Ahh yes.. Caribbean sailing.. 12- 15 knots of breeze with sunny skies and a few clouds to offset the incredible blue of the seas.. over 100 boats of all sizes ranging from the 100′ ICAP Leopard down to the Melges 24′ on 2 starting lines. So much to see and watch that paying attention to our boat and race can be difficult.
Antigua has always been a favorite regatta for me as we sailed here in the 70’s in small boats (Pearson 26, Soverel 26 and Metalmast 30) to compete. Most of the time sleeping on deck in the sails and waking to sounds of a quiet harbor. The sail down was the price to pay for a week of partying in the historic English Harbor Dockyard. Sailing in past the walls and forts that Lord Nelson used for defenses really brings history alive for me.. looking out from Fort Shirley and knowing all of the sailing ships that have passed that way in the last 1000 years is mesmerizing. On a clear day Guadeloupe is visible to the South and most days Montserrat shows her peaks clearly. Seeing the top of the volcano missing is humbling as well.. how this whole spaceship earth lives and breathes.. Wow!
Back to racing, we sailed well in CSA class 4 and ended up the day with a 2nd and a 3rd to maintain a tie for 1st with the Melges 24. Tough boat to hold onto in certain conditions and hoping for a different course today (Tuesday) that will favor us and allow us to move up the standings. I always like being the “fox” though and becoming the “rabbit” too soon keeps us looking back and worrying.. so will take whatever we get.
Wednesday is Lay Day with relaxing and sleeping for some and racing in the Nonesuch Bay Challenge at Pigeon Beach for us. I have been invited and will sail against my brother Peter and other great sailors with my son Kai crewing for me. Our 3rd crew is our skipper and host on “High Tension”- Bernie Evan-Wong and we are looking forward to some fun and relaxing harbor sailing. This takes place within view of the beach and amongst anchored boats and spectating dinghies so mistakes are public knowledge and the crowds laughter can be heard easily when we mess up.
Last night we were treated to Shannon Falcone speaking about his experience as the forward grinder on the winning America’s Cup catamaran Oracle Team USA- very cool the takeaways that he spoke of. Caribbean sailors have the key sailing ingredients in the best waters to train and only need to be like a “sponge” as so many opportunities come to our shores. Be willing to do any job on board and the ladder of success will unfold to unbelievable heights. Key point was to be likable by the team and part of the team rather than trying to be better than your crew- pointy heads get sanded down in the real world as no one wants to be around that type. All good stuff for sailors young and old- as well as the kids in the region that most people the world over want to sail in- don’t forget our real treasures- the ocean and our youth. Thanks Shannon… you are a great ambassador. Count me in for The LIFT Project.. too long ignored.. time to bring the kids with us!
Off to the races! More later… from “a lucky guy sailing with his kid”.. pinch me..