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Hark Jamaica

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As some of the world’s fastest monohull racing yacht’s prepare to race one of the best ocean race courses, the Pineapple Cup Race, the planning and preparations are in full swing at Jamaica’s Montego Bay Yacht Club. Montego Bay has run and hosted this prestigious event since its inception in 1961. The past winners are a who’s who of ocean racing heroes.

This year there is a little more excitement in the air for the Montegonians as, after an absence of 19 years, they are looking forward to welcoming one of their clubs own racing yachts across the finish line.

HARK – JAMAICA will be pitching themselves against the competition and the notorious offshore conditions over the 811 mile race. Bidding to beat the fastest monhull race yachts to the ultimate prize, the Pineapple Cup.

 

In what promises to be one of the best races for years, expectations are high. The start of the race sees 23 racing yachts set off in red hot competition, the big players are lining up to beat the record of 2 days 10 hours and 50 minutes. Looking at the current line up there are no shortage of record breakers in this fleet.

SPECTRUM Systems Ltd has stepped in to provide the HARK – JAMAICA team with the sponsorship of a new Spinnaker sail. “When we saw how much effort the community were putting into this race and the level of excitement and commitment from the team we decided quickly to back our community and race team as it proudly represents Jamaica” said Andrew Stanigar of SPECTRUM. “ To that effect the team needed a new spinnaker sail to be competitive, now they have it”.

Andrew McGlone, Owner / Skipper of the 54 foot HARK – JAMAICA

“When I came to Montego Bay and saw the history and pride of this amazing race and how important the race is to the club and the local community I couldn’t help but feel Jamaica deserved its own entry and decided to enter HARK with race crew made up of local sailors. Since doing so I have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and dedication of our new race crew.

With crew made up of Jamaicans and MBYC members this is a truly local entry. We have worked hard to ensure that the local community is involved at every level.

Entering the race is costing us n the region of $4.5 million, that’s a big commitment on the part of the crew and our sponsor SPECTRUM.”

Many locals will have seen the race crew out practicing manoeuvres and techniques around Mobay in the recent weeks. The yacht is about to leave for the 900 mile trip north for final preparations and the crew will fly out to join the yacht at the beginning of February.

“Being based here in Mobay, has allowed us the opportunity to practice and gel as a team, I never tire of watching a team coming together as one unit , representing Jamaica, this team is showing huge commitment, I’m proud to be a part of it and we are building for the future” said McGlone.

The race starts from Fort Lauderdale on the 5th February crossing the gulf stream and making its way around the Bahamas before taking on the notorious Windward passage between Cuba and Haiti then turning downwind back towards Montego Bay.

“I am really keen on getting more Jamaicans involved in sailing, it has a reputation as being elitist but I can assure you anyone from any background who wants to learn to race is welcome. There are local racers who will teach anyone who shows aptitude and commitment, every race boat owner needs a crew!” explains McGlone. Readers can follow the preparations and race itself via the raceforjamaica.com website with live updates of HARK – Jamaica’s position, video, images and progress reports during the race via satellite link.

Useful Links: Hark Entry | Race Entry List | Hark Homepage | Event Webpage