Written by George Grant on February 26, 2014
ALL EYES ON GRENADA FOR THE RORC TRANSATLANTIC RACE FINALE
ST. GEORGE – The eyes of all avid yachtsmen will be fixed on Grenada come November 29, 2014, when the island welcomes the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) to its shores for the finale of the world renowned RORC Transatlantic Race.
The RORC’s Transatlantic Race – which this year starts at Puerto Calero Marina, Lanzarote and ends at the Camper Nicholson Port Louis Marina, Grenada – is a 2,800 nautical mile, east-west race across the Atlantic. This Race is an ISAF OSR Category 1 race, open to IRC rated yachts above 1.004, and offshore classes such as IMOCA 60, Class 40 and Multihulls.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, a contract was signed between the RORC and the People and Government of Grenada, through the new Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), that gives the RORC the green light to deliver this new yachting regatta to Grenada.
GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rudy Grant, referred to the contract signing as a historic occasion because of the value that Grenada will be getting for welcoming such a prestigious yachting activity to its shores.
“There will be a lot of international promotion and marketing that will be coming out from the Public Relations teams following this race and we are very grateful and happy to be partnering with the RORC. This would give us the advantage of being exposed globally, with a partner that is well recognized by international yachting circles. If we had to find some marketing dollars to pay for such an activity, the monies that we would have to spend would be significant,” Mr. Grant said.
Based on the measured economic activity generated by transatlantic races in 2012 and 2014, Grenada can realize an economic impact in the region of US $1.8 million to US $2.9 million dollars over a two week period.
Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive Officer of the RORC said that the choice of destination was all about a beautiful place that could cater to yachtsmen’s needs. He said that Grenada is that ideal destination and emphasized that his club’s membership, which numbers 3.5 thousand members would love to visit Grenada and enjoy the physical beauty of the island, together with their family members and friends.
“Grenada has everything. When we looked at the alternatives that were available, Grenada stood out. What I have seen is a warm, friendly, beautiful paradise that not only has beaches but has the facilities that are required at the end of the race for our sailors,” Mr. Owen said.
This activity is significantly driven by the efforts of the Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, who met with Mr. Owen in 2013 at the World Travel Market Trade Show in London. Their discussions led to the business proposal which was embraced by private and public sector partners like the International Maxi Association, Calero Marinas, Camper Nicholson Port Louis Marina, and the Grenada Tourism Authority.
The international race was also endorsed by Mrs. Nikoyan Roberts, the GTA’s Manager for Nautical Development. Mrs. Roberts commented on the fact that in 2012, the yachting sector contributed EC $130 Million to Grenada’s national economy. “It is hoped that the RORC Transatlantic Race will bring added mileage to the destination’s goal of targeted investment promotion for yacht business retention and current services expansion,” Mrs. Roberts said.