With fun dinghy racing for all the family, three days of competitive round-the-cans keel boat racing plus a new offshore race featuring one of the world’s fastest multihulls, the Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta was the place to be.
Sponsored by Budget Marine, this fun regatta continues to gain momentum as an event where ordinary boats can have a fun weekend on flat water, driven by an enthusiastic amateur club.
All classes saw close competition. In CSA 1, Performance Yacht Charter’s First 40, Southern Child, skippered by Lucy Jones won the first race of the day, putting pressure on Pamala Baldwin’s J/122, Liquid. However, Liquid held their nerve to win the remaining two races, despite fierce competition on the water from Christian Reynold’s Grand Soleil 43, Performance Yacht Racing – Quokka. Jonty & Vicky Layfield’s J11S, Sleeper was third.
“A fabulous regatta,” said Liquid’s Baldwin. “The team had to sail really well to beat the competition, the sailing conditions were divine and we had a lot of fun, this regatta has it all and to win our class just puts the icing on the cake.”
In CSA 2, Tanner & Shari Jones’ J/30, Caribbean Alliance Insurance fought a titanic battle with Hans Lammers’ Luders Yawl, Frolic.
Although Caribbean Alliance Insurance won all three of the races on the last day, Frolic was less than a minute behind in every encounter and the last race was only won by eight seconds.
“That was tough,” Jones said. “The crew had to really dig deep to hold off Frolic. She is a fast and well-sailed boat and had the advantage on us upwind but we were able to make up our time downwind. Although the wind speed has been right up there for the last two days, we have had our two children out sailing with us- they are only five and six- and this is the perfect regatta to get youngsters out sailing.”
In CSA 3, Tony Sayer’s First 42, Augustine continued their impressive form with three wins on the final day to take the class. Terry Alan’s Grand Soleil 343, Volare finished the regatta tied on points with John Wills Sweden 42, Ocean Harmony, but Volare was awarded second after countback.
“The team has sailed a lot and we have never won this one before, so that is a great feeling,” Sayer said. “A big thank you to the organizers who put on a fantastic regatta.”
Robbie Ferron’s Team Budget Marine / Micron 99 participated in Pocket Class on a Jeanneau 20 and won with eight bullets. The crew was also given the ‘Best start of the Regatta’ award for a port tack flyer on the last day.
Saturday night’s live performance drew a crowd of hundreds to The Square at Jolly Harbour Marina, with Asha Otto & Itchy Feet reeling off a string of rock numbers and their own compositions. The Sound Citizens was the closing act for the 2016 Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta.
Grahame Williams, Commodore of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club, welcomed Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, as guest of honor at the Prize Giving. Sir Rodney awarded the prizes assisted by Regatta Director, Gordon Cossar.
“It is a pleasure for me to be here for the second year running,” Sir Rodney said. “Jolly Harbour is a yachting destination and when visitors come to Antigua, they come to the heart of yachting in the Caribbean. Congratulations to the organizing committee and to all of the competitors who have taken part and I urge you to bring your friends next year, so that it will be bigger and better. After all it is the Valentine’s Regatta, so bring your loved ones!”