Barbados – essential information for participants
With only days to go, we now have over 100 teams registered for the 2016 Barbados GP14 World Championship, what a result. This is confirmation that Barbados is continuing to grow in popularity as a championship venue as at the 2010 and 2013 events there were about 80 boats registered.
The racing programme was published in the NOR and the details have now been finalised. We now also have a full social programme which has been designed to complement the racing. We are confident you will enjoy yourselves on and off the water.
The first event of the social programme will be a very informal beach party on the evening of Saturday 26th March at the Barbados Cruising Club starting around 17.00 and going on until late. This is the evening between registration days so no need to worry about your racing results the next day!
- With only a couple of weeks to go perhaps it is time to consider some travel tips.
- If you are travelling with Virgin Atlantic and staying overnight at Gatwick airport before your flight, Virgin do a very useful “Twilight Check in” which saves all the stress (and the queues) of checking in on the morning of your flight; full details are on the Virgin website.
- During your flight the cabin crew will issue you all with immigration forms. These are mandatory and one of the vital pieces of information required is where you are staying, so make sure you have that information readily available. You will be delayed at the immigration desk until this information is on your form.
- If you can, the port side of the plane is a good side to choose as the plane takes a big left turn as it makes it final approach into Grantley Adams Airport. This gives you the most amazing view of the island of Barbados, Bridgetown and the racing area of Carlisle Bay.
- It may sound odd, but clothing is important. You cannot wear any camouflage clothing, very trendy in the UK for both young and old, but a very definite NO in Barbados – it is against the law.
- Whilst I am on the subject of clothing, you may want to consider what clothes you travel in. Your journey to the airport may be in a cool European spring but once you land you are arriving into the tropics and an outfit which allows you to shed some layers before disembarking from your plane may make the inevitable wait to collect baggage and travelling to your hotel more pleasant. There is also always some queue at immigration and the area does not have aircon.
- If you are a smoker, before you buy duty free cigarettes just remember that you will pay a very high import duty when arriving into Barbados. This will exceed the benefits of buying duty free at your departure airport.
- Once you have passed through all the airport formalities you will need a transfer to your accommodation. Given the number of people travelling it is proving logistically impossible to meet and greet you all at the airport. Most hotels do a shuttle service if you email your hotel requesting a pick up; the transfer will then be waiting as you emerge out of the arrivals hall the drivers will be directly in front of you. The buses are located a short walk to the left. For those of you staying in self-catering accommodation, taxis are available. Just walk straight ahead from the arrivals hall to the taxi rank. The travel time from the airport to accommodation on the south coast will be around 20 minutes.
- Don’t forget your travel adaptor, the wall plugs are different to the UK. Power is 110v so when charging your phone or laptop it just takes longer. A good tip is to pack a multi plug extension flex; you then only need one plug converter to charge all your electrical gear.
- The tap water is safe to drink.
- Supermarket ~ there is a one at Worthing. They sell most things and a lot of Waitrose products. Very usefully they have a complimentary minibus service back to your accommodation.
- Bank ~ there is a bank inside the supermarket. Very easy and friendly. All you have to take is your plastic card and passport and present them to the teller. Request the amount you require, they will ask you where you are staying, swipe the card and give you your money. Much better than an ATM.
- Post Office ~ there is a Post Office next door to the supermarket.
- The office will be open in the mornings, for a couple of hours, on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th mornings, not for registration but for people wanting assistance of any kind. If you need help outside those times the Barbados Yacht Club will know how to get hold of the delivery team.
Things to do when you’re not sailing
- Barbadostraveller.com – The booking code on barbadostraveller.com is called – gp14. Each of the tours has been given an additional 5% discount when this booking code is used.
I wish everyone a safe and pleasant flight, and looking forward to meeting you all very soon.