2011 ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA - RACE 2 Monday 18th April 2011
The second of the four races in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta took place today under varying light winds and sporadic rain showers! Undeterred the 68 strong fleet of classic yachts left the Antigua Yacht Club Marina docks and Falmouth bay this morning to meet the multiple challenges ahead of them as they rounded the three marks of the shortened Butterfly course of approximately 12 miles - just one wing of the Butterfly!
The committee decided on the shortened course due to the disappointing weather conditions returning to Antigua today as the trough of low pressure located to the east of the island returned to give the island some much needed rain.
So it was under dark threatening clouds and in patchy, light and flukey winds varying from as little as 4 knots to a maximum of just 12 knots that the first of the fleet crossed the startline for the reach out to the first mark.
A noticable steep opposing swell hindered competitors further and these combined sea and wind conditions certainly did no favors for the heavier schooner's and workboats. Thankfully the breeze did gradually increase during the morning with a pronounced lift noticed around 11.30 giving a much needed boost to the forerunners on the beat towards the Shirley Heights mark as well as to those still on the outward broad reach to the second.
A brief interlude of sunshine gave photographer's a chance to shoot some impressive images and despite the weather there were
some spectacles to shoot today, none more so than the magnificent schooner Elena under - her mightily impressive - full "'7 sail" sail plan. Even the big Spirit of Tradition Class A contenders found the weather conditions taxing today." It was character building out there!" stated a 'J' Class crew member! Despite the conditions the 'J's again sailed a very good race finishing ahead of Rebecca and Marie.
The Carriacou sloops also enjoyed the light wind conditions and Summer Cloud was first of the seven to cross the line again
Whilst Donald Tofias's and his 'W' Class 'White Wings' retained their lead in Spirit of Tradition B class he admitted that there was an element of luck involved to sailing under today's flukey conditions. The luck was certainly with him today as following an excellent start White Wings romped around the course crossing the finishing line carrying her impressive and distinctive spinnaker.
The official regatta merchandiser and crew uniform supplier, 'On Deck' continued brisk business from their booth on the AntiguaYacht Club lawn. The official regatta 'T' shirts are in high demand and not suprisingly today, their squall jackets too!
Mount Gay Rum, the main ingredient in last nights Dark and Stormy cocktails continues to be enjoyed by all as last minute
preperations are made for this evenings Musical Night at the AYC when crew are invited to bring along their musical talent and 'Jam with the Band'...the fabulous 'Time Machine' promising another fabulous party at this the 24th. Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.
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