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Contents 6 8 10 12 18 24 52 62 66

- Introduction - Foreword - Foreword - Sporting Calendar - Sporting Contacts - Shades of Barbados - Golfing Pars - Sporting Personality - Don Hanley - The Sandy Lane Gold Cup Sir David’s Day 80 - Polo Punches 90 - Cricket - Limacol CPL Twenty20 96 - Sporting Personality - Kevin O’Brien 100 - Sporting Personality Henderson Wallace 104 - The Barmy Army is Back! 106 - Sporting Personality - Lisa Cole 108 - Motorsport - Exciting Times! 118 - Sporting Personality - Rob Swann 120 - Sailing Splashes 126 - Sporting Personality - Claas Lehmann

128 - Action man - Brian Talma takes us around Barbados 132 - Sporting Personality Chelsea Tuach 134 - Football - Legends are Forever 138 - Sporting Personality - Ian Smith 140 - Football Flashes - Barbados International Masters Football Festival 144 - Banks International Hockey Festival 148 - Rugby - Ruck & Maul with the oval ball 152 - Running Raps 156 - Sporting Personality Darian King 160 - Sporting Things Happening all the time 168 - Sporting Personality Charles Brooks

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 L Hiles, Brian Talma, Mark Wheeler, Clare Hiles Advertising – Pamela L Hiles Photography – J Clarence Hiles, Pamela L Hiles, Peter Marshall, Kenmore Bynoe, Diamonds International, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, Sandy Lane Hotel, Apes Hill Golf Club, Royal Westmoreland Golf Club, Lisa Davis,


Stephanie Farmer, Michael Kors, Peter Warren, Relish, Mona Walker, Barbados Tourism Authority, Petra Roach, Barbados Game Fishing Association, Best of Barbados, Lime Bar, Scotia Bank, Himal Reece, Gerrard Wilson, Roberto Hardie, Corey Reece & Limacol CPL T20 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 2014 Sporting Barbados


Introduction I

f there is one dynamic that never disappoints it is the ever-changing picture of Barbados sport and recreation. Not once in our 18 years of producing Sporting Barbados has anyone felt our magazine is repetitive although all of the top sports and recreational activities have remained at the forefront of this evolution. The reason is simplestandards and benchmarks change and in Barbados we have sportspeople and tourism people who aspire to bigger and better goals and who ensure this little island punches well above its weight on Pamela Hiles receiving Sporting Barbados the global stage. Award from the BTA’s Gregory Armstrong After all, who felt a Caribbean T20 competition could reach the dizzy heights of the Indian Premier League? But not only did last year’s inaugural Limacol T20 CPL Tournament reach those heights, it surpassed them in so many ways and has to be seen as the Caribbean sporting success of the year. However, time does not stand still and we expect the organizers to make it bigger and better going forward. That opens up a wonderful opportunity for visitors to come to the Caribbean and not only enjoy our sand, sea and sunshine, but a month-long series of exciting T20 games. If you are a cricket fan then look for the matches in Barbados and get on board. Barbados has a rich cricket legacy and in 2014 we welcome back the England team and their fans after an absence of five years. Although the matches will be limited overs and not the traditional Barbados five-day test match, the Kensington Oval will provide an electric atmosphere second to none. The modern Oval is a far cry from the old Pickwick ground and it has all the facilities to make a day at cricket an unforgettable experience. Cricket is not the only sport to move with the times and despite our tough economic environment great advances have also been made in Barbados golf, polo and motorsport. We have now six golf courses, five polo fields and work is underway to establish a state of the art motorsport track at Bushy Park. Other sports may not be as high profile, but their dynamic is just as vibrant and their ambitions are just as lofty. We have all been inspired by the achievements of our living legends Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Wes Hall, athletes Ryan Brathwaite, Obadele Thompson and Andrea Blackett, horse trainer Sir Michael Stoute, and surfer Brian Talma. Others are following in their footsteps. With a wide range of sport and recreational activities the sports tourism product of Barbados is very special and we are delighted to showcase them in this publication. We also commend our website which takes the publication to all parts of the world through the power of the Internet. No publication of this type could be produced without the support of a wide range of people. We particularly thank our advertisers and commend them as these are tough times and without them we would not exist. We would also like to thank our feature writers, guest and local interviewees, photographers, sports enthusiasts, and production team of Neil Barnard at 809 Design and Colin Moffatt our Printer. A special thanks to Government Ministers the Hon. Richard Sealy and the Hon. Stephen Lashley for their Forewords and encouragement, and to the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) and Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA). The TDF support has allowed us to distribute and promote the magazine internationally at World Travel Market and their role in promoting sports tourism continues to be strong in these challenging times. Enjoy the 2014 edition of Sporting Barbados. Pamela Hiles Editor 6

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.

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


ince its inception in 1998, Sporting Barbados has become the premier annual showcase for the country’s sports tourism product. Each year the management team of Sporting Barbados offers a winning combination of sporting events and a plethora of leisure opportunities you can experience on our beautiful island. I commend you on another successful year. Niche markets are continuously emerging and growing as the interests and expectations of tourists are broadened and heightened. One such niche that has enhanced the social and economic rewards for the tourism sector of Barbados is sports tourism. Over the years, Barbados has had a successful track record in hosting many local, regional and international sporting events in swimming, golf, polo and motor sports to mention a few. In 2006, Barbados was the host venue for World Golf Championships World Cup, Cricket World Cup finals in 2007, Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in 2010 and AIBA World Women’s Boxing Championship. More recently, Barbados has also been one of the host countries for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament. These events have the potential to attract many visitors and spectators. Apart from its ability to stimulate the economy through direct spending, this niche product also has the ability to infuse many aspects of the island’s socio-culture by highlighting our cultural heritage, cuisine and entertainment. This provides an excellent opportunity for locals and visitors to interact and participate together. Additionally, Barbados has been able to develop and nurture a relationship with international football club Chelsea FC since 2011. This opportunity will assist the sport of football nationally as it seeks to build capacity at the coaching level as well as the development of young players. When we host international sporting events, one of our main intentions is to foster growing relationships with our participants and their sponsors as well as to create post event experiences. Our goal for developing sports tourism goes beyond the scope of sport, tourism and economic development individually. In measuring success we must focus on our efforts at sports development, sports education, youth development as well as community development and involvement. I am proud to acknowledge a few of our recent achievements, particularly our promising athletes on their recent successes in squash and surfing at the regional and international levels. Once again, congratulations to Sporting Barbados on another successful publication with exciting coverage of sports in Barbados equipped to entice and encourage all readers to visit our island and experience true Bajan hospitality. We welcome all of you!

Richard L Sealy. M.P. Minister of Tourism and International Transport



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


s Minister with responsibility for sports and sporting development in Barbados, I am very conscious of the potential socio-economic benefits of the sporting industry to national development. These benefits become even more expansive when synergy is created between sports and tourism, with sports becoming a promotional activity for the tourism product. This synergy is a logical phenomenon particularly when one considers that tourism is said to be the number one industry in the world and sports the number one industry in the leisure sector. This powerful combination is currently being exploited by Barbados and other countries through what is known as Sports Tourism. There is no doubt that Sports Tourism is now a multi-million dollar component of the wider tourism industry. It is used to give destinations the edge they really need to stand out amidst the competition. As a tourist destination, Barbados must be forever cognizant of this fact and must seek to utilize every available vehicle to ensure that it gets its fair share of this highly competitive market. I view the Sporting Barbados magazine as one of those vehicles. Using sports as a promotional gateway, you have sought over the years to tell Barbados’ story in a unique way, attracting those visitors who are keen on more than sand, sea and sun. You have consistently attracted those who want a more interactive holiday, who want to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and take in the culture of the island at the same time. I commend all those concerned for conceiving the idea to produce such an illustrious magazine. My commendations also go to your dedication and commitment each year to the task of promoting Barbados as a sports tourism destination. Best wishes as you continue what I consider to be a vital partnership with the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth.

Hon. Stephen Lashley. M.P. Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth






Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle Hike Barbados – 246 426 2421 – Every weekend Horse racing at the Garrison on Saturdays Rugby –at the Garrison Saturday Afternoon – Club Matches Sailing – Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series Jan 15th -24th Mount Gay Regatta Sandy Lane Charitable Trust Golf Tournament & Gala Dinner Fishing – King Fish Tournament 11th Surfing – 25th Southpoint

Cricket Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle Cheshire Polo Tour Sandy Lane Gold Cup Festival Holetown Festival 9th – 16th Hike Barbados Horse racing at the Garrison on Saturdays Golf – Rockley Golf Course Open Feb 22nd/23rd Diamonds international Charity Golf Rugby – at the Garrison Motor Racing Cruise to Run Barbados 5K Swimming –BASA Assessment Trial – Barbados Bridge – Sun Sea and Slams Tournament 11th-15 Surfing – 22nd - Brandons


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Cricket WI vs England ODI 9th, 11th, 13th Kensington Oval Horse Racing at the Garrison –8th March Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, LionCastle Holder’s Season 22nd March- 5th April Barbados Junior International Tennis Tournament (ITF Junior circuit) Oistins Fish Festival Royal Westmoreland Ladies Golf Open The Barbados Cup, Football The Rockley Cup – Golf Rugby- at the Garrison on Saturdays Motor Racing Surfing – Scholastics at Soup Bowl Swimming – The Basa Long Course National Championships – 4th -9th De Action Waterman Festival 7th – 9th Judo – 13th – 17th March Qualifier for CAC Games - SGSC


Fishing – Barbados International Game Fishing – Port St Charles 9th - 13th Polo Holders - Apes Hill, Lion Castle – Battle of the Sexes Horse Racing at the Garrison – Barbados Guineas

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Motor Racing - Scotiabank King of the Hill 24/25th May Sol Rally Barbados 31st May – 1st June Golf – Sir Garfield Sobers Golf Tournament 1st-4th Polo at Apes Hill, Holders, Lion Castle. Banks Barbados International Masters Football Celtic Festival Diamonds International/Sandy Lane/Rotary West Charity Golf Classic Rugby- at the Garrison 24th /31st Guyana and Trinidad Horse Racing at the Garrison Motor Racing at Bushy Park Swimming – BASA long course open 9th/10th May XXIII Aquatic Centre International Invitational 23rd-25th May

International Cricket – WI vs Pakistan Kensington Oval Sol Rally Barbados June 1st Sailing – Caribbean J24 Open Championship 18th 21st Horse racing at the Garrison – Barbados Fillies Guineas Bajan Unifest University Sporting Festival Barbados Open Water Classic – Whit Monday – Accra Browne’s Beach Swimming – Junior Stroke Swim Splash 13th /14th Surfing – 14th Parlour Rugby Championships TBA Barbados Legends Tournament - Football

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Caribbean Premier League Cricket 6th July 10th August Kensington Oval Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships - TBA International Cricket – WI vs Pakistan Kensinton Oval Start of Crop Over Festival Schools Summerfest Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament 5th – 26th Horse racing at the Garrison Motor Racing

Horse Racing - United Insurance Derby Day at the Garrison Savannah Barbados International Hockey Festival 24th 30th Surfing competition

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Suntours! 14

Elegance is an attitude Simon Baker

Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St. James Tel: 271-8228 Upper Broad Street, Bridgetown Tel: 430-2421/22 800-51-JEWEL •

Conquest Classic





Football – Lime Pelican Cup Surfing- Bathsheba Soup Bowl Horse Racing at the Garrison Motor Racing Surfing 20th Sand Bank

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 Cycling – Kreeda Caribbean Cycling Challenge SUPing around Barbados with Brian Talma 7th – 12th UWI Hockeyfest Surfing nationals – 11th Judo – 4th Pam American Judo Cup Judo – 5th – 14th B’dos Int Judo Tournament International Table Tennis Tournament



Nation Fun Walk Cricket – The CLOBI Cup International Master Cricket Kensington Oval Independence Pro Surfing Championships Horse Racing at the Garrison, The Golf Classic at Barbados Golf Club Motor Racing Brydens Barbados Darts Festival Sizzling Sands Beach Volleyball, Brighton Beach Karate – Barbados Karate Association National Tournament Surfing – Independence Pro Tournament 13th 16th Soup Bowl Swimming Fun Fiesta Swim Meet 29th All Stars Junior Hockey Tournament 22nd -30th

Run Barbados Festival Polo – Holders, Apes Hill, Lion Castle. Horse Racing at the Garrison Diamonds International Challenge over 3 weekends Motor Racing Swimming – 2nd-7th Cave Shepherd & Co Short Course National Swimming Championships




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

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

BASKETBALL: BARBADOS AMATEUR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION NETBALL: BARBADOS NETBALL ASSOCIATION President Nisha Cummins Tel: 246 231 4344 (c) FOOTBALL: BARBADOS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION President: Randolph Harris Tel: 246 228 1707 Add: Bottom Floor, ABC Marble Complex, Fontabelle, 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 - Mr Kofi Hinds secretary Barbados Ball Hockey League Stevar House, Suite 1 Rockley, Christ Church Barbados WI BB15137 VOLLEYBALL: BARBADOS VOLLEYBALL ASSOCIATION President – John Griffith 18

Address: P.O. Box 659, Bridgetown, Barbados Email: Facebook: Barbados Badminton Player


TAEKWONDO: TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Master Ronald Philip Tel: 246 8226583/4261998 Add: McCleans Gap, Brittons Hill, St Michael

ARCHERY President: John Annel Contact: Judith Magras Tel: 246 437 9479/429 1998 Add: PO Box 391G, St. George

KARATE: THE BARBADOS KARATE ASSOCIATION Contact: Peter Warren Tel 246 428 2674 Contact: Paul Bernstein

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

FENCING; THE BARBADOS FENCING CLUB Ryan Rodriguez/Roslyn Wilson: 230-0999. Barbados Fencing fb page

Barbados Rifle and Pistol Federation President: Antonio Rudder Tel 246 427 0966


International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Geoffrey Browne, President Tel 246 262 9984

ROAD TENNIS: BARBADOS ROAD TENNIS ASSOCIATION Contact: Dale Clarke Tel: 246 2453953 TABLE TENNIS: BARBADOS TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Lt Col. Trevor Browne Tel: 246 2338113 Secretary: Mr Edwin Jordan Add: Nursery Drive,Constitution Road Bridgetown, St. Michael BARBADOS TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Dr Raymond Forde Tel: 246 4275300 SQUASH: BARBADOS SQUASH RACQUET ASSOCIATION President: Craig Archer Tel: 246 2715174 BARBADOS BADMINTON ASSOCIATION Contact: Mr. Kevin Wood (President) / Mr. Mervyn Gordon (Secretary) Telephone: {President} (246) 4201800(w)/231-7390(c) {Secretary} 4371305(h)/420-1902(w)

KENDAL SPORTING Contact: Richard Bradshaw Tel: 246 437 5306 BARBADOS CLAY TARGET SHOOTING ASSOCIATION Contact: Peter Reece Email Tel: 246 437 4930



800 -51-JEWEL



MIND GAMES DOMINOES: THE NATIONAL DOMINO ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS President: Rodney Inniss Email Tel 246 232 9704 WARRI Contact: Lee Farnum-Badley Tel: 246 432 1292




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

BRIDGE Secretary – Charles Hollingsworth

Barbados Sailing Association P O Box 40 Bridgetown BB11000 Secretary – Penny McIntyre

Barbados Chess Federation


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) PR Edward Thompson 246 423 0967 BARBADOS FEDERATION OF ISLAND TRIATHLETES President: Peter Gibbs

SWIMMING BARBADOS AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION President: Andrew Kirby Facilities Manager: Andrei Cross Tel: 246 429 7946/ 246 436 4305

GAME FISHING BARBADOS GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION Contact: James Pierce PO Box 80, Bridgetown, St. Michael 20

BARBADOS SURFING ASSOCIATION President: Christopher Clarke Secretary: Margot Tuach 246 231 0296 Email BARBADOS JUNIOR SURFING CLUB President: Alan Burke Tel 246 2302456 Email WINDSURFING AND WATER FESTIVAL Contact: Brian Talma Tel: 246 428 6596 DIVING Martyn Norsworthy, High Tide Diving Coral Reef Hotel, Holetown, St James Tel 800 970 0016

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

CYCLING 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

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 YMCA Tel: 246 426 3910 YWCA Tel: 246 425 7308 BARBADOS TOURISM AUTHORITY Tel: 246 427 2623 UK- Canada- Miami- New York- California- BARBADOS NATIONAL TRUST – HIKE BARBADOS Tel 246 436-9033 Email Barbados Hash House Harriers


Different Shades E of Bim

verybody has their personal tastes when it comes to a holiday destination and Barbados is very special as it offers so much that it can be difficult to take it all in at one time. Here are some of the different shades of Barbados to give you an instant flavour of our island‌


Barbadians are a friendly outgoing people with a laidback easy-going approach to life. They love to talk, and can get quite animated especially if the subject is cricket. But overall visitors love the relaxed Bajan lifestyle and slip softly into the same mode after a few days in the sun. Most of the population is of African origin, but over the years it has been amicably entwined with European, Asian and American cultures. Local inhabitants are well educated, and although the wooden chattel houses may look basic they are homely, fully loaded with modern appliances and relatively cool under the blistering heat. Some people who come on holiday are so captivated by the island’s beauty that they eventually buy a second home in Paradise. They include some high net worth individuals who now reside permanently in Barbados and live privately and comfortably alongside lesser mortals. The island has produced more than its share of social and sporting superstars. Horse Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has written his name into horseracing folklore with an amazing string of successes. Athletes Obedele Thompson and Ryan Brathwaite have won world titles and our cricketing pedigree is arguably the finest on the planet. Names like Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes,





Needham’s Fort

Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Wes Hall, and Sir Conrad Hunte stir the passions of cricketers all over the world, a legacy of a small nation that prides itself on a unique cricket heritage. Much of the aura of cricket greatness has been captured at the Legends of Barbados Museum, a superb facility close to the Kensington Oval and a must-visit for any cricket enthusiast. But ask anyone from the modern generation who is the most famous Barbadian and they will inevitably respond with Rihanna, the superstar singer who has been a sensation in the past few years. Our people love music and while Rihanna has understandably dominated the international music scene, the lovely Shontelle and the emerging young group Cover Drive are now up with the best in the global ratings. And all this from a population of just over 286,000, a village on the world map.

SHADES OF BARBADOS BEACHES The most important shades on Barbados beaches are the ones you need to wear! Barbados has beautiful beaches and they vary widely all round the island. The placid West Coast is quiet, alluring and relaxing, the vibrant rugged East Coast is fiery, turbulent and spectacular, the sparsely populated North Coast is pounding, noisy and remote, while the bustling South Coast is popular, breezy and full of action. It is amazing that a little island barely 21 miles by 14 miles at its widest could produce such a diversity of coastlines offering something for everyone. Pure white sand and turquoise blue water are the visible features of a coastline that is coral and offers great diving opportunities and a haven for a wide range of watersports including sailing, surfing, swimming, kitesurfing, windsurfing and in more recent times paddle surfing. Everybody has their favourite beaches and while the surfers extol the virtues of the Soup Bowl at Bathsheba and Silver Sands, many people love the tranquillity, history and aura of Carlisle Bay, the centre of sailing and commercial activity. It was also



the scene of some epic battles several hundred years ago when foreign ships attacked Bridgetown, but they were always rebuffed by the powerful cannons on Needham’s Point, many of them still on view, while others sit in a few feet of water just below the ramparts. Another huge favourite is Crane Beach nestling below the island’s oldest hotel. Vibrant, but spectacularly beautiful, the Crane is a wonderful beach experience that has won global recognition. It has also been the idyllic tropical beach for many fashion and film shoots, including mega star Rihanna. Barbados has many beaches and although the popular Accra Beach on Gun Hill Signal Station the South Coast is usually busy, there are dozens of quiet beaches all around the island and many of them totally empty. But please, a word of caution-secluded beaches anywhere in the world carry certain risks so exercise good safety and security diligence.

WEATHER AND CLIMATE SHADES When it is hot in Barbados it is best to seek the shade, especially if you hail from a temperate climate. The hot tropical sun provides a lovely warm climate all year round, but you need to be careful and not overdo your exposure to it. Barbados doesn’t have traditional seasons, although the days lengthen by about an hour at their longest. That said, the socalled rainy season has not been predictable in recent years and the Caribbean hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. It has been a long time since Barbados suffered from a hurricane so the chances of it happening are slim. Long may that continue! One of the nicest aspects of Barbados weather is the wind and the soft breezes make the climate idyllic. Droughts are rare, and rainfall when it comes is often in short heavy bursts. Many local people love a wet day as it happens so rarely it has become a treat! The average temperature all year round is 27-29 degrees Celcius.



