushy Park

june International Cricket – WI vs Pakistan Kensington Oval Sol Rally Barbados June 1st -2nd Sailing – Caribbean J24 Open Championship 18th 21st Horse racing at the Garrison – Barbados Fillies Guineas Bajan Unifest University Sporting Festival Barbados Water Festival

august Horse Racing - United Insurance Derby Day at the Garrison Savannah Banks International Hockey Festival Surfing competition Golf – CIBC FCIB Golf Open at Rockley Golf Club

Photo by Bernard Babb 16

Sporting Calendar 2013

september Football – Lime Pelican Cup/Legends Tournament Surfing- Bathsheba Soup Bowl Horse Racing at the Garrison Motor Racing at Bushy Park – Williams International Race Meet

november Nation Fun Walk Cricket – The CLOBI Cup International Master Cricket – 2nd – 4th Kensington Oval Independence Pro Surfing Championships Horse Racing at the Garrison The RBTT Golf Classic at Barbados Golf Club Motor Racing at Bushy Park Brydens Barbados Darts Festival Sizzling Sands Beach Volleyball, Brighton Beach Sun, Sea and Slams International Bridge Festival – 19th – 23rd Sailing – Caribbean Match Racing Championships 17th – 18th Karate – Barbados Karate Association National Tournament Surfing – Independence Pro Tournament


october Sun sea and slams Bridge festival Pro-Am Cricket Festival National Surfing Championships Volleyball – B’dos National Championships Sizzlin Sand Beach Volleyball National Championships Motor Racing at Bushy Park Hockey – Vintage Hockey Carnival Cycling – Kreeda Caribbean Cycling Challenge

december Run Barbados Festival 6th – 8th Polo – Holders, Clifton, Apes Hill, Lion Castle. Horse Racing at the Garrison Diamonds International Challenge over 3 weekends Motor Racing at Bushy Park Rugby – B’dos vs Toronto U 18.

Sporting Contacts BALL SPORTS


CRICKET: BARBADOS CRICKET ASSOCIATION President: Joel Garner CEO: Deighton Smith Tel: 246 274 1325 Add: Kensington Oval, Fontabelle, St. Michael

JUDO: BARBADOS JUDO ASSOCIATION President: Hoskins Caddle Tel: 246 436 2608 (h) 246 263 7792 (c) Vice President: Ian Weithers

BASKETBALL: BARBADOS AMATEUR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION NETBALL: BARBADOS NETBALL ASSOCIATION President: Octavia Gibson Tel: 246 436 6870 (w) 246 826 4443 (c) Secretary: Alicia Jemmot Tel: 246 418 6415 (w) 246 826 9314 (c) FOOTBALL: BARBADOS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION President: Randy Harris Tel: 246 228 1707 Add: Richmond, Welches, St. Michael GOLF: BARBADOS GOLF ASSOCIATION President: Hadley Byer Tel: 246 2312220 Secretary: Trenton Weekes Tel: 246 826 3626 RUGBY: BARBADOS RUGBY CLUB President: George Nicholson HOCKEY: BARBADOS HOCKEY FEDERATION INC c/o Barbados Olympic Association Inc. Olympic Centre Garfield Sobers Sports Complex Wildey, St. Michael, BB15094 Email: Mr David Rouse Ms Sharon Estwick secretary BARBADOS BALL HOCKEY LEAGUE Stevar House, Suite 1 Rockley, Christ Church Barbados WI BB15137

KARATE: THE BARBADOS KARATE ASSOCIATION Contact: Peter Warren Tel 246 428 2674 Contact: Paul Bernstein FENCING; THE BARBADOS FENCING CLUB Stephen Sandiford: 232-8783, Ryan Rodriguez: 256-4876, Roslyn Wilson: 230-0999.

BAT AND RACKET SPORTS ROAD TENNIS: BARBADOS ROAD TENNIS ASSOCIATION Contact: Dale Clarke Tel: 246 233 8268 TABLE TENNIS: BARBADOS TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Lt Col. Trevor Browne Tel: 246 2334909 Secretary: Ms M Felix 246 243 6690 Add: Nursery Drive,Constitution Road Bridgetown, St. Michael BARBADOS TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Dr Raymond Forde Tel: 246 4275300/5298 SQUASH: BARBADOS SQUASH RACQUET ASSOCIATION President: Craig Archer Tel: 246 2715174

TARGET SPORTS ARCHERY President: John Annel Contact: Judith Magras Tel: 246 437 9479 Add: PO Box 391G, St. George SHOOTING: BARBADOS RIFLE ASSOCIATION President: Michael Holder Secretary: Brian Hennis Tel: 246 428 0158 Add: PO Box 608, Bridgetown, St. Michael BARBADOS RIFLE & PISTOL FEDERATION Barbados Rifle and Pistol Federation President: Antonio Rudder Tel 246 427 0966 KENDAL SPORTING Contact: Richard Bradshaw Tel: 246 437 5306 BARBADOS CLAY TARGET SHOOTING ASSOCIATION Contact: Peter Reece Email Tel: 246 437 4930

HEALTH AND FITNESS SURFSIDE WELLNESS GYM Tel: 246 436 1024/ 246 436 5669 Add: Unit 1B, 5 Wildey Industrial Estate, St. Michael BARBADOS BODY BUILDING & FITNESS FEDERATION Contact: Shirley Garnes Tel: 246 424 0888 Add: PO Box 383, Bridgetown, St. Michael BARBADOS AMATEUR GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION President: Jukka Terho Tel 246 230 2511 Email

Sporting Contacts


TAEKWONDO: TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Master Ronald Philip Tel: 246 8226583/4261998 Add: 13 Draytons Close, Boulevard Rd, Enterprise, Ch Ch

(246) 420-1800(w)/231-7390(c) {Secretary} 437-1305(h)/420-1902(w) Address: P.O. Box 659, Bridgetown, Barbados Email: Facebook: Barbados Badminton Player

BADMINTON: BARBADOS BADMINTON ASSOCIATION Contact: Mr. Kevin Wood (President) / Mr. Mervyn Gordon (Secretary) Telephone: {President}

Sporting Contacts MIND GAMES



BARBADOS YACHT CLUB Tel: 246 427 1125 Bay Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael

WARRI Contact: Lee Farnum-Badley badley@sunbeach.,net Tel: 246 432 1292 BRIDGE Secretary – Charles Hollingsworth

TRACK AND FIELD AMATEUR ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS President: Ester Maynard Secretary: Catherine Jordan Tel: 246 427 4684/ 246 231 1071 Fax: 246 427 2658 BARBADOS OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION Contact: Erskine Simmons Tel: 246 429 1998ß SPECIAL OLYMPICS (BARBADOS) Chairman Mrs Thelma Brathwaite National Director: Winston Skinner Tel: 246 426 9064

BARBADOS SAILING ASSOCIATION P O Box 40 Bridgetown BB11000 Contact – President Peter Thompson Secretary – Penny McIntyre

SURFING BARBADOS SURFING ASSOCIATION President: Brian Allan Email Tel: 246 826 7661 BARBADOS JUNIOR SURFING CLUB President: Alan Burke Tel 246 2302456 Email WINDSURFING AND WATER FESTIVAL Contact: Brian Talma Tel: 246 428 6596

MOTOR SPORT BARBADOS RALLY CLUB PO Box 71, Bridgetown, St. Michael - Jeanne Crawford





BARBADOS AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION President: Sonia O’Neal Tel: 246 429 7946/ 246 434 0523

BARBADOS CYCLING UNION Keith Yearwood, President Tel 246 437 1916 c/o Barbados Olympic Association Inc. Olympic Centre,Garfield Sobers Sports Complex Wildey,Bridgetown St. MichaelBB15094

GAME FISHING BARBADOS GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION Contact: James Pierce PO Box 80, Bridgetown, St. Michael 22


SOME USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS BARBADOS TURF CLUB AT THE GARRISON Tel: 246 426 3980 BARBADOS POLO CLUB AT HOLDER’S HILL Tel: 246 432 1802/ 246 230 1308/4375410 CLIFTON POLO CLUB Tel: 246 433 8800/ 246 826 POLO APES HILL POLO CLUB Tel: 246 432 9550/2623270 LION CASTLE POLO CLUB Tel: 246 427 0022 NATIONAL SPORTS COUNCIL Email Contact: Adrian Donovan Tel: 246 427 1125/430 7700 NATIONAL STADIUM AT WATERFORD Tel: 246 426 0627 WEST INDIES CRICKET BOARD Tel: 246 425 1093 YMCA Tel: 246 426 3910 YWCA Tel: 246 425 7308 BARBADOS TOURISM AUTHORITY Tel: 246 427 2623 Harbour Road, Bridgetown UK- Canada- Miami- New York- California- BARBADOS NATIONAL TRUST – HIKE BARBADOS Tel 246 436-9033 Email BARBADOS HASH HOUSE HARRIERS

Sporting Contacts BARBADOS EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION Contact: Mike West

Hello Virgin Celebrities! Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley MP cutting the ribbon with Nick Parker, General Manager Virgin Atlantic Caribbean to open the Jubilee street fair in the Gap.

Chanda Gooding

DJ KB Kleen

Marcelle Mieux-Nelson with Sir Everton Weekes

The entertaining Traffic Wardens at the Virgin Atlantic Street Fair.

Sir Everton Weekes, Rachel Pilgrim, Alvin Haynes, Nick Parker (GM Virgin Atlantic), Joel Garner, Marcelle MieuxNelson, Charlie Griffith and Cheryl Bascombe enjoying the Clobi Cup from the Virgin Atlantic Box

Virgin Celebrities

The Virgin Girls!

Russ Abbott and Jim Brewer

Sir Robin Buchanan, Peter Odle, David Gittens and guest at the Realtors Race Day

Dereck Smith and Gay Smith, owners of St Nicholas Abbey who won the Breeder’s Cup with champion trainer Aiden O’Brien and champion Jockey Joseph O’Brien, Larry Warren and his son Simon being presented the bridle and saddle cloth to go on display in St Nicholas Abbey. Looking on is Gregory Armstrong, BTA

Clarence Hiles, Tony Cozier, veteran WI cricket commentator with Colin Nash

Sporting Barbados SPORTINGBARBADOS.COM on the International Stage

Mr. David Rice BTA, Pamela Hiles, Petra Roach BTA & Minister Sealy at the launch of in London

Sir Garfield Sobers 26

Gianfranco Zola & Petra Roach

Dwight York, Terry Sheringham & Brian Lara



Beautiful, Beautiful B




Barbados W

ell-known Barbadian singer Emile Straker immortalized these words in song and for three decades every visitor to the island has heard it played and given it total endorsement. Our little island may be only 166 square miles in size, 21 miles by 14 miles at its longest, but it is the Gem of the Caribbean and renowned for idyllic beaches, relaxed lifestyle and friendly people. Our economy is driven by tourism so there is always a welcome for overseas visitors, many of whom return year after year. But Barbados has much more than sand, sea and sunshine. It is a vibrant and visionary business community that offers a wide range of opportunities in offshore and international commerce and it has proved a paradise for thousands of second home owners, many who came on holiday, fell in love with the island, and eventually made it their holiday home or their retirement home. Historically the island has a colonial culture and many place names have retained the British connection that served Barbados well until 1966 when it became an Independent Colony within the Commonwealth. The impressive Parliament Buildings beside Heroes Square and the Nelson Statue at the top of Broad Street house the second oldest democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Bustling Bridgetown is the capital and shows a motley mixture of old and new buildings with the Careenage coming right up into the City Centre. But the old merchant ships that brought much-needed supplies from England to the colony have long since disappeared to be replaced by cruisers, fishing charter boats and fun catamarans. The sea is a big part of everyday life in Barbados and the fish caught 29



within our waters form an important part of the diet. The fishing village of Oistins on the South Coast has the biggest open fish market during the day and a plethora of open-air fish restaurants and entertainment in the evening. Friday is the big night when thousands of local and overseas revellers congregate for fun and enjoyment, but there’s something happening every night in Oistins. The Arawaks and the Caribs were the island’s first inhabitants and Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos gave it its name “Los Barbados” in 1536 when he discovered it en route to Brazil. However, it was Captain John Powell who arrived in 1625 and claimed it for Britain. Many foreign fleets attacked the island, 30



but they could not defeat the Barbados Garrison and the canon guns at Needham’s Point overlooking Carlisle Bay and protecting the rich Bridgetown traders. Sugar became the island’s major asset, and while its production has dwindled in modern times, it is still an important earner of foreign currency and the key ingredient in the production of local rum. Cricket put Barbados on the map and many outstanding sports people, local and overseas, have continued to give us an international identity. None more so than the great Rihanna, whose string of musical hits have made her and her homeland household names across the globe. Others like Shontelle and the talented group Cover Drive are rapidly moving in the same direction. Modern Barbados is a mixture of many nationalities, colour and creeds. The Slave trade in the 17th century brought large numbers of Africans and Oliver Cromwell banished the Irish to the island so historical links with the past are complex and bloody. The British slave trade was abolished in 1807 and slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834. Barbadians remember this titanic struggle and the heroic role played by slave ranger Bussa every year on Emancipation Day 1 August. In more recent times the government has identified ten important people who made huge contributions to the social and political well-being of the island and perpetuated their memory in Heroes Square. Legendary cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers is the only 32





living National Hero and the only sportsman recognized. Geographically Barbados is very flat with Mount Hillaby (1, 105 feet) the highest point. The West Coast is the tranquil beachfront with all the major luxury hotels, the East Coast is pulsating and breezy, a natural haven for surfers and people at peace with the world. The North Coast is rugged and largely uninhabited while the South Coast is bustling and has most of the island’s best entertainment and nightlife spots. But nothing compares to the island’s greatest assets of sand, sea and sunshine. They are truly gifts from the Almighty. Every Bajan knows it and every visitor discovers it.



