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A Crescendo to the End…

On the fourth and final race of the 2018 ACYR, boats in the lead set off hoping to hold it, while the rest of the fleet went out in full battle mode. Weather predictions for light winds were replaced with a sky of cranky squalls and rain. Coupled with the longest upwind leg of the Regatta, rails were down, and boat speed up.

44’ Frolic was bested by only 56 seconds

79’ Mariella took the lead today over 64’ Mary Rose in Vintage Class A. 46’ Janley out sailed 65’ The Blue Peter in corrected time in Vintage Class B. 115’ Aschanti IV sailed the entire week in first place in Classics Class A. 52’ Mah Jong took first in the Classics Class B. For the fourth day, 40’ Free Spirit came in first in Classics Class C. Today in Traditional Class, first place was claimed by Free in St. Barth. The tightest contest was between 50’ Petrana, besting 44’ Frolic by 56 seconds. The Tall Ship Class winner was 157’ Chronos. For full race results see

Three cheers for the 42’ Carriacou sloop Genesis

Three cheers for the 42’ Carriacou sloop Genesis after spending the night in the boatyard ER. The operation to repair a rudder post was successful, thanks to a team of wood doctors and epoxy specialists. She made the start and sailed a very tight race.

There was a hair raising close encounter between 141’ Columbia and 36’ Sweetheart

Yesterday there was a hair raising close encounter between 141’ Columbia and 36’ Sweetheart prompting the exchange of a case of champagne. When they met today at the leeward mark, Columbia’s Captain, Seth Salzmann, quipped, “On no, not again,” but they all rounded and went on their merry way.

The scene last night on the dock near 70’ Vendia was nothing short of magic. Their makeshift Dark and Stormy bar, mood lighting and entertainment aloft by aerial dancer Nichole Raab were old-school ACYR. The Gentleman’s Race was alive and well at other impromptu gatherings: at the spectacular Acquafilms on-the-water video racing replay at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina; and with a movie screen suspended between two Carriacou sloops for a showing of the movie Vanishing Sail.

Winners at Sunday’s Classic Vehicle Rendezvous Competition in Nelson’s Dockyard were: in the car division, 1965 Morris Minor owned by Addison Workman; in the motorcycle class, the Harley Davidson Softail owned by Bob Low.

The sail-training schooner Ocean Star

Despite a day of salty, wet work, captains and crew cleaned up impressively well and were last seen heading to the Main Prize Giving on the lawn of the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour. Prior to handing out a stage of glittery awards, guests will be treated to a slide show of images submitted during the week by the army of talented photographers who joined us this year. This last evening of celebrating traditional vessels and the sailors who love them will include DJ music on the main stage, spirits from Mount Gay Rum and Wadadli Beer and an endless supply of sea stories.

Racing tomorrow shifts gears and venues. The big boats take the day off while gigs, dinghies and a medley of small craft head to the Admirals Inn in Nelson’s Dockyard. Rowing, sculling and sailing races, all with few rules, will entertain spectators at the Gig Racing and Cream Teas from 2pm onwards.

The ACYR Loves a Parade!

The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Course, perfectly set for four long and lively legs of reaching, is really the first parade of the day. As in all races, small boats start first and are caught and passed by the big girls. But on this course, which serves as an elliptical carousel, everyone meets again and again.

The weather softened today with 13 to 15 knots of breeze yet somehow had enough strength to blow churned seas across decks and the hundreds of cameras trying to catch the action.

Seefalke II was built as a sail trainer for the German Navy

For history aficionados, The Cannon Course mimics a military parade as each stoic veteran passes by. This year we honour the Luders Yawl Frolic, built as a US Navy Training vessel in 1944. Mariella, the 79’ Alfred Mylne Yawl served as a coastal patrol boat for the British Admiralty at the start of WWII. The 50’ Hedges Schooner Russamee did reconnaissance missions in the Vietnam War; Seefalke II was built as a sail trainer for the German Navy; Ticonderoga of Greenwich was painted gray and placed in the Corsair Fleet, patrolling subs off the US; and our committee boat for the Single Handed Race, 52’ Skagen Gaff Ketch Samsara, was a WWII patrol boat in the UK.

