AND SAIL HARD THEY DID IN THE FIRST RACE OF CLASSICSSaturday 22nd April 2017
An amazing scene on the water
The first race in the series of four took place with ENE winds of 14 knots accompanied by relatively calm seas. Start times were delayed due to difficulties in setting the first mark but it gave sailors extra time to scrutinise competition.
It was an amazing scene with sloops, cutters, yawls and schooners - gaffs galore, flying sails that touched the sky and enough uniformed sailors to fill a battleship. The Holgate 3-Masted Gaff Schooner, Adix, carried three dozen crew in eye-catching shirts.
Last year's overall winner PCC Janley
Janley, a 46’ PCC, First Overall in 2016 and winner of the esteemed Panerai Watch went out today hoping for a repeat. Owner Cameron Fraser called the shots as his brother Ian Cameron drove deftly in dual with Vagabundo, the competition they most wanted to beat. On the 4-mile broad reach from the southern mark to Old Road Bluff, Vagabundo, the 1945, 42’ German Frers ketch, set a spinnaker and mizzen staysail while Janley committed to the power of their big jib. The PCC slowly crept away, remaining in the lead until the finish but Vagabundo won on corrected time by 1:09 minutes.
Other tight races today were in Vintage Class A, with Latifa, a 77’ Fife Yawl, inching past Mariella, the 79’ Alfred Mylne Yawl, by a mere 27 seconds on corrected time. In the Traditional Class, the 42’ Carriacou sloops Genesis and Free in St Barths fought like sisters. Genesis won on corrected time by 1:48. Chloe Giselle, a 65’ Sean McMillan Spirit Yacht, beat Wild Horses, the Joel White 76 W-Yacht, by 6:41. Full results are available at www.antiguaclassics.com
The 1912 Tillly XV, 39’ Sonderklasse Gaff Sloop
Despite the Caribbean casual conditions, another boat dismasted due to gear failure. Tillly XV, a 39’ Sonderklasse Gaff Sloop, built in 1912, was walking away from the fleet until the upwind leg, when a shackle pin failed. Owner Joerg Moessaug, standing over the broken mast in the Dockyard, said, “We have sailed with this boat for 27 years - in Newport, Cannes, all over.” She won the 2016 American Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge and was shipped to Antigua for the Regatta. If Woodstock Boatbuilders can work their magic on the hollow wood spar, we’ll see her on the course before the end of the week.
Lots of activity in the Dockyard after racing - photo by Ted Martin
After a hard day on the water and in anticipation of tomorrow’s race, captains and crew would be wise to rest, but the jam-packed ACYR schedule of events won’t let that happen. Once the Presidente Beer Garden opens this afternoon, there will be a Mount Gay Cocktail Competition that should loosen the crowd up for the Salty Beard Contest. This will be followed by a Sea Shanty Competition and hopefully there will be more songs than, “What shall we do with the drunken sailor”! Lots of talent will be displayed a little later at the Open Mic Music Night.
And this evening, our most special guests will be wined, dined and honoured at the Owners’ Party in the newly restored Clarence House.
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