ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA

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ACYR - EVERY ONE A CLASSIC
Tuesday 25th October 2016


Some of the world’s most celebrated vintage vessels are already registered for next year’s highly anticipated 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. (Tim Wright)

April 19-25, 2017

Some of the world’s most celebrated vintage vessels are already registered for next year’s highly anticipated 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Coming from North America, Europe and all over the Caribbean, a great variety of boats take part in this spectacular event, the first in the Classic Yacht Challenge series sponsored by Panerai. From magnificent ocean-going schooners to pretty day boats, and some beautifully restored originals, to recent reconstructions of traditional designs, each one is a 'classic' with its own delightful story, whose owners come to enjoy the steady trade winds and warm camaraderie that characterises the event.


115ft. Eros (Cameron Riddell)

Designed by William McKeek, the 115ft. Eros was separated from her owner, Lord Von Berg, when she was commandeered by the Royal Navy and he was killed in action. The 1939 staysail schooner has also been owned by Greek billionaire Stavros Niarchos and once hosted members of the Spanish Royal Family before being meticulously restored by current owner and lifelong sailor Cameron Riddell. Cameron said he was excited to be taking part in the event which he described as the “premier” regatta of its kind. “Eros sails very well on most points of sail, but reaches are especially enjoyable. We look forward to that,” he continued, adding that the intimacy of docking stern-to is one of the most fun parts. “Being able to literally step over the rail to visit a neighbour is almost as fun as the sailing itself,” Cameron added.


Stiletto, the Kim Holman-designed 33ft. wooden sloop. (Kevin Edwards)

Also registered is Stiletto, a Kim Holman-designed 33ft. wooden sloop launched in Suffolk UK in 1961 with sparse accommodation below. The one exception to this was the gin locker that was created at the special request of the owner. Weighing in at more than three tonnes, she has ample displacement for a boat with a waterline length of just 22ft. Her owner, Scot Yeates, said he is excited to be bringing her across the Atlantic to sail in Antigua for the first time.


The traditional 43ft. gaff-rigged cutter Samara T (Laura McCrossin)

Samara T is once again making the 1,700 mile trip from Lunenburg, Canada to take part. Michael Higgins built his traditional 43ft. gaff-rigged cutter Samara T from designs by Paul Gartside in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2009. “Samara T loves good strong winds (maybe a little more than her skipper does) when it's blowing 20 knots or more she really powers up.” Reflecting on the 2013 regatta, when Samara T placed third in Classic Class, Michael said his favourite memory was sailing fast on a beam reach and being passed by the big ketch Thendara. “At about the same time we called out to each other, ‘you look great’. That doesn’t happen every day; that is what Antigua Classics is all about for me - mutual respect and admiration, in the middle of some serious competitiveness.” Michael described making an ocean passage to the Caribbean, sailing for a season and topping it all off with the Antigua classic regatta as “the stuff of dreams”.

To register for the regatta, being held from April 19 - 25 2017, visit www.antiguaclassics.com or email info@antiguaclassics.com. May 2017 will see the inaugural Antigua to Bermuda race, with classic flagships for this event including the 139ft. replica of schooner America and 112ft. gaff-rigged Spirit of Bermuda, arriving in time for the 35th America’s Cup.


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