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The Big Schooner Skirmish of the 2008 Antigua Classics

This year saw the largest Antigua Classics to date with nineteen schooners out of the 73 entries. Along with the big four magnificent schooners, the two J-boats, Ranger and Velsheda vied for attention, all drawing the largest press ever to attend the Antigua Classics.

Picture yourself standing behind the wheel of one of the big four, say, Eleonora, a Herreshoff gaff schooner, the exact replica of the famous 1910 schooner Westward. Your eye sweeps along the seemingly endless, clean, uncluttered decks with their very low deck houses, past the main and foremast, finally ending at the tip of the long bowsprit. Your heart cannot but help dance at the grace of this almost dainty-looking schooner.

Or perhaps you would want to take the helm of Altair, the 108-foot William Fife gaff schooner built in 1931 with a nearly identical rig to Eleonora’s but very different on deck with her long, lean stern and solitary deck house. Original “touches” include a bronze vent on top of a hatch and fine leather work throughout such as the leather guards on the lines holding the dock fenders.

Then again, you just might want to handle the wheel of Adela, the 147-foot Storry staysail schooner built in 1995 which reflects the modern use of stainless steel where normally bronze is used, such as the engine controls, her unusual, flamboyant dolphin striker and the “seat?” on top and toward the end of her bowsprit.

But you must not ignore the stately and most elegant Aschanti, the 105-foot Henry Gruber staysail schooner with her black hull, sturdy wheelhouse and exquisite helmsman’s seat formed by a whale’s tail. Gold filigree sea dragons adorn her bow as do other designs by her stern.

Many hearty thanks to the 2008 official sponsors: Panerai, Boat International, Ocean World, Bachus Divine Wines, Gleeds, Antigua Yacht Club Marina & Resort, Antigua & Barbuda National Parks Authority, North Sails Caraibe , Portland Yacht Services, Inc, Chippy Fine Yacht Woodwork, Woodstock Boatbuilders and Carib Bean Coffee Roasters.
Also kudos and thanks to the Race Committee boat and officers and to the hardworking and gracious volunteers of the Antigua Yacht Club.

These schooners are each unique treasures that excite and thrill us. May they keep our hearts light with pleasure and appreciation of their exquisite beauty and elegance!

For complete results:  www.antiguaclassics.com

Results

Classic Class A
Eleonora    

Classic Class B
Juno

Classic Class C
Lone Fox

Classic Class D
Alice of Penrhyn
                                                         
Classic Class GRP A
Calypso     

Classic Class GRP B
Sunshine

Spirit of Tradition Class A
Velsheda

Spirit of Tradition Class B
Wild Horses

Traditional Class
Genesis

Vintage Class A
Ticonderoga

Vintage Class B
Altair

Antigua Dragon Classic Cup Racing
Compass Point

Carib Bean Cup Racing:
Small Classics:  Sunshine
Big Classics:  Galatea

Overall in the Classic & Vintage Class
First Ticonderoga                             
Second Galatea
Third Eleonora
         
Mt. Gay Rum Trophy, Winner of the most competitive class
Sunshine

Panerai Trophy, Best Total Corrected Time
Ticonderoga

Concours d’ Elegance Winner:  Thalia

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