Yachting News » Events » The Return of the Spirit of Antigua Classics

The Return of the Spirit of Antigua Classics

Founder Kenny Coombs’ underlying premise for the original Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta was to create a group of people who shared the same passion for racing vintage and classic yachts in the ideal sailing conditions of Antigua, with its amazing and unique historic background. The resulting camaraderie between this group, which varied from year to year as different yachts and sailors took part, became legendary, and was one of the chief reasons for the Regatta’s success. Whether you arrived in flip-flops or on a private jet, it was a great leveller.

The new Classics Team aims to restore the original spirit of the event, which will now take place 19-24 April 2023 during the traditional period prior to Sailing Week. Most events, including registration and dockage, will be in Nelson’s Dockyard. These will include the Single-Handed Race and the Concours d’Elégance, followed by three days of glorious racing, culminating in the famous Parade of the Classics in English Harbour after the last race on the Sunday followed by Prize Giving 6-8pm. Monday will be for rest, relaxation - and fun, with the restoration of Gig Racing at the Admiral’s Inn and thirst being slaked by Cream Teas served by elegant ladies in flowery hats & frocks (stronger beverages will also be available at the bar). A new, slimline version of our famous Programme is also being prepared.

The classes of participating yachts will remain the same - Vintage, Classic, Spirit of Tradition, Traditional and Tall Ships - but the former Historic Class has been renamed Modern Classics, defined as mono hulls built of any material, with a modern underwater profile such as fin and skeg, and designed over 35 years ago. NB. There will no longer be a Dragons Class in this Regatta.

And last but by no means least - after all the whole point of a regatta is to race - the courses, yet to be determined in detail, will be based on the original ones, such as Old Road and the Butterfly, and a modified Kenny Memorial Cannon, with an emphasis on reaching, with some Windward/Leeward legs for the Spirit of Tradition and Modern Classics classes.

Despite the late change in dates, we hope to attract participants who share the values of the new Classics Team and would like to join in re-creating the original spirit of this illustrious Regatta. Several boats have already expressed interest in participating including the elegant Adix, once the largest sailing vessel in the world.

We therefore invite any boat interested in taking part in 2023 to email our Regatta Organiser Robin Stout at antiguaclassicsregatta@gmail.com (NB. info@antiguaclassics is no longer in use).

Similarly, anyone wishing to volunteer their services (the Regatta is largely run on their good will!) should also contact the Regatta Organiser at the same address, together with anyone wanting further information.


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