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.
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.
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 www.antiguaclassics.com
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.
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!