ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA SINGLE HANDED PRIZE GIVINGWednesday 20th April 2011
FALMOUTH HARBOUR - As the splendid Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge flags fluttered in the promise of a gentle breeze, the sixty eight competitors of this, the biggest ever Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta woke with relief to brighter skies this morning - and things just got better and better as the day progressed! The low level trough of unseasonal weather of the past few days chose, today, the first race day, to lift to allow a respectable gentle breeze to pick up giving a steady 10-12 knots at the start of the 20 mile first race around the 'Old Road' course.
"What a great way to start the regatta!" enthused a visiting member of the press fortunate enough to have a ride aboard the beautiful 105' Frers Sloop, Bolero." Perfect conditions for the less experienced crew to 'learn the ropes'." The sea conditions were kind too, fair and flat with just a very gentle one meter swell making perfect conditions for the fairer yachts such as Velsheda, Ranger, and Rebecca in the big class and likewise some good competitive sailing was seen between 5.5 metre, Iris J and 6 meter Biwi Magic at the small end of the fleet.
Photographers had their day made by a stunning downwind spinnaker spectacle, but it was 'hot hot hot' according to crew thankful to catch some breeze on deck on rounding the second mark at the start of the windward beat. Re rigged as a yawl this season, 12 meter Kate provided some great photo footage, sailing really well as did Gaia, White Wings and Bolero in Spirit of Tradition B, with Gaia & White Wings in close contention.
With a slight wind shift towards the south west in the early afternoon those not finished, in particular the heavy schooners, had a tough run home. The daily hospitality served up by the Panerai Lounge at Antigua Yacht Club Marina makes a welcome and much appreciated dockside stop before or after racing. Competitors are welcome here and alongside the generous helping of complimentary drinks and delicacies served from breakfast until sundown, they can view video footage of the day's race..a perfect venue to relax, rewind and recover for another exciting race day tomorrow!
As the sun went down, old friend of the regatta Marty Reno struck up with some sea shanties on the Yacht Club lawn as competitors gathered for the Single Handed Prize Giving and Sundowner Party. Famous for the complimentary Dark and Stormy cocktails this is a great occasion with the Single Handed trophy this year being presented to boat builder Oliver Greensmith helming the lovely David Boyd sloop, Springtide.
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