Chic Nightlife B

J. Clare Hiles

arbados has long been defined as an elite holiday destination, with our pristine beaches and relentless sunshine stealing the heart of many a visitor. But when the sun goes down, the Barbados’ nightlife scene takes over, creating a thriving hive of activity all over the island. The South Coast of Barbados boasts an endless array of entertainment venues, including the well-known ‘Gap’ and its colourful bars and clubs. The new Cafe Sol, a Mexican bar and restaurant, has exploded into a popular hotspot for good Mexican food and delicious cocktails every night of the week. Their Happy Hour drink deals and convenient location close to entering St. Lawrence Gap mean that the atmospheric restaurant is a fantastic place to begin a night out in Barbados. Further into the Gap you experience a wave of restaurants and bars, including renowned Irish pub, McBride’s, whose preference for live music and Happy Hour deals have made it one of the most celebrated hotspots on the South Coast. McBride’s also offers casual dining, with an extensive menu and great staff, but later in the night it transforms into the bustling Irish pub and party scene. Eat early and party late! Further along the Gap you’ll find nightlife newcomer Sugar Ultra Lounge, formerly the Ship Inn, but now transformed into a classy upmarket nightclub from late 2011. With glitzy visitors like superstars Rihanna and Shontelle, they have gained a huge local following with their ultra-modern, stylish interiors and vibrant atmosphere. Sugar adheres to a strict dress code policy, ensuring that all its patrons are chic and meet their upscale standards, a comfort zone that many visitors enjoy. They also offer private booths for hire, and this almost guarantees a fantastic VIP experience right in the heart of the club.



While the Gap is often referred to as the hub of Barbadian nightlife, the West Coast of the island is now enjoying a renaissance in nightlife activity and offers a lot in terms of after hours fun and revellry. Dubbed the ‘Platinum Coast’, the west of the island is frequented by the rich and famous, who love the laidback culture of Barbados nightlife and the absence of international paparazzi. The notorious First and Second Streets in Holetown feature a host of popular restaurants and bars including Nishi, Lexi’s and the Elbow Room, in addition to another Bajan newcomer-Priva. The elegant classy Priva has taken clubbing to a higher level as an intimate, ritzy venue for a wild night out. Opening from Thursdays to Sundays only, their exclusive weekend hours offer the ultimate spot to party with a cosmopolitan vibe. Just across the main road from First and Second Street sits the impressive new Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, home to international elite brands like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Polo Ralph Lauren. Exclusive shopping is the daytime culture, but Limegrove has also gained notoriety as a weekend nightlife location, with their well-known Lime Bar being the focal point. Connected to the Zoola Cafe, the bar has quickly risen to ‘the place to be and be seen’ status on the island. With live music on Saturday night and a bubbly lively ambience every night, the Lime Bar is a great place to start and finish a night out on the West Coast. Some people might never move. Finally, the world-renowned Harbour Lights still holds its title as the number one club in Barbados, incorporating both the indoors and outdoors ambience to create the perfect setting for a brilliant night out in tropical environs. The perfect mix of tourists and locals, Harbour Lights offers a dinner show on Monday and Wednesday nights, which combines good Bajan food with fantastic local entertainment. Also on Wednesday and Friday nights, the doors open to a late night party scene with their famous “drinks free” deal too good to miss. Harbour Lights has been around for decades, but it has moved with the times and still captures the unique atmosphere of Barbados nightlife. So whether you are looking for a quiet drink or the night of your life Barbados has something to offer everyone. 38



J. Clare Hiles

S MICHAEL Michael Kors Large Hamilton Tote available at Michael Kors – Limegrove Lifestyle Centre’. 40

hopping in Barbados ranges from quirky holiday souvenirs to fabulous designer finds. Our retail industry boasts a wide range of stores to cater to all shoppers, with convenient locations all over the island. From simple presents for loved ones to exciting buys for you, shopping in Barbados has never had as much selection before. The Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, located in Holetown on the west of the island is Barbados’ first luxury shopping centre. Not just a gorgeous architectural masterpiece, the new lifestyle centre houses elite brands such as Diamonds International, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Luis Vuitton and Michael Kors, and a plethora of other popular retail outlets. Constantly expanding, Limegrove incorporates affordable luxury with an invigorating shopping experience, thanks to several delightful restaurants dotted around the complex, an art gallery, a lively central bar and a state-of-the-art cinema. Armani Exchange, MAC and Agent Provocateur are three of the other well-known brands inside the shopping centre, but the entire range is diverse with an array of enticing retail outlets ranging from home items to special jewelry pieces. A few hundred yards down the road in Holetown sits the Chattel House Village with a number of quaintly decorated chattel houses. All have been tastefully transformed into retail shops selling clothing, souvenirs, gourmet food and jewelry. The quaint little Carizma Café is

#32 Broad Street, Bridgetown | Tel. (246) 429-7072 |


located in the middle of the village and a welcome gourmet oasis for tiring legs and perhaps some time to reflect in the next purchase. They serve excellent food and have the best Cappuccino on the island. Chattel House Villages can be found on both the South and West Coasts and they are popular shopping areas for both tourists and locals as they create a unique shopping experience within a Caribbean architectural culture. Bustling Bridgetown, the capital of the island, is famous for its extensive duty-free selections and retail outlets. Broad Street is littered with shopping treasures, from small independent shops to bigger retail franchises. Our big sprawling local department store Cave Shepherd carries many international brands including MAC and Victoria Secret, along with a large Beauty Department, bookstore, and furniture floor. Their men’s clothing department is an Aladdin’s Cave for the beau because the extensive Broad Street Men’s & Women’s Designer Wear Department carries Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and many other popular labels, while their women’s selection is equally as enticing. Cave Shepherd is also located at the Vista Complex on the main South Coast Road and at Holetown. If jewels are your passion then Broad Street is your oasis with beautiful stores at Diamonds International, Colombian Emeralds and The Royal Shop. These top Caribbean jewelers are world-class offering a magnificent selection of jewels, watches and virtually everything to satisfy a shopper’s appetite. They carry unique jewel cuts as well as international jewelry brands, ensuring you will always find something to match your taste. Shopping complexes are dotted all along the main South Coast Road, 42

Chattel Village


including the new Lanterns Mall opposite the boardwalk at Hastings. Lanterns has had immediate success, with its wide range of captivating stores and a large food court attracting patrons. Lazy Days Surf Shop and iMart are two of the local franchises located there, but the many independent labels hold a myriad of treasures waiting to be found. Shoppers should also show some enterprise and venture inland. The Millhouse Complex in St. Thomas is a few minutes drive from the main ABC Highway and the perfect place for home furnishings and stylish interior pieces. The complex has some of the best stores on the island in Dwellings, Gajah Home, Do-It-Best, Walker’s World and Timothy Oulton. It also has Liliplum, a fantastic baby and children’s store with a gorgeous array of products to suit any child. A further five minutes drive and you will reach Earthworks with its panoramic view of Bridgetown. Earthworks Pottery is magnificent and you can also see the potters at work and purchase some of their special pieces. Shopping in Barbados these days is a terrific experience thanks to a staggering array of choice and options. You’ll certainly find something to satisfy your shopping palate. Lanterns Mall




Sporting Days CRICKET


Sporting Days CRICKET


arbados has a rich cricket heritage second to none and while the older folks lament on the absence of modern players to match the great legends Weekes, Worrell, Walcott, Sobers, Hunte, Hall, Griffith, Greenidge, Haynes, Garner et al, days spent at Oval watching a test match remain very special. The Kensington Oval is the Mecca of West Indies cricket and its transformation pre-2007 to host the World Cup Final made it into one of the best cricket grounds in the world. We all lament the passing of the old ground with its famous Pickwick Pavilion and all the old photographs around the walls of the great teams and players who played at the Oval for over 100 years. The old stands all around the ground had their characters, and on match days there was just as much entertainment on the terraces as on the cricket field such was the calibre of music, revelry and rhetoric that they brought to the game. Each stand carried a famous name, testimony to a great player or administrator, and spectators held certain seats in certain areas, sometimes for generations. But the reality was that the stands were old, dysfunctional and dangerous, so the impetus created by the 2007 World Cup was the catalyst that brought change and produced the “new� Kensington Oval. It would be easy to say the new Oval has lost much of the character and atmosphere of the old stadia where the bustling entrance road into the stands was always a hub of activity before and after games, but especially at the lunch interval. Many of the great names and personalities had to fight their way through thronging crowds and if they were travelling by car their progress was slow and punctuated with plenty of advice and vocals from the boisterous locals. Barbadians love 48

Sporting Days CRICKET

their cricket and they are not afraid to let you know it, friend or foe. The hustle and bustle outside the famous 3Ws and Pickwick stands was very special and while the modern design removed bottle-neck and with it a very special atmosphere, it has created a much more userfriendly ambience in keeping with better facilities and easier crowd control. Going to the Oval in 2013 is a much more organized and civilized affair with ample parking away from the stadium and plenty of fast-moving entry points to get to meeting points inside the ground. A last minute Ticket Office is well situated and all around the statue of Sir Garfield Sobers locals and visitors meet with friends. The Sobers statue is the most photographed symbol in Barbados and a major tourism attraction throughout the year. The visit of England still attracts the most spectators to the Kensington Oval, a residue of our heritage and close association with the Mother Country even although Barbados has been an independent colony since 1966. The cricketing Brits love Barbados and the locals love them just as much. Indeed the locals love all visiting cricketers as they share the same passion for a sport that is inherent in everyday Barbados life. Perhaps the passion has died a little with the indifferent form of the current team, but form is fickle and there are positive signs the good times are coming back. Inside the modern Kensington Oval there are plenty of souvenir shops, fast-food outlets, cricket memorabilia outlets and drinks aplenty. The area between the shops and the back of the Kensington Stand is now the bustling meeting point for many people before and after games, and the place to eat and drink and talk about the morning’s play at lunchtime. It is a cauldron of noise and excitement on match days. 50

Sporting Days CRICKET

Spectators should travel early to the game on the first day of the test match whether they are local or a visitor. Traffic jams and security searches can cause delays and it is best to be inside the ground early to capture the atmosphere and mix with the celebrities, most of whom are just as passionate about cricket as anyone. And if you haven’t been to the Oval since its rejuvenation you will delighted to see a splendid new arena fit to stage any major cricket exchange. The players are housed in the Garfield Sobers Stand, the press and media in the Short Stand, the dignitaries in the 3Ws Stand, the party goers in the Party Stand and the spectators everywhere else. Most of the old stand names have been retained and the playing surface is now a proper fullsized Oval superbly manicured and presented. A large electronic scoreboard beams numbers and pictures of all the action and many of the characters that have adorned the Oval down the years like Mac Fingall and Gravy captivate the crowds with entertainment on the terraces. If you love cricket there’s simply no better place to be than at the Kensington Oval on the first day of a test match. Take your seat and let Christopher Gayle entertain you… 52



Solid Foundation

Local school wins the Sir Garry Tournament for the first time


oundation School in Barbados created their own niche in cricket history last year when they won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket tournament for the first time. Foundation beat local and overseas teams to reach the final, but their biggest scalp was in the Kensington Oval showpiece where they romped home against the defending champions Combermere School. Sixteen schools from the Caribbean region and England competed in the 26th running of this popular tournament which has been graced by many test players in their developing years and who went on to higher glory in later times. Amongst them are the legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara and from the current test team Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne Smith, Darren and Dwayne Bravo. Top England batsman Alistair Cooke is another famous Old Boy. The tournament’s link with the past is an integral part of its culture, not least in the prominent role played by its Patron and Mentor His Excellency Sir Garry Sobers. The Great Man is still much to the fore in


the promotion and administration of the event and his celebrity supporting entourage included some of the biggest names in West Indies cricket in Sir Everton Weekes, Seymour Nurse, Charlie Griffith and big Joel Garner, the current President of the Barbados Cricket Association. The Sir Garry Tournament is a serious competitive cricket event, but it also attempts to widen the experience and provide an insight into the cultural, geographical and social nature of the island. Matches are played at locations all over Barbados and the overseas participants get a unique insight into both rural and urban Barbados. The venues vary from schools playing fields to the top senior grounds, and ultimately the Kensington Oval where some of the greatest players to grace the game have plied their trade in years gone by. The modern Oval is light years away from the old Oval with its motley array of wooden stands, but the modern stadia has retained all the old names and is a fitting tribute to an island that has a unique status in international cricket. Combermere School won the inaugural tournament in 1987, but local schools have found it tough going over the years as many



talented teams from all over the world have left their mark in performances as much as their friendly demeanour. Sixteen wins have been attained by overseas teams including six from Trinidad and a joint success in 1996 for the Transvaal Combined team from South Africa. The tournament is played on a 40-overs basis with round-robin matches culminating in semi-final knockout games and play-offs for the minor places. The event culminates at the Kensington Oval almost three weeks after the Opening Welcome and immediately following the final the sponsors and special guests make the presentations. The highlight for the winning team members is to receive their medals and to be photographed with Sir Garry, rated the best player ever to grace the game. There can be no greater honour for any aspiring young cricketer than to be in the company of such greatness. The Barbados Tourism Authority has been the principal sponsor since inception and it remains the pivotal source of information for schools wishing to enter the tournament. For more information contact:

