TALES FROM ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTASaturday 8th January 2011
Winsome is a 44 foot Cherubini ketch built to a design based on Herreshoff’s much larger Ticonderoga. My dear friends, Jolyon Byerley and Judy McConnachie (as she was then) found her for me and checked her out in Tampa before I joined them. The ever reliable Tony Maidment delivered her to Antigua.
Jolyon and Judy suggested that we enter Antigua Classic Regatta and we did so. That was in 1996. We have a wonderful photograph of Winsome at Falmouth Harbour with Ticonderoga just behind. We do look like the little sister.
We sailed in every Classic Regatta until the boat was sold last year. I think we won our class two or three times.
For the first two years Jolyon skippered the boat. He had a wonder manner. Quiet authority. He would call all the crew together in the cockpit before the race and talk about setting the sails and basic tactics. When I took over, I tried to do the same but nobody took any notice.
‘OK. We will fly the number one genoa.’
‘Aw Donny, who is going to want to winch that in?’
‘OK. We will fly the number three. George, you can go on the jib winches’
‘Nah Donny. I am going to be tactician.’
’OK. John, you go on the winches’
‘Not me. I’m seventy years old for Chrissake’
‘OK. Andrew? Geoffrey? Janie? Anyone? ……Well let’s see how we do when we get out there.’
And so it went.
George did just about every race with us.
‘Come up, Donny. Fall off, Donny. Come up, Donny. Fall off, Donny. Where are all the other frigging boats? Aw shit! I got the Chart Plotter upside down’.
Dear George. He would race all day, drink all night and have everything fixed before the racing started the next day.
In 2009, our last Regatta, Hans and Kathy Lammers were available. Hans took the helm. Kathy gave her usual support and we got line honours for every race and won all races on handicap. No credit to me but a great way for Winsome to retire from it.
She is in Vancouver now. I feel like I feel when my wife leaves to visit the children. The immediate effect is no aggravation, no maintenance, no big cash outflows. But then pretty soon you miss her terribly. That is how I feel about Winsome.
Article and photos courtesy of Don Ward.
Click here for all News and Specials for Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta