BRIDGETOWN: Barbados has beat out Germany for the bid to host one of the world’s leading yachting events in 2017.
With the OK Class Worlds set to attract 100 of the world’s best sailors to compete against each other in Carlisle Bay, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, tourism officials are anticipating a big boost in visitor arrivals.
The sailors are known to travel with their family and friends, a trend the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) said would be of direct benefit to local accommodation, restaurants, car rental companies and other industry players.
BTMI chief executive officer William Griffith attributed the win to the critical support of partners who helped make hosting the event in Barbados an irresistible proposition.
“Through the invaluable support of Geest Shipping, which continues to be a loyal partner in getting the boats here, as well as Mount Gay Distilleries and the Barbados Port Inc., Barbados is once again in the limelight as a premier yacht-friendly destination,” he said. “We will continue to build on our strong reputation as a preferred host country on the international yachting circuit, having already hosted the Fireball Barbados Worlds in 2010, which was followed by our most successful event to date, the 505 International Barbados Worlds in 2013.”
For the first time, Barbados will host two international yachting competitions in one year, as the island will also be the location for the popular Finn Masters Worlds.
That event will feature races among a class of heavier dinghies, as seen in the Summer Olympic Games. The event is expected to attract as many as 200 boats and 500 sailors and their family and friends.