Joel Garner





Sir Wesley Winfield Hall, Knight Bachelor (KB)


Seasoned cricket lovers will recall with some trepidation the fearsome fast bowling partnership of Hall and Griffith that terrorized leading test batsmen over 50 years ago and who became one of the greatest opening attacks in the history of the game. Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith were legends in their time and in tandem with the great Garry Sobers they formed a unique trio of pace unrivalled anywhere in the cricketing world. Wes Hall has had an amazing journey in life since he first burst into Barbados cricket and it all came to a climax last year when he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, a fitting tribute to a much-loved man whose charisma and energy has endeared him to everyone. Now Sir Wes Hall and Reverend Wes Hall, his infectious vivacious personality is still much in evidence in everyday Barbados life where he continues to play a leading role in church, tourism and cricket matters, probably in that batting order. Wes Hall started his cricket career at Combermere School as a wicketkeeper/batsman, but as soon as he took off the gloves and reverted to pace bowling his status rose to another level. At the time Ronnie Hughes was his cricket master and the school Curator was West Indian pace bowler Frank King. Amongst his schoolmates were Peter Lashley and Rawle Branker, both of who also played for the West Indies in later years. Such was Wes’s success as a tearaway fast bowler that he was fasttracked into the West Indies test squad in 1957 before he had played for Barbados. He didn’t debut until the following year against India in 56

Mumbai when he dismissed NJ Contractor in his first over. Test matches in those days were not as prevalent as they have become in the modern era, but Wes became the first West Indian bowler to claim a hat-trick in a test match against Pakistan the following year, and over the next 10 years he reeked havoc wherever he bowled all over the world. In total he played 48 tests and took 192 wickets, including some outstanding and unforgettable performances. He was the central figure in the famous drawn test with Australia in 1960 bowling the last over when three wickets sensationally fell including that of Richie Benaud. His feats in England in 1963 in tandem with Charlie Griffith elevated him to superstar status and an historic test series win for the West Indies. Tall, handsome and athletic he was a powerful physical force and much-loved in Australia where he played for Queensland for two years in the Sheffield Shield. The test career of Sir Wes finished in 1969 after a series of injuries, but he still played at club level and entered into a colourful career that embraced marketing, human resources, administration, tourism and politics. He was as lively and as energetic as a public speaker as he was on the cricket field and proved to be a capable politician. He never lost his passion for sport and as Minister of Tourism in 1987 he launched many initiatives to promote sports tourism. His life took a dramatic shift in direction in 1990 when he was ordained as a Minister in the Pentecostal Church, a role he has continued to carry out alongside his many other civic and community responsibilities. He was a West Indies selector, Team Manager and later President and almost an automatic nomination into the West Indies Hall of Fame. In more recent times he has been one of the driving forces behind the Cricket Legends initiative and he has been an integral part of many of the government’s sports tourism projects. His experience and knowledge of sport and tourism have been invaluable across many initiatives, but it is his ebullient effervescent personality that has continued to endear him to everyone. His elevation to the Knighthood was long overdue and he now deservedly sits amongst an elite group of knighted cricketers who have brought great distinction to their island. Sir Wes was not only knighted for his services to cricket, but to the wider community in general. He is a true icon of Barbados sport.



Kiddy Cricket

The day Daniel and Chirpy met at the Oval


arbados teenager Daniel Lashley will never forget Easter Sunday last year when he proudly watched Chirpy, the new Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Mascot, being ceremoniously unveiled at the Kensington Oval during the West IndiesAustralia test match. Of course, the milestone had particular significance for the young student, as it was his creation having won the top prize in a Scotiabank Competition to replace their former mascot Clarence the Crab. Daniel’s design was voted the best in the Caribbean region and he stole the limelight when he led Chirpy and scores of Scotiabank Kiddy Cricketers onto the field at the lunch break to showcase their skills. The new fun-loving Chirpy is already a permanent feature at all the top West Indies cricket matches and a must-have photo opportunity for both the young and not so young. The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme continues to thrive in the region and provide young boys and girls with an early opportunity to hone cricket skills. For many lucky participants it is also an opportunity to parade them in front of large crowds at big cricket grounds like the Kensington Oval. Congratulations to Daniel and Scotiabank on adding another tier to this wonderful initiative and good luck Chirpy in carrying on the good work.


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World Champion For over 64 years


orld records are made to be broken and world champion status is the pinnacle of any sportsperson’s ambition. Despite its small status Barbados has punched above its weight in the league of world champions and especially at cricket where generation after generation has produced some of the greatest players ever to grace the game. And from within their ranks the greatest of the greatest produced amazing records, which have stood for many years and in the case of Sir Everton Weekes, a world record that has stood since 1949. At their peak in the Fifties the legendary 3Ws (Everton Weekes, Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott) produced some prodigious batting feats in West Indies and Barbados colours. Sons of the soil they put this small island on the international cricket map and blazed a trail that was so gloriously followed by a plethora of cricket stars that included Conrad Hunte, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Seymour Nurse, Vanburn Holder, Wayne Daniel, Malcolm Marshall, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Joel Garner and the arguably greatest cricketer that ever lived, Garfield Sobers. Records were set and records were broken as each generation tried to maintain the lofty standards set by their predecessors as the West Indies came of age as a major cricket nation in the post-Second World War era. Some performances were world records and are still very special milestones in the history of Barbados cricket. Garry Sobers was just sixteen when he made his 1st. Class cricket debut against India in 1957 and barely a year later he made his test debut against England at Sabina Park, Kingston. Four years later on the same ground Garry scored a memorable 365 not out on a difficult wicket against Pakistan to beat Len Hutton’s world record and catapult him to world status. It was a huge achievement for the fledging young all-rounder and many outstanding performances followed with both bat 60

and ball in two decades of cricketing brilliance. The record stood until Brian Lara scored 375 against England at Antigua in the 1993-4 Series. But Garry held another world record that has received just as much notoriety for its belligerence in a sport besotted with statistics and records. The NottinghamshireGlamorgan county match at Swansea in 1968 took place late in the season and was perhaps more important to the visitors as they were keen to finish in the top six of the league table after several seasons at the bottom. It was the first season the counties were allowed to register an overseas player without having to qualify and Notts were fortunate to secure the services of Garry Sobers as he pillaged over 1,000 runs and took over 80 wickets. He came to the crease late on the first day and with over 300 on the scoreboard he expected a declaration. In that frame of mind and with 40 already against his name it was medium pacer turned slow bowler Malcolm Nash who felt the full brunt of the Sobers onslaught in an unforgettable over that produced six sixes. It was a world record at the time and although it has been matched several times since it will never be eradicated from the records. However, the Everton Weekes record still stands after 64 years and some cricket experts feel it may never be broken such is the quality and consistency required. It all started at the end of England’s 1947-8 Tour to the Caribbean when late call-up Weekes scored his first test century (141) after being dropped by Godfrey Evans before he got off the mark. It continued into the 1948-9 Test Series in India when Weekes scored four successive centuries to become the first and only batsman to score five consecutive centuries. And it should have been six, as the prolific Barbadian was given run on 90 in the next match in a fiercely controversial decision that would have been rescinded in modern times with current technology. Weekes gave an indication of things to come when he hit 172 against North Zone in the first match of the tour and during the series he amassed several records that were eventually broken by later generations, but his five successive centuries has yet to be threatened despite the huge number of test matches played in the modern era. Everton Weekes and Garry Sobers are living legends in West Indies and world cricket and both have been knighted for their achievements and service to the game. They are members of an elite group of Barbados cricket knights that include Sir Conrad Hunte, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Wes Hall. Six cricket knights from a small Caribbean island is an amazing record in its own right, capped by a unique record that has stood for 64 years.

The Sandy Lane Gold Cup


ou don’t have to be a racing enthusiast to enjoy the glitz and extravaganza of Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day on the first Saturday every March. Nine races on a packed programme plus a sparkling parade of dancers, stiltmen, regimental bands and gymnasts combine with a feature singer, national anthems, international television and a bevy of celebrity guests to make this the biggest day in the Barbados Turf Club’s year. The occasion is as much about the glitz as it is about the racing and there are lots of overseas personalities and special guests on island to add to the atmosphere and sense of occasion.


Sporting Days




The Gold Cup dates back to 1982 and has a wonderful pedigree in Caribbean racing, not least for the rivalry amongst the local owners and breeders and the overseas entrants. The big purse also attracts some of the top English jockeys and guarantees the return of Barbados’s best overseas riders from Canada. These include the prolific Patrick Husbands from Woodbine in Canada where he has been Champion Jockey on no less that seven occasions. The beauty of Gold Cup Day is the atmosphere created by a packed stand, big crowds around the Garrison perimeter, fun fair in the centre of the course, beautifully dressed ladies, quality racing and the fanfare surrounding the big race late in the afternoon. Everything builds to a crescendo and when the parade finishes the penultimate and feature race takes place in front of a packed arena. It may last barely two minutes but the adrenalin pump and excitement lasts for hours, sometimes days, and sometimes forever if you are part of the winning connections. Everybody wants to win the Sandy Lane Gold Cup and if you are multiple winning owners like Sir David Seale and Gay Smith it is a thrill that never leaves you. The same could be said for the jockeys, trainers, grooms and punters, as winning connections stretch far beyond the owners because everyone shares in the glory of Gold Cup success. Visitors love the laidback casual ambience of Barbados racing where you can watch from vantage points all around the course at no cost. On Gold Cup Day there’s plenty of fun, drinks, food, picnics and entertainment close to the strategically placed betting booths, and a 64

From left to right: Sir Martyn Arbib, trainer Robert Peirce & Senator Geoffrey Cave


great opportunity to spend a day with new friends. Entry to the Main Stand is $15 and for this modest outlay there’s a feast of entertainment from 1pm to 5-50pm. Betting booths, television monitors and drinks outlets are nearby to add the little bits of luxury to a sporting occasion where you can also see the jockeys close at hand as they make their way to and from the jockey room just below the stands. And therein lies one of the great features of Barbados racing-the intimacy. Where else in the racing world would you get as close to the finish line, the horses, the jockeys, and the parade ring? The Garrison is a special place to watch racing, not least because you can get so close to the action. The build-up to Gold Cup Day is full of hype and expectancy. The beautiful trophy is traditionally flown in from England by British Airways and officially handed over to the Sandy Lane sponsors with all the pomp and glory associated with the premier race in the Southern Caribbean. On Race Day it sits serenely beside the parade ring until the eighth race when it is taken into custody of the Barbados Turf Club President’s Box to await presentation by the Barbados Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart. The frenzy mounts as the parade finishes and when the actual race starts the Garrison is a cauldron of noise and the atmosphere is electric. Winning is everything in racing and last year that sensation was experienced by popular owner and breeder Sir David Seale for a record sixth time, and a rare 1-2 when his second entry John Brian followed home the winner Dancing David with Jalon Samuel in the saddle. Winners barely pass the Finish Line before they are engulfed by well wishers and supporters and last year the victory salute in front of the 66


stand with owner and trainer Liz Deane was a chaotic scene. But eventually order was restored and the Seale family and Hopefield connections were free to celebrate another unforgettable victory. The Barbados racing calendar runs all year and is divided into three seasons that have racing on successive Saturdays. There are plenty of top races and excellent prizes from quality sponsors. Other major events include the Diamonds International Series of five races for West Indian bred two-year olds, the Barbados United Insurance Derby, The Pinnacle Feeds Midsummer Creole Classic, The Banks Barbados Guineas, The Coolmore “Home of Champions” Trophy and the Victor Chandler Trophy. Generous patrons, benefactors and sponsors have blessed the “Sport of Kings” in Barbados down the years and its success owes much to their support. The Barbados Turf Club dates back to 1905, but racing at the Garrison was first recorded in 1845 when the local cavalry officers raced off against the local planters for bragging rights. Perhaps not much has changed over the years given the competitive nature of the top racing personalities in modern times, but for the spectator it is a wonderful day’s entertainment. It is a “Must do” in Barbados.



Record Six Gold Cups


urrent President of the Barbados Turf Club, Sir David “Parky” Seale has been involved in Barbados horseracing for over 50 years, but he surely never enjoyed a racing moment sweeter than when his Dancing David romped home just ahead of his stable mate John Brian in the 2012 Sandy Lane Gold Cup. It was Sir David’s sixth victory in the South Caribbean’s most prestigious race and 19 years after his last win with Chou Chou Royale in 1993. That victory was secured in the name of his devoted wife Lady Anne Seale, who has been a staunch supporter of her husband’s passion. The familiar red and black Seale colours first enjoyed Gold Cup success in 1986 when in the fifth running of the race Venice Richards guided the Ronald Burke-trained Bentom home. Three more wins followed in 1989, 1991 and 1992 from the amazing Sandford Prince with the legendary Richards in the saddle twice. Chou Chou Royale’s win in 1993 was three in succession and a record five wins for the Seale connections, but who would have thought it would take another 19 years to add to the tally? That’s why the 2012 win was so sweet for Sir David and his trainer Liz Deane, a former jockey and the only female trainer in Barbados. When David Seale joined the sport in 1962 racing in Barbados was a far cry from the Garrison scene of today, but in tandem with other devoted racing enthusiasts, David Seale has played a huge part in raising the sport to another level. A popular sports enthusiast, entrepreneur and successful businessman, he has not been shy to air 70

his views publicly on many of the sporting and social issues that arise in modern Barbados and his opinions are highly respected. As head of RL Seale and Company he has played the pivotal role in expanding his business interests and at the same time supported worthy social and sporting causes. When Pickwick Cricket Club was forced out of their long-standing home at the Kensington Oval to make way for the new stadia pre-2007 World Cup, the generous patron and club sponsor kindly provided a new home in the pastoral setting of St. Phillip within Hopefield Estate and a short distance from his home. Knighted in 2000 for his services to local business, sport and the community, Sir David lives with his family at Hopefield Manor, a delightful old Barbadian property that dates back to 1831. The Hopefield Estate is an impressive sprawling empire just outside Six Roads in St. Phillip and is accessed by some of the best roads on the island. The estate includes the Four Square Rum Distillery, a blending and bottling rum plant and Heritage Park, an expansive stud farm with mini racetrack, a working plantation, hundreds of acres of farmland and the cricket ground. Visitors come daily to Four Square and on race days local people watch in awe as the horseboxes carry the Seale charges off to the Garrison and more potential glory. Sir David has also racing interests in both the UK and Canada and 2011 Gold Cup winner Dancing David raced several times in England in 2012. Hopefully more success will follow, but in the meantime his popular owner is already an icon in Barbados racing with six unforgettable Gold Cup wins.

