Ready to Roll in Antigua
Published on April 16th, 2018
Antigua (April 16, 2018) – The 2018 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (ACYR) begins a fourth decade of showcasing maritime history and tradition during six days of high-spirited, world-class competition, April 18-24. Races are held off the south coast of the island while celebration central is in Falmouth Harbour on the grounds of the Antigua Yacht Club. Prize Giving Ceremony and Gig Races & Cream Teas take place in Nelson’s Dockyard, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gathering together is a fleet of beauties spanning over ninety years in age and design. The matriarch, the 52’ Skagen gaff ketch Samsara, built in 1924, returns with her pirate clad entourage who nailed last year’s prize for Best Dressed Crew. Sharing newest build status are two classics alike in rig but worlds apart in size and style.
Free in St. Barth, the 42’ Alwyn Enoe sloop, was launched on the beach in Carriacou in 2015 while the 127’ Hoek sloop Atalante made her prestigious debut from the Claasen Shipyard in the Netherlands. Representing the decades between are schooners, yawls, sloops and ketches from back yards and esteemed yards including Fife, Abeking and Rasmussen, Luders and Herreshoff.
After a year of boat-wrecking storms, the owners who brought their vessels back to life are honored. Apollonia, the 1967 Bill Tripp 56’ yawl was holed by Hurricane Irma yet miraculously joins the regatta after an intense rebuild in the BVI.
A salute also to those vessels saved from the curse of time like the 1957, 52’ S&S yawl, Mah Jong. Recently restored by Gannon and Benjamin, she earned the 2018 Classic Boat Magazine award for Best Rebuild. Woodstock Boatbuilders just put finishing touches to the 36’ Carriacou sloop, Sweetheart, built in 1986.
Prior to racing a final flurry of primping and polishing will erupt dockside in anticipation of the Concours d’Elégance, fittingly sponsored by the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Several teams of judges, including UK author and sailor, Tom Cunliffe, will board boats to walk decks, peek below and pry loose those stories that define beauty and brawn.
Racing begins April 19 with the multi-tasking, single-handed skippers followed by four days of well-tested courses, each fueled by the lively Trades.
A jam-packed social schedule includes the Opening Party, Classic Vehicle Rendezvous, Parade of Classics and Open Mic Night. Solo acts and crew ensembles are rehearsing in anticipation of the Sea Shanty competition and if performances mimic last year’s bawdy talent, there may be a need for a rating system. The ACYR is known as a sailing reunion of old souls and salts. It’s a place where friendships form, sea stories swap and indelible memories are made.
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is the premier classic sailing event of the Caribbean attracting a large number of Classics every year from all around the world. In its 31st edition this year, the event enjoys a wonderful variety of competitors including traditional craft from the islands, vintage & classic ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls making the bulk of the fleet, Tall Ships and more newly-built Spirit of Tradition yachts.
Source: Event Media