64’ Schooner Mary Rose leads the Vintage Class

At the end of race 3, 64’ Schooner Mary Rose leads the Vintage Class; 115’ Schooner Aschanti IV is first in Classics Class; 36’ Sloop Sweetheart holds her lead in the Traditional Class; 50’ Ketch Petrana leads the Classics GRP Class; and 157’ Staysail Ketch Chronos is first in Tall Ships Class. For full race results see

The Parade of Sail through English Harbour

After a very salty sail, vessels spiffed up for the Parade of Sail through English Harbour. Restaurants Incanto and La Brasserie served as viewing stands along with spirited beverages. Guest announcer Tom Cunliffe described each beauty as she floated past. Cheers from shore were volleyed back by exhausted but proud sailors. 50’ John Alden Ketch Petrana was dressed in Antigua flags- size large. 141’ Schooner Columbia, always looking for a black powder excuse, hauled out the cannon for a round of BOOMS. High in the rig of 52’ S&S Yawl Mah Jong, aerial acrobat Nichole Raab, gave an enticing teaser of the performance that’s coming tonight.

Back at the docks, generously sponsored for four days by Antigua Yacht Club Marina and West Indies Oil, crews flowed ashore seeking something to quench thirst. Soufrére Spring Water supplied Montserrat’s finest for the AYC grounds, the Committee Boat and they kindly co-sponsored the Owners’ Party. The Mount Gay Rum and Wadadli Beer Tents will once again be a popular meeting place for Happy Hour and all the hours that follow.

The 70’ Gaff Rigged Ketch Vendia is hosting their Epic Dock Party

This evening the 70’ Gaff Rigged Ketch Vendia is hosting ‘Vendia’s Epic Dock Party’ featuring Live Music and “Nichole the Dangly Girl.” The award winning film Vanishing Sail, directed by our own Co-Chair Alexis Andrews of Genesis fame, will be shown at Carriacou Corner. And since tomorrow is the final day of racing, there may be room in the schedule for some shut eye but if not – the show will go on!

A Classic Regatta, Antigua Style

Saturday’s action began with gear failure as 86’ Ticonderoga left the dock and a brief exit horn blast turned into an extended play. Being that this is the gentleman’s race, 141’ Columbia joined the band, then 77’ Ocean Star until finally it ran out of air. Captain Guillaume Touhadian said, “I like a horn, but not like that!”

On the water, it was obvious that yesterday’s weather was a repeat so skippers employed cautionary reefing and prudent headsail choice. Winds were a steady 20 knots but seas had a kinder edge. Today’s Butterfly course provided an exhausting workout and if anyone finished without a Dark and Stormy thirst, they weren’t racing.

79’ Mariella evened the score in Vintage Class A

79’ Mariella evened the score in Vintage Class A by finishing 7:21 minutes on corrected time ahead of 64’ Mary Rose. 42’ Genesis was on the course after an all-night repair to her gaff and placed first ahead of 36’ Sweetheart by 3:01 minutes in Traditional Class. Three boats remain in first place: 65’ The Blue Peter in Vintage Class B; 52’ Mah Jong in Classics Class B; and 50’ Petrana in Classics GRP class. Full race results can be seen at

For years, the 157’ Klaus Roder staysail ketch Chronos has graced the ACYR and joining her this year is big sister-ship 158’ Rhea. They are part of the fleet of Sailing-Classics bringing energetic participants to ACYR. This year, their owner, Andres Steidle-Sailer, said, “We’ve all had so much fun each time we come, we’re interested in giving back to the event. We intend to become a bronze sponsor for next year.”