Horse Racing REALTORS

Realtors at The Races Bruce Parravicino and Austin Hickey

Angela Simpson, Mr. Nick & Guest

Roger Parravicino

Suzanne Davis, Dan Louie, Stephen & Paula Scott & Richard Brown

Sir Charles Williams

Trainer Edward Walcott 72

Finish of the Michael Parravicino Race

Natasha Chandler, Linda Steele, Susie Ray & Sharon Lashley

Horse Racing


The Racing Parravicinos Y

ou can’t be in the company of “Nick” Parravicino for more than a few minutes without being captivated by his warm endearing personality. Whether it is real estate, gardening, his beloved island or topical issues, he is an engaging conversationalist and the voice of reason and integrity. When you move into the topic of racing, his eyes light up like a beacon and the conversation rises to another level with his wonderful recollections of over 50 years in the sport. The genial Mr. Nick is the “Grand Old Gentleman” of Barbados racing and while he also enjoys icon status in the local real estate community, he loves nothing better than to reminisce down his racing memory lane in the company of his son Roger and grandson Bruce, both of whom share a similar passion. Family is everything to Mr. Nick and he speaks lovingly about past and present and how each of his nearest and dearest has enriched his racing experience. The Parravicinos currently span four generations and there’s every likelihood that a fifth generation will add to this remarkable story. Mr. Nick talks affectionately about his colourful introduction to “The Sport of Kings”. His late father was quite a character in his day and owned Johnston’s Stables and Garage which was a leading service provider for the fledging tourist industry in the post-war era. He made a tidy living from visiting tourists and cruise ships, but often played the “Poor Bob” card with great affection and ingenuity. When asked to introduce himself at a glitzy Rotary dinner one evening he stood up and said “Poor Bob, taxi driver” to the great amusement of all those present. Poor Bob not only passed down his warm infectious personality and his industrious work ethic to his son, but his love of racing. His first horse Sunbeam was bought from his trainer friend Stewart Massiah as a favour and although he later bought a number of horses he never went to the paddock or the stands. Race days were few and far between compared to the modern era and they were family days for Bob and the young Parravicinos. A big picnic was packed and Bob stationed his entourage at the 9-furlong pole where they had a great day’s entertainment out on the course. If he won it was great, but winning wasn’t everything to the colourful “Poor Bob”. The same could be said for Mr. Nick. There is surely no more gracious loser at the Turf Club, and an owner who has never lodged a protest in over 50 years of racing is certainly a rarity. In due course Nick followed his father’s footsteps and became an 74

owner. By that time he was married to Sheila and they had set home at Rockley. The Chandlers and the Goddards dominated the racing scene in the Fifties and the spirit amongst all the owners was full of sporting camaraderie. And, as Nick and Sheila were making their way at the fledgling Realtors Limited, they bought Quick Change in 1957 and opened up another chapter in the life of the Racing Parravicinos. Sheila was just as enthusiastic as her husband about racing and in later years she earned a reputation within the family as a decisive buyer-sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. Most of the Parravicino horses were honest triers rather than champions, but their fun was in the racing and working with trainers like the legendary Rupert Mayers and Pat Fletcher, both of whom were also good friends. Inevitably Nick and Sheila passed on their passion to sons Michael and Roger. Michael was in the real estate business and Roger was a Land Surveyor, but ran his own stables as a hobby. However, when Pat died in 1982 Roger took over training the family horses and is now one of the leading trainers on the island. Nick loves to relate stories of his racing exploits and can remember all the horses with uncanny precision. Trips to Trinidad, Martinique, Royal Ascot, and the Breeders’ Cup were big highlights, but he also recalls with great affection the Garrison racing scene in the old days“Race Days had a great atmosphere. Racing stopped between the fourth and fifth races when we had tea and watched and listened to the police band. The booths were full of the ‘Well to do’ and the grandstand was packed. Everyone had their allocated seats and sat in them every Race Day. There was always a big crowd inside the course and all around the track. Many people from Trinidad came over and it was very common for winning owners to throw an open bar and share their success. Everything and everyone was very friendly”. Over the years Nick and Sheila had their share of both success and disappointment. They twice pulled out of racing completely, and on one occasion went 21 years without winning a race. Typically Nick and Roger laugh it off with almost resignation. As Nick recalls; “Not only did we go 21 years without a winner but when we did win the horse was relegated to last because the weight bag had fallen off. But we took it in our stride and we came back into racing because we loved it.” All the family shared their passion, but sadly Michael lost his brave battle with cancer and died in 2002. He was destined to take over the successful Realtors business, but it was not to be. However, his memory lives on. Realtors has been a race sponsor from 1987 and now their Race Day is a fitting memorial called the Michael Parravicino Memorial Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy for Barbados three-year olds. Sadly, the loving Sheila has also passed to a higher calling, but the Parravicino racing spirit lives on through Nick, Roger, his son Bruce and more recently cousin Simon. Bruce has always had an equestrian pedigree and was a rising star in showjumping before university took his career in another direction. He’s now happily married to Maritza, firmly entrenched in the family real estate business, and no doubt handing down his equestrian passion to daughter Elena and son Luca. He has also bought a racing horse with his cousin Simon and no doubt another chapter in the Racing Parravicinos is about to open. As for their favourite horse? It is definitely Talkaboutlucky, who captured the Horse of the Year Award in 2001 and 2002. But who knows what lies ahead for this passionate and endearing family of racing enthusiasts.

Horse Racing


Diamonds at The Races Jacob Hassid (Managing Director, DI) Mr. & Mrs. Evan Husbands

Simone Ward (Regional Marketing Manager, DI), Jacob Hassid (Managing Director, DI) & Candi Nicholls

Jacob Hassid (Managing Director, DI) Adeline Lister (Marketing, DI) Carson Small (Head of Security, DI)

Nikita Abed Presenting to the winner of the second race

Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Hassid with Poonam Uttamchandani 76

And they're off!

Nikita Abed and Michal Hassid (Presenting to the winner of the first race)

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Sporting Days POLO

An Afternoon at Holder’s Hill


any people have never seen a polo match until they came to Barbados. Because of the unique nature of the sport and its promotion within a narrow social and sporting spectrum it is not easily accessible in larger countries, which is why Barbados is so special and punches well above its weight in the number of polo venues. Polo is very accessible to spectators and an afternoon at polo during the International Season from January to May is very special. Teams from all over the world travel to play in Barbados and established tournaments and long standing tours attract regular return visitors and players. The most popular polo venues are at Holder’s Hill, Apes Hill Club, Lion Castle and Clifton. The sport is administered and regulated through the Barbados Polo Club which is centred on Holder’s Hill, but each venue has its own fixture list and manages its match days independently. These days are as much social as sporting, with plenty


Sporting Days POLO

of razzamatazz around the clubhouse and the sponsor’s tent. Being at polo is about being seen, and ladies dress to kill with their smart chic outfits and glamorous façade. Every polo ground has its own character and ambience, but an afternoon at Holder’s Hill remains the most popular polo experience for most visitors. Situated within easy striking distance of the popular West Coast, the polo field at Holder’s is set within the beautiful Holder’s Hill Estate where open air concerts during Holder’s Season are held every night to packed audiences. The polo matches are just as popular and the major match at 4-30pm is usually preceded with a club game to set the atmosphere. Big matches attract big sponsors and most of the socializing is centred on the picturesque little clubhouse with its rooftop stand, bar and outside seating for the rich and famous. In recent times there have been more photographers than players, such is the media focus and attraction of a sport that captures as much attention off the field as on it. That’s not to say the polo is anything other than fast, exciting and exhilarating, but more a reflection of the Who’s Who of Barbados society that mingle unobtrusively on the other side of the boards. High tea is available at Holder’s on arrival, barbeque dinner postmatch, and the bar is bustling with drinks and titter tatter throughout the afternoon. The sport has a champagne culture and champagne bottles pop at regular intervals, rising to a crescendo in the post-match celebrations. The match is preceded with a parade of the teams in front of the clubhouse, the presentation of a dignitary to the players, 82

Sir Charles Williams

Sports to Watch POLO

From left to right: Mr. Keith Melville and The Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., M.P., Prime Minister 84

national anthems, prayers, followed by some raucous commentary from the knowledgeable voice of polo aficionado Jonathan Simpson. Sometimes the Royal Barbados Police Band is in attendance and sponsors are from the top echelons of Barbados business. Polo is played in short seven minutes Chukkas and most matches in Barbados have 4-6 Chukkas. Play is full of stoppages so the matches generally last much longer and at Holder’s Hill that poses a problem as the falling sun casts long shadows over the ground in late afternoon. The Presentation of Prizes follows immediately after the match and then the evening entertainment takes over as the players return to the clubhouse to join their friends, and for the party swingers the convivial atmosphere of the afternoon’s entertainment just gathers momentum and continues. There’s no obligation to leave, and while darkness may have fallen and the polo action finished, an afternoon at Holder’s can continue long into the evening. The entry fee to polo is a modest BDS$20 and can be paid on arrival. The local season starts in November as the players get their ponies prepared and up to fitness after their six months layoff. By the end of

Sports to Watch POLO

the year most of them have had a few weeks playing local Chukkas and are ready for the top tournaments that run from January until May. Every year new teams travel to Barbados, but the most popular visitors are always the touring clubs from Cheshire in England and the Villages from Florida. Both clubs have been coming to Barbados for decades and have established long and lasting friendships with players and spectators. Polo is well promoted and marketed and all the top matches are advertised in the local media. Details can also be obtained from the Barbados Polo Club website ( Make sure to take away a copy of the impressive glossy magazine Polo Barbados. It is available free of charge at all the top polo grounds and tells you everything you need to know about the local polo scene. You can also read it online in the polo section of Sporting Barbados ( It may even have your photo in it!



Photo by Gerrard Wilson 88


By Mark Wheeler


otor sport in Barbados is widely acknowledged, not just by insiders, as the most popular spectator sport in the island. Around 12,000 spectators annually pay to attend the Digicel Williams Seaboard Marine International Race Meet at Bushy Park, while more than twice that number – some estimates put it as high as 10 per cent of the population – turn out for the free show that is Sol Rally Barbados. Special stage rallying in Barbados is, err, different. More than 200 competitors from Europe and further afield have rallied in the island in recent years, none of whom have been quite prepared for the experience . . . not so much the driving, lots of them have been rather good at that bit, but everything else that surrounds the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International. Sound-bites like “there’s nothing quite like it in the world”, “look at Scrutineering, it’s fantastic, just one big circus,” “I’ve been to World Championship rallies where there are less spectators”, are coined each year, as regular visitors – some have competed here more than 10 89


Photo by Himal Reece

Photo by Himal Reece

Photo by Himal Reece

times, so the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) must be getting something right - are joined by the annual influx of newbies. In Sol RB12, Day One took on a different feel to that of previous years, with a new focal point for spectators. The expansive VIP Hospitality marquee was moved from its traditional site a few hundred yards further south – that part of the popular Canefield stage was no longer in use - and the five-kilometre test was renamed Automotive Art Lion Castle, in recognition of the shift to the cross-roads close to the polo development of the same name. For a first-time spectator, perhaps a regular on events across the UK, the noise is the most striking difference, as the island’s enthusiastic fans make every corner where they gather sound like an arena-based SuperSpecial in Europe. The only time this writer can remember a noise anything remotely similar at a rally in the UK was the first year of the Wales Rally GB SuperSpecial in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where commentary was simply drowned out by the cheers and the horns. Even before the first car comes into view, there is a background buzz of anticipation, and this will have been building for as much as five hours before (perhaps even overnight), as it is essential to arrive early to guarantee a good view . . . essential equipment includes coolers (to keep the ‘fresh’ in refreshments), fold-up chairs, sun block and umbrellas (to protect against rain and sun), while the more organised will have tents shading the trays of their pick-ups, or even purposebuilt scaffold grandstands. 90

Photo by Himal Reece


Photo by Himal Reece

Photo by Himal Reece


Different fans have different favourite drivers, and disputes over their respective talents are rarely conducted in hushed tones. Certain cars don’t even have to come into view before that buzz rises to a crescendo, as fans recognise their favourites by engine note alone . . . and visitors will soon become part of all this, as local fans are as interested in the overseas crews as in the home-grown, which all adds to the unique flavour! Lion Castle rests on a hill in St Thomas, one of only two parishes without a coastline, but the West Coast and Caribbean Sea provide the backdrop, along with classic tropical scenery of waving palms, fields of sugar cane and picturesque villages. The cross-roads has an off-set layout that allowed the BRC route-setters to bring the cars through twice on each of the four runs planned for the day . . . with 99 starters, a record in the 23-year history of the event, that meant spectators would be treated to well over 300 snap-shots of rallying action over a period of seven or so hours, even allowing for some attrition during the day. In past years, movement of spectators between stages had compromised the smooth-running of the event, something the Club has worked to eradicate, and with significant success. By creating focal points on each day of Sol RB12, there was less crowd movement than ever before, with fans happy to settle on Saturday, secure in the knowledge that there would be a similar opportunity on the other side of the island on Sunday. It is a pattern the Club intends to repeat in the future.


