As predicted in November’s All at Sea, this event on December 2 and 3 saw Christmas winds in excess of 25 knots, and fast, fun, and furious racing for a dozen boats of all shapes and sizes. Internationally famous race crew flew in from as far afield as Saba Rock, and several new entrants pitched up against local boats, some fresh from victories in Guadeloupe.
Dr Bernie Evan-Wong in Huey Too won Racing Class, with Hans Lammers in second place on Sunshine, and the Encore, based in English Harbour third. Local J30 Blue Peter may have been in contention, but for their handling of a man overboard situation. They actually stopped and picked their crew out of choppy, breaking seas. As everyone knows, standard practice is to have at the casualty with a boat hook on one’s next pass around the course, because, to legally finish, one should have the same number of crew with which one started.
In Cruising/Fun Cruising Class, Rick Gormley on Elethea took the whole thing far too seriously and won all five races. In the Race 2, Race Officer George Bridger tried to slow Elethea down by calling on VHF12 from the committee boat to suggest Elethea was leading the field astray by not following the course as set out in Sailing Instructions. This did not work out, so in George’s Newfoundland tradition of honesty and integrity, after only five minutes or so, he called again to say “Just kidding, Elethea. You’re doing the correct course”. Second place in this class went to the ancient Columbia 34, now re-rigged as a yawl, skippered by Colin Jones. Plucky little Fiesta sailed by Eve and David and crew took third prize.
So, JHYC officials and supporters are pleased that these five races happened in good order, with no injuries, in challenging and competitive conditions, leaving plenty of time for the Saturday bash with excellent, live music and special sailors’ buffet (40EC$), and the prize-giving on Sunday, all at the legendary Dogwatch Tavern, home of JHYC. We are all very fortunate in our growing, supremely generous and positive thinking list of sponsors: Island Provisions, Wild Caught Fish n Shrimp, Catamaran Club, Castaways Beach Bar, Jolly Dive and the new healthy body massage business, Chakra Body Works in Jolly Harbour.
JHYC is looking forward to its next event—the Valentine Regatta on 17th and 18th February. This year promises to be bigger than ever, with sponsors including key sponsor Budget Marine. All sailors and supporters are guaranteed a hearty welcome and visiting yachts who wish to compete will be accommodated free of dockage.
More information from Commodor Geoffrey Pidduck (729 7702 in Antigua), Rear Commodore Tony Sayer (464 0928) and Sailing Captain Colin Jones (772 5741). To plan ahead for next year’s January Round Island race and for complete details on the upcoming world-famous Sailing Week, 29th April to 5th May, 2007, please visit the Antigua Yacht Club site www.antiguayachtclub.com or call Tommy Patterson on Antigua 641 6300.