VANISHING SAIL - CARRIACOU CORNERMonday 30th April 2018
The Story of Caribbean Tradition
Every year the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta challenges the hardiest of sailors and stretches the seams of the world’s most prestigious classic, vintage & traditional including our iconic West Indian sloops.
While no where near the levels of 2013 year of Carnage featured in the film, this 31st event didn’t go without incident for the traditional class wooden vessels: Free In St. Barth’s had the misfortune of breaking her mast on the way up. Thankfully, all the crew escaped without injury, but the stricken boat, after limping up to Antigua, was faced with a massive task to source and rig a replacement spar within 2 days in time to race.
In the unique spirit of support for our vessels, a Hurricane Irma damaged Aluminium mast was donated by North Sound Marina and rigged overnight by Free & Genesis crews in time for the start of race 1.
Genesis snapped her gaff under hard racing which meant a another night of repairs but made the start line in time to race again. On day 3, spongy rudder action revealed Teredo worms had eaten through the stock! She was hauled that evening with night 3 of repairs by both crews so that racing could continue...
After a rather more gentle final race day, the night setting was perfect: a spontaneously organized filmscreening between the masts of Zemi and Sweetheart at the Carriacou Corner during the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. We got the bean bags out. Lots of beautiful souls with a shared passion for sailing, tradition and boats made the evening very memorable indeed!
This has always been controversial, to take these rare Island vessels, handmade works of art and thrash them on a modern day, challenging race course. But, looking back these fast, versatile fishing and cargo vessels plied the Caribbean seas with speed and purpose. Whether it was to out run each other to port to get the best price for their fish or outrun the coastguard smuggling contraband from St. Barths, they have always been strongly built, treated roughly, patched up with the nearest materials to hand, scuppered to avoid fines and resurrected to connect the islands once more.
With the resurgence of interest in Carriacou Sloops and their elevation to iconic artisanal status, it is hoped that the next commission will soon arrive and a new proud owner will sail the Caribbean with the weight of history as ballast, and with the Caribbean breeze – driven by the spirits of seafaring legends – filling their sails!
Join us for the 10th West Indies Regatta April 27 - May 1, 2018, Port of Gustavia St. Barths.
With Thanks & Respect,
Alexis & Justin
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