LANDSCAPE SHADES When the first settlers came to Barbados it was completely wooded. However, most of the trees have long gone and the island’s topography these days is that of low undulations and fields swaying with sugar cane. There are no mountains or rivers in Barbados as the island is coral so the water penetrates below the surface. The hilly area on the North-East Coast is called Scotland District because the early settlers felt it reminded them of the Highlands back home. But Mount Hillaby is the highest point at only 1,104 ft above sea level, in stark contrast to Ben Nevis at 4,409 feet high. Inner Barbados is full of charm and character. Much of the population is centred around the main urban areas on the West and South Coasts, which means the rest of the island is sparsely populated. Rum Shops and small grocery stores are scattered everywhere and tend to attract locals, but the only other dominant features are churches and schools. The East Coast is particularly quiet and a retreat for many people who want a laidback lifestyle, and the surfers who ply their trade at the idyllic Soup Bowl. There are some great vistas to view large areas of Barbados. The popular Island Safari 4 x 4 land cruisers take visitors to some amazing sites offering panoramic views of the East and South-East Coasts, but for the independent traveller there are plenty of options if you hire a car and head into the countryside. The Gun Hill Signal Station in St. George has stunning views to the South and SouthEast and a magnificent sculpture of a white lion, which was done by British soldiers 200 years ago. The signal stations were used by the military to warn of uprisings, foreign ships approaching the coastline and as security bases away from the main fort at the Garrison. Fires were lit to warn of a threat. Another popular vantage point is the peaceful St. John’s Parish Church. The church and its graveyard are steeped in history and the view from the sundial is superb. The graves date back several hundred years, but have a poignant connection with modern times as the Right Hon. David Thompson, Barbados’s Prime Minister, was buried there three years ago after he died in office. You can’t get lost in Barbados and if you do, it will only be for a short time, as you have to reach the coast somewhere. And you can also take a bearing from the bus stops, as there are only two types-Into Town and Out of Town. Town of course is Bridgetown!


Above: St. John’s Church • Main image: George Washington House located inside Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison an area which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Property in 2011


The peaceful Arawak Indians discovered Barbados and the less peaceful Caribs took it from them many hundreds of years ago. In modern times Captain John Powell is credited with discovery as he raised the British flag on the island in 1625 at Holetown. Two years later the first British settlers


arrived and for almost 400 years the island has retained a British culture through place names, people’s names, politics, military and tourism. Independence was granted in 1966, but Barbados remains within the Commonwealth with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II the titular head and a Barbadian Governor General her local representative. A British High Commission is also based on the island. The island boasts one of the oldest democracies in the Western World and Parliament’s work is supplemented by a Senate. Parliament Buildings in the centre of Bridgetown are a major tourist attraction bedside Heroes Square. Barbados has ten National Heroes, all of whom have made significant contributions to the development Parliament Buildings and welfare of the country. The only living National Hero is His Excellency Sir Garfield Sobers, regarded by many people as the greatest cricketer who ever lived, and one of the island’s best-known personalities. The military presence is strong, especially around the Garrison area where St Ann’s Fort is still a working base for the island’s Defence Regiment. The Garrison area has many military buildings including the famous Drill Hall, the Museum and the National Cannon Collection. Nearby the Barbados Yacht Club occupies Shot Hall, the old base for the Royal Engineers and the military presence covers the whole area down to the Hilton Hotel where the ramparts at Needham’s point played such an important role in protecting the island. A poignant reminder of that troubled past is the Military Cemetery close to the hotel, full of young men from Britain who gave their lives for Barbados. The Garrison area is now deemed a World Heritage Site and great plans are afoot to bring more of Barbados’s history alive.

FESTIVALS OF ALL SHADES AND FASHIONS Barbados is an island of festivals, some of which celebrate our social and cultural history and others to showcase our talent. Over the years we have enjoyed top class Jazz and gospel festivals and a wide range of sporting festivals. Holetown has a week-long festival in February to celebrate the arrival of the first settlers in 1627,which is very community oriented with a wide range of activities. The Oistins Fish Festival in March/April has a similar approach centred on fishing-the village’s main industry.



But the biggest festival in Barbados is Crop Over, the traditional celebration of the end of sugar cane production for the year, but an event that has now embraced every aspect of music, party and revelry. It is the biggest social event in the year and the build up lasts several months with a series of musical events culminating in Grand Kadooment Day, which involves a huge parade just outside Bridgetown city centre. Some connections with the past are still retained with the appointment of the King of the Crop and the Queen of the Crop Awards, two titles for the best cane cutters during the cutting season. But it is the Kadooment Day Parade that captures the imagination of visitors, returning nationals and locals as it is one great party that involves costume, pageantry, carnival, music and revelry. It has electric atmosphere and involves thousands of participants and many more spectators who line the streets in support. Young and old, visiting and local gather in bands at Warrens and parade to the National Stadium for judging and then march behind their music trucks to Spring Gardens Highway with a few beers and rum to keep them cool. The Reggae Festival has Reggae on the Hill as its flagship event and is held in April while Gospel Fest is held in May. Holder’s Season is a celebration of theatre, opera and music in a magnificent setting at the Kidd family home at Holder’s Hill. Great acts, great performerssimply top class! The Oistins Fish Festival was so successful that it sparked a Friday evening Fish Fry experience that has become so popular that you can eat out in the same restaurants along the main street virtually every




night of the week. And the fish is fresh because the Oistins Kensington Oval fish market is barely 50 yards away! Another major event is the Festival of Creative Arts that is held in November and which features local craftspeople, performers and products to showcase their talent. Also in November is the Wine and Food Festival where international Chefs and top local Chefs showcase the best of Barbados cuisine. And it is not all about Barbados. The Celtic Festival is held in May and involves Celtic musicians and dancers coming to the island with their supporters to join with the locals in a series of cultural and musical events with a Celtic theme. For sporting enthusiasts the Sandy Lane Gold Cup Festival in March is the highlight of the horseracing season and the Sol Rally Barbados in June is not only the biggest motorsports event on the island, but probably the biggest sporting one in the region. The Sir Garfield Sobers Golf Festival in April, the Masters International Football Festival in June and the Bank’s Hockey Festival in August ensure the sporting interest never wanes. And of course there’s cricket! When a test match is in town that’s huge, especially if England are visiting. However, the traditional cricket mania has now been taken over by T20 cricket. The Limacol CPL Twenty20 is held in August and takes place at different venues with Barbados one of the most popular locations. If cricket is your sport don’t miss it!


SHADES AFTER DARK-BARBADOS LIGHTLIFE There’s something on every night of the week in Barbados and if you burn the midnight oil then this is the place to do it. For many years St. Lawrence Gap was the hub of Barbados nightlife, but the once famous “Gap” lost much of its glitter in the last five years as some of its best nightspots disappeared. But there is a renaissance happening in the Gap in recent times and many people feel it will return to former glory over the next couple of years as new owners take over tried and tested party spots, bars and restaurants. Even at its darkest the Gap still held its appeal for many locals and visitors so the new era will be popular and well supported once it gets back to full power. Barbados nightlife is full of lively bars and restaurants, some with Karaoke and some with multiple screens showing sport. The two best sports bars are on the South Coast at Bert’s Bar and the Lucky Horseshoe. Bert is an institution in Barbados nightlife and visitors have been returning to his bar for over 30 years. The Lucky Horseshoe is popular with gaming machine enthusiasts and it serves food and drink 24 hours a day so you can get there anytime. Harbour Lights is the other institution in Barbados nightlife and has been the Mecca for revellers for several decades. Formerly the Carlisle, different generations of locals have met their partners at this well-known party spot and tourists love it. Many return year after year and it is the place you are most likely to see and mix with celebs. The club offers different packages throughout the week, but the allinclusive “drink what you want for as long as you want” seems to have retained its great popularity


since time immortal. Harbour Lights also offers two Beach Party Shows on Mondays and Wednesday LIme Bar at Lime Grove that include excellent food Main picture: Cooking up something and drink and highly delicious at Relish Epicurea entertaining culture presentations. Most of the buzz in the evening is on the South Coast although there are several popular bars and restaurants on the West Coast. However, the more reserved sleepy West Coast is more renowned for fine dining and eating out. First and Second Streets in Holetown combine both, especially at the weekends, but the biggest buzz is in the new Lime Grove Lifestyle Centre where the Lime Bar is the place to be seen on the island. The whole area around the bar is a hive of activity, especially at the weekends and in addition to some exclusive shops, there are several excellent restaurants including Relish, the Lime Bar and CafÊ Zoola. Many of the Barbados hotels have entertainment and this suits families best because they can slip quietly into bed when time catches up with the young ones, but for the party animals it’s a case of getting out there and enjoying the wide variety of options available most evenings, and always on weekends.

SHOPPING WITH YOUR SHADES ON Barbados is a wonderful place to shop and boasts some of the biggest retail names in the world at the Lime Grove Lifestyle Centre and a plethora of other exciting outlets in Bridgetown and on the West and South Coasts. Bridgetown is the hub of shopping on the island and a big favourite with many visitors especially those on cruise ships with limited time. Most of the top local outlets are on Broad Street, a narrow old colonial thoroughfare that has too much traffic and remains a dinosaur in modern infrastructure. However, it has character and is the one street where pedestrians are voluntarily given right of way as they leapfrog from one side of the street to the other and drivers slow down to snail pace to absorb the hustle and bustle of a thriving shopping scene. Jewellry shops seem to be everywhere and the highest quality is on offer at Diamonds International, the Royal Shop and Colombian Emeralds International. The



W We ea accept ccept all major ccredit redit ccards ards


flagship Department Store remains the Cave Shepherd retail outlet, which has just about everything you need under one roof. It includes two restaurants and Broad Street Men’s and Women Designers Wear Store, one of the biggest and best designer’s clothes store in the Caribbean on the ground floor with Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger attire to die for. There are bargains aplenty throughout the Cave Shepherd store and a superb gift shop. Few visitors know of Swan Street that runs parallel to Broad Street, but which offers cheaper goods and attracts many younger people with limited budgets. Cave Shepherd has stores all over the island including Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams International Airport. Sunset Crest has many shops and restaurants within a short distance from each other, but the biggest attraction in Holetown is the State of the Art Lifestyle Centre Lime Grove. This magnificent Centre is one of the best in the Caribbean and houses some of the biggest International brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Cartier, Mac and more. Locals and visitors love the Sheraton Centre where the shops are varied and cover virtually every need imaginable. The Centre is a popular meeting place and has a large Food Hall with great local cuisine so allow plenty of time to explore and enjoy. Many people like to take home something unique from their holiday and Barbados offers a wide range of craft and local products. But one range of products is very special and has been carried all over the world. Earthworks Pottery is magnificent and the range of everyday items they have manufactured ensures there is something for everyone. Its bright vibrant colours distinguish the pottery and visitors can see it being made if they visit the Earthworks Pottery at Edghill in St. Thomas.


‘The Miranda’ from Michael Kors




Best of Barbados Gift Shop

In Barbados we are lucky to have a vibrant art and craft community making unique Barbadian gifts and souvenirs. Best of Barbados Gift Shops, established in 1975, were one of the first to recognise the work of talented Barbadians and combine these with the paintings of company founder, Jill Walker, to sell in their chain of gift shops. Today, this remarkable family company, now in its 38th year, is run by Jill’s daughter Sue Trew and her husband Chris and features imaginative local craft, art and giftware designs many by Jill, Sue and Sue’s daughter, Holly – a truly family affair! This year they celebrate 30 years of hand screen printing sophisticated Barbadian designs onto high quality 100% cotton which are made into giftware items by cottage workers – perfect for bringing a little Bajan sunshine to your home. Or what about some lovely Harley Davidson attire? There are several well-stocked Harley Davidson stores in Barbados including the airport and cruise terminal and everyone knows the international status of this unique brand. Another popular retail outlet is the Mount Gay Visitor’s Centre. Packed with Mount Gay Rum branded merchandise it is another Aladdin’s Cave of souvenirs and of course, it stocks all the various varieties of the island’s oldest rum. Some visitors have purchased property in Barbados and spend more vacations on the island. Shopping for them is sometimes a little different and may involve furnishing. If that’s the case then Designer Décor is an excellent place to start. There are a number of good stores on the island but you always need a base to start from and Designer Décor is an ideal choice.

SHADES OF EVERYTHING A VISITOR SHOULD KNOW Banks open from 8am to 3pm during the week and stay open to 5pm on Friday evening. Get there early as Barbados banking halls are renowned for long queues and slow service. We wish it was different but it’s not! ATMs are also available and credit cards are widely accepted. The Barbados dollar is fixed at 2 to 1 to the US dollar, although it is not necessary to change as virtually every business and social establishment welcomes the Greenback. Most international mobiles work on the island and free Wireless is slowly working its way islandwide. If




you don’t use your mobile or laptop there are numerous Internet Cafes around the island. We drive on the left side of the road and all valid overseas driving licenses are acceptable for car hire purposes. If you are thinking of car hire pick carefully and seek a recommendation. There are several highly reputable car hire firms like Courtesy Car Rentals, Drive-a-Matic, Corbins Car Rentals, and Top Car Rentals, but twice as many you should avoid. If you prefer taxis then they are everywhere on the island. Most of the taxi drivers are friendly and informative, but it is prudent to agree the tariff before your journey to avoid any confusion. Taxis also offer their own brand of island tours. National buses are blue and stop at the proper bus stops while the yellow buses and route taxis seem to operate within their own set of rules. If you plan to use public transport avoid both as they have a dreadful record of accidents and incidents. Swim gear is for the beach, not the shops or business houses. Barbados expects visitors to dress properly away from the beach and to dress properly on it. Nude sun bathing is not allowed. Most of the popular beaches have both security and lifeguards. Red flags are also used to warn bathers of turbulent water and strong currents. Like everywhere else in the world Barbados has criminals in our society so be careful and diligent at all times. Watch your personal belongings on the beach and even in hotels. Don’t put yourself in situations that are risky and decline any

offer of drugs. Drug pedlars see tourists as easy game, but once caught they serve long sentences in Dodds Prison. Barbados has zero tolerance for drugs and the punishment is quick and punitive for those caught. The Grantley Adams International Airport is the only official aerial entry into Barbados but you can enter by sea at Port St. Charles Marina just north of Speightstown on the West Coast. Virgin Atlantic offers a check-in service at your hotel on the day of departure and this ensures a speedy exit when leaving. However, there is security so don’t leave it too late and for the shoppers, the airport has a wide range of excellent shops for gifts. It also has bars and restaurants, but they are not cheap, so if you plan to eat you might consider other arrangements if you don’t want to pay the price! A big favourite is a Chefette roti just before you go through the security door to Immigration and you have the option of eating immediately or taking a frozen takeaway. Our advice? Go for both!

THERE’S NO SHADY BUSINESS IN BARBADOS. Barbados prides itself as a top international business centre and seeks to attract offshore and international businesses. Tourism is the main industry, but international business is also a major contributor to the economy. Sugar Cane was once a big foreign exchange money earner, but its importance has dwindled down the years and both

Tiami Catamaran Cruises



Tapas on the Boardwalk

manufacturing and agriculture struggle in the modern world. Most of the merchandise on sale is imported and inadvertently this has pushed up the cost of living. However, the positive spinoff is that local supermarkets and retailers can offer similar products to those available in bigger countries, albeit at a slightly higher tariff. Government is stable and the current Prime Minister is the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart of the Democratic Labour Party (Dems), who were returned to office by a small majority in the 2013 election. The Barbados Labour Party (Bees) is currently in opposition under the leadership of the Right Hon. Mia Mottley.

The Hilton Hotel in Barbados is very special. It is located at Needham’s Point overlooking the beautiful Carlisle Bay and has a large beach area and swimming pools. The site is steeped in maritime history and the huge open spaces and Banquet Halls are ideal for business meetings, conferences and weddings. The hotel has three restaurants and their superb Sunday Brunch can be an all day experience if you like your food! The same could be said for the beautiful Crane Resort on the eastern side of the airport. It is a stunning location with a superb beach, excellent accommodation, several fine dining restaurants, bars and a Village Shopping area. You could come to Barbados and never leave the Crane and have a great holiday! Nearby the entrance to the Crane is Cutter’s unique HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS WITH delicatessen. The food is custom-made to suit any DIFFERENT SHADES preference and it can be hand-delivered. It is a great Barbados has a wide range of excellent hotels and place to stop on island rides or to lime in the late restaurants to suit every taste and every pocket. The afternoon. It is one of the island’s hidden gems. island has an international image of a rich, glitzy and Barbados has excellent restaurants all over the expensive lifestyle, but there are also plenty of island and it all depends on what you want when you budget hotels and inexpensive eating-houses. It all want. Cheffette are the fast-food specialists any time depends what you want and what you want to pay. of the day while the sports bar enthusiasts won’t find Sandy Lane Hotel sits at the top of the Caribbean anywhere to match Lucky Horseshoe Bert’s Bar. ladder for exclusiveness and luxury, and that’s what Great food, service and drinks, TVs everywhere and the rich and famous want when they come to the in the latter the personal touch with a welcome from island. But for others the range is open-ended. Bert himself. Best value is on the South Coast where Southern Champers and Tapas are the best restaurants on Palms, Butterfly Beach, Coconut Court, Blue Orchid, the South Coast with idyllic sea views, but for local Coral Mist, Marriott Courtyard, Silver Point, tariff at good prices and a unique atmosphere then Rostrevor, and Intimate Hotels offer great prices at try 39 Steps and Brown Sugar. Many local people eat idyllic locations. There are some great deals for at all four restaurants and that tells you something! sporting groups.

WANT TO LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE AND SHADE? Buying property in Barbados is straightforward and over the years many visitors have made the island their second home and in some instances their




premier home. The key to finding the most suitable property and to handling the buying process with the least amount of hassle and stress is to employ professional and reputable people to help you from the outset. You can also secure a non-resident mortgage through the offices of a good mortgage broker. Real Estate Agents and lawyers are plentiful, but seek advice and guidance and preferably recommendations from professionals in the business. Much as you love your new taxi driver, waiter, jet-ski mate or bar person, their expertise doesn’t stretch into real estate and investment despite their wide-ranging ‘knowledge.’ Three developments that offer something special are located close to the West Coast. The Apes Hill Club is a magnificent real estate development sprawling around Apes Hill a superb golf course with panoramic views to both the West and The East coasts. Royal Westmoreland is close to Holetown and is a mature, luxury golfing & lifestyle development. Claridges is an intimate little Oasis fully gated and the epitome of privacy and luxury. See their ad for more details. The buying process is similar to other jurisdictions. You need a lawyer to convey the property, but your first introduction to local property should be through the pages of Barbados Property News which is widely available all over the island or on the website The magazine will give you a good overview of local property, property services and property products with some useful financial articles from Caribbean Mortgage Services. ( Both CIBCFirstCaribbean International Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia offer non-resident mortgages. It is a good time to buy on the island as prices have come down in recent years due to the global economic downturn, but if there is one certainty in this business then it is the fact that they will come back up. Barbados is a small island of only 166 square miles in size and it is not getting any bigger so the supply is limited and demand will soon be restored to former levels. Buying Barbados real estate is still a sound investment.



Country road


ACTIVITIES THAT SHADE OTHERS Like most holiday islands Barbados offers a lot of activities to suit every age and preference. They can’t all be listed but we can recommend some that are special. For the horticulturists the Flower Forest is a must. It is located in Scotland District so you will need transport, but the trip is a tour in itself. For students of history the area around the Garrison including George Washington House and the Barbados Museum is intriguing. If you like to explore then Harrison’s Cave is unique and mind-boggling. The tour takes you into the dark and intriguing world of underground caves and a chance to see some amazing stalagnites and stalagmites. But can you tell which is which? You certainly will after the tour! Island tours and catamaran tours are also very special, but some people prefer to do their own thing and hire a car. This can be a laidback and relaxing way to discover Barbados as you can go where you like and when you like. You won’t get lost and if you do then stop at a little rum shop, have a beer, relax and then ask for directions and re-start your journey. But drink responsibly and drive carefully! Island Safari and Johnson Tours-Sun Tours are the best tours on the island. The former is a tried and tested 4 x 4 Jeep ride to a plethora of interesting and unusual locations with lunch. Sun Tours can customize a tour to suit any taste and any number of customers. They also do airport pick-ups and are ideal for sporting groups, as they will take them to and from matches and tours. For something different then what about the Concorde Experience? At the height of its popularity Concorde flew regularly to Barbados and on one memorable day there were four parked at the Barbados terminal. The Concorde Experience traces the history of the world’s most famous and revolutionary plane and allows visitors the unique experience of sitting in the famous wide seats and the most photographed cockpit in aviation history.


