In tribute to traditional working sailboats that carried merchandise from island to island in the 1950-60s, the third edition of the West Indies Regatta took place on the weekend of May 1st in Saint Barth. Organized by Loulou Magras and Alexis Andrews, a photographer from Antigua, the regatta included eight Carriacou Sloops and one schooner, the Alexander Hamilton, restored by those who love the spirit of traditional sailing.
Guest of honor was the 180-foot square-rigger Picton Castle, a sail training ship and a real eye-catcher at her berth alongside the main dock.
With winds of 15-20 knots from the east, and fairly calm seas, Charles Hambleton, skipper of Summer Cloud, got off to a great start and led the first day's race right to the finish line, before losing by a nose to Alexis Andrews aboard Genesis.
Sunday, and day two again saw Summer Cloud and Genesis at the head of the fleet during the morning race from Gustavia to Fourchue and Colombier, with Genesis first over the finish line once more. After a picnic lunch in Colombier, a second race, starting at 3pm, took the boats from Colombier, via le BÅ“uf and Pain de Sucre, back to the finish in Gustavia.
Once again victory went to Genesis, earning the sloop maximum points and making her the overall winner of the third annual West Indies Regatta.
Before leaving to sail back to Antigua, Andrews said he hoped more boats, including schooners, would participate next year. For the sailors, there was good news from the Port of Gustvaia, who promised that the weekend of May 1st would always be reserved for the West Indies Regatta.
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux lives in Saint Barthélemy where she is editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine, and has been a regular contributor to All At Sea since 2000. She also writes regularly about entertainment design and technology for Live Design magazine, and about Caribbean architecture for MACO, a Trinidad-based life-