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Jolly Harbour Valentines Regatta 2007

A well matched fleet of 19 boats competed for the 15th Annual Valentines Regatta. The event was sponsored by Budget Marine, the Caribbean’s leading chandlery Group and yacht chandler to Jolly Harbour. The races were sailed mainly off the Five Islands harbour located adjacent to Jolly Harbour.  The sailing area boasts flat water, plenty of space, highly-convenient facilities, and winds shifts that are interesting but not too dramatic as the wind comes off the land of Antigua. Jolly Harbour Marina provided free overnight dockage.

The racer cruiser class was the most intensely-contested with a very well matched fleet of eight boats that was reduced to seven when the rig on the Dehler 34 High Tide threatened for one moment to adopt the horizontal position.  The racing class was split between the high raters, being the two Beneteau 40.7’s called Lancelot and First Across, and the 1720 by name of Shaggy sailed by Sean Malone of English Harbour. Second place went to Lancelot, the Beneteau 40.7, who, though well sailed, was unable to deal with the light asymmetrical-spinnakered 1720 Shaggy that beat it . Third place went to the Lindenberg 28 Seeya that was sailed by two persons without spinnaker but managed to do very well without any weight on the “rail”.

The Racer Cruiser class was by far the most competitive class with eight boats, very close starts, and much changing of positions. Hans Lammers dominated in the end through consistency good fortune and his extensive skills in finding luck. Second place went to Budget Marine (Tango Mike) who worked hard for his position with the well prepared boat. Third place went to the ever improving Blue Peter. Noteworthy also was Huey Too, who peaked at the end with two wins in the final two races. Poor results on the first day diminished the chances of good results.

In the cruising class, Charles Kenlock’s folkboat 26 won the first two races but was unable to continue.  Colin Jones won the class with consistency and all wins on the second day . David Milner’s Fiesta took second place in every single race to beat Paul Jackson’s Mackenzi.

Winds on the Saturday were lighter (around 10 knots) than Sunday (around 15 knots). On Saturday during the second race, the final mark caused a degree of inversion of the fleet positions as a result of a wind hole which  was traumatic for some as they sat in the hole and watched the back of the fleet sail pass them. Hans Lammers’s Sunshine was one that was in a hopeless position at the back of the fleet but came  right up to the front in that little on the water drama.

Unique to this regatta was the participation of three eolphins at the start of the fourth (Sunday morning) race, who went from boat to boat to spend a little time at the bow of each.  Inevitably and sadly, there was immediate controversy as to whether any boat had arranged a tow for the porpoises of beating the competition. 

Prize giving took place in the Dogwatch Pub, the home of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club, where the potential of Jolly Harbour as a race venue and convenient marina location was highlighted. For information: Cary Byerley at director@bigboatseries.com, Tel  599 552 0068.

Report and photo submitted by Jolly Harbour Yacht Club

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