Roger Skeete

A Motorsport Icon By Mark Wheeler

Photo by Corey Reece


hatever the sport, winning 12 editions of a top-line competition is a major achievement. And that is what the record shows for Roger ‘The Sheriff’ Skeete, between the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) first International All-Stage Rally in 1990 and Sol Rally Barbados 2011. And that record could stand for ever: only three others have won the region’s premier motor sport event more than once, Paul Bourne, Kenny McKinstry and Kris Meeke, each with two victories, so reaching 12 will be a long haul. Skeete’s introduction to motor sport came in 1979, when he helped Mark Stoute prepare “a ridiculously fast Mini Cooper S”, and it was not long before Skeete turned his hand to driving . . . and winning. His early competition cars were rear-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancers, his first victory a loose event at Mount Wilton in 1980. The familiar E343 plate was carried on three Lancers, before what Skeete later described as “a very kind offer” from Quality Motors in 1986 brought about a switch to a Group A Peugeot 205 GTi. The same year, he formed what became a long-term relationship with Texaco . . . hence ‘The Sheriff’, a nickname coined by the late ‘Tiny’ Harrison, Bushy Park announcer, in reference to the Texaco star on the car’s bonnet. Skeete became the man to beat - in 1986, for instance, he won the second of his five consecutive Speed Event Championships, the Tiger Malt International 500, the Red Stripe 500 and the special stage trophy on the Rothmans 500 June Rally. The Banks Super Sprint series at 94

Bushy Park was another arena in which Skeete excelled and, when the circuit reopened in 1992, he went racing for the first time, was Champion Driver in May 1994, and conquered all-comers in Guyana the same year. Despite all that went before, however, Skeete’s record in the BRC’s blue riband event will be best-remembered . . . for all but two of his first 10 wins, achieved between 1990 and 2004, he was partnered by Dave Crawford, as both co-driver and engineer. They won in Peugeot 205GTi and 306 S16, beating Michael Gill into second in four out of six, before moving on to Ford Escorts. Two further victories each in Cosworth and WRC versions made it 10 wins in 15 events; only twice had Skeete finished without winning, a signal achievement. The Escort was destroyed in a big accident in October 2004, starting a comparatively lean period by Skeete’s high standards. A season each in a Peugeot 306 Maxi and Ford Focus WRC, then two years in an Escort WRC, produced little by way of results, but his acquisition of an exPetter Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC S12 set him back on winnings ways. With new co-driver Louis Venezia, he won Sol Rally Barbados in 2010 and ’11, setting up a ‘hat-trick of hat-tricks’ for 2012 – he had previously won in 1990-’92 and 2000-’02 – but drive-train failure while leading robbed him of what would have been a fairy-tale result. At some point, ‘The Sheriff’ will hand in his badge, but the name Skeete will remain in local entry lists; a multiple champion with the Barbados Karting Association, son Dane has already started his rallying career . . . initially in a Peugeot, of course!

Sporting Lifestyles GOLF & SAILING

Apes Hill


airway living has been around for many years, but in the modern era it is almost inconceivable to imagine a golf course being built without provision for real estate. Indeed, in most cases the course is built to attract property owners, especially in popular holiday spots. But the relationship between a sporting lifestyle and real estate is not restricted to golf and over the years homes have been built alongside or within a wide range of recreation facilities. America has led the way with prime real estate developments sitting alongside prestigious sporting facilities in golf, polo, skiing, sailing, tennis, and watersports, and of course, the extensive range of property in wild life recreation locations. Exotic locations like Dubai have followed. The Caribbean was slow to embrace the sporting lifestyle, but when the second home market exploded in the Nineties developments sprung up everywhere, especially in golf and beachfront locations. Barbados has been at the forefront of this trend with visionary golf projects at Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane Resort, Apes Hill, a tennis resort at Sugar Hill, polo at Lion Castle and Apes Hill, and top class marinas at Port St. Charles and Port Ferdinand, ironically quite close to each other. In addition the old Sandy Lane Golf Course, Barbados Golf Club and Rockley Golf Course were already surrounded by real estate,


The Green Monkey course at Sandy Lane

Jewels in The Crown


Sporting Lifestyles GOLF & SAILING

Apes Hill

so overall, Barbados offers some excellent options in sporting lifestyles. As a result it has attracted a number of celebrity second homeowners that include British singer Sir Cliff Richard, England footballers Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Irishman David O’Leary, cricketers Freddie Flintoff, Michael Vaughan and Michael Atherton, and top golfers Ian Woosnam and Lee Westwood. In addition, dozens of international celebs visit the island throughout the year and rent homes. The Apes Hill Club will be the Jewel in the Barbados sporting lifestyle crown when it is eventually finished. The resort already boasts a magnificent golf course, excellent polo fields and state of the art equestrian centre, and has plans for tennis and fitness facilities. Like real estate developments everywhere in the Caribbean, sales have stalled in the last few years, but Apes Hill Club still sold out the properties around the polo fields and a large number of completed villas and land lots around the golf course. Sandy Lane is one of the most prestigious addresses in the Caribbean and the exclusive Green Monkey Course is set amongst prime land lots yet to be put on the market. The Old Nine remains and has many of the most beautiful properties on the island sitting alongside its fairways. Royal Westmoreland and Sugar Hill sit on elevated sites in St. James with panoramic views over rolling hillside all the way down to the West Coast. Each offers high quality properties set in fabulously manicured surrounds with excellent golf and tennis facilities, plus healthy jogging 98

The Clubhouse at Royal Westmoreland

Sporting Lifestyles GOLF & SAILING

Rockley Golf Club

The Clubhouse at Barbados Golf Club 100

and walking tracks, swimming pools and fitness suites. Both are gated communities and exclusive private resorts. The Barbados and Rockley Golf Clubs are located on the South Coast and set in well-established mature residential neighbourhoods. In the last few years most of the vacant land around the fairways has been developed, although few sites are still available to purchase. In contrast to the West Coast, owners at these two locations are primarily local although many units are investment properties and offered throughout the year for rental. In the case of Rockley this is a longestablished practice and many return visitors are offered special “Snow Bird” golf membership packages and take a full part in the club’s busy activities during the winter months. Rockley has a parkland setting within a number of condominium clusters and also offer jogging and tennis facilities. It is a 9-hole course and may not be the most demanding within the island’s golf closet, but it is a very friendly club with the best ‘19th Hole’, excellent social facilities and a thriving club scene centred around Birdies on the Green Restaurant. Port St. Charles has been the island’s top marina since it was built a

Sporting Lifestyles GOLF & SAILING

Port St. Charles

decade ago. With Port Ferdinand coming on board the facilities for sailing and cruising enthusiasts are superb. Many property owners at Port St. Charles are not boat owners, but just love the relaxed ambience of the sailing community and there can be few more peaceful settings than this visionary and exclusive gated community. For a small island, Barbados punches well above its weight in the provision of sporting lifestyles and offers a wonderful opportunity for overseas investors to purchase a second or a retirement home.

Port St. Charles 102

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Roger is Tops


t is often said that the good guys never win, but that wasn’t the case in the 2011 PGA of Canada Club Professional Championship held at Port St. Lucie in Florida after Barbadian golfer Roger Beale (jr.) won the biggest tournament of his career. Winning a professional golf tournament in America is a daunting task and the victory was the pinnacle of Roger’s career to date. Although now domiciled in Barbados he has retained his membership of the PGA of Canada and plays in selected tournaments. The current Director of Golf at Royal Westmoreland and former Ottawa club professional confirmed an ability many of his peers felt was always going to come to fruition. He served notice in 2003 when he won the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Championship, but for some reason it was not the launching pad his admirers expected and after ten years in Canada he returned to his homeland. Roger has never been too far from his Bajan roots as he represented his country in the 2006 World Golf Championship held at the Sandy Lane Golf and Country Club. On that historic occasion he teamed up with Barbados champion golfer James Johnson to compete against the best players in the world. The event was won by Germany’s Bernard Langer and Marcel Siem. but the Barbados team performed creditably spurred on by a passionate and vociferous local support. The World Cup was a wonderful experience, but it paled in comparison to his big win in 2011. The event was sponsored by Titleist 104

and Footjoy and was the most prestigious tournament on the Canada Player Rankings List. His victory propelled him from 125 to the top 25 and included a winner’s cheque of $12,000. The build up to the final day could not have been better as low winds and soft conditions made for good scoring and 32 players were on par or better. Roger had opening rounds of 65 and 70 so he was well placed to launch a challenge. He started the final day trailing overnight leader Danny King by one shot alongside three other strong contenders including his playing partner Scott Alfred. Former two-time winner King was also in pole position to top the PGA of Canada Rankings with a victory so was a red-hot favourite. By his own admission Roger claims it was Scott Alfred who inspired him as he also played superbly to put himself in contention. It took the pressure off Roger, who quietly went about his business and the birdies started to roll in. Coming to the finish he knew he was right in the mix, but the reality really kicked in all of a sudden on the 18th fairway when he faced a challenging 190 yards to the green knowing he had to make the shot to make it happen. Cometh the hour cometh the man and a solid 4-iron took him to less than three feet from the pin and set up the birdie putt that made his dream come true and wrote his name into the history books. Roger finished the 54-hole tournament with a 14-under par total of 202, two shots better than his playing partner Scott Alfred and Graham Gunn in joint 2nd place. His brilliant final round 67 included five birdies and was the best of all the top contenders. In his ten years in Canada Roger Beale made a lot of friends amongst his peers and he was a popular and visionary club professional with the members at the Marshes and Camelot clubs. Earlier in his career he honed his skills on the golf team at Lynn University in Florida and at Boca Raton Golf Club. On one occasion he organized the Greg Norman L.E.A.F. Charity Tournament for his golfing hero and idol. But his golfing roots started in Barbados encouraged by his father Roger (Sr.), a useful single figure amateur who represented national team on numerous occasions, and the late Mike “Daddy” Foster, one of the great mentors in Barbados sport. Roger Beale is currently doing great things in Barbados golf and who knows, maybe there’s another big win in the bag in the future?

Sandy Lane Charitable Trust Pip Challis, Gay Smith & Tara Fairless

Mark O’Hara, Alex Sanderman, Alex Jordan & Patrick O’Hara

Tim Kemp, Robert Cathery, Gay Smith, Gabrielle and Patrick Hungerford

Dereck Smith

Julian Sacher, Sir Charles Williams, Pip Challis, Dereck Smith & John Lodge



Karen Hopkin, Virginia & Les Hutison, Gerald Hopkin & Barbara Ward

Sir Garry Sobers

he highly praised Sandy Lane Charitable Trust grows from strength to strength and their Annual Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner is one of the top sporting and cultural highlights on the island’s social calendar. The all day event features a bevy of celebrities, sponsors, corporate guests and entertainers, culminating in a heart-rending video showing where the funds are spent and featuring a host of grateful benefactors. The Trust has done a wonderful job going into the community to provide vital assistance for underprivileged children and last year raised over $1.5 million. Trustee and Grand Patron Derrick Smith is one of the owners of the prestigious Sandy Lane Hotel and his drive and enthusiasm down the years has done much to promote innovative schemes and facilities to improve the lives of Barbadian children in need. Their work depends heavily on the goodwill and kindness of their supporters, including the owners of the Sandy Lane Resort, sponsors, corporate guests and friends. This was exemplified last year when local businessman Sir Charles Williams announced at the auction that he would donate two acres of land to the Trust to build a new school for teenage children with disabilities. The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust runs with no salaries or expenses and the Annual Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner is the major fundraiser for a plethora of projects that continue to provide much-needed support for the less privileged in our community. The day is full of fun and enjoyment, and the proceeds go directly to where they are needed most. The Trust would like to thank all its supporters and assure them this is a long-term commitment to the underprivileged children of the island.


