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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Heat Wave faces tough Great Race defence
Last year’s overall Great Race winner, Heat Wave will not have it easy as it goes after a repeat of success at this year’s Carib Great Race carded for August 27 which will feature a new starting system, once again. Last year, Heat Wave with James Hadeed at the helm won the 42nd edition of the event to stun pre-race favourites Mr Solo and Fujitsu Fury.
However, this time around, Hadeed and his crew will face stiff competition from foreign-built entries Stampede and Intense, both in the 110 miles per hour (MPH) C Class driven by Lee Pollonais and Steve Ghany Jr respectively.
In addition the M Class (120 miles per hour ) trio of Fujitsu Fury, Monster and perennial champions, Mr Solo Too with Ken Charles in the driver’s seat will also be in the fray for top honours in the event, which has been sponsored to the tune of over $500,000.
This from Garth Marshall, vice-president of the T&T Power Boats Association at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday night.
According to Marshall, “Last year most of the faster boats failed to reach Tobago, but a lot of effort is being put into their preparations this time around which means Heat Wave and its crew will be in for a hell of a fight for the overall title.
Speaking at the launch, Colin Murray, Sponsorship and Events Manager at Carib Brewery first described last year’s staging of the event as the best ever if his company was to judge by the amount of crowd participation.
“We’ve heard reports of two-three thousand people in attendance at the start of the race at the Hyatt Waterfront, and more than double that in Scarborough at the Esplanade at the finish. We had great weather, no major incidents, and lots of Carib beer...all the ingredients for a memorable experience.
However, Murray was quick to note that like any other event, there are areas his company, the major sponsors feel the event can do better and this year they intend to make a number of improvements.
These include live commentary at both the start and finish points, to let everyone know what is happening; better course markings at both the start and finish of the race; getting the celebration party started as early as possible at the Hyatt as they did in Scarborough at the finish line last year which will all lead to a full race experience for spectators at both venues.
With regards to the build-up to the event, Murray said he would love to see more marketing towards the boat show, and parade as they are critical moments to get the public involved.
Looking ahead, Murray pointed out the new start/finish venues are here to stay but watersports/circuit racing and greater participation in pirogue class for those of more modest means—especially in these recessionary times should be encouraged.
Neemah Persad-Celestine, Marketing Communications Manager of Hyatt Regency Hotel, speaking on behalf of manager Russell George, said the hotel was one again very excited to be a part of the Carib Great Race 2011 and pleased to continue the collaborative efforts with Carib Brewery Ltd and the T&T Power Boats Association.
Carib Great Race Calendar:
August 20: Boat parade and show - The Greens (Behind (Peakes Gas Station).
August 26: Bar hopping with Carib Trailer in Tobago/ welcome party at Shade nightclub.
August 27: Breakfast party on the Esplanade.
August 27: Start at Hyatt with full entertainment scene until the end of the race
August 27: Finish at Scarborough – party scene from early morning right through the day with live entertainment on the water…and on the land.
Great Race Day Schedule:
Start Times and Boat Class:
P: 7.50 am start
D: 7.50 am start
SI: 8 am start
SII: 8 am start
B: 8 am start
C: 8 am start
M: 8 am start
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