Golfing Pars Barbados has excellent golf courses and a rich golf history over the past 50 years.

Royal Westmoreland Golf Course





t may surprise a lot of people that the minnow in Barbados golf courses is the oldest as the game was first played at Rockley Golf Club in the 1920s. In those days Rockley looked like a big wide field with a few swamps and in stark contrast to the current 9-hole parkland course sheltered by towering trees and weaving its way through condominium clusters. Sandy Lane followed in the post-war era as its rich and famous clientele demanded a golf course of similar standard to their exclusive hotel. The owners dutifully obliged in 1961 and a splendid 18hole championship course launched Barbados golf to another level and became a playground for many sporting and showbiz celebrities. The club also promoted the game within Barbados and it became the hub of the sport on the island. Many of golf’s leading personalities visited and played Sandy Lane’s famous course and they included Englishman Tony Jacklin in his heyday. Jacklin remains the only British golfer to win both the British Open and the US Open; an amazing feat he accomplished with back to back wins in 1969-70. Renowned British businessman and legendary owner and breeder of 27 Classic winners, Robert Sangster made Barbados his second home and the golf course his favourite sporting haunt. His charity golf days were packed with international celebrities and generated huge funds for good causes and charity. Sangster died in 2004, but he was not the only ‘casualty’ of his time as the old golf course was closed in 1997 after being purchased by an Irish group of businessmen It re-opened three years later as a 9-hole course called the Old Nine. But the biggest transformation under new ownership was the creation of the Sandy Lane Country Club, which included a magnificent new clubhouse and a Tom Fazio designed championship course that won instant international acclaim. Several years later the magnificent Green Monkey Course was added to give the golf resort 45 holes of rich golfing assets. Unfortunately local golfers were victims of the change as the old club folded and Sandy Lane became a private facility with a Pay-as-you-Play culture. The Country Club Course at Sandy Lane Country Club also hosted the 2006 World Match Play Tournament, which attracted many of the top international players and was won by the German duo of Bernard Langer and Marcel Siem. Sandy Lane was not the only major golf development in the Nineties

as the international property boom hit Barbados and a real estate development centred on a golf course was started at Westmoreland, a few miles north of Sandy Lane. Amongst the early buyers was Welsh golfer and former Masters Champion Ian Woosnam, who has remained in love with the island ever since. The Royal Westmoreland course is a classic Robert Trent Jones Jr. par 72, 7,045 yard design and amongst the best in the Caribbean. It has hosted numerous regional and local tournaments, and for several years launched the European Masters season with the first tournament of the season. Amongst the winners were former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance and the affable Tommy Horton. While all these developments were taking place Rockley Golf Club continued to prosper and with more and more visitors coming to the island, its annual Snowbird membership almost doubled its numbers. The surge in popularity of golf was global in the Nineties as the shackles of an elitist image were cast aside by cheaper golf and more open memberships to balance the increasing costs of running a golf course in modern times. The culture of Barbados golf also changed and the catalyst that made it happen was the re-opening of the old course at Durants under the name of the Barbados Golf Club. Irishman Roddy Carr was the visionary who made it happen and with government and private funding he transformed the derelict golf course into an impressive and highly popular 18-hole course with an open membership to everyone. The club continues to grow and has healthy men’s, ladies and youth sections with visionary plans to expand. It is also a popular venue for cruise line stopovers and visitors in general as the price to play is reasonable and all the equipment required is available for hire. The latest chapter in the evolving story of Barbados golf has been the addition of the Apes Hill Club, a short distance inland from Royal Westmoreland. The new course is a magnificent Wentworth design making best use of some breath-taking topography, but unfortunately its arrival coincided with the global economic downturn and the demand for real estate overlooking its fairways has slowed. In time the demand will return, but in the meantime we have a magnificent golf course that is truly world class and a prize asset within the Barbados golf closet. Our golf history may be relatively short, but it is rich in content and destined to get richer in the future. 53


GOLFING IN BARBADOS TODAY Barbados has five 18-hole courses and two 9-hole courses. Three of those courses are within the Sandy Lane Resort, although the Green Monkey is a private facility restricted to Sandy Lane Hotel guests and special Invitees. The other two courses are Pay-as-you-Play. The Green Monkey course is a Tom Fazio quarry design making full use of the rolling hills topography and stunning rock faces. The feature holes are around a picturesque lake with huge elevation variations. Wind can make the course a struggle for high handicappers and with over 7,000 yards to cover; the experience might prove more daunting than anticipated. Despite its low usage the course is immaculately maintained and the landscaping is of the highest calibre. The Championship Course is another resort design by American golf architect Tom Fazio and although the green fees are expensive the facilities are five star. Fazio blended part of the old course into his new creation several years ago and this gave it almost instant maturity as many of the holes are lined with mature trees and colourful landscaping. There are five small man-made lakes that add to the ambience, but don’t threaten the accomplished golfer. However, at over 7,000 yards off the back tees the course can be set up to be a daunting challenge to serious competitors or off the front tees a wonderful experience over lush fairways and immaculate greens. The greens are fast and many have split levels making them difficult to

The 18th at The Country Club, Sandy Lane


read and conquer. The views at the top of the course are stunning, but so is the wind and the long par five hole 6 can be a slog for the light hitters. Overall the Sandy Lane golf experience has a lot of class and although the cost to play is high the facilities include a driving range, full caddy service, practice green, luxurious locker rooms, high quality Pro shop and a beautiful clubhouse with full bar and restaurant facilities and a wonderful view of the West Coast. It may not come cheap, but it does come with class. The Old Nine at Sandy Lane sounds like a dinosaur in Barbados golf, but nothing could be further from the truth. Located close to the hotel, the quaint little clubhouse has been a great favourite with guests for many years and the course is still maintained to the highest standards. Some of the holes are superbly designed and amongst them the tough par five 3rd hole is a formidable challenge even to the biggest hitters and the signature par three 7th hole has been played by the world’s rich and famous with great relish for over 50 years. The Old Nine reeks of history and character and is a treat to play. Although it is only a few miles from Sandy Lane, the Royal Westmoreland Course is a much different design and has a more open ambience with stunning sea views on the front nine holes and panoramic island views down rolling hills all the way to the West Coast on the back nine. The Robert Trent Jones Jnr. creation has made full use of the rolling hills, gullies, and rock faces to produce a challenging golf experience for any level of golfer. The holes have


Royal Westmoreland

great variety, but the biggest variable is the wind and it can be tough on the elevated fairways. The four par threes are of the highest calibre and each has its own character and challenge. The par four 8th hole is 365 yards long and commemorates the world record innings by legendary West Indies cricketer Garry Sobers back in 1958 against Pakistan. Sir Garfield is an avid golfer and a regular player at Royal Westmoreland. The facilities also include an impressive driving range, Short game practice facility, putting green, full caddy services and friendly clubhouse with an open-air ambience, Pro shop and beautiful locker rooms. At one stage the golf course was totally exclusive, but tee times are now available at certain times in the year upon request by email or telephone. The Royal Westmoreland Complex is a gated real estate community around a golf course with 24/7 gated security and all of the properties are magnificent ranging from US$600,000 apartments, $1.5 million town homes and their signature product the bespoke custom homes which range from $2.5 million and up. Many top international sporting and showbiz personalities are owners and the club amenities include two excellent floodlit tennis courts and a separate clubhouse/fitness centre around a large state of the art gym, additional locker room facilities, communal lap swimming pool, hot tub, sun decks and kiddies pool. Other amenities include a Rum Shak with weekly BBQ and West Indian Curry nights, a kids sports camp and play area during school holidays, a full service spa, beach shuttle 56

service to the Mullin Beach Club with private members only seating area, full beach chair service, an additional community swimming pool and a second large gym facility. Westmoreland is, as they say, proven not promised for a life well played! The community boasts many year-round residents as well as seasonal homes. Evening dinning in the Ian Morrison-designed Clubhouse with the lights reflecting off the royal palms is an experience not soon forgotten and competes only with the dynamic people sitting at the next table. Royal Westmoreland is a popular course for top local and regional tournaments and the club plays a leading role in the promotion of golf on the island. The Apes Hill Club is the most recent addition to the Barbados golf club locker and without doubt the most stunning. Barely a mile inland and uphill from Royal Westmoreland the scenery alone is worth a visit and to have a golf course winding its way through some of the island’s most idyllic terrain without damaging its natural beauty has been a monumental achievement in its own right. Apes Hill is a superb golf creation, but a tough course for any golfer. Some of the drives are long and challenging, the wind can be fearsome on several exposed holes, and the greens are undulating, tricky and fast. And all this has been carved out of a beautiful tropical setting where every hole is different and every tee shot pleases the eye. The vistas around the course are spectacular and the signature holes at the 12th, 13th and 14th offer magnificent views of both the East and West coasts. The par three 12th hole might require a driver off the back tee into the


Own a piece of paradise

Award Winning Luxury Villas $1.2 to $5m (USD)

GOLF Apes Hill Golf Club

gulley and the wind, but the par four 14th hole is short through the towering Royal Palms to an elevated green. Many visitors love the par three 16th hole across the lake, which is not too difficult because of the huge welcoming green, but don’t look at the water, as it’s full of golf balls that came up short! The course has been designed to be ecologically at home with the environment and the owners have gone to great lengths to maintain and preserve closeness with Mother Nature. Apes Hill is internationally recognised for its conservation and preservation efforts. The Apes Hill course is world-class and although tee times are restricted they are available. It is a treat not to be missed by any golfer. Apes Hill Club is another high-end real estate development that has been growing steadily. Great plans are on the horizon and they will eventually come to fruition, but in the meantime the golf course remains the jewel in the crown. There are some stunning properties alongside the lush fairways, and for prospective buyers who love the Caribbean and their golf, this location is as good as it gets. Barbados Golf Club is located at Durants close to the airport and just off the main ABC Highway. It is a links and parkland combination with wide-open expanses and some interesting water catchment features. Playing the wind is a key factor in understanding the course and playing well. The down wind holes are fodder for the big hitters, especially the opening par five, which can be reduced to a drive and a pitching wedge in the right hands, but coming back up the par four 58

9th hole against the wind will be tough for any player. The Barbados Golf Club course is user-friendly for any level of golfer and the club has gone to great lengths to be the heart of golf development on the island and to provide a reasonably-priced enjoyable golf experience for visitors. The facilities include full hire equipment, putting green, Pro Shop, driving range, tuition, and a lively clubhouse with bar and restaurant. There are also innovative plans in the pipeline to expand and widen the amenities to attract a bigger membership. The club currently embraces the highest number of local members and plays the pivotal role in developing the game at youth and representative level through a close association with the Barbados Golf Association. The course is not daunting and for many casual golfers it can be a relaxing journey over 18 interesting holes from the front tees, but when it is set up for competition it is another story. Off the back tees the Barbados Golf Club course can be as tough as it gets and with split-level greens putting is never easy if the hole is strategically placed. It takes a lot of effort to hit a ball out of bounds and therein lies the attraction for many club and visiting players as the pace of play is unaffected by ball searching. The par five 15th plays short and presents even average golfers with the opportunity to hit the green in two shots if they are prepared to carry the huge tree in the protective gully. But it’s a tough second shot and an orthodox par five approach is much safer and more likely to secure the par. The following hole is the course’s signature hole,


Rockley Golf Club

which is a par three over the water catchment lake. Shots are usually against the wind and they have to be good to hit the long but narrow elevated green that has road and water in front and a gully at the rear. It is a great par three and sets up two superb finishing holes including the par five 18th which offers all sorts of options for match play and stroke play. The prize for playing the last four holes well, and indeed for playing them not so well, is a welcoming drink at the clubhouse which sits on the edge of both the 9th and 18th holes and forms an ideal gallery for finishers. Golf at the Barbados Golf Club is fairly priced and there are special packages and offers that make it even better. And finally to little Rockley, the friendliest club on the island that boasts the best 19th hole in world golf and is as friendly as it gets. Rockley Golf Club is the only club on the island that welcomes visitors with open arms to their weekly competitions. It is also the only club that has a Club Captain and Ladies Captain and their Captain’s Day is devoted to charity. The course bears little resemblance to the wide open ambience of the 18-hole dinosaur that was launched in the 1920s as modern Rockley is a beautiful 9-hole parkland course set amongst towering mahogany trees, bamboo and condominiums. Rockley is not long, but it is tight and with Out-of-Bounds at all the holes it is a nightmare for wayward hitters. The secret to Rockley is course management, club selection and coming to terms with slow, but fair greens. Rockley has a loyal Snow Birds membership and the club’s social scene rises to another level from November to April. Many of the 60

regulars have been coming to the island for years and either own or rent property on the course. The course is very user friendly and appeals to a lot of couples, who often play nine holes early and then return to their apartment for breakfast! Although not long in stature, Rockley makes up for it in the level of difficulty. You have to drive well and position the ball in the right place to make the best approach to virtually all the greens, which are heavily protected by bunkers. The 7th and 8th holes have the added challenge of a big tree in the fairway and it requires a fine shot to take them out of the picture. Throughout the year Rockley runs sponsored Saturday competitions that are open to visitors who travel with their official handicap. The Rockley Open in February, the CIBC First Caribbean in August, Captains’ Day in November and the Christmas Hamper in December are the major events in a busy calendar. Men and women play together in competition and many tournaments have a lunchtime Shotgun start to accommodate a Presentation Ceremony in the clubhouse around 6pm. The Ladies also have their own competitions on Wednesday afternoons and welcome visitors. Birdies on the Green is a bubbly bar-restaurant with great food and friendly service and the evening is usually rounded off with live music and occasionally karaoke. It has been said many times, but it can’t be denied- “there’s more to Rockley than nine holes of golf.”


Barbados Golf Club

SPECIAL EVENTS The Barbados golf calendar has a number of special tournaments throughout the year and many golfing visitors link their visit with these events. The most popular are the Sir Garfield Sobers Tournament in May and the United Insurance Barbados Open in September, both of which involve playing several courses, excellent prizes, goodie bags and associated social functions. They offer terrific value for money including the chance to meet the legendary Sir Garry. The Rockley Open, BGA Tournaments, charity tournaments and a number of regional events are the other major events and more details can be obtained from the Barbados Golf Association, the governing body of the sport on the island. (

GOLF TOURS AND PACKAGES Some hotels and tour operators offer golf packages for visitors, but it is not too difficult to arrange if you use the Internet and make direct contact. This approach will reduce the cost significantly especially for cruise ship visitors who could save as much as 50%. The island doesn’t have a lot of courses but it has quality and a wide variety of options. Much depends on the depth of your pocket where you play and in golfing ‘parlay’ that means “it is different strokes for different folks.” United Barbados Open Champion James Johnson receiving his trophy from Howard Hall, CEO United Insurance and Sharron Alleyne-Elcock, Marketing Manager


Don at the Sir Garry Don Hanley is a semi-retired Northern Ireland businessman with a keen interest in sport and a passion for golf and rugby. He also enjoys the sunshine so when he heard about the Sir Garfield Sobers Golf Tournament it seemed the ideal place and time to holiday… “I had been to Barbados before on a family holiday when I read about the Sir Garry Sobers Golf Tournament in Sporting Barbados and decided to return to play in it. I did have some additional support from an old rugby friend from my hometown of Comber who lives in Barbados, so it was not quite a step into the unknown! However, the trip exceeded all my expectations and I’ve already set the plans in place to return in 2014. Leaving a cold and wet Northern Ireland in April was no big wrench and the Virgin Atlantic flight with a few rums quickly put me in the holiday mood. I stayed at the Tamarind Cove Hotel on the West Coast for the entire week where the staff were great and the experience unforgettable. The West Coast is much quieter than the South Coast where I stayed on my previous visit, but I was quickly indoctrinated into the social demands of the golfing week following an 18-hole “acclimatization” round at Rockley Golf Club the following day. Rockley is not one of the four courses involved in the Sir Garry, but it offers the ideal preparation. Reputed to have the best 19th Hole on the island it is a quaint and tight 9-hole parkland course set amongst towering trees and condos. You have to hit the ball straight as there is out-of-bounds on every hole and of course, you have to down a few drinks with the friendly locals in the clubhouse afterwards. It was the ideal preparation for four consecutive days of competitive golf and I woke up next morning to a beautiful Caribbean sunrise and a hearty breakfast. A few hours later I was practising on a very fast putting green at Royal Westmoreland and my Sir Garry adventure was about to begin. Royal Westmoreland is a beautiful course set on rolling hills that seemed to stretch all the way down to my hotel. It is a challenging course and well designed with a great variety of holes through gullies and luxurious real estate. Ian Wosnam has a house there but I didn’t spot him in the garden! I’ve a 12 handicap, but the course beat me on this occasion and I finished a little disappointed with a net 82. However, all that quickly disappeared with a few jugs of Bank’s Beer in the lovely clubhouse as I quickly found the social side of this tournament was just as enjoyable as the golf. Thankfully there was a dinner planned later or I may still be there! The Trini visitors enjoy their golf, but I think they enjoy their partying better! Next day we played at the panoramic Apes Hill Club, probably the golfing highlight of my trip. It is an amazing course with some breathtaking holes and scenery. The greens are a bit like Irish greens with some challenging breaks, but my familiarity with the surface didn’t produce a whirlwind performance and I had to settle for a net 86. However, I wasn’t alone as everyone agreed Apes Hill was 62

beautiful, but quite a daunting course to play. After the game the customary socializing was a much more subdued that elsewhere, which suited my plans perfectly as I spent Friday evening in the heart of St George as a guest of my Irish/Barbados friends. Great food, great rum and great company ensured I was fully acclimatized at the halfway stage of the tournament. On Saturday we played at the famous Sandy Lane Country Club and it was another wonderful golf experience. I found the course tough, especially the fast greens which were like Valderama in Spain. However, the cost of drinks was a little stiff, but perhaps that’s the price you pay to mix with the rich and famous. Unfortunately it meant nobody stayed too long in the clubhouse afterwards and that was despite me scoring a net 77, including two birdie twos, my best round to date. There were 300 players competing in different sections in the Sir Garry and the entry fee is great value as it also includes the opening and closing ceremonies and the prizes. You may also get a chance to play with a superstar like Brian Lara or meet Sir Garry himself. The great man didn’t play in the competition, but he made himself available to meet and greet and I got my chance on Sunday at the Barbados Golf Club. It was an honour to meet him and it inspired my golf as I shot a net 75 and rounded off the four days in style. The course was a little heavy due to the rain from the previous week, but for an Irishman the conditions were ideal. My highlights were a birdie two at the second hole and a few beers and rums in the busy clubhouse afterwards. Everyone returned in the evening for the prize distribution and I joined my hotel friends for a farewell Indian meal in Holetown later. Overall, the week was a wonderful experience and I recommend it to any visiting golfer as the tournament is well organized and the opportunity to play with nice people on great courses is an unforgettable experience. I finished 22nd in my section, but I’ll be practising throughout the year and building up my fitness to do better in 2014. I also hope to cajole a few of my friends to join me! Many thanks to Denny Foster for the opportunity to play, Sir Garry for being such a charming host and to the many friends I met for making the trip so enjoyable. “


Sandy Lane Charitable Trust Michael & Doreen Tabor

Ursula Zindel & Geoffrey Cave

John Lodge, Russ Abbott & Nigel Lynall

Michael Challis, Sharon Carmichael & Senator Trevor Carmichael

Jacob & Michal Hassid

Winning Team - Patrick & Gabrielle Hungerford, Gay Smith, Robert Cathery & Tim Kemp


Fabba Girls Band!

