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Last updated: 10 February 2016

Following a venue visit to Barbados in December 2015, and to Geest Shipping in January 2016, by representatives of the OK Dinghy and Finn Masters we are looking forward to what is set to be an amazing championship for both classes.

The four day visit to Barbados  included discussions with the host club, the Barbados Yacht Club, the delivery team and various other parties, along with touring and exploring some of this Caribbean island’s many attractions.

In an attempt to answer as many of your questions as possible we have compiled this page to explain what will happen and how it will happen. If you have further questions please ask and we will add to this page.


Weds 24-Fri 26 May                                     OK Dinghy Measurement and registration
Fri 26 May                                                        OK Dinghy practice race
Sat 27-Weds 10 May                                    OK Dinghy Racing (10 races)
Thurs 1 June                                                  Day off
Fri 2-Sun 4 June                                            Finn Masters Measurement and registration
Sun 4 June                                                      Finn Masters practice race
Mon 5-Fri 9 June                                           Finn Masters races (8 races)


The Notice of Race, entry process and entry fee will be announced as soon as possible, probably before April 2016. Bear in mind that the GP14s have their world championship in Barbados this Easter, so until that is out of the way not a lot will happen.

Cost sharing

It is OKDIA’s intention to charge the same entry fee for all competitors wherever they are coming from to include the shipping fees, inland transport and the actual entry fee required from Barbados Yacht Club. This is a big undertaking and we haven’t worked out all the details. In fact it is not yet possible to be exact because it is still too far away to get accurate transport costs. Rough estimates though would indicate the figure will be £500 to £700. Of course it also depends on how many, and the costs, of containers from New Zealand and Australia, for which there is no shipping deal. Early indicators lead us to believe it will be at the low end of this range but if oil costs rise again, then everyone’s costs will go up.

These payments will be made through National associations to OKDIA, which will handle all payments to Geest, Barbados Yacht Club, and the insurance. Local payments may only be needed for the overland transport, where that is needed, but will still be covered from the entry fee.


One of the event’s major sponsors is Geest Line in the UK. The line operates out of Portsmouth in the UK and Le Havre in France. Geest operate four ships that sail on a 28 day rotation: Portsmouth-Le Havre-various Caribbean ports-Portsmouth.

Estimated costs per 40 foot container are US$1750 (2016 price), plus insurance (estimated around GBP 50 per boat), plus any inland transport to get the containers to one of the ports. Short sea shipping is also an option for countries that have access to a port. The transit time to Bridgetown is about 10 days, but if there is a large number of boats going, then shipments may have to be scheduled over several weeks to get them all there on time. The containers will be cleared in Bridgetown and trucked to the Barbados Cruising Club (next door to the yacht club), where they will be stored for the duration of the event. All local costs in Barbados are being covered by the sponsorship.

Please note that OK Dinghies and Finns cannot be combined in the same container unless there are exceptional reasons. They will be stored at separate locations in Barbados and will not arrive or leave at the same time. If you are doing both events and it is totally uneconomic to send boats by different container please contact us well in advance. It is not impossible it just adds a further complication.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT GEEST. All contact with Geest should go through OKDIA (email publicity (at) okdia.org). Notwithstanding that, Geest are not expecting to take any bookings until January 2017.

Anyone sending a container from outside Europe and not using Geest will have to make their own arrangements for bookings (but to be paid for out of the entry fee), however the arrangements on arrival will be the same.

Below is a list of contacts of those co-ordinating containers locally so if you want to book a space you know where to go.

So far we have:

Denmark: Stefan Myralf
Sweden: Ulf Sahle ulf.sahle (at) me.com, +46 (0)72 235 1640
Poland: Darek Kras – d.kras (at) palabre.com.pl
New Zealand : Alistair Deaves – alistairdeaves (at) yahoo.co.uk
Germany:  Heiner Ridder
Great Britain: ?
Australia: Grant Wakefield
France: ?
Belgium: ?

To add additional names to this list please email publicity (at) okdia.org

Transport of containers to Geest Terminals

All containers taking advantage of the shipping deal have to depart to Barbados from one of the the Geest terminals in either Portsmouth or Le Havre. In the UK the British fleet will probably load boats at Geest’s Portsmouth terminal. Arrangements can also be made to load near to Le Havre if there are enough boats going from nearby to make it worthwhile.

Otherwise there are three options for overland transport (for stuffing the container away from the ports) to one of the two loading ports.

  1. Geest operate a fleet of owned containers. Geest can arrange to send a container on a truck to most destinations from Le Havre. The container will have a three-hour window to be stuffed before being taken back to the port. Extra loading time is charged. Estimates trucking costs are GBP1.66 a mile (there and back) so this is not cheap.
  1. Sailors can make arrangements with a third party container owner to supply a container in their own country, which the sailors then stuff and the company deliver to Le Havre for Geest to ship.
  1. A combination of overland haulage and short-sea shipping. Short sea shipping is generally much cheaper than trucking. In this case the recommended port to use is Portsmouth. Containers can be shipped to a UK feeder port for overland transport to Portsmouth. Ports include Felixstowe, Tilbury, Southampton. For, say Denmark and Sweden, maybe Germany, this will be a lot cheaper than road haulage all the way.

Contaimner insurance can be arranged through Geest for its leg of the transport chain (damage to boats caused by damage or total loss of the container in transit), but otherwise, each container, is the responsibility of those coordinating the container. Neither OKDIA nor BTMI will be responsible for any part of it though, of course, help and advice is available where possible.


Bearing in mind this event is combined with the Finn World Masters there will be a lot of containers to be delivered and limited slots per vessel. Assuming current level of demand for Geest shipping services, in May-June (low season), it is expected that around 10-12 containers can be sent per sailing, perhaps a few more. Therefore if boat numbers are as expected – 100-150 OK Dinghies (8-12 containers) and 200-250 Finns (22-27 containers) – the containers may have to be shipped over a number of weeks. If there were 40 containers the first boats may need to leave four weeks before they were needed in Barbados. The return trip is less of a problem because the OK Dinghy containers should all have left before the Finn containers are ready. There is no maximum number of containers but it just might take longer to get them all out to Barbados.


No fumigation needed and not many restrictions on what can go in the containers except hazardous materials: aerosols, paints, resins etc.


It is our understanding that no carnets are required to import into Barbados. All local Customs procedures will be varied out as part of the event management. We will update when we have more specific information.


Virgin Atlantic is also a major sponsor and as such will provide discounts with a code for booking nearer the time. Flights do not become available until 300 days before departure, so about August 2016. The majority of long haul connections are through London, while other airlines provide connections through USA, Canada, Colombia and several Caribbean islands.


There is a lot of accommodation from self-catering bungalows to 5-star hotels. A selection of hotels will be available at discounted rates with a special booking code. Packages that include Virgin flights and hotels will be offered through Virgin Holidays and a discount code will be available.


1 Jan 2016 to 1 Feb 2017             Book your space in container (see contacts above).

Jan-May 2016 (tbc)                         Codes for selected hotel discounts issued.

1 August 2016 (suggested)            Pay for boat transport

1 August 2016 (approx)                   Flights become available (discount code and contact with
Virgin Atlantic will be issued during July). Some specific
flights may be block booked for a limited time.

1 May 2017                                            Entry complete with entry fee paid to organising authority)

Early-Mid May 2017                            Containers that are being shipped with Geest Line to be
loaded and transported to Portsmouth or Le Havre for shipping.