Spectators are expressly welcome for the Tour de la Martinique yawl boat race, scheduled this year from July 30 to August 3. The yawls, traditional Caribbean sailing boats used by Martinique's fishermen, circle the French island in seven stages.
'Fans of the various teams cheer them on from land. The boats put ashore at a different place every day so that the day's winner can be chosen,' noted the Martinique tourism office's Julia Huelbert in Hamburg. 'This is celebrated each time with music, dancing and good food,' she said, adding that yacht rides were also offered in many places.
The yawl teams typically train for months ahead of the regatta, whose official name is 'Tour de la Martinique en yole ronde.' One of the Windward Islands, Martinique is lapped by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Caribbean Sea in the west.