Mother Nature turned up the volume for the second day of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai. Seventeen knots churned the water into rowdy seas, giving skippers and crew the chance to up their game. Since it was the Butterfly course, yachts were tested on every point of sail.
The extra wind was welcomed, especially by the big girls. The 138’ magnificent Herreshoff gaff rigged schooner, Mariette of 1915, kept her crew of two dozen hopping, thankfully leaving no time to sing the bawdy sea shanty that wowed the crowd at last night’s competition. Captain Charlie Wroe and helmsman Trevor Murphy drove hard, hitting 13 knots, yet placed 2nd behind the 62’ Hereschoff schooner, Mary Rose, in Vintage Class A. The victory for Mary Rose was well earned given that her newly repaired foremast was restepped only an hour before the race began.
In Vintage Class B, Mat Barker’s The Blue Peter, a 65’ Alfred Mylne Cutter placed first on corrected time to even the score with the 77’ Fife Yawl Latifa. The two boats, along with Anne Marie, a 57’ Harris gaff yawl are old friends – their last race was in Cowes, in 1938!
Local boat Don Ward’s Frolic, a 44’ Luders yawl, remains in first place overall Classics GRP Class A, as does Alexis Andrews’ Genesis, the 42’ Alwyn Enoe sloop in Traditional Class; Juno, the 65’ Nat Benjamin Schooner in Classics Class C; Vagabundo, a 42’ German Frers Bermudian ketch in Vintage Class C; Chloe Giselle, the latest Sean McMillan 65’ Spirit Sloop in Spirit of Tradition Class and youngest in the fleet; and Chronos, 157’, Klaus Roder Staysail Ketch in Tall Ship Class. The other classes saw upsets today raising the bar for tomorrow’s contest. The full results can be seen at www.antiguaclassics.com
This is the Gentlemen’s Race but it’s also a Regatta that runs on spirit and good humour. Wild Horses, the 76’ Joel White sloop, tuned up with a herd of crew sporting eerily realistic horse heads, prancing on deck. Spirit of Oysterhaven, the 70’ Frederick Parker schooner, turned the race into a talent show, their uniformed crew on the rail dancing and singing a snappy tune. Several whales got in the act, spouting and rolling amongst the fleet.
The surprise winner of last night’s Salty Beard contest was Antiguan, Nupee, who clearly has a future in comedy. The Sea Shanty competition was both tight and hysterical, but the popular winner was Dkembe Outterbridge, crew on the yacht Spirit of Bermuda.
Since racing in tropical sun causes extreme thirst, Presidente kindly opened the Beer Garden this afternoon and the lawn of Nelson’s Dockyard turned into a giant lounge filled with sailors who had stories to tell.
As light left the sky, the stage lit up for the Prize-giving of the Concours d’Elégance, this year sponsored by Gerald Rainer’s Mary Rose . Lucky winners took home a piece of Antigua with gorgeous trophies made by ceramic artist Nancy Nicholson. Winners in all classes were announced, leading up to the Overall Winner, the gorgeous Fife Latifa. This year’s winner of the Arne Frisell award, for the yacht with the most grace and seaworthiness, was bestowed upon Spirit of Bermuda.
The Copper and Lumber Hotel is the setting for this evening’s Vintage Costume Ball and the Pirate Tango will take place on the Capstans Lawn.