Racing at Antigua Classics, sponsored by Panerai, came to a conclusion today with the 20-mile Windward Race. A light south-easterly breeze of 5-10 knots produced gentle but shifty conditions for the fleet.
After a close reach at the start, the Classic fleet unfurled downwind sails at the offshore mark and with spinnakers flying, set off dead downwind for Old Road. A beat to Shirley Heights followed, with the fleet playing the lifts along the bays of the south coast of Antigua. A tight reach back offshore, was followed by the final leg, downwind to the finish of Windward Beach.
Provisional results for all classes have know been posted on the event web site, congratulations to all of the class winners who will be awarded for their performance at tonight's Panerai Prize Giving. Seven yachts have won all four races: Dragonera, Heron, Janley, Mary Rose, Paloma VI, The Blue Peter and Wild Horses. Congratulations to the other class winners: Adix, Argo, Frolic, Lazy Leg and Zemi. The Panerai watch will be awarded to the least total corrected time from Traditional, Vintage or Classic Class.
At this year's Antigua Classic Regatta there are six yachts 100ft or over. The sailing grounds off the south coast of Antigua are a perfect venue for these leviathans of the sea.
Originally named Jessica, Adix was built by Astilleros de Mallorca in 1984 to an Arthur Holgate design. With a length of 213ft (65m), Adix remains one of the largest sailing yachts built since the 1930s. The three-masted schooner’s hull is built of steel with teak decks and alloy masts and displaces 370 tonnes with a draft of over 4 metres.
Paul Goss has been the skipper for the Spanish owners since it was acquired in 1989 and has carried out extensive modifications at Pendennis, Falmouth UK by Dykstra Naval Architects. Adix has made several circumnavigations and is competing at Antigua Classics for the first time. Adix won the last race of the regatta to win Classic Class A from the 121ft Strawlinski cutter, Alexa of London.
“It has been a fantastic regatta for us,” commented Paul Goss. “Even though the wind was very light, the boat went very well. For a regatta like this, we need to get extra people involved as it is very important to get the choreography spot on and not make mistakes, there were a lot of sail changes during the regatta and all in all it went very well. The race committee need to be commended for the way they set up the races, we are very happy, it has been great. Classics attracts a great selection of boats from the small traditional sloops right up to boats like Adix and we will definitely come back for the next regatta if we can.”
Another debutante over 100ft was the 141ft reproduction W.Starling Burgess schooner, Columbia. The original Columbia was built by Arthur Dana Story from the design of Starling Burgess in Essex, Massachusetts in 1923 and was the final development of the Gloucester fishing schooners which were famous for speed and seaworthiness. Fishermen who plied their trade on the Grand Banks raced these schooners, often in brutal conditions. The original Columbia was lost with all hands in a hurricane off Nova Scotia in August 1927.
Brian D’Isernia, owner of the Eastern Shipbuilding Group, discovered the original hand-drawn lines plan of Columbia in the Shipbuilding Museum in Essex, Massachusetts where she was originally built. Attracted by her proud history and beauty, Brian began the journey of bringing Columbia back to life, using this as opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of restoring a significant piece of maritime history back to the glory she deserved. The exact replica of Columbia, albeit now with a steel hull rather than wood, was launched by the Eastern Shipbuilding Group in 2014.
The 125ft twin-masted schooner Kairós and 167ft twin-masted ketch Chronos are regular competitors at Antigua Classics. Both of the magnificent yachts are owned by Sailing-Classics, based in Stuttgart, Germany.
The company offers sailing cruises to sailors with a passion for classic yachts. Andreas Steidle-Sailer, General Manager commented: “We charter our cabins to combine real sailing with luxury cruises. Antigua Classics offers fantastic sailing and the opportunity to see beautiful boats and scenery and that is exactly what are clients are looking for. I own a classic myself and for me it is classic or nothing. On Kairós and Chronos, we combine classic sailing with super-yachting.
Most of our clients are German but it is getting more and more international. There is another vessel under construction, which will start its service next spring and it will be a sistership to Chronos, so we hope to have three yachts at Antigua Classics next year. We are so happy that we can come to Antigua Classics every year because we love it.”
The day concluded with a prize-giving ceremony in the historic Nelson’s Dockyard followed by a live performance from Antiguan band 1761. A relaxing day tomorrow at the Dockyard, Tuesday April 19th with cream-teas and gig rowing racing.
For full results and more information: www.antiguaclassics.com