Antigua Classic – Gentle breezes and fierce competition

The twenty-mile long Butterfly Course was on the schedule for Race two of the 2023 Antigua Classic Regatta, a favourite course of many of the classic yacht sailors. However, with the forecast predicting light winds out of the south that were expected to diminish as the afternoon wore on, the Race Committee shortened the course and moved the start times to be an hour earlier. Race Coordinator, aka All Things Wet, Clare Cupples said “We decided that the Butterfly Course was too long for the wind speed and the direction was too far out of the south so we adjusted and shortened the course.” When the starting gun went off the boats found around 10 knots of gentle breeze out of the southeast.

Montana 48' S&S Swan racing in the Modern Classics class
Montana 48′ S&S Swan racing in the Modern Classics class

“A little less wind today but it was an awesome race and a big thank you to the race committee for shortening the course” said Markus Bocks owner of the 48 foot S&S Swan sloop Montana. “A brilliant call, the shortened course saved the day” said Karl James MBE of Antigua Yacht Club who sailed on Don Ward’s 47 foot sloop Freya.

Alani 35' Alan Guerney sloop is winning the smaller Classic GRP class
Alani 35′ Alan Guerney sloop is winning the smaller Classic GRP class

“A great race today. We were very competitive and we’re pleased about that.” Richard West owner of the 1928, 50 foot stay-sail schooner, Charm III said after returning to the docks. Charm III took first in the Schooner class today tying them with Nat Benjamin’s 65 foot gaff rigged schooner Juno for first overall in the class with one race left. Sandy Mair’s 35 foot Bermuda sloop, Cricket finished first in Modern Division A and goes into the final race with a one point lead over Bernie Evan-Wong’s modified Cal 40, Huey II. The Blue Peter owner, Matt Barker got a birthday present when his 1930, 65 foot cutter made two first place finishes in the Vintage and Classic class. Also making two firsts in a row were Sarah Schelbert’s 35 foot Gurney sloop, Alani in Classic GRP B, Paul Deeth’s 50 foot ketch, Petrana in Classic GRP A, Alexis Andrew’s 42 foot Alwyn Enoe Carriacou sloop, Genesis, Robbie Ferron’s Nonsuch 33, Bunglebird in Modern Division B and Donald Ward’s 47 foot sloop, Freya in the Spirit of Tradition class. The full cumulative results can be seen here.

Ticonderoga, 72' Herreshoff ketch built in 1936 racing in Vintage class
Ticonderoga, 72′ Herreshoff ketch built in 1936 racing in Vintage class

The youngest sailor in the fleet, Preston Hinds was all smiles at the helm of the 31 foot, Bernard Compton Carriacou sloop, New Moon as she crossed the finish line. “He’s a outstanding kid and a great sailor who’s been sailing since he was six” said New Moon owner, Charlotte Hooijdonk.

New Moon the smallest Carriccou sloop in the fleet with her colourful young crew
New Moon the smallest Carriccou sloop in the fleet with her colourful young crew

For more information please visit www.antiguaclassics.com
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is the premier classic sailing event of the Caribbean attracting a large number of Classics every year from all around the world. In its 34th edition this year, the event enjoys a wonderful variety of competitors including traditional craft from the islands, vintage and classic ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls making the bulk of the fleet along with the more newly-built Spirit of Tradition yachts and Modern Classics.

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