Racing came to a conclusion on the final day of the 28th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, with all classes racing the The Windward Course, which featured a glorious reaching start outside Falmouth Harbour to the deep water Woodstock mark. This was followed by spectacular downwind surfing to Old Road Bluff and a long beat to Cape Shirley. The fleet then headed back out to sea reaching to the Woodstock mark in big seas before finishing on a tight reaching leg to Falmouth.
The entire four-race series was blessed with spectacular conditions with 15-20 knots of easterly winds throughout the regatta.
Spirit of Tradition Class
Rebecca, the spectacular 140ft Frers Ketch won the final race, her third in a row, to cinch the class win. Starling Burgess/Dijkstra J Class, Rainbow, was second in class with third being the Joel White designed Dragonera, steered by Sean Lucey. Jerry Bardoe, a.k.a. Chippy, was racing on board Rebecca.
“I think I have been to about 20 Antigua Classics, there is no other regatta like it,” said Chippy. “Rebecca was in the starting area and we passed Elena, exchanging pleasantries, then we passed Rainbow and did the same. Where in the world are you going to do that? Antigua Classics of course!”
Vintage Class A
The final race was one of the closest for many years in Vintage A Class with four yachts vying for victory in the last race. Griff Rhys Jones’ Argyll was the race winner by just over a minute on corrected time, from Robbie Fabre’s Vagabundo II. Trevor Fretter’s Blackwatch was third just seconds behind Vagabundo II. Blackwatch won the class with Vagabundo II holding on to second place from Argyll.
Vintage Class B
Mary Rose, skippered by Gerald Rainier, scored a perfect four races to win the class. Brazilian schooner, Atrevida was second, just ahead of Richard Oswald’s Coral of Cowes.
“The rating system in our class worked very well,” said Rainier.“Mary Rose is a much smaller boat, which meant that we could get inshore for the lifts off the land, but the big schooners had the advantage of waterline length, so the differences evened out. The Mary Rose crew are such fun to sail with. I said before the regatta, the three most important things were: Don’t get hurt, don’t hurt the boat and have fun – we pretty much stuck to that plan.”
Vintage Class C
Leo Goolden’s 25ft Folkboat Lorema was the winner on the last day, giving the young skipper from Cornwall a perfect score at his first ever Caribbean regatta. Roy Boughton’s Guiding Light was second with Alexander Drinkwater’s Samsara placing third.
Classics Class A
Ralph Isham’s Whitehawk took line honors in every race, also winning all four races after time correction. Brian Smullen’s Cuilaun was second with Saphaedra third.
“Marvellous, just the right amount of wind and a good sea state, ‘chamber of commerce’ perfect conditions, every day has been great,” said Whitehawk’s helmsman James Houston.
Classics Class B
The majestic schooner, Elena was the winner of the final day’s race, sailing the complex course to perfection. An incredible sight, her extensive sail area was expertly handled by around 30 sailors. However, Robert’s Soros’ Juno had won the previous three races, and being second in the final race, secured the class win. Bonnie Schmidt and Nigel Bower’s Heron was third.
Classics Class C
Sea-Mester’s magnificent schooner, Argos was beaten for the first time in the regatta, with the last race going to the Klaus Roder designed schooner, Kairos. However, Argos won the class with Kairos second and Ashley Kerr’s Windjammer in third.
On the last day, Andrew Robinson’s Summer Cloud, one of six Carriacou Sloops, won their second race of the regatta but it wasn’t enough to win this highly competitive class. That honor went to Alexis Andrew’s Genesis. Philippe Fabre’s Exodus was third in class but did not finish the last race after a collision with Eli Fuller’s Zemi.
Classic GRP Class
Paul Deeth’s Petrana won this class by three points ahead of Don Ward’s Frolic.
For more information, pictures and results, visit: www.antigua classics.com
Report by Louay Habib compiled by Gary Brown.
Photos: Jean Jarreau / www.HeliPhotoCarib.com