Gay Smith, Mrs. Pat Desmond - Chairman of Sandy Lane’s wife & Ian Woosnam


The Mount Gay Regatta



Photos by Peter Marshal & Clarence Hiles


f sailing is your sport then competing in the Mount Gay Regatta must be on your Bucket List. This unique fun regatta comes late in the Caribbean Regatta Season and is one of the highlights as it places just as much emphasis on the offshore enjoyment as on the waves. The Barbados Mount Gay Regatta dates back to 1986 and is spread over a weekend in late May. The centre of the regatta is the Barbados Yacht Club and the racing takes place in beautiful Carlisle Bay and along the breezy South Coast. Two races on Friday and Saturday and a fifth on Sunday complete the serious business followed by a raucous and lively Presentation of Awards at the Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon. Carlisle Bay is an ideal setting for this popular event as it is steeped in maritime history. Even today the imposing canon guns at Needham’s Point beside the Hilton Hotel serve as a sombre reminder of less friendly times when the island was bombarded by enemy fleets several hundreds of years ago. Barbados was never invaded, and the seabed of Carlisle Bay is littered with old seafaring relics buried beneath the sand. Today the bay is a picture of tranquillity with small craft moored alongside diving sites. The big commercial ships lie on the horizon servicing the Bridgetown port. The dive sites are popular and a number of ships have been sunk to promote marine life and diving. Little wonder divers often refer to Carlisle Bay as the ‘dive capital of the Caribbean’. The Yacht Club also has a military history, as it was formerly Shot Hall, the headquarters of the Royal Engineers. Two symbolic canons at the entrance bear testimony to the former owners! All that may seem oblivious to aspiring racing sailors, but it sets the scene for three days sport across both racing and cruising classes. The big boats set an imposing backdrop to the lively J24s, who have become the heartbeat of the regatta in recent times. This fiercely competitive class has grown significantly in the past 109


few years and is largely responsible for pushing the entries to over 40 boats. Over the years, competitors have travelled from all over the world to compete, but the keenest rivalry remains between the locals and their Trini neighbours. Fierce battles take place on the waves throughout the racing season culminating in Barbados. But what happens at sea remains at sea, and when the crews return to shore the competition is about bragging rights, and bets are usually settled in crates of Bank’s beer and shots of Mount Gay Rum. The sponsor is known all over the world as a big patron of sailing and their former Sales Director in Barbados Peter Marshall, has almost cult status with the local regatta and has been one of the major driving forces in its development. Now retired, Peter continues to be a leading light in the Yacht Club and an important part of the Mount Gay Regatta team. Mount Gay is the oldest rum in Barbados and the Mount Gay Rum branding in bright red colours is a big feature of the three-day event. Mount Gay Regatta caps are collector’s items and some of the local sailors boast of having the full set since inception. Such is their value to collectors that sales of Mount Gay regatta caps take place on eBay 110


and fetch good prices. But why buy one when you can compete in the event and get one free in the sponsor’s goodie bag? Listing winners is not important in the promotion of the Mount Gay Regatta as the event is all about participating and enjoying the experience, whether you are a sailor or a supporter on shore. Many teams travel with family and friends and if you are on your own and looking to crew, then the Yacht Club members will get you sorted. Everything is geared for enjoyment and rest assured the members have earned their reputation as the “Fun Regatta in the Caribbean”. SAP 505 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR BARBADOS The biggest event in local sailing in 2013 will be hosting the SAP International 505 World Sailing Championships in late April-early May. The two-person dinghy spectacular will involve 70-80 boats from all over the world and follows the success of hosting the Fireball Worlds in 2010. The event is sure to attract visitors associated with the teams and considerable local interest given its status in world sailing where over 9,000 sailors are registered in 505 associations in 25 countries. Peter Marshall heads the organizing committee back by enthusiastic sailor Senator Peter Gilkes and plenty of support from the Barbados Sailing Association, the Barbados Yacht Club, Virgin Atlantic and government.




Faces at The Regatta Tony Hoad

Peter Marshall

Bill Tempro & Jimmy Tasker

The gentlemen of The Barbados Yacht Club

Jevan Jutagir

Gregory Webster, Neil Burke & Nick Lashley 114

Isaac Brown & James Ward - Saltfish crew

Irwin Gaffin & Gunther

Isabelle & Ralph Johnson



Unfinished Business


here are only two ways to get to Barbados, either by air or by sea, and in most cases the journey is comfortable and relaxing. But the world is made up of all sorts of people and if you are four ex-marines in England enjoying your Annual Reunion with too much beer on board, then what better than a challenge to row the Atlantic to Port St. Charles in Barbados? Ken, Aldo, Graham and Jason served in the Royal Marines over 25 years ago and their fellowship and camaraderie is annually celebrated at reunions. These are often ribald social gatherings garnished with liberal quantities of alcohol and bon ami. For seasoned veterans who have seen action in some of the world’s toughest spots, visited some of the most challenging geographic outposts on the globe and run marathons, nothing is impossible. In that vein Aldo and Ken attempted to row the Atlantic in 2008, but an errant cargo ship scuppered their valiant effort and some “unfinished business” was left in mental storage. Roll on a couple of years and a throwaway challenge to Graham and Jason in the midst of their annual libations and suddenly the Atlantic adventure was back in the frame. The following morning may have produced a hangover from hell, but for this highly-motivated quartet it was the start of another wonderful experience that culminated in Barbados last year. In the tough world of marines there is no such thing as defeat so the unfinished business of Aldo and Ken became the focus of all four friends and they quickly set about a plan to achieve their objective. Not renowned for their rowing prowess, this involved a focused fitness regime, but it also embraced sponsorship, fund-raising and charity, as the team wanted to align their personal challenge with a good cause and a material benefit to the less fortunate. The Prostate Cancer Charity was the chosen charity and as their plans formulated and intensified 116

several significant sponsors joined the cause including Marks and Spencer, York Fitness, Tulchan Group and M&S Energy. The Prostate Marksman team of rowers also had a wonderful back up team of family, friends and support staff so once they assembled in Gran Canary for the departure it was the pinnacle of preparation and their modern “D Day”. For those not familiar with rowing the size of the boat and the cramped conditions in which four fit and athletic males were going to spend 4-6 weeks together would shock. Barely 29 x 6 feet in size it had to carry all the necessary equipment, food supplies, two rowing stations, and have enough space to sleep, eat and chill out. Two rowers on and two off was the working format, but carefully laid plans are often cast asunder by the needs of the hour as this adventurous quartet was soon to find out when two weeks into their voyage the automatic steering broke and a crude impromptu system had to be rigged. This meant using the compass the rest of the journey with daily GPS readings and fresh settings. The boat nearly capsized three times during the trip and on one occasion a large wave took off with both the oven and breakfast, never to be seen again! Sharks followed the boat on numerous occasions and while the sighting of majestic whales at play was beautiful to watch, getting too close to them or passing ships was a potential disaster. Chocolate bars and goodies were famished long too early and in the latter stages the prolonged trip exhausted food supplies and led to strict rationing of the desalinated water. It was also physically tough and as muscles ached in the constant wet conditions, sores were prevalent and tempers frayed. As Graham candidly recalls“You get to know a lot about yourself and your friends living on top of each other 24/7 for weeks on end. You are constantly fighting the elements, sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold, and the physical challenge of trying to better the miles travelled on the previous day became more and more intense. We envisaged a 45-50 days trip, but it actually took 65 days and in the last week the conditions were awful as we were down to one meal a day. But we were strong mentally and well trained in tough conditions and that was a huge help. However, living in such tight confines removed all semblance of human dignity. We were often rowing in the nude and the little sleep we got came in short sessions head to foot in cramped conditions. Lavatory conditions were as basic as you can imagine. But there were also huge rewards. It was exciting and stimulating and the Christmas and Valentine Cards we took with us were big boosts when morale was low. The whales were spectacular as were some of the sunrises and sunsets. It was also a great time to be at peace with yourself and to reflect on many things. It was a life changing experience for me, and also a physical one as I lost over five stones in weight!” The most beautiful part of the trip was coming into Barbados waters. Radio contact, plane sightings and then seeing land were greeted with joyous celebrations although the painful last stage was exacerbated by hitting the island too low as this meant a long 16-hour row against the currents to Port Charles. But all that paled into the background as family, friends and the Port Charles community opened their arms to the four courageous and adventurous ex-Green Berets. Graham admits his legs were rocky on land for the first land in two months but a coke and a cheese and tomato sandwich were two luxuries he warmly savoured“It was night-time when we arrived but the welcome was overwhelming. The local Yacht Club members were terrific and the people living at Port Charles all came out to celebrate with our family and friends, some of whom had made last minute decisions to fly to Barbados when they learned we were close to the island. My wife Nicola was a huge surprise and we then spent a holiday together at Southern Palms Hotel where Britta Pollard and her staff were simply fabulous. Would I do it again? Yes, but next time I’ll come on Virgin Atlantic!” As a footnote to this wonderful achievement the Prostate Marksman team, their supporters and Marks and Spencer customers have raised over US$220,000 for the Prostate Cancer Society Charity thanks to their unforgettable and unusual journey to Barbados. Well done guys!

Desperate Rosemary

Recipe To a shaker add: 1oz Eclipse Black, 1 sprig of rosemary, 6 cubes of fresh mango, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 1oz falernum; Muddle all ingredients. Add ice, shake & strain contents into a Cocktail glass and garnish with slice of fresh mango & a sprig of fresh rosemary

Cheers from Chester!

Sporty Events


Banks Hockey Festival


ockey festivals all over the world are notorious for their party spirit and camaraderie and are usually staged at holiday times when the mood is relaxed and the atmosphere is casual. The same could be said for the Bank’s International Hockey Festival, but with a few massive extras that make it very special. After all, playing hockey on a tropical island paradise isn’t the regular diet of the average hockey player, and with parties and sideshows every evening, there’s as much fun off the field as on it. Add the competitive element and it doesn’t get much better. The week-long festival takes place in the third week of August and continues to attract clubs from all over the world. Matches are spread over three venues and players get the chance to play at the historic Kensington Oval, one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world and the scene of many epic test matches down the years. The hockey stalwarts can’t expect sell-out crowds in its towering stands, but they will enjoy the unique ambience of this majestic setting. The festival starts with a party and finishes with a party. All the teams and their friends and supporters gather on the Sunday afternoon for the official Welcome where everything and anything goes. Speeches, cultural shows, music, dancing, and song, combine with the sponsor’s favourite product so that the Bank’s Beer International Hockey Festival starts with a bang. Bank’s Beer has been the official sponsor since the inaugural tournament in 1986, but who would have believed this fun festival would have expanded to such an extent over the ensuing 27 years? One of the features of the Opening Ceremony is the zany dress code, which has produced some amazing sights far removed from the world of hockey. And what bizarre names down the years-Auld Reekies from Scotland, Pigs will Fly and Wonderful Fluffy Sheep from England, Reggae Selekzion et al. The international flavour of the festival is strong with teams from all over the world enjoying the experience and fun of the Bank’s Hockey Festival. 118


Sporty Events


The tried and tested format works to a tee. You play hard on the field during the day and you party hard in the evening at the many social events that enhance the sporting element. Matches are slated from dawn to dusk with the best teams playing off on Finals Day on Saturday. Stamina and staying power are key components in a successful winning formula, as visiting teams have found to their cost down the years. Some teams start with a flourish only to find the demands of a heavy social itinerary take their toll by midweek and it is the survival of the fittest come Saturday evening to make the end of tournament Presentation of Prizes and farewell blast. Local teams have proved the more successful over the years, as the canny Bajans have been able to combine their sporting and social prowess to best advantage. Hockey is very popular in Barbados, although the damaged Astroturf facility has seriously dented the development of the sport in recent times. There is a busy men’s and ladies league structure and the game is played in most schools. There is estimated to be 700 hockey players in 20 clubs plus the schools. The Barbados national teams compete in regional competitions and the Commonwealth Games. Touring teams, especially schools, travel to the island throughout the year, but the hockey festival remains the biggest fun event. Even the Senior League programmes come to a halt to allow the festival to take precedence. And you don’t have to have a club to participate. Old Gold Roosters is a nomadic club under the guile of seasoned festival gurus Ricky Clarke and Duane “Burkie” Burke and where local players and visitors combine to pitch their social and sporting skills against all-comers. And with some success down the years! Competitions are in four categories-Men’s, Ladies, Mixed and Veterans, but at the end of the week it is the category of staying power that usually wins the day!



Sporty Events


Banks International Masters Festival Photos by Michael Cadogan


ike most Caribbean islands Barbados has a passion for football, nurtured by its strong ex-pat community, its popularity at grassroots level and inspired by the exploits of the Reggae Boyz from Jamaica and the Soca Warriors from Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup. Sadly, the Bajan Tridents have a lot of ground to make up to get on par with the great exploits of their neighbours, but other football initiatives continue to prosper and hopefully bigger and better things lie ahead. That remains the strategy of government as tourism chiefs have established a strong link with Chelsea Football Club and the Annual Legends Tournament held late in the year attracts a bevy of outstanding former international soccer stars. The Chelsea connection has also helped drive media spotlight at prestigious tourism events like World Travel Market in London, and created the catalyst for coaching clinics on the island. There is also talk of pre-season training on the island prior to the busy English football season and this could be a massive boost for Barbados’s modest football image. But one event that needs no introduction to readers of Sporting Barbados down the years is the Annual Bank’s International Masters Football Festival. Traditionally held over Whitsun weekend the festival attracts visitors from both the Caribbean region and from America and Europe, and is a “Must Do” for veteran football clubs looking to combine a holiday with a little bit of footie in a tropical paradise. Masters football is growing all over the world as highly-trained athletes prolong their careers, or in the case of many participants, join a club to keep fit and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow football enthusiasts. Barbados was quick to embrace the concept when its popularity grew a few years back, and the International Festival is built on a thriving local Masters League. But everything stops for the festival and visitors can be assured it is a tournament second to none in both atmosphere and organization. The litmus test of any festival is longevity and having been established since 1996 the tournament passes with flying colours. Another endorsement comes from repeat visitors and several clubs like 123

Sporty Events


British Airways from the UK are perpetual participants. The overseas presence enhances the festival and long-standing friendships are part and parcel of what this fun festival is all about. It has been said the social side is as good as the football and, perhaps that says it all! Matches are played at Dover Sports Ground and Wanderers Cricket Ground during the early rounds before everything comes to an exciting climax with Finals Day at Dayrell’s Road on Whit Monday. A big crowd adds to the atmosphere and action continues all day for the minor places culminating in the Grand Final late in the afternoon. After the final has been decided the Presentation of Awards is made in front of the Denis and Eric Atkinson Stand and a lively evening of entertainment ensues. The festival’s close association with the sponsor’s product is well known and it is no secret that Bank’s beer sales over the Whitsun weekend receive a huge boost from the competition. Personalities and characters have added much to the festival down the years with former international footballers Jimmy Case and Tommy Hutchinson amongst its most distinguished football alumni and an alltoo-brief cameo from Antigua’s fast bowling cricket sensation Curtley Ambrose. But the locals are just as colourful and with an organizing committee that includes Starsky, Ocky, Del Boy, Doom, Cuss, and big John, how could it be otherwise? Paul “Starsky” Wright is the Commander-in-Chief and does a great job marshalling his forces. Every game starts on time and transport to and from games operates with zero tolerance for delay. These guys know how to organize a festival on and off the field, so if you love your football and are in a Masters club get in touch and bring as many players and supporters as you can as football is only part of the experience.