JP McManus & jockey Richard Hughes

Trustees - John Lodge, Derrick Smith, Pip Challis & Julian Sacher

Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & John Magnier

he ever-growing work of the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust continues to play an important role in the provision of amenities and facilities for the less fortunate children of Barbados. The public side of the fund-raising for the Trust is the Annual Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner, which attracts many leading business, sporting and showbiz celebrities to the prestigious Sandy Lane Clubhouse, but in stark contrast much of the work of the Trust goes on without any major publicity or fanfare. Over the years the Trust has raised millions of dollars and one of the most poignant parts of the Gala Dinner is the heart rendering visual presentation of their work and the thanks from the lovely children and their families who receive the vital support. The Trust now supports a plethora of large and small projects across a wide range of needy causes, and will be equipping the new Secondary School and Vocational Centre for children and adults with special needs, so generously funded by the Smith Family’s Tanglewood Family Trust. The Trust continues to assist with the provision of medical expenses both locally and overseas, ongoing physical and occupational therapies, community projects through the “Back to School Programme, ” the sponsorship of athletes at sporting competitions and leadership conferences, the “Barbados Wheelchair Scheme” for disadvantaged children and the Albert Cecil Graham Centre for braces for patients who have undergone surgery and need special rehabilitation and treatment. The work of the Trust is truly amazing, especially as it continues to run so efficiently with no salaries or expenses thanks to the commitment of its Trustees, Patrons and friends. Understandably they all take pride that every dollar raised goes directly to providing a better life for the needy children of Barbados. Long may they continue this great work.

T Sir Garfield Sobers



Sir David’s Day 66



eteran Barbados horse owner and breeder Sir David Seale is no stranger to the winner’s enclosure, and last year’s victory in the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup added yet another notch on his already impressive list of successes. The 32nd running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup was another spectacular day of racing at the Garrison and although the race was devoid of overseas entrants, there was no shortage of overseas visitors including international television crews and journalists. The Sandy Lane Festival is the highlight of the Barbados racing season and the one day in the year when you can be sure a full house of spectators and celebrities will be at the Garrison. The Sandy Lane Gold Cup race is Barbados’s Prix de L’Arc de Triumphe or Breeder’s Cup if you are an American as it captures the lion’s share of media hype and public interest. However, for true racing enthusiasts the racing season lasts all year and although divided into three sections, there’s plenty of action with popular race days that include the United Derby, the Guineas, and a plethora of sponsored 67


events. You can watch free from all around the course or you can sit in comfort in the clubhouse overlooking the finish and the Parade Ring for a modest BDS$10. There are few sports that offer a prime seat for only $10 these days! Racing at the Garrison dates back over 100 years and the historic military setting adds much to the ambience and tradition of the venue. It is said the dashing British cavalry officers raced off against the local plantation owners before organized racing began and that they cajoled the Royal Engineers to clear more and more of the swamp land to lengthen the course. The flat area was always used by the military as their drill ground, but other sports seized the opportunity to set up home and over the years the Garrison has housed cricket, football, polo, basketball, rugby, netball, running, and kite flying. Even in modern times it is not uncommon on race days to see horses racing around the perimeter fence with rugby, football, basketball and cricket going on inside the course. It all adds to the unique atmosphere of the Garrison, but on Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day thousands of spectators and dozens of amusement and food stalls take over the area close to the main stand and add to the atmosphere. All around the course spectators gather from sunrise and although the big race doesn’t start until the late afternoon, there are plenty of parties and picnics going on 68

all round the course long before the start. The main race is the penultimate race on a nine-race card and it follows a traditional parade of military and police bands, dancers, gymnasts and stilt men. National Anthems are played and “Beautiful Barbados” is sung and when calypsonian MacFingall finally lays down his microphone the Starter Mark Batson heads for the start and the big sporting action unfolds. Jockey Anderson “Tom” Trotman rode Aristodemus to success last year much to the delight of Hopefield Stables, trainer Liz Deane and proud owners Sir David and Lady Anne Seale. It was the family’s seventh Gold Cup win and their second in succession after Dancin David’s success in 2012. It was also Liz Deane’s third win as a trainer after her distinguished career in the saddle. Liz also saddled another winner on Gold Cup Day and with her brother Richard saddling two winners it was also a big day for the Deane Family. It is reputed the winning chestnut colt is a strange horse, and not keen on too much work, but if he races like he did in the Gold Cup he’ll never be a stranger to his large army of fans after his epic win. It was certainly Sir David’s Day yet again and who would bet against him adding another in 2014?


The winner!

Janine Fields


Sir David Seale congratulates trainer Liz Deane

Hopefield Stables


Bruce Bayley & Philip Tempro

Andrew Niven & Sandie


Gay Smith with jockeys

Broadcaster Andy Thornhill & trainer Jonathan Simpson




Diamonds International Raceday

Out of the gates!

Mr. Anthony Zambra & Ms. Vittoria Perticone


Presention time with Adeline Lister from Di, second from right

L to R: MIchael & Vanita Commissiong, Robert McGeoch, Jevan Jutagir, Donna Decle & guest



Knight Rider crosses the line first

Derby crowd


Lead-in with United Derby winner Knight Rider

United Derby presentation to Edward Walcott of Springhead Stables, trainer of the winning horse Knight Rider


Polo Punches T hey call it the Sport of Kings and although the global economic downturn has tarnished its international prosperity, polo in Barbados continues to prosper albeit with a few challenges. The Barbados polo scene has enjoyed a renaissance in the last decade, which has seen several new polo fields added to Holder’s Hill, the home of the Barbados Polo Club for nearly 50 years. Beautiful Holder’s is a big favourite with polo followers many of whom are overseas visitors and plan their annual holidays around the International Polo Season from January to May. The Barbados Polo Club governs and regulates polo in Barbados, but each polo field is autonomous and can arrange its own matches. However, great care is taken to avoid match day clashes as most of the big games are played on late Sunday afternoons. For those who have never attended a polo match it is a wonderful occasion. Many visitors attend their first polo game in Barbados and enjoy a unique experience that is as much social as sporting. There is a nominal entrance fee and all the grounds have a clubhouse well-stocked with food and drink to enhance the afternoon’s pleasure. Some locals picnic off the back of their trucks, but the big social bustle is in and around the clubhouse where afternoon tea is just as popular as champagne, the traditional beverage of international polo. Polo is played with four players in a team and is normally





Salvador Sanchez Duggan being chased down by Teddy Williams

Back shot!

staged in four short sessions called chukkas. However, these sevenminute chukkas are extended by stoppages and a game normally lasts just over an hour. The rules are not difficult to understand and after a few minutes watching most first-time visitors have picked up the basics and after an hour’s drinking they are experts! The polo scene has two cultures. Local players play club chukkas amongst each other from November and even during the International Season, which has a different culture as it involves visiting teams from all over the world, sponsors and spectators. Players are graded by a handicap system controlled by the Barbados Polo Club and matchmakers try and match teams of equal strength to avoid really good players playing against the lesser skilled and to reduce the risk of injury and accidents. Polo ponies are extremely skilful, but they are powerful heavy animals and there is always a risk of injury to players and to spectators if they get too close to the action on the perimeter boards. Over the years international polo has enjoyed patronage from the rich and famous. Australian business tycoon Kerry Packer spent millions of dollars on his polo passion and Royal families are renowned for their support of the game. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II retains a close association with the prestigious Queen’s Cup in England, and her son Prince Charles and his two sons the Princes William and Harry are keen players. Both Prince Charles and Prince Harry have played in Barbados. Historically polo in Barbados traces its origins to the Garrison and was introduced by the British Cavalry in the late 1870s. The Barbados Polo Club was formed a short time later when the local plantation owners joined with the cavalry officers for healthy sporting exchanges, but after the army left Barbados the club had its ups and downs and at 82

Philip Tempro rides off against Roddy Davis

one stage in the 1930s it folded for several years. The biggest boost to its welfare came in the 1960s when the Kidd family kindly offered Holder’s Hill as an alternative home from the Garrison and the local members jumped at the opportunity to play in such a beautiful setting. The club grew slowly and quietly around a small group of enthusiasts in the last decades of the 20th century, but after the Millennium it mushroomed. Membership increased as a small number of successful Barbados businessmen entered the sport and in due course several new polo fields were added. More polo fields, more players, more tournaments and more sponsors fuelled an amazing upsurge in popularity and the sport continues to ride a wave of popularity and prosperity albeit with a few challenges due to the current economic downturn. No sport could exist without major patrons and officials and Barbados polo has been fortunate to have the services of people like current long serving President Keith Melville, Sir Charles Williams and Kent Cole. Sir Charles is without doubt the sport’s biggest personality and the Kerry Packer of Barbados polo. His stables support a number of local polo players and provide polo tuition for both visitors and newcomers, while his continuing active participation is a wonderful inspiration to future generations. Polo is not a male preserve and although small in numbers ladies polo is a popular pursuit for the fair sex who enjoy equestrian competition. The annual Battle of the Sexes Series is the most popular competition on the annual calendar that also features the prestigious Barbados Open and long standing annual visits from the Cheshire Club from England and the Villages from Florida. Polo may be struggling in some parts of the Globe, but Barbados polo is still punching above its weight.

                     !     "     #$%&   '    


         !   "# $%&& "'  (   ")


Simpson Motors Limited, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados Tel: 246-417-7777 |




The CPL may not be the death-knell for test cricket in the Caribbean, but it has certainly pushed it down the pecking order after an amazing opening competition last August. Twenty20 cricket has a special appeal to West Indies cricket because it combines entertainment with party and nowhere in the world is that more appreciated than in the islands. Fifty years ago it was called calypso cricket, the beautiful blend of entertainment on the field with uninhibited music, dancing and celebration off it. Traditionalists were reluctant to embrace the change, but very quickly the popular phenomenon of One-Day cricket hit the world stage. The game has moved on since those halcyon days of Sobers, Richards, and Lloyd, but after two decades of dominance, test cricket in the West Indies has slumped since the Mid-Nineties. Even One-Day cricket has struggled to capture the enthusiasm of spectators and more and more demand was placed on shorter matches and entertainment off the field. The Stanford Twenty20 offered the West Indies a resurgence of interest and mega bucks for the players as prize money, but it had barely got off the ground when the Texas billionaire was exposed as a fraudster and virtually overnight all the positives were replaced by despondency and huge disappointment. Elsewhere the IPL in India showed what could be achieved and ironically some of its leading stars were Caribbean cricketers. The flamboyant Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard led the circus and many people in their homeland bemoaned the lost opportunity.




Then enter Ajmal Khan the Chairman and Chief Executive of Verus International and the birth of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL). There is little doubt the CPL exceeded everyone’s imagination in its inaugural year and the sell out crowds at virtually every venue last August confirmed the cricket cuisine was to everyone’s taste. And little wonder, because the organizers went to great pains to remove any high-profile doubters by including many of the former West Indian legends, some in key administrative positions despite dubious qualifications. But that was a huge part of the genius of this promotion as sponsors, governments, tourism chiefs, commentators and cricket administrators bought into the concept and rallied round for the common good. The biggest part of this promotion was its ability to mobilize and execute a phenomenal series of promotions across the region without the constraints of cricket bureaucracy, a malaise that has curtailed West Indian cricket growth over several decades. But the Vote of Approval for CPL cricket didn’t come from the sponsors, the players, the legends, the commentators or the tourism chiefs, it came from the fans who flocked in thousands to watch the games. Each promotion was packed with entertainment, fireworks, dancing girls, cheerleaders, and excellent television coverage. Each result had a bearing on the tournament and interest was maintained right to the final. The CPL is innovative and visionary, not least in the composition of the teams, which have a national culture, but are franchises rather than national teams. Many sceptics said it wouldn’t work in a region where sovereignty issues are strong, and the idea of a non-national captaining an island team was almost unthinkable. But it did work, and 92


after a few matches the fans warmed to the concept and the opportunity to enjoy something different. The top West Indian players were spread around the teams and the overseas players provided the glamour and excitement that raised the bar of expectation. They included the great Australian batsman Ricky Ponting in his last major tournament and what a way to go out. Twenty20 cricket works for a variety of reasons. It appeals to cricket fans as it features all the top players, it appeals to non-cricket fans because it is short, instant and exciting, and it appeals to the players because there is huge money at stake. It also appeals to sponsors because it is a great platform to promote their brand or their product. After all, how well known was Limacol worldwide before last year’s tournament? The organizers also added some innovations with Man-of-the-Match Awards supplemented with Catch-of-the-Match Awards, Super Six Awards for the longest hit and the Virgin Atlantic Challenge for batsmen to hit their huge balloon and win travel for two around the globe. In total the prize money was a whopping US$800,000 and great remuneration for everyone involved. The biggest challenge going forward will be to improve and better it this year, but judging by the enthusiasm and frenzy it generated in its inaugural year, it doesn’t have to change much to be another rousing success. PS In the final at the Queen’s Park Oval Jamaica Tallawahs beat Guyana Amazon Warriors by 7 wickets with Captain Chris Gayle (47no) the Man-of-the-Match. 94


Kev’s Caribbean Adventure Kevin O’Brien is the explosive Irish batsman who hit the fastest century in One-Day Cricket against England in the 2011 World Cup and who played for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in last year’s inaugural Limacol CPL. It was an unforgettable experience for the Irish allrounder… What was your first reaction when you learned of the opportunity to play in the Limacol CPL? I was really excited to be part of the first year of the Limacol CPL. I knew it was going to be a fantastic tournament which would be well supported by the locals as I had played in the Caribbean a few times before and enjoyed their passion for the game. When I looked at the teammates I would be sharing the dressing room with, I couldn't wait to get out there. You have enjoyed some amazing adventures with Ireland over the past seven years. Was the CPL experience up there with them? Absolutely. Although I have played in a few World Cups and have played over 200 times for Ireland, I have never played in an atmosphere like the CPL. Is was electric! The crowds were amazing, and at times a bit bonkers! I think Caribbean people have a special affinity towards the Irish and I certainly felt it. Having hit that amazing world record century in 50 balls against England in the World Cup in 2011 do you feel there is constant pressure on you to repeat it every time you go to the wicket? No. All I can do is go out and enjoy my batting, which is when I play my best. I can't think too much about past performances. I have to keep a clear focus on the job in hand and watch the next ball and stay relaxed as much as possible. You played for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and produced some electrifying moments alongside many West Indians you have never met before. Do you feel this format is where the strength of West Indies cricket lies? Perhaps at the moment yes, but that does not mean the West Indies are not a good One-Day team, or a bad test team. They have some of the best players in the world, and the more cricket the younger generation can play, be it T20, ODI or Test cricket, the better West Indies cricket will get as a whole. You spent some time in Barbados at the start of the tournament and you have been here before with Ireland. What do you enjoy most about the island? The relaxed atmosphere, although I suppose you can say that about 96

Pamela Hiles, Editor Sporting Barbados & Kevin O’Brien

most Caribbean islands!! However, there is something special about Barbados that I can't put my finger on. It is a lovely island, full of very friendly people, who love cricket and talk so passionately about it. Fingers crossed I’ll be back very soon. Many people feel Kevin O’Brien is tailor-made for T20 cricket. Is it the format you enjoy most? For sure! The atmosphere, the crowds, the style of play, the music-I can go on and on about T20 cricket. I love playing it, and hope I’ll be able to play more and more of it around the world. Looking back on your travels in the Caribbean as a sporting tourist what do you like most and least in the region? Like most-would be the local people who talk so passionately about sport. Whether it is cricket or the Barclays Premier League in England, everyone talks as if they are renowned commentators. Also, I really appreciated the warm welcome I received in all the islands whilst travelling around. I have always felt the locals are very friendly people, who want to see their islands being enjoyed by tourists. Like least-perhaps the climate! It's too hot for my Irish skin!!! What ambitions has Kevin O’Brien on the horizon for 2014 and beyond? I simply want to continue enjoying playing cricket. I don't put too much pressure on myself in terms of doing this or winning that. If I continue to put the hours into training, practice and fitness it will improve my cricket skills and I know I will succeed. Hopefully that will be in the Caribbean region again.


L to R: Joel Garner, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Ajmal Khan, Sir Everton Weekes, Clive Lloyd and Sir Wes Hall

Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Richard Branson and Tony Cozier

Marlon Samuels and Sir Garry Sobers

l to R: Damien O’Donoghue, Ajmal Khan, Julian Hunte and Dirk Hall


Desmond Haynes and Sir Everton Weekes

Henderson Wallace

Cricket’s Big Hendy Henderson Wallace is one of the most popular personalities in Barbados cricket with a wealth of experience on and off the field. A former West Indies youth player and Professional Cricketer, he is currently a leading cricket broadcaster and Chairman of the Barbados national selectors. “Big Hendy” is an articulate commentator, deep thinker about the game and its future, and one of the island’s unsung tourism ambassadors… You are a Concierge at a top West Coast Hotel with a high profile in local cricket. Do the hotel guests know Hendy Wallace the cricketer? Yes, a few have heard of Hendy Wallace the cricketer, but more seem to know of Hendy Wallace the broadcaster. When the subject of cricket comes up I’m always willing to chat to the guests and the keen cricket enthusiasts love to talk about the West Indies game and the great heroes of yesteryear. Do a lot of cricket visitors come to the Sandpiper Hotel these days? A lot of our visitors are interested and follow cricket, but very few come just because of the cricket. The Sandpiper has a high repeat rate of approximately 80% so cricket is added value to many of the guests. You spent 21 years in Ireland playing professional cricket in the summer months. Was it difficult to settle back into a career in the hospitality industry when you retired from playing? I never in my wildest dreams expected to develop a career in the hospitality industry, but the Sandpiper Hotel provided out-of-cricket season employment when I returned annually. Not surprisingly the industry grew on me so it was a no-brainer when I retired. The experience gained over the years made for a seamless transition and I’ve never regretted the permanent move. Have you always seen yourself as a Barbados ambassador when you were overseas? Absolutely, and being the only black person in the Eglinton area in North-West Ireland created some curiosity off the field of play as much as on it, so I used that opportunity to promote Barbados. Over the years I made some wonderful friends all over Ireland and cricket gave me more opportunities to sell the idea of holidays and tours to Barbados. The Irish love their cricket and I’m very proud that hundreds of them have come to Barbados through my involvement. Do you still retain connections with your friends in Ireland? Thanks to social media and the Internet I’ve kept very good contact. I’ve been back since I retired from playing and I plan to connect with a few old friends this summer. I had a terrific time in Northern Ireland when civil unrest was at its highest and playing cricket had plenty of challenges. Many people have 100

Hendy Wallace & Clarence Hiles, Sporting Barbados

asked me to write about it and this year I’ve finally got round to writing my autobiography. I plan to visit North and Southern Ireland in August to launch the book, which will feature a lot of colourful stories and incidents. Cricket crowds have been diminishing in recent years, but the Limacol CPL has lifted the profile and of course England are back in 2014. Is this the start of resurgence in cricket popularity? T20 cricket is an excellent vehicle to promote the game. It is fast paced and action packed over a comparatively short time and don't forget it is also a party. You don't need much more than that to get the crowds out in the Caribbean. Couple that with emerging talent and close matches, you have a sponsor's dream, hence the visible all-round support for the 2013 Limacol Caribbean Premier League. T20 cricket is tailor-made for the Caribbean and its success in its inaugural year should be a big incentive for cricket enthusiasts from all over the world to come to the region to experience the whole package in 2014 and beyond. An England tour is a "cash cow" for Barbados and the Caribbean tourism industry. It has it own niche support, but overall, good cricket, effective marketing and attractive pricing equates to popularity. We’ll welcome back the Barmy Army and all their friends with open arms. Twenty20 cricket seems tailor-made for Hendy Wallace in his prime. Do you regret missing out in this era? So far I have no regrets in life and remember T20 is really nothing new to Irish club cricket, so I had the experience of it since 1984. However it would have been nice to be playing in an era where you are paid handsomely doing a job you love. If I missed anything it has been the lovely contracts that are being offered. As a sporting personality in the tourism industry what do you feel Barbados has to offer that is unique as a sporting destination? The weather is always a bonus, but the passion for sport exhibited by Barbadians is unique. In all walks of life the sports tourist will come across an "expert" in whatever sport they follow, should it be Motorsports, Golf, Football, Horseracing, Yachting or King Cricket. I believe this adds to a strong interaction between visitors and locals, especially over a cold Banks Beer or smooth Rum. And it gets better and louder as the beer and the rum stimulate the friendly exchanges! We love our sport.


