CLASSIC: A day in the life of a Caribbean correspondent

Published on March 28th, 2013

(March 28, 2013) – Scuttlebutt correspondent Leighton O’Connor has been on the Caribbean race circuit, leaving home base in Massachusetts for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, International Rolex Regatta (USVI), and this week he is at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival.

Today was a layday between the ‘festival’ and ‘regatta’, which we suspect means nothing with regard to sun, fun, and beverages. Here is Leighton’s latest report and video… proceed with caution:

I called it right again. On Wednesday morning I got aboard the 80 year classic yacht The Blue Peter for the final event of the Festival, the Caribbean Insurer Island Invitational to Norman Island from Nanny Cay. I know, all work and no play.

Designed by Alfred Mylne and built by W. King & Sons of Burnham-on-Crouch in 1930, she was named The Blue Peter for luck, after the ‘P’ flag. It worked as The Blue Peter won over 50 races in and around the south coast of England over the next 20 years, sailing out of The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham-on-Crouch. And what a classic beauty she is!

The Blue Peter passed into Italian ownership after the war. She had three different Italian owners before her present owner, Mathew Barker, bought her in 1999. He restored her, gave up his job as an investment banker, and has been chartering out of Cannes, France ever since. Nice work if you can get it.

In November 2012 she won the AFYT Trophy, awarded to the classic yacht with the best overall record in the French regattas. In December she took third place in the Transat Classique across the Atlantic and went on to race in the Round Barbados Race in January. This is Matt’s first season racing in the Caribbean circuit and says he is having a blast.

The Blue Peter took line honors and first place in the Classic Class on Wednesday. After partying a bit in “The Bite”, they cruised off to St. Barts for their next adventure and race. Have fun and thanks for the classic sail.

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