Racing begins for Antigua Classics

Published on April 21st, 2017

English Harbour, Antigua (April 21, 2017) – The 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta got underway today in ENE winds of 14 knots accompanied by relatively calm seas. Start times were delayed due to difficulties in setting the first mark but it gave sailors extra time to scrutinise competition.

It was an amazing scene, with sloops, cutters, yawls and schooners – gaffs galore, flying sails that touched the sky and enough uniformed sailors to fill a battleship. The Holgate 3-Masted Gaff Schooner Adix, carried three dozen crew in eye-catching shirts.

Janley, a 46’ PCC, First Overall in 2016 and winner of the esteemed Panerai Watch went out today hoping for a repeat. Owner Cameron Fraser called shots as brother Ian Cameron drove deftly in dual with Vagabundo, the competition they most wanted to beat. On the 4-mile broad reach from the southern mark to Old Road Bluff, Vagabundo, the 1945, 42’ German Frers ketch, set a spinnaker and mizzen staysail while Janley committed to the power of their big jib. The PCC slowly crept away, remaining in the lead until the finish but Vagabundo won on corrected time by 1:09 minutes.

Other tight races today were in Vintage Class A, with Latifa, a 77’ Fife Yawl, inching past Mariella, the 79’ Alfred Mylne Yawl, by a mere 27 seconds on corrected time. In the Traditional Class, the 42’ Carriacou sloops Genesis and Free in St Barths fought like sisters. Genesis won on corrected time by 1:48. Chloe Giselle, a 65’ Sean McMillan Spirit Yacht, beat Wild Horses, the Joel White 76 W-Yacht, by 6:41.

Despite the Caribbean casual conditions, Tillly XV, a 39’ Sonderklasse Gaff Sloop, built in 1912, was walking away from the fleet until the upwind leg, when a shackle pin failed and the mast dropped. Owner Joerg Moessaug, standing over the broken mast in the Dockyard, said, “We have sailed with this boat for 27 years – in Newport, Cannes, all over.” She won the 2016 American Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge and was shipped to Antigua for the Regatta. If Woodstock Boatbuilders can work their magic on the hollow wood spar, we’ll see her on the course before the end of the week.

Four races will be held, one daily, through to April 24.

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Lots of activity in the Dockyard after racing – photo by Ted Martin

Source: ACYR

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