Power Play for the Trinis Powergen Penal Sports Club from Trinidad captured the 27th title in the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament in dramatic circumstances last July when the last two Combermere School batsmen succumbed just nine runs short of victory. The local school might feel they stole defeat from the jaws of victory after a gritty 42 runs stand for the ninth wicket brought them agonizingly close to the finish line, but two reckless run-outs left Keon Harding (21no) stranded. The Trini Youth team were ecstatic as their 138 total was well short of their expectations on the vast Kensington Oval ground, but when they reduced Combermere to 86-8 they had destiny in their own hands. Harding and Daniel Jordan (19) thought otherwise, but after doing all the hard work those two disastrous run-outs sealed their fate. Earlier in the afternoon Powergen looked anything but winners as they slumped to 66-6, but Jameel Maniram (36) rallied their lower order to reach 138 and eventual victory. In the semi-finals Powergen defeated former champions Foundation School at the Desmond Haynes Oval by 18 runs, thanks to an amazing 8-25 from leg-spinner Jordan Samkaran. In the other semi-final at Lucas Street Combermere easily defeated Queen’s Park School by 57 runs. On the same day the play-offs took place for final standings and the star batsman was St. Leonard’s Kadeem Edwards with a brilliant 109 that sealed 11th place over Christianburg Wismar from Guyana. 102

The tournament attracted Solihull School from England and teams from several neighbouring islands over a taxing three-week schedule that took them all over the island to some beautiful cricket grounds. One of the lasting traditions of this popular tournament is not only the opportunity for the young cricketers to play in Barbados, but they also experience the geographical, cultural and social aspects of the island. It is an experience that has served some of the best cricketers in the world well, as the list of former players who have participated is impressive. They include former West Indies Captain and megastar Brian Lara, current England Captain Alastair Cook and regional test players Darren Ganga, Philo Wallace, Roland Holder, Sherwin Campbell and Dale Benkenstein from South Africa The tournament runs from early to late July and entry is restricted to sixteen teams. The opportunity to play comes from an Invitation from the great man himself, who also attends many of the matches and makes the presentations at the final, helped by several of the great players of his era. To reach the Kensington Oval showpiece is the pinnacle of a team’s performance and to win it is a dream come true. Barbados teams have dominated recent tournaments, but the enthusiastic young Powergen Penal Sports Club team ended their dominance last July.

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The Barmy Army is Back! It seems ages and it is, since the Barmy Army was in Barbados. The greatest travelling entourage of cricket supporters has been badly missed so it is with open arms that Barbados and Antigua welcome back the England cricket team and their supporters in early 2014. England hasn’t toured the Caribbean since 2009 and hasn’t played here since 2010 when they beat Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup Final at the Kensington Oval. It is with this happy memory that England’s 2014 T20 team returns to the scene of England’s first and only World Cup success and ironic that they will be playing three Twenty20 matches from 9-13 March. The games follow three ODIs in Antigua. Barbados has had a special affinity with English cricket for almost 100 years and in the modern era the travelling fans have made the Kensington Oval a second home with their colourful banners, supporting songs and of course, the Barmy Army. But their presence goes much further as the island is buzzing when England is in town and the supporters provide a huge boost to local tourism as they frequent bars, hotels, restaurants, clubs, and avail of the many activities and attractions that the island has on offer. There is also the added attraction of the Legends of Barbados Cricket Museum, barely a stone’s throw from the Kensington Oval. This magnificent den of cricket memorabilia and display is a “Must visit” for any serious cricket enthusiast and is open throughout the year. It also has a well-stocked Gift Shop. On international match days it has special significance as the Pavilion Bar and Restaurant is normally packed with local and visiting fans and a healthy array of former cricket stars. And what an array Barbados has had to offer down the years. Some have passed to a greater calling, but you may still run into current Barbados Cricket Association President big Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes, Rev. Wes Hall, Seymour Nurse, Charlie Griffith, Sir Everton Weekes or the great Sir Garfield Sobers in the Pavilion Bar and 104

Restaurant. Is there any better place to discuss the action of the day in the company of fellow cricket enthusiasts over a cool Bank’s beer or Mount Gay Rum? For more information see Some people lament the scarcity of top Barbados cricketers these days, but the current West Indies pace attack features the fiery Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and the abrasive Tino Best so there’s no shortage of super stars in the modern era. Recent visitors to the Kensington Oval will have experienced the sensational transformation of the old bastion of Caribbean cricket, but those who have not been here since before 2007 will see a very different ground. Long gone are the old wooden stands named after former cricket personalities down the years, including the famous old Pickwick Pavilion and 3W’s Stand. In their place are magnificent new fully seated stands, with similar names and hospitality boxes, souvenir shops and a Media Centre. Of course these is also the party area, now an integral part of modern cricket with its pounding music, parties, open-air bars, fast-food and dancing. If that’s your cricket scene you won’t be disappointed! In the old days many fans met and gathered outside the ground in the little narrow streets that were packed with food and drinks stalls, but while they have now gone, a similar atmosphere has been created under the Greenidge and Haynes Stand where there are plenty of retail units and souvenir shops to cater for all needs on match days. Cricket in Barbados is still something special and when England is on the island the frenzy rises to another level. Unfortunately we will have to wait until April 2015 for the next test series, but in the meantime let’s enjoy the Twenty20 Series. Welcome back to all the England cricket supporters and a special welcome to the Barmy Army…”we are the Barmy Army, we are the Barmy Army…”


Scotia at the forefront Lisa Cole is Senior Manager, Marketing, at Scotiabank Caribbean East and has a wealth of experience in marketing. Before joining the bank in 2012, she was Client Service Director at a leading Caribbean advertising agency, developing marketing and advertising strategies for many of the region's best-known brands. Scotiabank has become a major sponsor of sport throughout the region. Is this part of the bank’s overall marketing strategy or a Caribbean initiative? It’s part of the brand’s global strategy. We have a clear mandate to support youth, sport and culture in the markets we serve. In the case of the Caribbean, one of our major investments, which have been outstanding in addressing all three pillars, is Kiddy Cricket, – It’s a strong part of our Caribbean culture and Scotiabank is ensuring that we pass on the legacy and heritage of cricket to the next generation by engaging the youth. This is very important, as we believe that cricket is an important unifying force that brings the Caribbean people together. Does the bank see itself as a partner in the promotion of sports tourism? One of our main objectives as a Bank is to contribute to the success of the communities and country in which we do business. Our support of sport develops and contributes to that success and in the case of cricket, the future of the sport and everything it means to us as Caribbean people. Kiddy Cricket offers great opportunities for our youngsters throughout the region as it shares the benefits and principles of good sportsmanship. We also sponsor the King of the Hill with Sol Rally Barbados, in recognition of the huge popularity of rallying across Barbadian society. So while our first objective is to serve the local communities, it’s a win-win for everyone when those projects have strong opportunities for sports tourism and will reap economic benefits for the tourism and hospitality industries in the region. Our venture into CPL this year certainly aims to do that. Kiddy Cricket has been a huge success amongst the schools and at top matches. Obviously young cricketers are not your target audience or are they? Good question. Sponsorship of Kiddy Cricket, and indeed many of our philanthropic initiatives, is about building relationships. Scotiabank differentiates itself through its relationships with customers and with the community in general. Developing youth, sports and culture is how we give back, help the community thrive and foster relationships with customers and stakeholders. However, we do see Kiddy Cricketers and other developing youngsters as part of our clientele as well. Scotiabank is big on attracting the youth market and developing solutions for them. How do you decide which sports or events to promote in Barbados? It’s not easy –there are so many requests and so many deserving 106

projects. However, we have a strong global mandate that guides our sponsorships. I’ve already mentioned youth, sport and culture; we have also identified the development of women, the fight against HIV/AIDS and Healthcare as areas that we support globally. At a local sports level, we have focused on cricket and to a degree, Track. and Field. We also sponsored a charity polo match along with Rotary West this year, so we are very clear about whether our involvement is developmental, or is aimed at building relationships with the audiences, or is purely philanthropic. Rather than doing a little bit of everything and making no impact, our hope is to make a difference in the areas that we support. The CPL has been a phenomenal success across the region and Scotiabank has been a major sponsor. Are you surprised at how well it has taken off and is the bank pleased with its marketing investment? We’re thrilled. Our Regional Director Heather Goldson made the bold decision to get involved. We thought it would be exciting, but it has exceeded all our expectations. We were just blown away by the excitement at the Kensington Oval, the regional pride and opportunities for tourism. It succeeded at so many levels. Is your marketing strategy aimed at events or do you identify promising sportspeople or groups within your overall marketing campaign? Generally, we support events and especially initiatives that have a wider reach and in particular those that have a training or developmental component. So in the instance of 'sportspeople', teams would be our focus as we get to contribute to the development of the larger group and essentially to the country as a whole. Sport has a healthy image in the Caribbean. Do you see the bank extending its commitment in the future? Yes, in fact, we signed a five-year contract with the WICB for Kiddy Cricket, actually increasing the breadth of the sponsorship to include summer camps, additional training equipment and coaching time for the students. This five-year contract is the longest we have signed with the WICB and demonstrates our growing commitment. We already coach Kiddy Cricket on an annual basis in over 720 schools throughout the English Caribbean. Scotiabank is the longest running cricket sponsor in the Caribbean because of Kiddy Cricket, and our new investment indicates that the commitment will be there for many years to come.

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Ireland’s Maurice Moffett getting it all crossed up!

hese are exciting times for motor sport in Barbados. Indeed, it is almost a given that competitors, organisers and spectators alike will look back on 2014 as a seminal year in the sport’s development . . . not only in the sporting sense, but also as a lynchpin for the island’s expanding sports-tourism product. Motoring and motor sport are nothing new . . . the motor car arrived in the island in the early 1900s – think Model T Ford and you get the picture - and 2014 is the 80th Anniversary of the first documented competition, a hillclimb won by one Harold Manning, founder of a motor sport dynasty now in its third generation. Oldest of the six sporting member clubs of the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), the island’s governing body, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) was founded in 1957, while the first event at the Bushy Park race


track was run in 1971 (by the BRC) . . . and these two keystones of island motor sport have much to celebrate in 2014. The BRC marks the 25th running of its blue riband event and the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International, Sol Rally Barbados. This is the start of a third three-year title sponsorship deal with the Sol Group, the region’s largest independent oil company, which also sponsors two of the island’s front-running rally drivers.. Since the first overseas competitors took part in what was then called the International All-Stage Rally in the early 1990s, the event has played host to more than 350 drivers and co-drivers representing nearly 30 countries, including six from the wider Caribbean. The biggest competitor base is the UK and Ireland, but the event has attracted competitors from as far afield as Australia, Japan and the United States. From small beginninings as a one-day event for around 30



Roger & Barry Mayers - WRStarlet

competitors, it now attracts a field of around 100 cars, more than 30 travelling from the wider Caribbean and Europe who also compete in Scotiabank King of The Hill on the weekend prior to the rally. It has become a key sports-tourism product, contributing nearly Bds $4 million to the economy each year, much of it in foreign exchange, and accounting for around 4,000 visitor nights at a traditionally quiet time in the tourism calendar, early June, as competitors arrive mob-handed with family, friends and supporters. Thanks to government concessions, administered under strict rules by the BMF through its member clubs, local competitors have been able to import competition vehicles and components for the past three years duty free, which has helped further raise the standard of the island’s inventory . . . although there are local engineers whose resourcefulness would impress even the best-funded World Rally Championship team. The redevelopment of Bushy Park, scheduled for completion mid-way through 2014, will provide an additional component for sustained growth of the island’s most popular spectator sport, and bring circuit racing more strongly in to the sports-tourism mix. Phase 1, which has been under way since August, includes various new track configurations, a 110

new Clubhouse, pits complex, car parks and landscaping. Nearly all of the original 1.3-kilometre layout remains, although completely excavated and re-laid, to blend in with a new loop bringing the total length to 2.02kms. In addition, internal link roads allow for more than one circuit configuration and facilitate the creation of a kart circuit of up to 1.2kms. The full-length circuit is being developed to achieve Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA) Grade 3 approval, while the kart track will meet the Grade A venue requirements for CIK-FIA events; once it achieves these accreditations, Bushy Park will be able to host International circuit-racing categories such as Formula 3 or Touring Cars and karting events up to World Championship level. Bushy Park will join some classic circuits on the FIA Grade 3 list, including Australia's Mount Panorama, home of the annual Bathurst 1000 touring car race, Germany's 26-kilometre Nurburgring Nordschleife and British Touring Car Championship venues such as Oulton Park and Thruxton. The multi-purpose facility will also offer a drag racing strip, while other disciplines, such as autocross, dexterity, drifting and, in the future, off-



At Sol we continue to passionately support the largest spectator sport in Barbados and look forward to an even more exciting Sol Rally Barbados 2014


L to R: Mark Maloney, Bizzy Williams, Mr. Jean Todt President of the FIA, Hon. Michael Lashley M.P. & BMF President Andrew Mallalieu

Overview of the plan for the new track at Bushy Park

roading will be catered for – this is essential, as all of those disciplines are already well supported in the island; the venue will also be open to local businesses for product launches, track days and driver training programmes, while future plans include a driver and marshal training centre that will serve to improve safety in motor sport and on the island’s roads. In its 1970s manifestation, a short but thrilling three years – ended in late 1975 by a worldwide fuel crisis - Bushy Park had led the way in sportstourism, attracting competitors from the wider Caribbean, Europe and North America to International race meetings watched by nearly 10 per cent of the population. As this was written, a repeat looks on the cards, with the Barbados Tourism Authority close to completing negotiations for a televised Top Gear Festival to mark the circuit’s reopening in May. The FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, has been very supportive of the BMF, not only in the Bushy Park redevelopment – President Jean Todt participated in a brief ground-breaking ceremony in August 2012 – but also in other ways. In January 2013, majority funded by the FIA, more than 30 of the island’s senior volunteer officials underwent an intense three-day training course, as a result of which four were invited to attend Train the Trainers courses run by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), 112

Open wheel racing at Bushy Park in the early seventies

the UK’s governing body a few months later. The aim is for the island to become self-sufficient in its training needs . . . and, perhaps, it needs to be. Of the FIA’s 135 member countries, Barbados is one of only 10 with a population of less than 1 million; with a total of around 400 competition licences issued each year, it is also arguably the most active motor sport community per head of the population of any country in the world. And, in 2014, it is set to become the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean with a world-class race circuit . . . now, there’s a thing for a small ‘rock’ in the Caribbean Sea! Some interesting motor sport links:


Scotland’s exuberant Allan Mackay!

Geoff Ullyett in his Nissan at Scotiabank King of The Hill


At the finish of Sol Rally Barbados 2013


Sol Rally Barbados VIPs

Sol rally fans taking in the action!

BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton chatting to Club Trustee Harry Watkins

Neil Armstrong & Barry Ward in the Sol sponsored Suzuki SX4 WRC

Karcher’s Mr. & Mrs. Lee Johnson With Sol’s Gina Cummins

Sol’s Pam Warner and a ‘Sheriff’ fan!


Sol rally fan!

L to R: Sol’s Reidar Karlsrud, Brian Cadogan, Ken Figaro & CEO Gerrard Cox


Chefette’s Ryan Haloute (standing) & business magnate Bjorn Bjerkhamn (right)

Senator Irene Sandiford Garner

The BTA’s Petra Roach

Sol’s Gina Cummins & Kevin Kinports

Sol’s Kirk King

Roger ‘The Sheriff Skeete & Louis Venezia in the Sol sponsored Subaru Impreza WRC



UK Rally Driver Rob Swann Having been to the island over 20 times top UK Rally Driver Rob Swann and his family loved it so much that they bought a property here. Rob has competed in the Sol Rally six times and loves his second home‌ You have a close affinity with Barbados motorsport over many years. How and when did it come about? Our first trip to the island was in 2007. The taxi from the airport took us through Bridgetown and past the Boatyard Rally presentation where we spotted Howard Davies standing outside. We asked the driver to stop so we could ask Howard why he was there! He then proceeded to convince me to return the following year to compete (not much convincing needed really!). You have competed at many locations. What makes Barbados special? The people, the atmosphere and the uniqueness of being able to combine a family holiday with rallying. Barbados motorsport now attracts more spectators than cricket. Are you conscious of the huge contribution it makes to sports tourism and by association the national economy? I have become more aware over the last few years having seen the many events that take place throughout the year. Motorsport certainly brings a lot of people to the island. Can motorsport get bigger and better or is there a limit to how much can be achieved? Sol Rally Barbados couldn't really get any better for me, but hopefully with the improvements at Bushy Park Raceway, a wider range of motorsport activities can grow within Barbados. How does Sol Rally Barbados compare to other events in which you participate? Sol Rally Barbados is a more social event than any other rally with the closeness of the spectators and the hospitality opportunities. The length of the stages makes the rally a sprint from the first stage to the last stage with little room for error and this keeps the competition very close. The weather and the rum are a big bonus! Is it difficult for an overseas driver to get local sponsorship? Yes, especially for first-time visitors, but having made repeat visits to the island, I have built close relationships with several local businesses who now support me. My main Bajan sponsor is Waves Hotel & Spa Beach Resort on the West Coast, who have provided me with valuable assistance over the last six years. Other notable sponsors have been Terra Caribbean and various Car Hire companies. That said, this is an 118

Rob Swann (left) and Greenlight TV’s Richard Nichols

expensive sport and I am always open to offers from any other companies looking to become involved in the rally. You have shown a big commitment to the island by purchasing a second home. What led to that decision? My wife! Seriously, after finding that we were returning to the island 5 or 6 times throughout the year we felt that we wanted to make a longterm commitment. We also felt property in Barbados was a sound investment and the contacts we made via the rally gave us the confidence and assistance to purchase a second home. How do the best local drivers compare to the best drivers in the UK? The local drivers are fast and have the latest world rally cars built to the same high standard as many British competitors. They are every bit as quick as many top drivers and it would be nice to see some of them travel to the UK to compete. Outside motorsport what are the things you enjoy most about the island? We love dining out in Barbados, and our favourite restaurants are Champers, The Cliff and Cin Cin. Our kids’ favourite place to hang out is The Boatyard where you can have a great day packed with fun for all the family. We have also enjoyed the Aerial Trek Zip Wire course a few times and this year we took all the family out for Segway Barbados, which was also great fun. I should add that when we are here donuts from Pricesmart are a must for the kids! We have also enjoyed excellent hospitality with friends at Cattlewash, which is a beautiful part of the island.

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Sailing Splashes


The 2013 Barbados sailing season was dominated by the SAP 505 World Championships staged for the first time in the Caribbean. Barbados did exceptionally well to lure this prestigious event to the island and the resultant event was a huge success. The 505s are amongst the elite of international sailing and to have the whole entourage encamped in Carlisle Bay for over a week was a proud feather in the hat of local sports tourism. The Barbados sailing fraternity continues to thrive on the back of rejuvenation inspired by J24 sailors. Throughout the season there are many events, but it is the J24s that provide the most competitive and entertaining action. Traditionally the Mount Gay Regatta in January is the highlight of the local sailing season, but in recent years the staging of the World Fireball and 505s Championships have captured the imagination of the local sailing fraternity and made Barbados a household name across the wider international sailing scene.

MAGNIFICENT 505s ACTION All sportspeople should be impressed by the skill, athleticism and competitive nature of 505s sailing. These sailors are amongst the best in their sport and watching them skilfully handle their sophisticated little dinghies in the beautiful setting of Carlisle Bay was a treat not to be missed. What a pity they were so far offshore that spectators onshore could not see the action at close hand, but for the travelling entourage on the water it was exhilarating and captivating action. The event was centred on the Barbados Yacht Club and global sponsor





SAP added the fine-tuning that makes this event such a prestigious part of the international sailing calendar. Understandably the entry list was packed with world class sailors including several world champions, all eager to add the Barbados event to their sailing CV. They included the powerful German sailors Stefan Boehm and crewman Gerald Roos, Claas Lehmann and Leon Oehme, and five times champion Wolfgang Hunger, a physician from Kiel. There was also the leading American team of Mike Holt and Carl Smit and the strong challenge from Australians Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh. The main event followed the Pre-Worlds, which gave the sailors plenty of opportunity to adapt to the conditions and get their boats primed for the nine-race major event. Around 80 boats were listed to compete although 69 was the fleet size on the last day. They included Barbadian sailors Jason Tindale and Robert Povey who were making their 505 debut thanks to the generosity of a kind donor who shipped in a boat from California to allow the local sailors to compete. Barbados has no 505 boats but Jason and Robert made the most of an hour’s practice before the race and competed with great enthusiasm and endeavour to finish 51st. That they finished at all was an amazing achievement on a 122

boat they had barely seen before the race. At the start of the week realistically there were around 20 boats competing for the major prize, but by Friday the results had left the three major German teams at the front of the pack and a tremendous finale was guaranteed. It was more than the organizers could have dreamed of and the competitors rose to the occasion with some tremendous sailing. Pre-race leaders Stefan Boehm and Gerald Roos and five times champions Wolfgang Hunger didn’t get the best of starts, but Claas Lehmann and Leon Oehme made the most of their good fortune and stuck close to the American and Australian boats that set the early pace. Boehm later claimed he had been prejudiced by a marker boat and protested, but the International Jury felt otherwise and he surprisingly fell by the wayside as the race reached its climax. At the finish the American and Australian crews captured the top two places, but the biggest cheer was for the fighting Claas who stayed clear of his nearest challengers and deservedly took third place and the World Championship Title at the same time. Little wonder he jubilantly celebrated with his hardworking crewman Oehme just as energetically as he had raced!


