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Monday 18th April 2016

The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Race, in honour of being 'the father of Classics' favourite

Race Day Three: Sunday, April 17, 2016

Racing at Antigua Classics, sponsored by Panerai, continued with the Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Race, in honour of being 'the father of Classics' favourite. The race comprises four reaching legs between two marks, which allows every competing boat to pass by the entire fleet. A tactical race it is not, save judging the west setting tide however the Cannon Race is a celebration of the spirit of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. The Cannon Race was followed by the Parade of Classics, a sail-by through English Harbour with hundreds of spectators lining the dockyard, cheering as the magnificent fleet passed by with cannons firing and fog horns blaring.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta attracts a huge variety of owners to compete with their yachts, some have been coming for years and for others it is their first time.

Juerg Zimmermann has been racing his 1969 40ft William Tripp yawl, Lazy Leg for years at Antigua Classics and won today's Cannon Race, to lead Classic GRP Class B by a single point from Dr Reg Murphy's John Alden 30, Calypso. Originally from Switzerland, Juerg Zimmerman emigrated to Canada and has been a resident in Antigua since 1999.

“Lazy Leg doesn't like a big sea state, so the conditions so far are better for us but I would prefer a little more wind,” commented Juerg Zimmermann. “I was crewing on boats at Classics 20 years ago and I have owned my own boat for the last 18 years, this will be the 14th year I have raced with Lazy Leg. I competed in the Finn class for many years, which has produced many very good sailors such as John Bertrand. Finn sailing teaches you everything about sailing and you cannot blame anyone but yourself as it is just you in the boat. With Lazy Leg, I choose a crew that I like to sail with. I used to have a young crew but sometimes they could not get to the boat on time, so that was that! Lazy Leg was badly damaged on a reef and the former owner patched her up. When I bought her, she was in a really rough shape, but over the years I have renovated everything, including the interior and I am very happy, it is a very pleasant boat to sail.”

Peter Jorgsholm's 1925 Max Oertz ketch, Bellona is probably the oldest yacht racing at Classics but this is the first time the yacht had participated and Peter's team are believed to be the first all Danish team to race at Antigua Classics. Peter's sons Jens and Nicolai sailed Bellona to Antigua from Denmark with their friends Mats, Jesper and Bjorn. Mats has recently taken on a diplomatic role in Sweden but will return for the delivery home. Antigua Classics is the highlight of the adventure for the Danes before they take the boat home to Denmark. Bellona has been owned by the Jorgsholm family for over 30 years.

“I came to Antigua in the ‘80s with my wife and we sailed on a wooden schooner. Back then, Falmouth just had a simple dock, so it has changed a lot since then,” commented Peter Jorgsholm. “Bellona is a big part of our family. As a young doctor, I had to travel around Denmark and we lived on board for sometime. Our children have grown up on Bellona and we used to take holidays on board in the summer months. When my sons came to me and said they wanted to sail Bellona to the Caribbean, I discussed it with my wife and pretty much straight away we said yes but only if certain work was done to the boat and that the boys would help with that. We spent many hours and one million Danish Krone (US$100,000) preparing her for the trip. It has been wonderful to come and sail at Antigua Classics, at home we do have classic regattas but we don't see the larger boats such as Adix and Columbia. These boats are just fantastic to see being sailed so well in such an amazing place.”

After The Cannon Race, the Danish team on Bellona set off for English Harbour, along with the Classics fleet to take part in the Parade of Sail. As newcomers to the regatta, they did not realise that the fleet usually dropped sails and motored around the historic Nelson's Dockyard. Instead Bellona carried full sail around the harbour. With perfect precision and blasting out on a antique brass fog horn, Peter Jorgsholm, his two sons and their friends had a day at Antigua Classics never to be forgotten.”

Tonight's party will kick off in Nelson's Dockyard with the Rio Band followed by one of the highlights of Classics party schedule. A screening of Alexis Andrews’ award winning documentary, Vanishing Sail, charting the fascinating history of the traditional Carriacou sloops.

Racing at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, will conclude with tomorrow's Windward Race. After three races, six yachts remain unbeaten: The Blue Peter and Janley in the Vintage Division, Argo and Heron in the Classics Division and Dragonera and Wild Horses in the Spirit of Tradition Division. In Classics Class A two of the largest yachts competing are having a terrific battle. The 212ft three-masted Holgate designed schooner, Adix is just a point ahead of the 121ft Strawlinski cutter, Alexa of London.

For full results and more information:

Juerg Zimmermann's 1969 40ft William Tripp yawl, Lazy Leg.

Peter Jorgsholm's 1925 Max Oertz ketch, Bellona

Pirates at the Parade of Sail. Stuart and Julia Armstrong’s, Desiderata

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