ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA

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WILD & WOOLLY WEATHER FOR RACE 1
Sunday 22nd April 2018


After a night of blustery rain squalls, the weather geared up to a respectable 20 knots

After a night of blustery rain squalls, followed by hours of uncertain calm, the weather geared up to a respectable 20 knots for the start of Race 1.  Sails shot up at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour and it appeared to observers they might be under-canvased. Once they cleared the bluff, though, the choice of prudently reefing and keeping big jibs in the bag was clear. 46’ Kettenburg sloop Janley opted for a full rig in an effort to out sail 65’ Alfred Mylne cutter, The Blue Peter. In the end, Janley finished 2:44 seconds behind.

Today’s start was delayed by ten minutes in order to give coordinates for the late set of outer mark. Several boats must have missed the memo and stuck to the original start time.  Note to captains: watch the flags on the Committee Boat and listen to channel 77.

Rough conditions separated the fleet until they all pulled into the station at the leeward mark. From there, the photographic drama began on the upwind crawl to the windward mark. Bows bit hard into each chunky wave sending leftovers flying over crew and cameras. Jim Childs, skipper on 41’ Abeking & Rasmussen sloop Seefalke II described today’s race as “Horrible! Wrong boat for the seas!”


Onboard 100’ Thomas Colvin Schooner Ruth by Jan Hein

Onboard 100’ Thomas Colvin Schooner Ruth, two gymnastic trainees and a team of volunteer crew commandeered the foredeck while Captain Gerrit Scheper, a seventh generation Barbadian schooner captain, drove with such precision that he cleared every mark with only yards to spare.
Racing was fierce today. In Vintage Class A, 64.5’ Herreschoff schooner Mary Rose finished a mere 1:04 minutes ahead of last year’s First Overall winner, 79’ Alfred Mylne yawl Mariella.  The most amazing action happened with the Carriacou sloops in the Traditional Class. The oldest in the fleet, 36’ Sweetheart, finished first. 1:52 minutes later, 42’ Free in St Barth crossed the line but felt like a winner after a 48-hour marathon to replace the broken mast they limped in with on Wednesday. 42’ Genesis dropped out early when the boom broke but in true Carriacou sloop fashion, the repair team was on the job before she got back to the dock.


Zemi, Carriacou sloop in the Traditional Class

At last evening’s Concours Prize Giving, the 86’ Herreshoff staysail ketch Ticonderoga of Greenwich, affectionately known as Big Ti, was the overall winner. The Arne Frizzell Prize, awarded to the yacht deemed ‘most seaworthy’ was bestowed upon the 50’ Hedges Schooner Russamee. When asked if her story of riding out two category five storms last fall at anchor convinced the judges of her strength, owner Michael Brown said, “That might have helped but judge Tom Cunliffe, said she had soul.  He made a note to make that a new category for next year.” For full results, see www.antiguaclassics.com


86’ Herreshoff staysail ketch Ticonderoga of Greenwich built in 1936

The exhausting ACYR schedule begins post-race with a Mount Gay Rum Cocktail Competition, followed by the Prize Giving for the Single-Handed Race with Dark and Stormies compliments of Mount Gay. And last but not least is the Sea Shanty Contest that will carry us into the next day of racing at ACYR.

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is the premier classic sailing event of the Caribbean attracting a large number of Classics every year from all around the world.  In its 31st edition this year, the event enjoys a wonderful variety of competitors including traditional craft from the islands, vintage & classic ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls making the bulk of the fleet, Tall Ships and more newly-built Spirit of Tradition yachts.


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