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Stiff challenge for Antigua Classic

Published on April 23rd, 2017

English Harbour, Antigua (April 23, 2017) – The third day of the 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta hosted a 24nm race of reaching between two well-set marks which saw vessels from every class pass repeatedly, and often dramatically, close.

Some consider it the easiest of the four races but today the weather and seas turned it into more of a high test challenge: steady winds of 20 knots from the east agitated the water which flew anywhere and everywhere.

Like a history book with the pages turned by the wind, amazing stories passed by: Guiding Light, a 37’ Gauntlet was built for the Earl of Normanton in 1934; the 59’ Henry Gruber yawl, Peter von Seestermuehe sailed in the first Whitbread Race in 1973-74; Mariella, the 79’ Alfred Mylne Yawl served as a British Admiralty coastal patrol boat at the start of WWII; 52’ Samsara, built in 1924 for North Sea fishing, also served in WWII; Tilly XV, 39’ Sonderklasse Gaff Sloop was built in 1912 for Prince Heinrich Von Preussen; and the Carriacou sloops, Zemi, Sweetheart, Genesis and Free in St. Barths each hold rich stories from the beach where they were all built.

In contrast are the newer builds, among them Sean MacMillan’s Spirit Yachts that will carry tradition forward. This year’s fleet includes his latest, the 65’Chloe Giselle, built in 2015; Joel White’s 76’ design, Wild Horses; and Faiaoahe, a 66’ Spirit of Tradition sloop sailing hard from the Pacific to join the action and Chronos, a 157’ Staysail ketch built in 2012 races this year in the newly created Tall Ship Class.

There was plenty of onboard chat about ratings and times because the third race can make or break a lead. And it did.

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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