Sporty Events RUGBY

Rugby at the Garrison


t is often said rugby players are a breed apart, and if that is true then the Barbados rugby players are no different. They train hard, play hard, and drink hard! It is a tradition passed down the generations, although in fairness to the modern players, they are a lot fitter than their predecessors and their rugby world is a little different. As a rugby player you haven’t lived if you haven’t played at the Garrison. Set within the Garrison Racetrack, it is one of the most vibrant sporting settings you could imagine. It is quite possible on a busy day to have the horses racing round the track while a match is in progress and not unusual for a football or cricket game to be going on at the same time. The Garrison Savannah is one of the great sporting venues on the island and the birthplace for horseracing, polo, cricket, rugby, football, and probably a host of other minor sports. It was once a swamp, but thanks to the Royal Engineers 200 years ago it was successfully drained, mainly to be used as a drill and training ground, but later for recreation and sporting activities. Rugby arrived in Barbados in the late 1960s when a group of ex-Pats and some enthusiastic locals got together to play matches against visiting naval ships. Tales of hard games and even harder drinking sessions are now part of Barbados rugby folklore, and perhaps a little garnished over the years. That said, a tradition was established, and even in the modern era some of the best fixtures are against the visiting navy teams. Unfortunately the first pitch flooded a lot, which was not surprising given that it was formerly used for polo matches. Thankfully local architect and rugby fanatic Andy Voss had the answer and a strategically placed soak-well solved the problem. In those days Richard Goddard’s Land Rover was the clubhouse to store clothes, buckets of water to wash after games, and of course plenty of refreshments. Rugby in the Sixties was a thirsty business! Training was negligible as the players were natural athletes, but they still pined for a clubhouse and eventually they got it after a series of fund-raising events provided the cash. The fund-raising included an Annual Pantomime, one of the big social events every year at St. Winifred’s School. The new clubhouse and the lively social scene 126

Photo: Robin Boot Photography

Sporty Events RUGBY

Photo: Robin Boot Photography

eventually aroused the interest of some members of the local cricket fraternity and from their midst a small number of inquisitive rookies took up the challenge and joined the ranks. Rugby was up and going and from all accounts the games were crude, explosive and physicalthe aftermath friendly, thirsty and late. This may seem a far cry from the modern rugby scene with smart blue rugby shirts, crowds on the terraces and knowledgeable referees and touch judges. Warm showers and a friendly clubhouse compliment the rugby experience and overall there’s nothing quite like a rugby match at the Garrison. The development of the game owes much to a visionary and energetic committee that took the game into the schools and systematically built a strong youth base that has now matured and taken over the mantle of future development. The game has always attracted ladies, and obviously some of them felt they could play as well as the men so they enlisted, and while their numbers are still growing, they have come a long way in recent times and can compete with the best in regional competitions. There are four main clubs on the island and fixtures are held throughout the year. The national team competes in regional competitions and also provides players for West Indian teams in both 15 and 7-a-side codes. There are a number of youth teams, which allows matches against visiting schools. The local club welcomes overseas clubs and while the standard of rugby is modest, the experience is rewarding and the friendships are long-term. In true rugby tradition the camaraderie off the field is second to none. The governing body of the local game is the Barbados Rugby Football Union and contact can be made through their website 128


Sporty Events RUN BARBADOS

Run Barbados Series Photos by Peter Marshall


t doesn’t matter much whether you are a serious runner or a happy amateur as the competing in the Run Barbados Series caters for all tastes, including young and old, male and female, local and overseas. This popular running festival is approaching 30 years of age and has changed beyond all recognition from the early races that basically featured a marathon and a few supporting events. That says much for the organizers who have captured the spirit of fun running within a competitive environment and catered for a wider variety of athletes. But make no mistake about the fun runners as they are serious students of their sport and their dedication and stamina would put lesser athletes to shame. The serious athletes need no introduction. The Run Barbados Series is traditionally held on the first weekend in December when the island is buzzing in preparation for the festive season. It is a great time to holiday in Barbados as the beaches, shops, restaurants, nightclubs are all buzzing to Christmas music in a happy relaxed atmosphere. More and more visitors are coming for the festival every year and much of its popularity has been enhanced by word of mouth from the best sales people in the business-the participants! Once you have enjoyed the Run Barbados Series you want to tell everyone, which is why the event attracts so many repeat visitors and their friends. They include the amazing Kim Goff from Boston, who has won the Barbados Marathon a record ten times and who continues to epitomize the spirit of the event even although the years have eroded her invincibility. Kim enjoys tremendous support from friends and locals, many of whom have watched in awe how she dominated the event for over a decade. Another big favourite is former England marathon runner Hugh Jones who doesn’t compete these days, but is always there to encourage and advise. Hugh’s connections with Barbados and the development of the marathon race are strong. The festival is run over three days starting with a Friday evening welcome, but sadly there will be no marathon in 2013. Unfortunately numbers have declined in the longer competition in the last few years at the same time as they have increased in the other races so the organizers are trying a different format. Saturday is always a popular day as the racing takes place through Bridgetown streets late in the evening and produces a unique experience for both runners and spectators. The pivotal centre for the event is the Bay Street Esplanade overlooking beautiful Carlisle Bay and a magnificent backdrop to the finishing line. It is also a great place to cool off in the idyllic waters of this historic bay. Oistins, Holetown, Speightstown and Bridgetown are old colonial towns and their narrow streets and motley array of 131

Sporty Events RUN BARBADOS


properties are tremendous setting for road running. The Barbados Tourism Authority is one of the principal sponsors and can assist visitors with accommodation and travel recommendations that offer special packages and discounts. A comprehensive overview of the event and the range of races and runs can also be found on the website The festival also features social and cultural events and many visitors combine the serious running with a holiday before and after the weekend. Some clubs travel in big numbers and their support and encouragement for fellow team members is part of the culture of the longer runs. Another key element is charity. The designated charities are The Barbados Cancer Society and Little Pink Gift Foundation, but some runners also support their own good causes and charities. Sunday morning running starts in darkness, but as the sun rises the runners enjoy a unique Caribbean sunrise and occasional glimpses of the sea as they run up the picturesque West Coast. Local support starts slowly as Bajans combine church duties with early breakfasts, but eventually they line the roads to and from the Esplanade and there is always a big crowd at the Finish Line to congratulate and refresh the finishers. Photographs and presentations to follow. Many school groups participate and the prize list includes various age groups. One particular set of runners that deserve the highest praise is the 70+ group. What an inspiration! Local and visitors run freely with each other in either competitive or fun mode. Top Caribbean runners like Victor Ledger, Pamenos Ballantyne and Curtis Cox can compete with the best of the overseas runners from Kenya, UK, Canada and US. It all adds to the thrill of this exciting event. If you love running then where better to combine it with a holiday in early December than the beautiful island of Barbados?

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was on top of the World

ast year at the London Olympics Barbados hurdler Ryan Brathwaite ran a superb 5th in the 110 Metres Hurdles Final. He wasn’t in the medals, but for an athlete who has fought injuries and adversity for several seasons it was a magnificent return to form in this fiercely competitive event. The London Olympics was dominated by outstanding performances from Caribbean athletes, especially in the running events. The success of Usain Bolt, Kirani James, Yohan Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown et al, inadvertently placed more pressure on other Caribbean athletes. Going into the hurdles event Ryan Brathwaite carried a huge burden of expectation from Barbados well-wishers. His build-up to the Olympics was anything but encouraging, and although the athlete maintained he was in good condition there were still doubts. However, Ryan cast aside the doubters with two rousing performance in the opening heat and semi-final including a season’s best time. And when he qualified for the final many people felt he was already on the podium. But this was a high-class field with several brilliant hurdlers peaking at the right time and this proved the case when Aries Merrick and Jason Richardson romped home with a 1-2 for United States. The winning time of 12.94 was better than anything Ryan had ever produced and highlighted the talent of Merrick. Ryan was naturally disappointed, but it says much for his character that he got into the top five in the word and missed out by a hundredth of a second to make the top four. And that’s what life at the top of world

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athletics is all about-hundredths of a second. While the London Olympics was a huge platform for the Barbados hurdler it was not his greatest movement on the track. That took place in Berlin in 2009 at the World Championships when 21-year old Brathwaite stunned the athletics world and the big pre-race favourites from Unites States Terrence Trammel and David Payne with a photo finish victory. It took a long time for the cameras to identify the winner, but when the electronic scoreboard revealed the young Bajan had pipped his big rivals by one hundredth of a second Barbados went wild. Barbados had a world champion in athletics. It was a wonderful achievement. Ryan Brathwaite first came to prominence in the 2005 World Youth Championships in Morocco and then reached the semi-finals of the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also moved to the United States and this greatly improved his training and competitiveness to turn him into a world-beater. The Berlin victory increased his international status, but in the fiercely-competitive world of athletics there are no guarantees. Avoiding injury is the major challenge and it is ironic that none of the other seven finalists in 2009 were in the 2012 Olympics Final. Brathwaite was deservedly lauded in his homeland after 2009 and in 2012. He may have missed out on a medal in London, but he produced his season’s best form and did his country proud. You can’t ask for anything better than that.

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Watersports on Tap


urfers in Barbados talk about their homeland like they’ve died and gone to heaven such is their appreciation of the natural assets of their little island. And not just the locals. Multiple world champion Kelly Slater has been coming to Barbados for over 20 years and he rates the Soup Bowl as one of his top three waves in the world. That’s high praise from an international surfing icon. Watersports are on tap in Barbados and the reason is that virtually every day of the year there’s a wave somewhere. Surfers follow the waves and although most mini-mokes with their surfboards on top head to the East Coast early morning, they could as easily go to one of another 30-40 locations. However, the Soup Bowl has a special aura and is set in true surfing environs where the wind howls daily and the salty sea spray crashes across your cheeks close to the shore. Bathsheba is the name given to the area and it is a genuine surfer’s paradise with its shanty bars, quaint old wooden chattel houses, cheap guesthouses and laidback friendly locals at peace with the world. Commercialism has been slow to cross the island, which is why the rough unspoilt East Coast remains one of the island’s greatest natural assets. Barbados is a coral island in the Atlantic Ocean and the reefs around it offer ideal surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions. The surfers love the East Coast for its unique ambience and consistent waves, while the kitesurfers and windsurfers prefer Silver Sands on the South Coast for consistent winds and light waves in shallow water. Each to their own in watersports, because all over the island there are other niche spots and depending on the weather-ideal conditions. The tranquil West 136

Coast has the picture postcard deadpan turquoise blue waters and powdery white sand beaches, but when the wind and waves change direction it can be much rougher, and an ideal surfing spot. However, the glitzy Platinum Strip will never be home to the long shaggy hair and baggy floral shorts brigade because it is full of expensive hotels and restaurants and that’s a far cry from the laidback beauty of the rugged East Coast and unspoilt Bathsheba. That said, the West Coast offers superb facilities to dive, snorkel, fish and jet ski. Yes, jet skiing is a watersport and very popular with tourists. Watersports are full of characters and many colourful personalities. Some of them have tuned their sport into a business and they provide the facilities and environment to enhance a watersports holiday. People like Melanie Pitcher has been working at the Soup Bowl for nearly 20 years and currently owns Barbados Surf Trips a small dedicated Barbados surfing holiday company that can arrange everything. Zed Layson, Brian “Irie Man” Talma, doyen surfer Alan Burke and Melanie are surfing experts on the waves and off them. Melanie is also an accomplished surfer in her own right and continues to teach and coach. She can arrange accommodation and surfing trips to various locations and lifts her clients from pillar to post to ensure their surfing holiday is an unforgettable lifetime experience. Zed’s Surfing Adventures takes a little finding as it is nestled on a quiet beachfront not far from the airport on the South Coast. But once there you may never leave as this laidback little mini-resort includes a surfer’s shop, restaurant/bar and accommodation, all at a modest cost. The beach and the waves are at the bottom of the garden!

Sporty Things to Do

Ché Allan - 2012 U16 Caribbean Champion

Melanie Pitcher

The ebullient Mr. Talma has been the international face of Barbados beach culture for two decades and his DeAction Beach Shop at Silver Sands Beach offers the complete range of equipment for sale and hire, plus expert tuition across a complete range of watersports. He also organizes Waterman Festivals and has been the island’s greatest watersports ambassador. His international image and his ability to attract thousands of watersports enthusiasts to the island has made the ex-professional a special person in Barbados watersports and beach culture. Silver Point Hotel is also located on the Silver Sands Beach and an ideal boutique hotel for family holidays with quality accommodation and fine cuisine. Former Barbados National Champion Alan Burke runs Burkie’s Surfing School and he has been an inspiration to hundreds of young surfers and aspiring national champions. His success on the waves has been matched by similar success off it and his son Joshua has already shown he has the talent to go all the way to the top in the highly competitive professional surfing circuit. It is often said that Barbadians grow up with either a cricket bat or a surfboard in their hand, such is their inherent love of cricket and surfing. But there’s no place for anything else if you are hooked on surfing as every dawn brings another day of challenge and adventure on the waves. If you are a visitor you have a short time to make the most of your stay, but if you are a local then you feel you are in heaven every day.

