The Carib Great Race was officially launched yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, almost two months after Carib Brewery renewed its contract as sponsor of the event for a further three years. The original 11-year deal with the T&T Power Boat Association to sponsor the event (TTPBA) ended last year. This year’s race will be held on August 25. At yesterday’s launch at the Carib Brewery Compound in Champ Fleurs, president of the T&T Power Boat Association, Peter Peake, outlined some of the changes on the race course. Peake said the course has changed over the years from the Yacht Club to Tobago. “We have tried many different things over the years and primarily, we are trying to get as much action from start to finish. It is very difficult to get that formula for the Great Race. We have been constantly seeking to make it more exciting for the spectators and give more promotion to the sponsors. The reality is we still have many obstacles. But in experimenting, we have found one of the most exciting things is a massive start. We went away from it some years ago, and now we are back with it and every one believes we should continue.”
Boats will gather outside the Yacht Club and then proceed on a parade to the Hyatt Waterfront where the race will start at 7.45 am. Boats in the 70 miles per hour (mph) (S1) Class, 80mph (S2) Class and 60mph (D) Class, will get a head start over the 90mph (B) Class and higher boats. They will then proceed to Five Islands, where the smaller boats will pass. The larger boats will pass on the outskirts of Cronstadt and Gasparee Islands and onto the First Bocas then Maracas Bay. The racers will then head towards Grande Riviere where the smaller boats will race directly to Scarborough. Faster boats will head to Store Bay through Lambeau and back into Scarborough, which will wind up the 115-mile race. Peake also advised spectators on boats and vessels to be careful and to stay out of the way of the racing vessels.
Garth Marshall, vice-president of the T&TPBA revealed that Saturday’s parade and boat show had to be changed due to the new traffic regulations. Boats will gather at West Mall at 8 am, and proceed along Western Main Road and on to the Audrey Jeffers Highway, north towards the Hasely Crawford Stadium and thereafter, north towards the Ariapita Avenue. The parade will then head onto Park Street, Port-of-Spain, before moving south to Frederick Street and then to the Brian Lara Promenade. The boats will make their way to the Hyatt Regency where there will be a 30-minute intermission. The boats will then head west onto Wrightson Road before turning onto Colville Street. They will then head north on Tragarete Road towards the Roxy Roundabout, through the West Main Road and back to the Audrey Jeffers Highway, where they will make their way to the Peake’s Gas Station.