THE LAUNCH OF THE 31ST ACYR Friday 20th April 2018
Dark and Stormy cocktails toasted Neptune
The energy in Falmouth Harbour spiked as each entry sailed in for the start of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. 70’ Vendia and 42’ Free in St. Barth from Grenada; 86’ Ticonderoga from St. Barths; 100’ Ruth from Barbados; and the 141’ Schooner Columbia, made a last minute, ten-day dash from the States.
Spontaneous celebrations clogged docks as old friends reunited and new ones joined up like links on a chain. By the time the ACYR officially got underway at Wednesday’s Kick off Party, camaraderie was flowing into a sea of Mount Gay Rum and Wadadli beer. Dark and Stormy cocktails toasted Neptune and good fortune for bringing an amazing fleet together for our thirty-first year.
Opening ceremonies began with a heartfelt welcome from Co-chair, Jane Coombs. “We have a beautiful fleet this year of very special and unique boats. A few less than in previous years but we feel a fine fleet when you think what devastation this region suffered just seven months ago. We thank you all for choosing to visit the Caribbean this winter and helping contribute to the recovery process.” With that, The Strays lit the fuse with rocking music and an endless night of celebration began.
There was a bit of staging aboard
Thursday dawned with last minute chores needed to ship-shape entries for the Concours d’Elégance. Three teams of experts spent hours perusing vessels as owners recounted build details and back stories. Judges, including Classic Boat editor, Rob Peake, and author and sailor Tom Cunliffe had the envious but difficult task of comparing vessels spanning 79 years of age and over 100 feet in size. There was a bit of staging aboard with flowers and fruit; spoils from past racing events and a few smart owners laid out Mount Gay Hats and bottles of rum.
The beautiful Ticonderoga
In contrast to the beauty contest, the Single-Handed Race took place this afternoon in 20 knots of shifting trades with gusts topping 25 knots. Steep seas washed decks and everyone on them. The course sent vessels upwind and down causing every skipper to run in order to keep up. Aboard the 115’ Schooner Aschanti, Captain Kark Ebner ran a marathon jogging between the helm, the fore and headsails. It was an exhausting performance for the onboard observer but not for Ebner, whose smile was as wide as the finish line. Winners of the Single-Handed Race, over 45’ is Aschanti and under 45’ is the 44’ Luders Yawl, Frolic. Full race results can be seen on the website at www.antiguaclassics.com
Aboard the 115’ Schooner Aschanti
We are pleased to announce that Roddy Grimes-Graeme of Acquafilms is now our new Media Partner. For over ten years, Roddy has contributed to the ACYR with exciting video productions of the event, highlighting the final Prize Giving with insightful edits combined with excellent sidetracks portraying the intrinsic spirt of the Regatta.
This evening, sponsors Wadadli opened the beer garden and Mount Gay provided rum tasting as a prelude to the Prize Giving for the Concours d’Elégance. Music by the piratical crew from the 52’ Skagen Gaff Ketch Samsara set the tone for another memorable evening of Classic shenanigans.
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