Sporty Things to Do Taking a Dive


arbados is unique in the Caribbean in that it is built entirely out of coral. Huge 6 ft barrel sponges, gigantic sea fans, black corals and hundreds of tropical fish adorn every crack and crevice on its fringing and barrier reefs, which circle the island. Coral Reefs develop in shallow waters where they have access to natural light. This makes them accessible to snorkelers and scuba divers for recreational

exploration. There is nothing like breathing underwater for the first time. It takes a little getting used to – after all, human beings weren’t designed to do that – but after a few minutes of awestruck wonder most participants realize how easy scuba diving really is. The waters of Barbados are ideal for all levels of diver training. With water temperatures from 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit and visibility from 50-100ft and beyond, it is also an underwater photographers dream. Diving is easy and diving is fun! Give it a try. Discover Scuba Diving. Complete novices can undertake a PADI half-day ‘Discover Scuba Course’. This is a temporary certification, which enables you to shallow dive accompanied by an instructor. A theory session together with practice in a pool will be followed by a proper first open water dive on a shallow site of 20-30 feet. Under the supervision of experienced PADI instructors you will be able to marvel at the wonders of the coral reef environment within hours For those who want a permanent certification that will enable you to dive unsupervised with a buddy anywhere in the world there is the full three-day (two days with online learning) PADI ‘Open Water Course’. The PADI Open Water Diver Course is the world's most popular scuba certification course. Milllions of people have started diving as certified PADI Open Water Divers. 138

Learning to scuba dive requires both knowledge development (facts, principles, concepts) and motor procedures (skills, techniques, methods). PADI offers flexible study options. You can undertake the full course on your vacation or utilise the PADI eLearning website (, which can provide the knowledge development portion you need. Doing your knowledge development online allows you to participate at any time and at your own pace. You can develop the remaining skills by actually diving with a PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Center or Resort such as Dive Hightide ( Participants as young as ten years old can undertake dive training. Once you have undertaken your first dive you are on your way to becoming a Master Scuba Diver. This rating is achieved by progressing through the Open Water Course, Advanced Course and Rescue Diver Course .Collecting five specialty ratings and 50 logged dives on the way. There are numerous specialty ratings to acquire from Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, Underwater Photography, Fish Identification to Boat Diver. Go Dive! Choose from a wide range of PADI scuba certification courses with flexible study options including online learning to accommodate your busy schedule. Dive Hightide ( is a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) dive center ideally located within the Folkestone Marine Park, the only statutory Marine Park in Barbados. A full line-up of recreational diving training, first aid, CPR, AED and oxygen administration training is offered by Dive Hightide. During the months of October thru April Dive Hightide are able to offer technical and Nitrox diving and training. NITROX, computers and dive gear outfits from basic to full technical are available during this period. Dive Barbados and enhance your holiday experience.

Sporty Things to Do Picking up a Racket


f racket sports are your forte then there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy your passion in Barbados. Tennis courts are all over the island, badminton, squash and table tennis have enthusiastic memberships and we have our own indigenous sport in road tennis, a hybrid derived from table tennis and lawn tennis. The headquarters of tennis in Barbados is at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium Complex at Wildey where there are a number of excellent courts beside a purpose made clubhouse. The Centre hosts all the major local competitions including a world ranking Youth Tournament that attracts players from all over the world. Other courts can be found at hotels, clubs and private homes so you are never too far way from a place to play. Sugar Hill at Royal Westmoreland is an upmarket gated lifestyle community with prestigious homes built around a tennis theme. Amongst the Sugar Hill owners is Sir Cliff Richard, probably the best-known tennis supporter in the world. There are also courts at the Barbados Yacht Club on the South Coast and at Rockley Golf Club a few miles down the road heading out of town. Rockley’s resident tennis pro Lou Fuentes is one of the island’s most popular tennis personalities and in tandem with his assistant Michael Date they have introduced hundreds of young players to the sport and fine-tuned the skills of many adults. Big Lou is the best coach on the island and his coaching clinics are available to both locals and visitors throughout the week. Badminton has a small, but enthusiastic following built up over 30 years. The best players have competed in regional and international competitions and the sport’s governing body the Barbados Badminton Association has hosted major regional events and continues to promote Badminton in the local schools. Local squash has produced some excellent players and colourful personalities down the years. National Champion Karen Meakins has 140

an outstanding record in the ladies code with 12 successive wins. Karen had an exceptional year in 2010 when she also won the Silver Medal at the World Federation Masters Squash Championships in Germany and had similar success at the Central America and Caribbean Games. Former Men’s Champion Mark Sealy is another excellent squash player who has defied the years. The multi-talented all-round sports player has also competed in the Masters World Championships with some success. The Barbados Squash Association is a thriving organization that welcomes visitors and continues to do much to promote and develop the sport at all age levels. Table tennis players use bats not rackets, but their favourite passion is closely aligned to the island’s unique sport of road tennis. Many feel this game is indigenous to the island and could have a global presence if marketed internationally. The game has humble origins and was once dubbed the “poor man’s tennis” as the setting and the equipment cost next to nothing. The setting could be as basic as a chalked out court on a country road with a plank of wood used as a net in the middle. Basic wooden bats were used and the ball was an old used tennis ball that had long lost its bounce and shine. In the old days matches were staged in country roads and woe behold the driver who expected to stop an important match on a road packed with spectators. In due course the game was moved to safer locations although chalked out courts are still visible on some country roads in St. Peter. Nowadays courts are much better marked and while the equipment has improved slightly, not much else has changed. The best players play for good prize money in the big competitions that attract large crowds. Road Tennis is a fast and exciting sport and with better promotion and marketing it could be a much bigger event. Is this a sports business opportunity lying in wait?

Sporty Things to Do In The Saddle MacKenzie Manning winner of the FEI World Dressage Challenge, Preliminary Class for Children

Erin Stephany on Stella Blue


Heather Walker aboard Super Trooper

here are a lot of things to do in the saddle in Barbados whether you are a biker or an equestrian enthusiast. As a biker you can race with the elite cyclists, you can leisurely explore the roads of the island, or you can mountain bike across some of the most beautiful terrain in the Caribbean. If horses are your passion then you can do almost anything from serious showjumping, dressage and polo to simple pony trails though rainforest, fields and beaches. Road bikers represent the serious side of cycling and throughout the year ‘Meets� are held on Sunday afternoons. Most times the races are around a particular road section, but the longer races take the cyclists all over the island. These guys train hard and are often seen in small groups racking up the miles in preparation for their competitive races. The sport is well structured across all age levels and some of the best Barbadian cyclists have represented Barbados at the Commonwealth Games and various other regional and international events. Some of the elite athletes train overseas where there is more competition. Cycling is a sport than caters for all types. Many cyclists are not serious athletes, but love the relaxation and leisure that cycling though the countryside generates. Visitors can hire bikes, plan their route and head off into beautiful rural Barbados. Or you can simply cycle at your pleasure and create your own adventure. The countryside is ideal for cycling, and although some of the roads are poorly surfaced, speed is not important when you meander through quiet, peaceful little roads steeped in history. Mountain biking and BMX biking appeal to a more energetic group and there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy if this is your passion. Some mountain-bikers prefer to be off road and carry their 142

bikes to the more remote areas like the rugged East and North Coasts where they can enjoy unlimited opportunities to cycle through rainforests, sand dunes and hillsides. Equestrian sports have a variety of disciplines and they vary considerably. There is a great sense of control and order surrounding the elegant Dressage in stark contrast to the speed, thrust and bustle of horseracing and polo. Horses have been a big part of Barbados social and working life for centuries, but they are now firmly absorbed in sport and leisure. The Barbados Turf Club regulates and controls horseracing, which is centred on the Garrison Racetrack, but owners and breeders have stables all over the island. The polo community has links with horseracing, but not as strong as in years gone by, and the surge in popularity of this sport in the modern era has led to several new polo fields and Equestrian Centres being built. This means visitors can enjoy a wider range of equestrian pursuits and in the case of polo receive lessons and tuition from some excellent polo coaches. The Apes Hill Equestrian Centre is well placed to provide a complete range of equestrian facilities. Showjumping and Dressage are popular in two niche equestrian groups. Competitions in both disciplines are held throughout the year and some of the best participants compete overseas. Showjumping is particularly popular with younger riders, but the skills required in Dressage come from years of experience and training. The Dressage Centre at Congo Road in St. Phillip is an idyllic setting for the sport with a rural backdrop and peaceful surrounds. Most of the Riding Centres offer pony treks where visitors can enjoy peaceful trails into the countryside.

Sporty Things to Do Making a Hash of it


here are over 2,000 Hash Clubs in 185 countries all over the world including Barbados. Their culture is one of walking and running with a strong social element to reward their physical endeavours! It is fun and enjoyable and an exhilarating combination that takes the members and friends all over the countryside in search of exercise, camaraderie and fellowship in healthy environs. Barbados is ideally suited to the Hash culture and the trails take runners and walkers to places they may never encounter in normal everyday life. The Hash members welcome visitors and their weekly Saturday afternoon trails attract over 75 enthusiastic Hashers. They also come out on Bank Holidays and a typical hash afternoon involves a five-mile jaunt that could be through rural and urban Barbados, but always ends with a vibrant friendly mixture of drinks, food and banter. This is really fun running and walking at its best and the beauty about hashing is that you can do everything at your own pace. This is not a race, but a personal exercise challenge that caters for all types of people and fitness levels. The same goes for après-Hash as beverages range from litres of cold water, to bottles of beer and perhaps the occasional glass of wine or tot of rum. Everything works within the hash culture. 144

The Barbados Hash House Harriers was formed in November 1985 and over the years it has never lacked vision or innovation. Hashers traverse idyllic Barbados countryside, urban back streets, gullies, hills and valleys with occasional sojourns along some of our beautiful beaches. Everything ends on a social and friendly note with Hash parties renowned for their laidback fellowship and entertainment. The members have also made significant donations to charity and amongst their favourite good causes are the Auntie Olga Needy Children’s Fund, the Challenor School, and the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home. Hash running and walking also embraces friends and supporters and there’s nothing better than arriving back at the finish to be greeted by smiling hares, a cool refreshing drink and a barbeque brimming with hot food. (Note: The persons who set the trails/runs are called hares, those running or walking the trail are hounds). There are few formalities about hashing other than good organization and the guarantee of an enjoyable afternoon. For more information visit and remember they also have outings when there’s a full moon! We wonder why?

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Sporty Things to Do Having a Splashing Time

Champion Junior Angler Matthew Roach


ife on a tropical island throws up countless opportunities to have a splashing time. Barbados is very special because our surrounding turquoise waters are garnished with beautiful white powdery sandy beaches that make it hard to get away from loungers, rum punches and afternoon snoozes. Holidays are full of decadence and relaxation, but if you want some adventure there are plenty of things to do. You can surf, kitesurf, cruise on a catamaran, kayak, paddle, water ski, jet ski, snorkel, dive, sail, swim or fish. Swimming comes in all forms in Barbados. If you want a leisurely swim the water is your bathtub as swimming is safe on most beaches. The water immediately offshore is relatively shallow and protected in many areas by coral reefs less than a hundred yards from shore. The West and South Coasts have the most popular beaches, while the East Coast is vibrant, wind-swept and empty. However, you shouldn’t swim there as the waves and currents are dangerous. Leave it to the surfers. If you enjoy a good challenge try swimming or paddling across Carlisle Bay, scene of many epic sea battles hundreds of years ago, but covered with small boats and divers today. Barbados has plenty of fine swimmers including legendary Merrymen bass guitarist Chris Gibbs, who swam the English Channel a few years ago. Of course, the Mecca for competitive swimming is the Aquatic Centre at Wildey with its 50Metre champions pool and adjoining learner’s pool. From dawn to dusk, Monday to Friday, the pool is a hive of activity as the swimming school instructors put their young charges through their paces and teach them how to swim. Some of the island’s best swimmers graduated from these lively classes and have gone on to represent Barbados at top regional and international events including the 146

Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. The Aquatic Centre has also hosted top regional competitions and provided warm weather training for overseas swimmers from cold climates preparing for big events. As a visitor you can also enjoy the facilities at a modest charge. Or why not try some fishing? Some visiting fishermen do their own thing, but there’s nothing to compare with the fishing charter boat experience. You can pick up the boat at either the Careenage in the centre of Bridgetown or at beautiful Port St. Charles in Speightstown. A day spent fishing starts early in the morning and involves a lot of fun, a few beers or rums and lunch on board. It may also involve a prize catch! Barbados has a rich history in fishing and the Barbados Game Fishing Club dates back over 50 years. Most of their action takes place at weekends and the highlight of their year is the International Fishing Festival in late March when over 300 anglers and 30 boats compete on and off the sea in a series of lively sporting and social events. Fishing charters are not expensive and they are a lot of fun. A day out lasts around six hours and it is fun for all the family. You can even snooze in the cabin if you get tired! By their nature fishing folk are peace-loving conservationalists and they love nothing better than to re-live a day on the waves during a night off the waves. Where better than at the fishing village of Oistins and their open-air fish-fry restaurants? This bustling street extravaganza started modestly a few years ago and has expanded into one of the most popular events on the island. Where better to round off a splashing day than at Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday evening?

Sporting Barbados 2013