Scotland to Cape Breton…Barra Strait Cup

Yesterday Race the Cape shared why the race committee selected the name Red Islands Cup for the first leg of the race. Today, as “Leg Two: Barra Strait Cup” is just three weeks away, the reasoning behind the choice Barra Strait Cup, sponsored by Heineken, is being revealed.

The Barra Strait Cup will be held on July 19, 2013. It will begin in Ben Eoin and have a finish line in Baddeck. This leg is about twenty-eight nautical miles long and features a long spinnaker run down the Great Bras d’Or. The leg features an opportunity to fall off at Benacadie Point for a fast reach past Piper’s Cove and Derby Point to the Barra Strait.

The name Barra Strait Cup was chosen for this leg because of the challenge participants will face at the Barra Strait and because of the name’s historical association with the Scottish settlers who arrived there around 1802. The Barra Strait is a one kilometer wide channel that serves as a connector of the northern and southern basins of the Bras d’Or Lake. The Scottish are said to have chosen the name “Barra Strait” because the area reminded them of the Sound of Barra, located on the Isle of Barra, in the Scottish Hebrides, from where most of these settlers originated.

During this leg, the boats will have to pass under two bridges, the Grand Narrows Bridge (also known as the Barra Strait Railway Bridge) and the Barra Strait Bridge. The Grand Narrows Bridge was built by the Intercolonial Railway of Canada in the late 1880’s. It is the longest railway bridge in the province. In order to allow Race the Cape participants to pass under this bridge, the swing span feature will have to be put to use. The Barra Strait Bridge was built in 1993 to replace a Nova Scotia Government operated ferry that carried vehicles across the strait for much of the 20th century.

Heineken has signed on as gold sponsor of the Barra Strait Cup in 2013, and the Heineken motto states that they “have a passion for quality and bringing enjoyment to life, whilst respecting individuals, society and the planet.” This makes them the perfect sponsor for an enjoyable race through the Unesco designated Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere reserve. Also, Heineken seems to have a deep interest in sailing; they have been hosting their own highly successful Regatta in St. Maarten since 1980. Race the Cape is very pleased to have an international company as well recognized as Heineken onboard as a sponsor.

The Barra Strait Cup will finish up at the Bras d’Or Yacht Club in Baddeck. The yacht club and the post race food and entertainment set to take place there will be the focus of next Friday’s blog post.

The following day has been designated as a layover day in Baddeck. Race the Cape participants will have the option to spend this day sailing in the historic McCurdy Cup, touring the famous Cabot Trail, golfing at one of Cape Breton’s award winning golf courses or resting up at their hotel.

Make sure to check back on Sunday to find out the story behind the name of Leg Three: Bras d’Or Cup, sponsored by Yacht Shop.