Last night’s Sea Shanty contest blew expectations out of the water

Last night’s Sea Shanty contest blew expectations out of the water. All four performances were over the top making it difficult to chose just one. Since the prize, a jumbo bottle of Mount Gay Rum, was in good supply, everyone was declared a winner. The most outrageous performers were our own ACYR volunteers, comedically disguised as Pirates of the Caribbean.

There’s always the thrill of victory and agony of defeat at the ACYR. This year, 56’ Bill Tripp Apollonia set off for Antigua after a beating from Hurricane Irma and a marathon rebuild. When conditions turned them back, they hopped on a plane in time for the first party. Captain Thorpe Leeson said, “We couldn’t miss it!”
Misfortune also befell 127’ Atalante during a practice sail when hydraulic boom failure sidelined the 127’ Hoek sloop. Captain James Prince and crew watched the fleet set off for race 1. “We were just devastated,” he said. 115’ Aschanti IV came to the rescue, taking one crew out to race and the rest of the guests soldiered on to a string of shoreside events. “This is such a wonderful Regatta,” Prince added. “Everyone is so kind.”

50’ Petrana remains in first place in Classics GRP class

Our generous sponsors Mount Gay and Wadadli Beer are keeping sailors hydrated this afternoon during Happy Hour. Open Mic Music Night, at the Antigua Yacht Club stage, will surely lure new talent and at Boom Restaurant is the Owners’ Cocktail Party, co-sponsored by the Admiral’s Inn Classic Yacht Owners Association, represented by Executive Director Bill Lynn, who also heads the Herreshoff Marine Museum, sponsor of the Concours d’Elégance. After that, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen tonight.


Wild and Woolly Weather for Race 1

After a night of blustery rain squalls, followed by hours of uncertain calm, the weather geared up to a respectable 20 knots for the start of Race 1. Sails shot up at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour and it appeared to observers they might be under-canvased. Once they cleared the bluff, though, the choice of prudently reefing and keeping big jibs in the bag was clear. 46’ Kettenburg sloop Janley opted for a full rig in an effort to out sail 65’ Alfred Mylne cutter, The Blue Peter. In the end, Janley finished 2:44 seconds behind.

Today’s start was delayed by ten minutes in order to give coordinates for the late set of outer mark. Several boats must have missed the memo and stuck to the original start time. Note to captains: watch the flags on the Committee Boat and listen to channel 77.

Rough conditions separated the fleet until they all pulled into the station at the leeward mark. From there, the photographic drama began on the upwind crawl to the windward mark. Bows bit hard into each chunky wave sending leftovers flying over crew and cameras. Jim Childs, skipper on 41’ Abeking & Rasmussen sloop Seefalke II described today’s race as “Horrible! Wrong boat for the seas!”

Onboard 100’ Thomas Colvin Schooner Ruth by Jan Hein

Onboard 100’ Thomas Colvin Schooner Ruth, two gymnastic trainees and a team of volunteer crew commandeered the foredeck while Captain Gerrit Scheper, a seventh generation Barbadian schooner captain, drove with such precision that he cleared every mark with only yards to spare.

Racing was fierce today. In Vintage Class A, 64.5’ Herreschoff schooner Mary Rose finished a mere 1:04 minutes ahead of last year’s First Overall winner, 79’ Alfred Mylne yawl Mariella. The most amazing action happened with the Carriacou sloops in the Traditional Class. The oldest in the fleet, 36’ Sweetheart, finished first. 1:52 minutes later, 42’ Free in St Barth crossed the line but felt like a winner after a 48-hour marathon to replace the broken mast they limped in with on Wednesday. 42’ Genesis dropped out early when the boom broke but in true Carriacou sloop fashion, the repair team was on the job before she got back to the dock.

