Barbados has won the bid over Germany for the right to host one of the world’s leading yachting events in 2017. The OK Dinghy Class World Championship travels to various destinations around the world each year, as most of the yachting classes do, and it is expected that this event will attract 100 of the world’s best sailors to compete against each other in Carlisle Bay.
These sailors are known to travel with their families and companions, a trend that will be of direct benefit to local accommodation providers, restaurants, car rental companies and other industry players.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) CEO, William Griffith, attributed the win to the critical support of partners, who have helped to 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.
“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 World’s in 2010, which was followed by our most successful event to date, the 505 International Barbados World’s in 2013.”
The year 2017 will also see Barbados hosting, for the first time, two international yachting competitions in one year, as the island will also play host to the very large and popular Finn Masters World’s. That event will feature races among a class of heavier dinghies as seen in the Summer Olympic Games. It is expected that the latter event attract as many as 200 boats and some 500 sailors and their family and friends. Together, with the arrivals projected for the OK Dinghy Class World’s, Barbados is expected to welcome over 800 visitors to the island through this sports tourism niche over a three-week period.
Next year will see the island hosting the GP14s Barbados Worlds Championship 2016 and the Seaview Class events. To date there has already been a record number of entries for the GP14s Worlds event. These will be followed later in the year by the ‘Barbados 50 – A Sailing Odyssey’, in commemoration of Barbados’ 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations.