The Barbadian calendar is filled with sporting events throughout the year, ranging from thrilling surfing on the crashing Atlantic waves in the East, to the national sport of Cricket that sees the world-famous Kensington Oval brimming with locals and visitors year after year.
Below, you can find our Barbados Top 5 events for 2016, and whether you participate or simply spectate, the infectious atmosphere and friendly Bajan sports culture will certainly have you captivated.
The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series
- What? Coastal Racing
- When? 16-24th January
- Where? Starts at Barbados Cruising Club
Dating back to when Caribbean produce was loaded onto fast cargo ships, the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race Series has been running since the 19th Century and is held in January each year. Its title owes to Mount Gay Rum which has been linked to the sailing world for many years, and is hailed as the finest and oldest brand of rum produced in Barbados. This year, the 60 mile race around the island marks its 80th anniversary and commemorates 50 years of Barbados independence, so visitors and locals alike will be flocking to view – rum in hand – what promises to be a fantastic event. Stay at the luxurious Tamarind Barbados, situated directly on the beautiful sand beachfront and just twenty minutes away from the Barbados Cruising Club in Bridgetown.
Caribbean Premier League T20 Cricket
- What? Cricket Tournament
- When? 23rd, 25th, 26th July
- Where? Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
The CPL brings the Caribbean flare embodied by its great cricketing heritage to the modern T20 format. International stars from around the world head to the islands to compete in the world’s best cricketing atmosphere. Sit back and relax with a complimentary drink as the steel band parades around the stadium to the beat of the bustling crowd. If you are a cricket lover – a match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown is as essential as a strong forward defence!
Sandy Lane Gold Cup – Barbados Turf Club
- What? Horse Racing
- When? 5th March
- Where? Garrison Savannah Racetrack
Sponsored by the 5-star luxury resort of Sandy Lane on Barbados’ west coast, a hub of both land and water sports, The Sandy Lane Gold Cup has run annually since 1982. Contested over a turf course almost 2000 metres in length, it is the most important event on the Barbados racing calendar and promises a completely different experience to a day at the Ascot. The Garrison Savannah Racetrack, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown, welcomes local and international visitors on Gold Cup day, who create a true, multi-cultural carnival atmosphere that is not to be missed.
Open Water Festival
- What? Water Sports Festival
- When? 2nd-6th November
- Where? Carlisle Bay
The sea is an integral part of life in Barbados, with some having their livelihood depend on it, and others simply enjoying its sheer beauty while relaxing, exercising or socialising. Carlisle Bay, on Barbados’ gentler west coast boasts a vast range of water sports and great swim location, so is naturally the host to the Open Water Festival in November. Open to swimmers, stand-up paddlers and kayakers, ranging from Elite to Recreational levels, the festival provides opportunity to view the kaleidoscopic coral reefs, vibrant marine life and elegant green turtles, or if you prefer to keep two feet on land, a night at Oistins fish fry and an all-day beach party are highlights of the festival, too.
- What? Marathon
- When? 2nd-4th December
- Where? Starts at the Bay Street Esplanade
The slogan ‘Come for the Run, Stay for the Fun’ certainly applies when it comes to the Run Barbados marathon, held annually in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown. The friendly Bajan culture, the natural beauty of the island and a course that is both insightful and scenic, the 10km marathon takes runners along the west coast with magnificent views out to sea, and winds around the capital with its infectious buzz. Runners who sign up may be both recreational, participating simply for the excitement of it all with the ‘fun mile’, as well as competitive, previously including Hugh Jones of Britain - the first British man to win the London Marathon. And if you don’t fancy putting on your trainers just yet, there’s still a great vibe on the side-lines, where locals and visitors join together to cheer and chant.