The German crews captured the top three positions in the final World Championship standings and held pride of place at the Presentation Ceremony held at the Yacht Club later that evening and none more so than the charismatic surgeon Claas who had dedicated years of participation on 505 racing to reach this pinnacle in his sailing career. MOUNT GAY REGATTA At local level the prestigious Mount Gay Regatta is the highlight of the Barbados sailing season and last year it enhanced its international status with boats from Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines all competing against an increasing number of local boats. The Mount Gay is widely acknowledged as the fun regatta on the Caribbean regatta circuit and it continues to live up to its billing 124

with as much excitement and entertainment off the water as on it. Most of the action is centred on Carlisle Bay although some races take the boats down the South Coast and provided hundreds of onshore spectators with great views of the action. Last year’s regatta was governed by the Caribbean Sailing Association for the first time and they set the classifications that included the popular J24 races. The organizers also laid a heavy emphasis on promoting a “green regatta� culture aimed at protecting the coastal environment from waste materials and rubbish in the water. The Barbados Sailing Season is packed with races and provides plenty of entertainment for the sailing fraternity and their supporters. The local Sailing Association also takes the leading role in promoting their sport and there are plenty of opportunities to learn how to sail at classes organized at the Yacht Club.


TOP CLAAS 505 WORLD CHAMPION CLAAS LEHMANN will never forget his first trip to Barbados. The popular German surgeon recalls his visit with great delight… What was your reaction when Barbados was first mooted as a possible destination for the 2013 505s World Championships? I was really excited when I first heard that Barbados could become the venue for the 2013 Worlds, and of course, I then voted for Barbados! I think this was way back at the AGM held during the Worlds at Aarhuus in Denmark in 2010. What did you know about the island or the wider Caribbean prior to your visit? I confess I didn’t know too much about Barbados, but I was aware of the distillery on the island producing the world famous Mount Gay Rum. I had also sailed once in the Antigua Race Week a decade ago, so I had already enjoyed a flavour of a Caribbean island. 505 racing appears high-octane sailing and very specialized. How did you get into the sport and in particular into this class? Yes, 505 is a very fast high performance dinghy racing and that’s why I like it so much. It is not like sailing on a tour boat and you never have problems being underpowered with an average crew weight. This is very different to, for example, sailing in the Olympic 470 class, where I sailed before. I got into the sport by having a solid racing background, starting in Optimist, then sailing Europe Dinghy before I moved into Olympic 470 class. I stopped for two seasons at the of start of my career as a surgeon, but a sailor I knew from 470 Olympic Class asked me to become his helm in 505. At first I didn't welcome it because I really had no time for anything because most of my days and nights were spent in hospital. But he eventually persuaded me to sail the following season and I sailed in three weekend regattas with him. After the first season I was so delighted from the speed potential of the 505 and the nice feeling of never being underpowered that we planned more races including big events like the National Championships and Kiel Week. How much of your life is devoted to 505 sailing? Leon and I sail 6-8 regattas per year, but no more. Our programme includes the Worlds, Kiel Week, National Championships, Euro Cup races on Lake Garda and some of our favourite weekend races, so our four weeks of holidays is easily consumed by sailing every year! In addition, we also train some weekends in Kiel. Your 505 record is outstanding so what did it mean to add the world title to your sailing CV? We have sailed quite well in the last few seasons and got better and better every year, but we had never won a major title before Barbados. I won two times in the Kiel Week with my former crew and was German Vice-Champion several times in 505, and in Europe Dinghy as well. We finished 9th in the 2010 Worlds at Aarhus in Denmark, and fifth at La Rochelle in France. Our target in Barbados was to finish in the top ten 126

knowing that this was always going to be difficult to achieve because all the sailors in the top 15 are world class. This was confirmed by the fact that former world champion Mike Martin finished 14th in Barbados. So, becoming world champions is not really another title added to our CV, it is our first major! Of course, it’s the crown we wanted most so we now feel very, very happy. We really feel like being one of the top sailors in the 505 class, but we recognize that in the top 15 sailors there is no big difference as they are all world class and on their day anyone of them could be the world champion. Barbados was our week, but we know it will be really hard to achieve another world title. You seem to have achieved everything in your chosen sport and yet remain so competitive. What goals has Class Lehman set for himself in the future? We enjoy the competition and the challenge of tough sailing, but it is most important to have fun whilst sailing. We are still amateurs spending our free weekends and holidays away from high-stress jobs. Leon has started his business career now and I'm a cardiac surgeon so we are both in the same position. We don't want the same stress or pressure in our leisure time as at work! Our goal is to sail in the inner circle of the top sailors, and to remain in the top fifteen and take each race as it comes. I just want to feel good after sailing a regatta, having done my best and enjoyed the sport. The 505 sailing class is very well structured and organized. Did the facilities and organization in Barbados live up to your expectations? The organization and the facilities were perfect in Barbados, and from our point of view there was really nothing that could have been better or should be improved. Everything was very relaxed and we liked it. No, it was much better than that- we loved it! What will be your lasting memories of your 2013 visit? Our lasting memories will always be the final race when we overtook our opponents and became world champions and the next few hours with the prize-giving ceremony and the party afterwards when we went to the Reggae Club. But there were so many unforgettable memories including island cruising in our rental car, and discovering nice spots at the beaches for kitesurfing or relaxing and having a beer at the local bars. Of course, we will never forget the friendly and relaxed people of Barbados-they always seemed to be really happy so we called it the Caribbean style. Can we expect to see you on the island again? Hopefully we will sail again in the Caribbean Sea with a bigger boat, and not too far in the future. Of course, when we come back to Barbados it will always have very special memories, as it was the place of our great sailing triumph!


Brian Talma takes us around Barbados


“This is a story about a beach man”, deAction Man, Brian Talma. His Beach Culture World Tour’s mission is to promote SUPing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, surfing and related sports and culture. He has consolidated his home base “deAction World” with SUPing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing rentals & lessons and accommodations to reflect his vision of beach culture….Life Upon Earth!! There are two ways which he uses to promote Barbadian beach culture: traveling the world on his Beach Culture World Tour competing and showcasing this lifestyle and entertaining visitors to Barbados and the media in his action packed homeland Barbados. This is from Brian Talma’s Beach Culture World Tour Diary………………

Tuesday: A night of buzzing mosquitoes. I am trying to sleep, but there are mosquitoes buzzing around my head…it’s frustrating. There is not a breath of wind, and it’s hot. But it’s the type of weather I’ve been waiting for, and I am visualizing paddling sections of the island.

Wednesday: Around my World in 16 Hours and 25 minutes. Next minute it’s morning and the sun is peering through the window. An alarm goes off in my head, today is the day; I need to prepare my bag…. “Tears upon my brain”, I realize my cell phone’s battery out; no flares, I lost them a few days ago during a night practice run, I find six Gatorades in the freezer; I rummage through my cabinet only to find five granola bars and I shove them and my flash light into my bag… ”man I’m a real yahoo”…No fruit, no action!! .

“Sunny Side Up”/”Rock Faces” I push off from deAction Beach, Silver Sands, Christ Church at 7:00 am with my Naish Nalo 11’4” and back pack between my legs. The water was like glass when I dipped my paddle into the water. It feels like butter as I propelled myself through the water with ease. It’s a beautiful bright day, the morning sun was sparkling off the sea. I hear 128

the fishing boats around me. Over my shoulder I hear the familiar voice of “Full Moon,” a Silver Sands fisherman and friend hailing me up. Now moving in an easterly direction, passing Long Beach and making my way up the east coast, looking inward all I can see is huge cliffs, dotted with houses. “Rock Faces.”

“Sight Sea Bays” /”Lost At Sea” I was covering amazing ground. The first major landmark was the Crane Beach. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Barbados, with huge cliffs surrounding this sparkling sandy beach and during the winter months it’s bodysurfing city. This isn’t the only one, there are many more secluded and romantic beaches moving up the coast such as Ginger Bay, Sam Lord’s Castle, Bottom Bay, Harrismith. …and I am cranking deAction, I am off Ragged Point/East Coast lighthouse. It’s still dead flat, the water is crystal clear, and I can see the coral reef and fish darting around. I feel like I am in an aquarium. There are no more houses on the cliff, just huge stretches of cliffs, surrounded by water; this is where a few fishing boats have congregated, some were setting their net and just off the front of my board I spot a spear fisherman. I feel comfortable and strong. I am about three hours into the journey. I have a major decision to make, am I going to continue or stop? Also, considering one major situation, I was going to run out of stocks. Yea man, the weather conditions remained ideal and far off in the distance I see the northern coast…Action!! I set my bearing to cut directly across to the northern section of the island.

“Connect the Dot” I push toward my goal, the water starts changing, from crystal clear to dark blue. The sun is almost directly overhead. I’m sweating and alone. The weather is changing. “Tears Upon my brain, this couldn’t be happening”. I see dark clouds forming over the Bathsheba area. I am easily two miles off shore. I hear thunder cracking, and really dark clouds with a haze of grayness surrounding Bathsheba. Then a bolt of lightning striking down. …Shit! I point my board in the direction of shore and started a B-line to the beach. The worst predicament was the wind gusting offshore and it was too difficult to paddle directly into it, so I paddled across the wind towards shore. “I can’t tell a lie, I was a little concerned.” Yeah man, I battled these conditions for about an hour, then the storm slowly diminishes and my brain relaxes and smiles. I am a few miles pass Bathsheba and off Long Pond (the eastern part of the island), just off the breaker and feeling safe again. It’s about 1:30pm. The Bathsheba area has some of the best places to SUP in the waves, especially Parlor which has become a SUP break. While Soup Bowl remains the best surf break in Barbados. I am fatigued, mentally and physically. With the simple motion of sitting down on the board, I feel my body cramping up….”TEARS!!” Should I give up?” I couldn’t get back home and I had covered half of Barbados!! I hydrate myself with water and down a granola bar. I put my bag behind my head and shut my eyes for a few minutes. I feel a second wind and a recharged energy. I pull myself back into standing position, one more gulp and off again.

“Hell Gates” I am moving up the East Coast toward the North Coast keeping close to shore. Soon the beaches disappear and the coral lime stone cliffs appear again. It’s desolate, and strangely quiet. Again I see dark clouds forming, “Not again” I put my hand to the air and beg for a break. I am distracted from the forming clouds by this tranquil feeling, the water is

crystal clear again, I see a huge silver fish cruising the water beneath me, I couldn’t make out what it was….next was a school of jacks… ”Life.” My objective is to get around this Northern coast as fast as possible because there is nowhere to come in if some thing should happen

“Garden Of Eden” I’ve reached North-West Coast of Red Backs and Cow Pens, these windsurfing breaks go off in the winter. Let me tell you, 15 feet waves and down the line wave riding. Today, there is very small wave rolling across the bay, I’m back to safety with blotches of beach with lush greenery surrounding them and a few scattered houses on the cliff. “Not a soul, just me gliding through the sea!!”

“Tourist Trap” I am on the West Coast by about 3 o’clock, “happiness to the brain, home free”. The journey so far was amazingly quick, even with the disruption of the thunderstorm. I needed to get to the populated West Coast to re-fill my empty bottles. “I know my body is feeling the pain, but the brain is numbing it, I am determined and HUNGRY!!” I spot a fisherman moored in his boat far off in the distance. “I need water!!” Action he only has enough water to refill two of my bottles “Thanks!!” It’s tedious and this West Coast kept on going and going… I feel the little head wind and the current was pushing against me…”Tears!!” Man, those jet skis were frustrating my “BRAIN”, seeing them racing up and down the coast and I feel slow. I am reminiscing on some of most memorable surf sessions I’ve had on this coast, ‘crank action” there are over twenty breaks dotted across this coast and it can be magic!! 129


“Bright Lights” My plan was to get around to the South Coast before it gets dark, but that was way too ambitious. It’s about 6:45pm and the atmosphere changes to a subdued feeling and I am a few miles from the South Coast. The day was cooling down, sparks of light surround the hotels and I rig up my flashlight. It slowly turns dark and I am using the hotel lights and my flashlight to maneuver through the coral reefs. I see Spring Garden Highway, the last piece of the West Coast and I had to make a critical decision, was I going to give up or continue around the critical harbour wall? I was concerned with the possibility of funneling off shore winds picking up and after all, I had been paddling for over 13 hours! “I have no slippers or money for a bus or telephone call; shit it’s dark and no one knows I am out at sea and I needed to get home to my family, they must be getting worried”…these were the thoughts going through my mind. It’s just me alone in darkness. It’s quiet and I hear the occasional splashing of fish and garfish are surfacing at the bow of my board. I see the reflection of the light on the water, and there is definitely no wind, just glassy water…it’s safe. I am paddling out into darkness. Suddenly the lights of the harbor wall come into view. I am breathing much harder, I was puffing but it helped me keep a rhythm. I am pushing up the harbor wall with the sporadic lights illuminating the water. There is a lot of thrashing of fish around me, some small sprats jump onto my board, but I am not worrying about the fish, I just want to get round the harbor wall to the safety of Carlisle Bay. I cut across the bay keeping inside the moored yachts for safety…it’s about 9:00 pm.

“Sea Mines & Oistin Lights” “Decisions, decisions, I am exhausted!!” I am looking up the South Coast, the last leg of the coast. I knew if the wind was blowing it would be almost impossible to get home, but the current is in my favor and no wind. I smell the food coming out from The Hilton Hotel. I am dreaming of food again, “stop it!!” This is ACTION, I plot my course in my brain, I pass Brandons. This is the best surf spot of the South Coast, a perfect left-hander and tonight I don’t wish for waves. I was shocked at how quickly I was moving up this coast. I passed St Lawrence Gap, an area with restaurants and nightclubs and put my sight on the pier at Oistins. My body was gone, it was numb and I am breathing much harder, I was puffing hard. I was sporadically howling into the air. My mind was in a zone, and I had only had a few last gulps of water left….I needed more water, “WATER!!” I spot a boat light off the peer, it’s a lone fisherman. I beg him to refill two bottles with water…. Yea man, I am back in action!! My confidence is at an all-time high. I paddle off Enterprise Beach and this is my last break…”I’m really relaxed”. I now take time to absorb the experience. I had been pushing hard for over 15 hours. With my backpack behind my head, I am looking up at the stars and casually 130

eating my last granola bar. Yeah, the mind is at ease and truly enjoying the moment….in touch with nature. I am in home ground, connecting my last few dots. My next dot, Freights Bay, a surfing spot, protected from wind and current, perfect for beginners. I glide through the bay moving in a Southern direction and round the point to South Point another surf spot. I can barely make out white lines, a small swell is rolling in. I navigate through the inner waves and keep close enough in from the outer Bow Bells reef. This outer reef connects all the way up to Silver Sands, the windsurfing and kiteboarding “Action Spot of Barbados”. My brain was in the zone, and I’m maneuvering through the waves, like a blind man tapping his way. The only distinctive light was directly in front of me, but otherwise it was complete darkness on both sides and behind. I see my next dot, it’s a bright light off Inchcape Villas. I’ve reached Silver Sands. My brain is smiling as I paddle up through the Lagoon area to off my deAction Beach Shop…this soulful feeling overcomes me, this is my victory stretch, I feel a strong sense of comfort and secure. I see my deAction Beach Shop, I am home. My brain is exploding and I shout to the stars, “ACTION, ACTION!!” Man, I am elated and feel powerful with the mental energy boost. I feel this peace overcome the body and I relax. Suddenly, I hear this enormous thrashing and splashing….”This jumped my heart!!” it’s a really big fish…very big, feeding behind me. The whole trip during the night I had heard and seen, the thrashing and splashing of fish feeding but this was way different. I shifted gears quickly, spotted my landing area and made a quick dash to shore. I feel like a shipwreck. I dragged my board up onto the beach. Man my legs are wobbly and aching. The first thing I do, is check the time, “11:25 pm, STOP” Thought and emotions overpower my brain,” I am hurting and starving” There wasn’t any fan fare, cheers or shouting. I am alone, there was only the silence of the night. This is the way I wished it, I had conquered Barbados!! This was a spiritual journey in touch with nature and body. Life is a journey of challenges and this experience stimulated the brain and motivated me to continue looking for new adventures of life “Life Upon Earth”. This was one of the biggest experiences of my life and now I’ve turned it into a race, deAction SUP Shop, Last Waterman Standing… ..SUPing Around Barbados. If you’re looking for adventure check out Barbados’ SUP season from August to October, for paddling around Barbados and getting some amazing waves


Barbados Surfer Girl Known all over the world as “Barbados Surfer Girl” teenager Chelsea Tuach has made a meteoric rise in her sport and won more international awards and accolades in Barbados surfing than anyone in living memory. She’s a natural athlete, who is highly focused and has been in the sport since she was eight years old. Coached by Jim Hogan from Costa Rica and Mike Lamm in California she is on the threshold of greatness and already a big draw for sponsors Red Bull, Roxy, Dragon Alliance and Dakine. Chelsea is an inspiration to a generation of young women as she has made it to the world stage through hard work, focus and ambition. We caught up with this attractive globetrotter to learn more about her sporting development and what life is like for a young Barbadian in this exciting sport… What got you into surfing? My brothers and my dad got me into surfing. When I was young they would always go surfing and leave us at home, and I was one of those little sisters that looked up to her older brothers and had to do whatever they did. So my sister and I started taking lessons and we became a surfing family. It soon became something we did every weekend with Mum on the beach filming us. We all loved the ocean and were at the beach every opportunity we got. At the time my brothers were competition surfers and they actually got to travel to some really cool places to represent Barbados so I wanted to get into that as well. After I started doing contests and winning I knew this was something I wanted to do for as long as I could. I loved surfing and loved the feeling of winning so very quickly it became my dream to make it as a pro surfer. You travel all round the world these days-do you see yourself as an Ambassador for Barbados as much as an athlete? I do see myself as an Ambassador for Barbados. When I travel I'm not only Chelsea, I'm Chelsea from Barbados and I represent myself in a way that my homeland would be proud. People who know a bit about the island are always jealous. Do you sell the attributes of your beautiful island to the people you meet? Yes, of course! Overseas people are always asking me about Barbados and I have great things to say because we really do live in paradise. The waves are perfect for surfing, we have beautiful beaches, great people and delicious food. I've definitely convinced a few people to come here and they've loved it. The feedback I usually get is- "Oh aren't you lucky, living on a tropical island and surfing Soup Bowl everyday." Globetrotting Surfers like you must see lots of beautiful beaches. How does Barbados rate in comparison? I've seen a lot of beaches across the world, but Barbados still comes out on top, hands down. Hawaii is the closest in beauty but the water there still gets cold in the winter while we have warm, clear, beautiful water all year round. You have made gigantic strides in your sport during 2013. What are your ambitions going forward? 2013 was a great year for me, and I hope to build on it going forward. There are a lot of big competitions every year so I'm working really 132

hard with my coach and my trainer to get to the top of my sport. We always set goals and I plan to compete with the best in 2014. Is there a time factor in a surfer's career or can you go on as long as your fitness holds? In the past it was believed that you had a small window to make it as a pro surfer, and you needed to start qualifying for the World Tour by 17. The same thinking gave you ten years and by the time you were 27 your career was pretty much over. However, that has all changed and there are plenty of surfers in the industry proving age is not a negative. There are also more and more younger surfers coming into the sport and making it harder for the older surfers, but the best surfer in the world right now is over 40 and he is still winning contests and titles. That says something. How much do you train and surf when you are home? Is there a set schedule? It all depends on Mother Nature. I try to surf every day and usually when I'm home that works because we have great waves and most days we can surf. However, if we can’t then it becomes a study day. I generally work on my fitness about four times a week. What are your other interests in life? I'm currently studying Nutrition. This is something that really interests me because it is so important to my fitness as a surfer. You have to feel your best at all times and nutrition plays a big role in how you perform, so I'm always doing research on the latest 'super food' and the best diet for my lifestyle. Also, I'm really fascinated by the history of the different places I visit and love reading and learning about their cultures. How would you describe the surfing attributes of Barbados to a surfer who has never been to the island? Barbados is a surfing paradise. It is warm year round, it has white sandy beaches and clear, blue water. We have mostly point/reef breaks, which surfers prefer, and our waves are very consistent. Late in the year during the hurricane season, we always get large, great surf that a lot of overseas surfers come for. Could more be done to promote surfing in Barbados? I feel a lot more could be done to promote surfing in Barbados, as we have great waves, but there are still many surfers all over the world that don't know about us. Barbados has the potential to be a mega surfing destination as more and more people are getting into surfing and making it the main part of their holiday. So I do believe Barbados could really benefit if more resources were put into promoting the sport.





