Only two months remain before the 31st Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Running from the 18th to the 24th April this year, the reagatta is a special event in the yachting calendar where serious sailing, laid back socialising and Caribbean camaraderie are the name of the game. Above all, however, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is set apart by its appreciation of the aesthetics and power of classic yacht design.
Kenny Coombs, Chairman Emeritus of the organising committee emphasised the passion uniting all participants at the regatta: “Everyone here is on the same level, whether you come in flip flops or private jet. We’re here for the sailing.”
Photo credit: Cory Silken, 2017
A relaxed schedule of one race a day encourages visitors to luxuriate in the beautiful location and excellent conditions where the 1960s classic racers, highly polished vintage yachts and Carriacou sloops are set off to perfection.
Rodney Williams the Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda voiced the opinion of many when he said, “The parade of the impressive number of vintage and classic yachts from across the globe is a testament to the magical and memorable experience which each mariner has when he or she anchors in our world-renowned historic English Harbour or sails in our azure, crystal clear waters.”
Schooner start 2017. Photo credit: Tim Wright
It is interesting to note that the organising committee defines a classic yacht as a boat with the following characteristics:
Moderate to heavy displacement
Built in wood or steel
Traditional rig and appearance
An old craft restored with new materials (e.g. epoxy and glass sheathing)
New craft built to a classic design
Vessels of ferro cement may be accepted if they have a gaff or traditional schooner rig
Fibreglass yachts must have a long keel with a keel-hung rudder and be a descendant of a wooden hull design
Therefore, new and old yachts have the thrill of competing side by side, and with wind in their sails they all appear timeless.
Exceptional modern sailing yachts, that do not fulfil the above requirements, are invited to join the Spirit of Tradition Class. This class is native to Antigua, invented in 1996 to showcase modern high-spec yachts that honour the beautiful lines and style of the classic tradition. Outstanding examples of this class are Alejandra, Rebecca, Marie and Athos.
Mary Rose. Photo credit: Tobias Stoerkle
Dates for the Diary:Tuesday 17 – Registration and opening ceremonyWednesday 18 – Welcome Party at Antigua Yacht Club on the lawn Thursday 19 – Concours d'élégance. Classic single-handed race.Sunday 22 – Parade of classics in English Harbour. Classic Vehicle Parade, Nelson's Dockyard Monday 23 – Race 4 – Prize giving ceremony at Nelson's DockyardTuesday 24 – Gig Racing & Cream Tea Party, Admiral’s Inn, Nelson’s Dockyard
Not long to go now! If you haven’t signed up already, please do so here.
Photo credit: Ted Martin
Many dedicated sponsors enable Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta to be the fantastic event it is every year. Leading sponsors this year are Lyman-Morse, the Maine shipyard that runs the Camden Classics Cup; the Mill Reef Yacht Club is sponsoring the event's t-shirts, caps and bags; Wadadli beer will help everyone kick back and relax after a hard day's racing, whilst Friends of the Regatta is a new association gathering the power of fans and patrons.
If any yacht, shore-side business or individual is interested in becoming a Friend of the Regatta, please contact Co-Chair Jane Coombs at [email protected] for further information.
Rex Halcyon Hotel in the stunning Dickenson Bay is offering special crew rates 17-27 April. Dickenson Bay is a 40 minute drive to English Harbour but just ten minute's from the airport. Contact Kimberly King at [email protected].