Zemi, Carriacou sloop in the Traditional Class

At last evening’s Concours Prize Giving, the 86’ Herreshoff staysail ketch Ticonderoga of Greenwich, affectionately known as Big Ti, was the overall winner. The Arne Frizzell Prize, awarded to the yacht deemed ‘most seaworthy’ was bestowed upon the 50’ Hedges Schooner Russamee. When asked if her story of riding out two category five storms last fall at anchor convinced the judges of her strength, owner Michael Brown said, “That might have helped but judge Tom Cunliffe, said she had soul. He made a note to make that a new category for next year.” For full results, see

86’ Herreshoff staysail ketch Ticonderoga of Greenwich built in 1936

The exhausting ACYR schedule begins post-race with a Mount Gay Rum Cocktail Competition, followed by the Prize Giving for the Single-Handed Race with Dark and Stormies compliments of Mount Gay. And last but not least is the Sea Shanty Contest that will carry us into the next day of racing at ACYR.

CSA Measurers Training

The CSA Measurers will be conducting a training session for new measurers on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th April in English Harbour Antigua. Anyone interested in attending should contact our Chief Measurer Bastien Pouthier at or call + 1868 364 3274.

The Launch of the 31st Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

The energy in Falmouth Harbour spiked as each entry sailed in for the start of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. 70’ Vendia and 42’ Free in St. Barth from Grenada; 86’ Ticonderoga from St. Barths; 100’ Ruth from Barbados; and the 141’ Schooner Columbia, made a last minute, ten-day dash from the States.

Spontaneous celebrations clogged docks as old friends reunited and new ones joined up like links on a chain. By the time the ACYR officially got underway at Wednesday’s Kick off Party, camaraderie was flowing into a sea of Mount Gay Rum and Wadadli beer. Dark and Stormy cocktails toasted Neptune and good fortune for bringing an amazing fleet together for our thirty-first year.

Opening ceremonies began with a heartfelt welcome from Co-chair, Jane Coombs. “We have a beautiful fleet this year of very special and unique boats. A few less than in previous years but we feel a fine fleet when you think what devastation this region suffered just seven months ago. We thank you all for choosing to visit the Caribbean this winter and helping contribute to the recovery process.” With that, The Strays lit the fuse with rocking music and an endless night of celebration began.

There was a bit of staging aboard

Thursday dawned with last minute chores needed to ship-shape entries for the Concours d’Elégance. Three teams of experts spent hours perusing vessels as owners recounted build details and back stories. Judges, including Classic Boat editor, Rob Peake, and author and sailor Tom Cunliffe had the envious but difficult task of comparing vessels spanning 79 years of age and over 100 feet in size. There was a bit of staging aboard with flowers and fruit; spoils from past racing events and a few smart owners laid out Mount Gay Hats and bottles of rum.

The beautiful Ticonderoga

In contrast to the beauty contest, the Single-Handed Race took place this afternoon in 20 knots of shifting trades with gusts topping 25 knots. Steep seas washed decks and everyone on them. The course sent vessels upwind and down causing every skipper to run in order to keep up. Aboard the 115’ Schooner Aschanti, Captain Kark Ebner ran a marathon jogging between the helm, the fore and headsails. It was an exhausting performance for the onboard observer but not for Ebner, whose smile was as wide as the finish line. Winners of the Single-Handed Race, over 45’ is Aschanti and under 45’ is the 44’ Luders Yawl, Frolic. Full race results can be seen on the website at

Aboard the 115’ Schooner Aschanti

We are pleased to announce that Roddy Grimes-Graeme of Acquafilms is now our new Media Partner. For over ten years, Roddy has contributed to the ACYR with exciting video productions of the event, highlighting the final Prize Giving with insightful edits combined with excellent sidetracks portraying the intrinsic spirt of the Regatta.

This evening, sponsors Wadadli opened the beer garden and Mount Gay provided rum tasting as a prelude to the Prize Giving for the Concours d’Elégance. Music by the piratical crew from the 52’ Skagen Gaff Ketch Samsara set the tone for another memorable evening of Classic shenanigans.

For more information please visit
Press Officer Ginny Field 785-5380)
Race Reporter Jan Hein

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Caribbean Sailing Association 2017