ust like diamonds, legends are forever. Good crowds packed the Greenidge and Haynes Stand at the Kensington Oval for the third Annual Barbados Football Legends Invitational Tournament in June. Some of these guys may have lost a little pace and widened their girths over the years, but they have lost none of their silky soccer skills and the fans were treated to plenty of thrills and spills. And who would have expected anything less with the great Gianfranco Zola, Teddy Sheringham, Robbie Fowler, Gus Poyet, Denis Wise, Robero Di Matteo, Dwight Yorke, Stan Colleymore and cricket legend Brian Lara on show? World record holder Lara once again proudly donned the shirt of Manchester United alongside his Trini buddy Yorke, but the defending champions were handsomely hammered in the semi-finals by a lively

Dwight Yorke, Petra Roach BTA UK & Minister of Tourism and International Transport Hon. Richard Sealy



Liverpool team with former ace goalscorer Fowler much to the fore. Another of the pre-tournament favourites Chelsea fell by the wayside and the expected challenge from Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, and Arsenal failed to materialise. But the big movers in the 2013 tournament were the Caribbean All Stars with Trinidadian and former Sunderland striker Stern John, former Jamaica and Coventry player Paul Hall and the impressive Russell Latapy leading their charge. The All Stars and Liverpool made the final and it got off to a sensational start with Stern (2) and Latapy giving the Caribbean team an emphatic three-goal lead. Liverpool keeper Tony Warner also saved a penalty or it could have been worse for the former Anfield stars! But a penalty at the other end converted by Fowler provided the platform for an amazing fight-back, which produced a thrilling finish. Liverpool pulled back the three goals to level the match and as the noise in the 136

stand reached a crescendo in the dying seconds big Stern John hit the winner to complete his hat-trick and clinch the trophy. It was as close as it gets and a terrific finale. Winning Captain Paul Hall received the trophy from Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner and Russell Latapy was a popular choice of MTV. (Most Valuable Player) Eight teams competed in the British Airways sponsored tournament including a team from the Professional Footballers’ Association. In additional to the football thrills enjoyed by local and visiting fans, the event also raised funds to support the National Sports Council’s primary schools football programme. The players also proved popular ambassadors around the island and were pretty hot on the golf course as well as the Kensington Oval. 2014 will be a tough act to follow.


Football’s Master Doctor Ian Smith has been a perennial visitor to the Masters Football Tournament since inception and his big warm infectious smile shows he has lost none of his enthusiasm coming back to Barbados every year. The former Scottish professional footballer and qualified Doctor sings the praises for the organizers and claims he will keep returning even if he needs a walking stick! Ian shares his love for Masters Football and Barbados… What endears you to Barbados? I spent two years in Barbados (1982-4) after qualifying as a Doctor and they were terrific years. Football has always been in my blood so inevitably I was drawn to Wanderers and the friends I met there are still good friends some 30 years later. It was great living on the island because the people are so friendly so I get a lot of satisfaction coming back as a tourist. I walk the beaches every day and just soak in the lovely warm weather and beautiful surrounds. Do you still get the same buzz after all these years? Of course! As soon as the Virgin Atlantic staff open the door of the plane and I stand at the top of the steps I taken in a huge gulp of hot air and know I’ve returned to Paradise. That feeling hasn’t waned in 30 years. You have had a successful and colourful career. What have been the highlights? Playing professionally for Birmingham City alongside Trevor Francis, the first £1,000,000 footballer in the English 1st Division, and Hearts in the Scottish 1st Division were the football highlights, but my football career came second to my medical career, as I had to balance my time between both. In later years I did this by playing semi-professional, which was also great. Do you still keep in touch with the professional game? My father was a professional footballer and I followed in his footsteps. I’m therefore delighted our son Matt has done the same and has eclipsed both Dad and Grandpa in the football world. Both my wife Francoise and myself are very proud of him. Many people will remember his goals against Liverpool and Everton in the FA Cup playing for Oldham Athletic in January and February last year and the 138

Grant Trebble & his mate Dr. Ian Smith

three goals in three games in April to drag Oldham out of relegation and keep their Division One status and earn him April Budweiser Player of the Month. He’s now moved to Leeds United, a massive club with a massive fan base and massive Manager in Brian McDermott, so we have at least one big reason to stay in touch with the modern game. What have you enjoyed most about the Masters Tournament? I suppose the fact that the tournament is such a well-organized event is a huge factor because it keeps bringing me back year in, year out. Without that excellent organization I doubt that I would have returned so often. I know a lot of other participants feel the same way, which is why you have so many returning teams with largely the same players. Wanderers officials like Paul “Starsky” Wright, big Grant Trebble, John McGuire and the rest of their team are great organizers and when you add the wonderful people of Barbados and the colourful personalities of the other Caribbean islands these are the things that have made the tournament such as success. Has it peaked or can it get better? Most certainly! The biggest improvement I see would be accommodating the older veterans! There’s a big difference between a 40 year-old and a 60 year-old footballer so perhaps the time has come to have an Over-50 section, even if it is restricted to eight teams. It would make it more competitive at this age group and it is a wonderful way to keep the older guys involved. After all, they have supported the tournament down the years and we want to keep them returning. But they are competitive too, and this would level their playing field. Will you be back next year? I certainly will and with my walking stick if needed!



his year will see the 18th staging of the Barbados International Masters Football Festival and like all that have gone before the standard of the organization and the fun and camaraderie involved will be its hallmarks. The Masters Festival is one of the top events on the local sports tourism calendar and it continues to attract teams from North America, Europe and the Caribbean Region. Although Barbados teams dominated the early years of the competition their mantle of supremacy has been stolen by visiting teams in recent years. National Unity from Trinidad and Tobago won last year to record their fourth win and they did it with plenty to spare after a 4-1 win over Toronto. Alvin Boisson was one of their star performers throughout the tournament and when he added a brace of goals in the final the result was a formality. His teammate Earl Jean also scored in the final and was a popular MVP when the awards were presented just after the final. The three-day tournament is held every year over the Whitsun weekend and matches are played at Dover, Carlton and Wanderers culminating with Finals Day at Daryll’s Road on the Monday. The





popular tournament always attracts good support and this year the big crowd that gathered for the final matches were treated to plenty of entertaining football. Many of the Caribbean players are former internationals and although the legs don’t work as fast as they did a few years ago, the girths are a little wider and the hairstyles less flamboyant, the standard of football remains high. Time will not age them! A small committee from the Wanderers Club superbly organizes the Masters Festival and much of the success of the tournament revolves around their clockwork precision where matches are played strictly on time and the organizers go to great lengths to ensure the players and their supporters have a wonderful Barbados experience. They are certainly doing it right because many of the teams are regular returnees and although more and more teams want to participate the 142

tournament is restricted to 28 teams. The social side of the three days is just as important as the sporting side and over the years many of the visitors have set aside time to enjoy the local nightlife, restaurants and of course, the enjoyment of the main sponsor’s prize product-Bank’s beer! It is rumoured that sales at the Brewery reach their peak during the Masters Football weekend and judging by the bustle at the Wanderers clubhouse on Finals Day there is plenty of evidence to support the claim! As always, visiting teams get priority amongst the entrants so if your club fancies an enjoyable three days of Masters football in an idyllic tropical setting then this is the ideal event. You can also bring wives, girlfriends and supporters, as this is much more than a football tournament, it is a complete sporting experience for family and friends in a beautiful tropical island with a little bit of “footie” thrown in.

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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. 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 146

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!


Ruck & Maul with the oval ball




ome things have changed in Barbados rugby over the past two decades but some have not! The team still plays in the traditional blue and yellow strip, but the modern shirt with its tight-fitting design clearly shows a different physique than those great old Garrison warriors of yesteryear. The dinosaurs have long since past into rugby folklore and if they drank as much as they claimed against the touring navy teams then they could be floating around in the Caribbean Sea given their tales of hard rugby, hard drinking and hard men! Rugby all over the world would be nothing without its alickadoos and the current breed aren’t too long into ‘retirement’ and still feel they could do a better job than the playing incumbents. Of course their legs have got slower and their bellies a little wider at the girth, but this has not dampened their enthusiasm and love of Barbados rugby. And therein lies the biggest change in the rugby scene in recent times as the current national squad is a much leaner, meaner machine and they have taken local rugby to another level. Amidst all the great advances in Barbados rugby in recent times the culture of welcoming visiting teams remains as warm and as hospitable as ever, although the team on the field is much better prepared and well focused. Barbados is not a rugby powerhouse in the international arena, but it is amongst the best in the Caribbean region at 15-a-side and arguably the best at 7-a-side. The bragging rights are keenly fought at the highest level and a yardstick used to assess playing strength and progress is the qualifying tournament for the Ruby World Cup held every four years as the Caribbean Rugby Association’s Senior Men 15s Championship. Last year was no exception and after trouncing BVI the local team was edged out in Guyana in a match they should have won. Perhaps the same could be said for the key match against Trinidad and Tobago, but after looking the likely winners with 20 minutes to go, the lively Trinis got the allimportant scores at the right time and ran out comfortable winners. However, it says much for Barbados rugby that Coach Stewart Copeland and his squad competed at the highest level in the region 149


and have the motivation and enthusiasm to bounce back. Barbados rugby has risen from humble origins and continues to prosper in the face of adversity as less strenuous sports like cricket and basketball appeal to the majority of aspiring young Barbados sportspeople. In the Fifties and Sixties the sport was almost exclusively Ex-Pats with a few locals and the pace and culture of the game much more relaxed and easy going. It was often said by wives and girlfriends that rugby was only an excuse for the players to get together for a few drinks and the high praise from visiting teams seems to confirm the stories of long ribald sessions at the Garrison clubhouse, some of which were continued on Her Majesty’s Naval ships! Touring teams have always been welcome in Barbados, but the big change in the culture of local rugby came in the Nineties when Development Officers were introduced and the game was taken into the schools. The players and administrators who had the vision and the enthusiasm to take Barbados rugby into this new era can now look back with great pride at the current squad composed of mainly local players and a much more professional approach to the sport. Several players have also gone to play in the UK and there’s no doubt Barbados can produce more 150

talented young rugby players in the future. Admirably, the game is not restricted to adult men. Barbados also has a lively ladies section and several youth teams that welcome matches against visiting schools and colleges. Ladies rugby in the Caribbean is highly entertaining and what the girls may lack in silky skills is more than compensated by their good looks! Ladies rugby has a great future in the Caribbean if more and more females come forward to play. Most of the visiting teams come from the UK, North America and visiting ships. And where better to tour? The matches are played in the late afternoon and in recent years the Garrison pitch has been green and lush to ease the hard bumps and knocks. But Barbados rugby tours aren’t just about the rugby. Sand, sea and sunshine abound and we have some of the best restaurants in the world. We also have a lively social scene, as there’s always something to do any night of the week in Barbados. If you are thinking about a rugby tour there’s no better place than Barbados.




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Running Raps THE INSPIRATION The great sprinter Obadele Thompson, petite hurdler Andrea Blackett and former world champion Ryan Brathwaite put Barbados on the world athletics map with some outstanding performances. Obadele faced some of the best sprinters ever in the prestigious 100 metres and won a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Andrea won the 400 metres hurdles gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998 and Ryan became world 110-metres hurdles champion in 2009 at Berlin and finished a highly commendable 5th in the 2012 London Olympics. What is truly amazing is that these athletes achieved greatness from a humble athletics background where limited facilities and even more limited high level competition gave them a mountain to climb





to reach world status. Their success has been an inspiration to the next generation of athletes and Barbados will be looking for great things from them. We may be a small nation in size, but our three best athletes have shown you can make it to the top with determination, focus and support. In that respect the Barbados Olympic Association, the National Sports Council, the Ministry of Sport and several key sponsors have provided essential backing, but it could be better if even more patrons from both the commercial and the private sector came to the table. All our best athletes have to go abroad to get the expert training and top competition to reach the highest level, which is why sports scholarships in the United States are an integral part of their sporting development. However, Barbados does have several major assets that help local and visiting athletes. The climate is ideal for warm weather training, the facilities at the National Stadium have been improved to accommodate high level competition and the schools produce a plethora of aspiring young athletes. The challenge is to harness that talent and provide the opportunities to improve it home and abroad. Every year something special stands out in Barbados athletics. Last year it was Jason Wilson’s magnificent Triathlon home victory when the Pan American Cup ITU Sprint Triathlon held a leg on the island. But running is an integral part of everyday life and joggers can be seen everywhere throughout the year. Many of them compete in the biggest running event in the year the Run Barbados Series, which attracts a high number of top athletes and enthusiastic club members from overseas.

JOGGING IN BARBADOS With its tight roads and bustling traffic many joggers and fitness walkers stay clear of the busy thoroughfares in Barbados and head for the Garrison Racetrack, the boardwalk on the South Coast or the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex at Wildey to ply their sporting passion. The Garrison is an ideal venue as the circular running track is completely enclosed within the racetrack and it is both safe and ideal for joggers. It is also a majestic setting with the old military buildings and Drill Hall overlooking the course and the imposing grandstand of the Barbados Turf Club towering over everything. It costs nothing to enjoy this unique sporting ambience, but good advice is to jog early or late in the day as the hot sun can sap the strength before and after midday. The same could be said for walking and jogging anywhere. In recent times the boardwalk on the South Coast has become a huge attraction because walkers and joggers can also enjoy the beauty of the 154

coastline and the warm sea breezes during their workout. Of course, for many visitors the best place to walk and jog is along the beach and Barbados beaches are amongst the best settings in the world to exercise.

RUN BARBADOS SERIES The Run Barbados Series dates back to 1986 and is held on the first weekend in December. It is a series of races over three days embracing fun running and serious competition and it attracts a strong entry from overseas. The fun runners either plan their holidays around the event or travel in clubs, mainly from North America and Britain. The clubs combine their running passion with a Caribbean holiday and many travel early to get acclimatized and then stay after the event to relax and take in all the attributes of Barbados. They have tremendous enthusiasm and one of the features of the longer events is to watch the club members encourage and motivate their fellow members, as they get closer to the finish.

TRIATHALON The demanding Triathlon is made up of swimming, cycling and running disciplines within a single event and brings out the best of an all-round athlete. The participants in Barbados are an elite breed of athletes and much of their training and preparation is done early in the morning when the roads are quiet for the cycling section. The sport is governed by the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) and holds a number of events during the year. Hosting last year’s leg of the Pan American Cup ITU Sprint Triathlon in May was a huge success despite the unfavourable weather conditions. The proverbial ‘cream on the cake’ was a local victory when Jason Wilson romped past Americans Michael Poole and Luke Fargas to claim his first major Triathlon crown. The 10K bike race was marred by several spills on the wet slippery roads, but the cool conditions were a godsend when it came to the 5Kroad run. Add a 750m swim off Brandon’s Beach and you get a feel of the demands of Triathlon and how good these athletes really are. The entry list included triathletes from all over the world with both men’s and ladies competitors trying to pick up points in the world rankings and qualification for the Olympics in Brazil in 2016. The local Triathlon community was boosted by the event and the large crowd in attendance added to the atmosphere and helped raise the profile of the sport.


Making His Way in a Tough Sport Darian King is a talented young Barbadian sportsman, who is moving up the ranks in the tough professional tennis circuit in America. He has been identified as an ‘Elite Athlete’ in the Barbados Olympic Association support programme and appears to have a great future ahead. At the same time he’s proudly flying the flag for his home country… How difficult is it to make it on the international tennis circuit? Extremely difficult! There are thousands of tennis players all over the world and my ambition is to move up through the various grades to reach the top level. I broke into the top 400 in 2013 and I want to move into the Challengers grade and get into the top 200. This is just below the ATP level, which is the stepping-stone to the Majors. It’s an awesome challenge, but that’s my motivation. What is your normal routine every year? Since I turned professional my base is the Blackman Tennis Academy in Florida set up by Martin Blackman. He’s my main coach and most of the time at the Academy is spent under his tuition and building up fitness for the tournaments. I play three tournaments twice during the year, and also get back home to train and practise. I also represent Barbados in Davis Cup matches. Occasionally we get the chance to provide practice for the top players before major tournaments and it is always a special experience mixing with them. Has tennis always been in your blood? I love all sport, but tennis and football were special. I owe a lot to Sydney and Caroline Lopez for getting me focused on tennis in Barbados and to Roger Smith from the Bahamas, who transformed me from a world-rated junior player to a budding professional. Some people may remember Roger as the coach of top American tennis star Sloane Stephens. Is Barbados tennis in a healthy position these days? It has a good healthy image and there are more people playing tennis, but not necessarily competitive tennis. This is understandable as many of the courts around the island are in hotels and used by guests, while social tennis is very popular amongst all age groups. The potential for big growth is in the schools and there is a huge opportunity to get more young people into the sport. And what about the sport’s profile in Barbados? Tennis has a good profile and the Barbados Tennis Association is 156

doing a great job in promoting the sport. We have also benefitted from high profile visits from top international players like the Williams sisters and Caroline Wozaniacki. This has boosted tennis within the sports tourism product and visitors know they will have good tennis facilities readily available when they come on holiday. We have also had an excellent youth tournament for many years sponsored by CIBCFirst Caribbean Bank, which has a world rating and attracts many international players. Is the professional game strong in the region? Realistically you have to go overseas for the competition and high level coaching needed to make it at the highest level. It would be great to have a top Caribbean professional tournament and this is something that would give the game a huge boost, especially if it was staged in Barbados! Do you see yourself as an Ambassador for Barbados on the tennis circuit? Very much so. I love my country and it gives me great pride playing for Barbados in Davis Cup matches. I was also captain of the Barbados Under-17 soccer team so I’m all for promoting our island. Many overseas people don’t know where we are on the map and ask a lot of questions about our culture and our climate. I tell them about Crop Over and the Kadooment Day Parade and of course, I always try to be home to take part. Hopefully some of the same people will come to visit and experience it for themselves. How can Barbados help Darian King achieve his goals? My biggest challenge is funding. I get good support from the Barbados Olympic Association, Helen Roper and the Barbados Tennis Association, and friends and family, but I could compete in more tournaments if I had the resources. I’m well grounded, highly focused and very professional about my sport, so I’d welcome any support that is available. It’s a major challenge marketing yourself to potential sponsors, but I hope they see and hear what I’m doing and want to help. I can be contacted by email at or through the Barbados Tennis Association. Good luck Darian!


The Perfect Getaway The Body Holiday


e live in an era that has seen unprecedented changes in the holiday and destination industry and where the bar continues to rise as expectations and aspirations stretch to even higher standards. Quite simply, the discerning tourist is looking for more than just a holiday of sand, sea and sunshine these days and if you want your location to thrive then you have to move with the times to meet their expectations. And that doesn’t just include facilities, activities, location and amenities, but also the overall experience. Long gone are the days when tourists arrived with several paperbacks, some sun tan lotion, a new swimming costume and their Ray Ban shades. Today we can expect tourists to have surfed the Internet and glossy magazines long before they arrive to see what each resort has to offer and perhaps look at a short trip to another island to split their time and enjoy the attractions of another location. For some adventurous visitors that may include the short 40-minute flight to the lovely island of Saint Lucia and a vacation at the luxurious Sports and Wellness Resort The BodyHoliday. The BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia is not only a great beach vacation, but it has been famed for its unique approach to health and wellbeing. The experience is a combination of individual tailored sessions in fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and overall wellness. It is designed to be the most relaxing, rejuvenating beach vacation in the world and it doesn’t fall short. The BodyHoliday makes a promise in its marketing philosophy-"Give 158

us your body for a week and we'll give you back your mind". It offers a wide range of treatment and therapies while taking advantage of the most comprehensive activity and exercise schedules of any resort in the world; from yoga to spinning; fencing to scuba diving; and acupuncture to Ayurvedic treatments. And did we mention waterskiing, snorkeling, sailing, volleyball, nature walks, hikes, gym classes and golf at the nearby St. Lucia Golf Resort? But what makes this resort special is that you can do as much or as little as you like without any pressure or stress-you can enjoy an active fun-filled vacation or choose to lie back and do nothing at all. However, with such a wide range of activities and pampering going on all around you, it will take a lot of self-control not to indulge. It is the epitome of sports tourism at work and a resort that caters for virtually every taste. That includes the opportunity to explore several well-stocked Caribbean shops, wide open bars overlooking a beautiful beach, several idyllic pools, and four top restaurants and more opportunity to indulge. But what makes it really great is that you can fully personalize your activity and treatment schedules from home with the assistance of The BodyHoliday Specialists. Fresh from a US$ 20 million renovation that included upgrades to The Skin Clinic and the Award-Winning Wellness Center, a brand new Beauty Salon and the Treehouse Fitness Studio, it offers a massive range of treatments and therapeutic cares. Above all, The BodyHoliday offers an eclectic mix of pampering, luxury, adventure, wellbeing, fun, and rejuvenation that will leave you feeling you must come back for more.

Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind. Of all the great beach vacations and

spas in the world, only The BodyHoliday offers you the very best of both in beautiful Saint Lucia. Tailor your vacation to your wishes and choose from a menu of wellness options, sports and gourmet pleasures. It’s all a body could ask for. Go to


Sporting Things Happening all the Time 160

BALLS, NETS AND FAST ACTION Although you may need to go looking for them, Basketball, Volleyball and Netball are played all over the island and organized into league structures with national teams and competitions. Barbados’s mantle as the top Volleyball Caribbean country has taken a bump in recent times and all the old timers tell us the Basketball is not as good as it used to be. But this story is told all over the world and the fact that both sports are widely played in the schools tells us they have a good future. Basketball courts are everywhere and Volleyball is not only played at competitive level, but for fun, as Beach Volleyball is spontaneous, exciting and full of entertainment. Look for nets on the beach and hang out close-by at weekends when Beach Volleyball is most popular. An Annual Beach Volleyball Classic also takes place in May when the top players, both local and visiting, face off for lucrative prize money and bragging rights. This takes place at Brandon’s Beach on the Spring Garden Highway. Netball is the major female ball sport on the island although some female Basketball also takes place. It is the major girls sport in the schools and over the years many touring schools have arranged Netball matches with local schools or mixed other sports with Netball on school trips. Barbados Netball is internationally acclaimed and the national team has held a Top Ten rating for many years. The Barbados Netball Association has also produced several very capable


international administrators.

TENNIS, ROAD TENNIS, SQUASH AND BADMINTON Tennis is by far the most popular of the racquet sports and is played at all age levels across the island. The National Centre is at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex at Wildey, but many hotels and private homes also have courts. The Sugar Hill Resort at Westmoreland is a tennis lifestyle real estate community and has arguably the best facilities in Barbados. There are also public facilities at Sunset Crest and Rockley Golf Club where coaches “Big Lou” Fuentes and Michael Date offer coaching facilities on a one-to-one basis or in groups of young players starting the game. Many of the island’s best players started their tennis careers at Rockley. In the last decade several of the leading female players in the world have played exhibition games in Barbados to raise the island’s sports tourism profile. They include the former world Number Ones Caroline Wozaniacki and Venus Williams, and the current Ladies Number One Serena Williams. At national level Barbados competes in the Davis Cup and organizes local and regional competitions. One of the biggest tournaments over the past decade has been the world-ranked CIBC First Caribbean Youth Tournament in March that attracts many of the most talented young international players. Some of the Best of Barbados have graduated through this route including Damian King, who is currently a

professional playing in the United States. Tennis has several forms and Barbados has its own indigenous disciple called Road Tennis. Table Tennis is played amongst a talented, but small enthusiastic following and perhaps the same could be said for Road Tennis, which is a combination of Lawn Tennis and Table Tennis. The history of Road Tennis dates back over 50 years and in the old days it was referred to as “the poor man’s tennis” because all the equipment was basic and cheap. The court is the size and shape of a table tennis table and can be marked out on a car park, playground or any flat area, but in the old days it was usually marked out on the road. The rules were basically table tennis rules and the wooden bats were the same shape but slightly larger. An old tennis ball was used and the net in the middle was a wooden plank. It didn’t take much to get a game started, and the support was passionate and exciting, especially when villages played against each other. It was not uncommon for a road to be blocked as large crowds watched the games from the side of the road and very often they included the bus driver and his passengers who had no chance of getting past until the match was over! Table tennis is well organized and several of the top players have performed well at regional level. Badminton is also played amongst a small group of enthusiasts, and Squash not only has its own Centre, but it attracts participation at all age levels. They include a number of players who have distinguished themselves at the highest level 161


Georgia Porter on Rasmus

including Karen Meakins, who has been National Champion for 13 years in succession. The popular Barbados player has also won medals at the GAC Games and the World Masters Championships.

some success. Visitors to the island can also enjoy Equestrian sport as several stables offer facilities that include tuition and pony treks through the countryside.



Like many places in the world, Barbados has a strong Equestrian background dating back to the early Plantations when horses worked the ground and provided transport. The wealthy owners rode the best horses and amazingly not much has changed in several hundred years. Horse ownership today is expensive and that limits a large number of people from participating, although horseracing is an industry and provides work for many people outside the owners. The Garrison was the scene of the early sporty exchanges with racing, and later polo, the principal sports. The British Cavalry played a big part in the development of Equestrian sports and after the troops left the Garrison still retained its Equestrian heritage and to this day it remains the centre of Barbados horseracing. The Polo Club moved to Holder’s Hill almost 50 years ago and in the last decade several new polo fields have been added to its small but passionate stock. Polo growth exploded just after 2000, but in recent times the economic downturn has curtailed its growth and development. A small enthusiastic following enjoys Showjumping and Dressage and some of the best performers have taken part in overseas events with

Over the years Barbados has distinguished itself at local, regional and international level with the quality of its cyclists. Most participants start early in the sport and some of the best have gone on to compete in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Cycle Meets are held throughout the year and are well organized at quiet periods on the road, usually on Sundays. Several of the island’s top cyclists train overseas where there are more Meets and the competition is higher. Mountain biking is not as competitive or as well organized, but there are a lot of people participating. The Barbados terrain on road and off road offers great natural paths for mountain biking and many individuals do their own thing or cycle in small groups. There are several bike centres offering bikes for hire and some hotels have their own bikes for guests. Hiking in Barbados is an exhilarating experience as there is so much to see on this beautiful island. It is safe to hike through the countryside although hikers should always be prepared for the hot conditions and dress with suitable clothing, footwear and headgear. They should also carry water as hiking in the hot sun can be draining. The National Trust


Josh Burke

offers a wide range of supervised hikes with knowledgeable Guides throughout the year and the Hash Harriers offer a combination of walking, running and socializing through visionary and previously unchartered terrain. The Hash is extremely popular and can be as energetic as you want it to be and as social! As with all Hash Clubs, there is always a friendly welcome for visitors.

IN AND OUT OF THE WATER Swimming is part and parcel of life on a tropical island and many local swimmers took their first strokes at the Aquatic Centre in the Sir Garfield Sobers Complex at Wildey. The Aquatic Centre is a hive of activity most days and several swimming clubs provide tuition for the beginners and hone the skills of the best performers. Like any sport dedication and focus separates the best from the rest and Barbados has been fortunate to produce many excellent swimmers down the years, who have distinguished themselves at the highest level at Pan-Am, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. The Aquatic Centre has also hosted regional competitions and provided excellent facilities for warm weather training for overseas swimmers. Only the best swimmers graduate to Diving, although Snorkelling can be a lot of fun in shallow waters. The island is surrounded by coral reef and that means both disciplines can easily be accommodated. The West Coast is ideal for Snorkelling as many of the reefs are close to the shore

and within easy reach of the beach. Diving requires a lot more skill and supervision and many visitors have taken the opportunity to qualify as PADI divers with tuition and classes at several local diving clubs. Dive Hightide ( is strongly recommended for their expertise, safety and all round efficiency. Barbados has several outstanding wrecks and Carlisle Bay holds particular importance as many of them lie in shallow water 20-30 feet below the surface. Scuba Diving skills can be acquired quickly through the Hightide classes where the instructors claim they can have novices diving within a few hours tuition. At a less energetic level most of the catamaran cruises offer swimming with the turtles as part of their idyllic trips along the West Coast and this allows swimmers to get into the water and feed the turtles and swim around them. They only eat fish so don’t be afraid! The Water Polo Club is always keen to widen and expand its membership and holds exhibition games throughout the year. Small in numbers but huge in passion for their sport, the water polo players usually play at the Aquatic Centre. In the old days we are told they played in the open sea at the Yacht Club. For those who enjoy game fishing there are a number of charter boats available for hire or simply join some other visitors and enjoy a relaxing 163


day on the water. Having a few drinks adds to the relaxation process and if you catch a few fish then it doesn’t get any better for the average angler. The serious Game Fishing enthusiasts are organized under the umbrella of the Barbados Game Fishing Association and hold a number of tournaments throughout the year, including their International Competition in March. This event has attracted fishermen and women from all over the world and is just as much social as sporting. It’s no secret that these anglers enjoy a drink or two waiting for the fish to bite and seeing them stock the boats before they leave port is testimony to healthy appetites and thirsty work!

ON THE RIGHT TRACK Over the years Barbados has produced some outstanding athletes despite the hot climate, limited facilities and top-level competition. The best have been sprinter Obadele Thompson and hurdlers Ryan Brathwaite and Andrea Blackett. This has inspired a new generation of aspiring young athletes and as the National Stadium is improved and the new Ryan Brathwaite Track at the Cave Hill Campus develops, there are great hopes of another group of elite young sportspeople rising to the top of their sport. Track and Field success is a major challenge to the island’s best athletes, as inevitably they have to ply their trade overseas where the facilities, coaching and competition is of a much higher standard. Sports Scholarships are essential to the development 164

of the island’s best athletes and the support and encouragement of the National Sports Council and the Barbados Olympic Association has been crucial in helping our best sportsmen to achieve higher levels of excellence. Barbados also has an active Special Olympics Association and they involve their members in a wide range of sports and activities.

THE MIND GAMES To some people there is a narrow line that separates mind games from sport, but either way Barbados has a number of options that are very entertaining and widely played. Dominoes sits high in personal preference and is played by many of the top sportspeople for relaxation outside their main sport. It is also widely played throughout the island at all age levels and visitors are often bemused at the sight of a small group of men huddled around a table under a tree ‘slamming a dom’ and shouting loudly. Of course, they may not be aware that a few dollars are hinging on the result! Dominoes can be casual or competitive as it is structured into leagues and some of the top players go on overseas tours. But for many locals it is a game to lime with friends and crash a few drinks in the local bar, clubhouse or at Oistins Fish Fry on Friday nights where one of the biggest gathering of Dominoes players takes place. Leading personalities that love the game include former Prime Minister, the


Right Hon. Owen Arthur, and cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers. Other board games that are enjoyed amongst their own passionate fraternity are chess, draughts and the ancient game of Warri. Chess is particularly strong in the schools. Barbados has a World Champion draughts player in Ronald ‘Suki’ King who has held the Go-as-you-Please’ title for the past decade and is one of the island’s most colourful sporting personalities. Suki has played at competitions all over the world and learned the game in the rum shops close to where he grew up. Warri is a board game that was widely popular in Barbados. It originated in the Upper Nile more than 3,500 years ago where the Kush civilization used such a tablet with its 12 hollows as an abacus for calculating material quantities and wages. It was brought across the Atlantic in the 17th Century by Asante tribesmen, and survived nearly 400 years locally despite the suppression of slave culture. Warri or Owadi has a technical integrity that rivals the best strategy games in the world offering thrills and skills. It is contested along with Bridge, Chess, Drafts and Go at the Annual Mind Sports Olympiad in London. Local expert Lee Farnum-Badley produces inexpensive game sets here and is happy to demonstrate it. Lee can be contacted at

LET’S GET PHYSICAL Barbados has a wide range of Combat Sports, but the most popular are Karate, Boxing and Judo. Kickboxing, Olympic Taekowando and Fencing also take place. Karate and its various disciplines requires the highest level of commitment and focus so many of the exponents start young at Peter 166

Warren’s Ursuline Convent Karate Club. Peter is the National Karate Coach and a 7th Dan with a tremendous passion for his sport. The Barbados Judo Association was founded in 1966 and is well organized with several clubs. Many of the leading Judo exponents aspire to higher levels and some of the best have represented Barbados at the Pan-Am, Commonwealth and Olympic games. The same could be said for Amateur Boxing where some of the island’s best boxers have won medals at the highest level. The Boxing community is small, but passionate, and tournaments attract a lot of local interest. Unfortunately there aren’t enough of them. Professional Boxing is in the same boat and its stop-start development has been characterised by long periods of inaction and progress. This has been disappointing given the huge boost the sport received after hosting the ABA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2010.

LOOKING FOR SOME TARGET PRACTICE? Shooting and Archery are the best-known target sports, although Darts can loosely be grouped under the same umbrella. Private Shooting and Club Shooting are popular pastimes amongst a small fraternity and the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association, the Barbados Rifle Association and the Kendal Club are the main clubs. Shooting options are Clay Shooting, Rifle Shooting and Pistol Shooting. The clubs hold regular competitions throughout the year and some members travel to overseas events and tournaments. They also host individuals and groups and last year they included the highly-acclaimed British Rifle Association and a high level competition involving some world-class marksmen. Visitors coming to the island are advised to contact the clubs prior to their trip so that the necessary arrangements

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can be made to meet their requirements. Both the facilities at Kendal and Searles (BCTSA) have social amenities and clubhouse. Archery is a sedate and relaxing sport located well off the beaten track in a lovely rural setting at Bellevue Gap at Waterford a few minutes drive from the ABC Highway. The local Association is well structured and holds regular competitions and travels to overseas tournaments. There are facilities for visitors and archery sessions take place several days during the week as well as weekends. Darts may have a rum shop and drinking culture, but most of the throwers these days are highly principled and disciplined athletes we are told! The local throwers are well organized in league structures and make occasional visits to throw in overseas competitions. The local Association has also hosted major exhibition events that featured some of the biggest personalities in the sport like Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Wayne Mardle and Cliff Lazerenko.

FITNESS If there is one sport in Barbados that never stops then it is fitness. The range of activities is huge and not restricted to mainline sports or joggers as many fitness enthusiasts go to Gyms and Fitness Centres. These include visitors to the island and not surprisingly many hotels have fitness suites exclusively for the use of their guests. The popular Surfside Gym has two fitness centres at Wildey and Warrens and has a full range of equipment, special classes, fully qualified instructors, personal trainers, fitness and body appraisal facilities, televisions, changing-rooms, sauna, and air-conditioned studios. Their members are both local and visiting and the atmosphere is friendly and encouraging. Above all, Surfside caters for levels of fitness and age groups, and as a result the gyms are social and congenial. Some of the most dedicated members specifically train for Body Building Shows and these are held throughout the year. It all depends on where you pitch your fitness tent, as it’s different strokes for different folks.


Shooting Stars in the Caribbean Last year the Great Britain Rifle team undertook an ambitious tour of the West Indies over four weeks and rounded it off with the Australia Match, one of the most prestigious events in international rifle shooting. The experienced Charles Brooks was Vice-Captain and has many happy memories as a sports tourist to the Caribbean‌ You are a veteran Great Britain Rifle Team tourist and you made your touring debut on the 1978 West Indies tour. A lot has changed in 35 years, but what was different from your perspective? 1978 is a very long time ago but in some ways little has changed from that last tour. An abiding memory from both tours has been the welcome from our West Indian hosts and their hospitality during both tours has been superb, second to none. In 1978 I was the babe of the tour as a 22 year-old, but his time I returned as Vice-Captain, and for a short time Captain in Jamaica and Guyana in Nigel Penn's absence. One of the differences I have noted was the increased wealth in the West Indies, generating more development and an improvement in housing standards and roads, fuelled no doubt by the general increase in wealth through natural resources and tourism. This tour included competitions in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados. It was an ambitious itinerary and must have involved a lot of organization-How did it come about? The West Indies tour is the most complex and difficult to organise. The West Indian firearms legislation means that we have had to deal with four different sets of customs and defence forces, who are responsible for admitting our rifles in to the country. In addition, there is the general organisation of the tour, booking flights and dealing with our entire luggage - all shooters will have their own hold suitcases, a rifle box and another hold bag with our other shooting gear. Principally the Team Captain, Nigel Penn, and Adjutant, David Rose, undertook the coordination of that. We do additionally rely upon the support of one or more host shooters in each of the countries to help us through the procedures, agree the shooting schedule and generally assist with liaison with customs and the defence forces. Nigel was appointed Captain of the team in 2011, and after that all the officers were involved in planning the tour and organising the team. Your Rifle team was very experienced and highly talented. Was it difficult persuading them to spend four weeks in the Caribbean? Our top three shots, David Calvert, John Underwood and David Luckman, all UK Queen's Prize and/or Grand Aggregate winners, were highly appreciated and lauded throughout the West Indies. Yes, it was 168

difficult to persuade people to spend four weeks away, but in defence this was a very special trip and one which only a few of us have ever been able to repeat for that length of time. However, the allure of shooting in the West Indies (and in South America in the case of Guyana) for the first time for many was a no brainer! How were you received on the trip and were the arrangements up to the standard you expect? We were made very welcome by all of our hosts whether this was on or off the range. One of my fondest memories of this trip was the instruction to us contained in our briefing notes on the first leg of our tour: "After shooting there will be a compulsory beer on/behind the range". I am pleased to say that we followed this instruction not only in Jamaica, but also in Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados! Needless to say it wasn't long before the beer turned into a colourful concoction involving rum. The arrangements in respect of shooting, and transport, all seemed to work well. Is shooting a growing sport in the Caribbean and how did you rate the Barbados riflemen and women? I think all shooting countries in the world are facing the same dilemma: it is not a spectator sport and it is not a popular sport in a number of circles. Each of the countries that we visited probably had somewhere between 10 and 20 local shooters competing against us. The other problem we face worldwide is that we appear to be an ageing sport. Capturing the interest and support of the younger generation is proving difficult. We need to think about ways of speeding up the process of shooting. The Barbados riflemen and women competed well and a number of them came away with prizes following the international events in Barbados. Your victory over Australia was obviously the highlight of the competitive part of the tour, but what other memories will you take home of the trip? I returned to the UK with lots of happy memories. Sadly I didn't shoot well individually so that has fired me up to endeavour to return and to shoot better! I returned with many happy memories of the weather, the scenery, the beaches, the history of each of the countries we visited, and having made lots of new friends and renewed old acquaintances. Is there a niche for Barbados to host top international rifle teams and events? Yes, certainly. The Paragon Range is really well equipped and is a superb setting, shooting out to sea. These international events and the Australia match were the biggest shooting events hosted by the West Indies (with the possible exception of the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica). With over 110 shooters, the Barbados Rifle Association proved that they could administer and run a complex event, and with the exception of one afternoon lost to rain, they kept to their schedule. The concerns that a lot of international teams had as to whether we would be able to shoot four ranges in a day for the Australia match were completely unfounded. I would encourage the West Indies Full Bore Rifle Shooting Association to lobby to host more international events. Will you and your fellow tourists return to Barbados in the future? This is a simple one-word answer - yes! The Guyana Rifle Association will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017, and I know a number of our team have already expressed an interest in returning for that, and hopefully taking in other Caribbean countries en route.

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Sporting Barbados 2014  
Sporting Barbados 2014  

Barbados Sports Tourism Magazine