Island Time

By David SchmidtFew regattas dish up the trade winds, the big waves, and the international scene that can match Antigua Sailing Week. This year there may have been an extra infusion of Europeans, considering the high value of the euro in terms of U.S. dollars. What awaited them this year were conditions on the light side for this exposed flank of the Antilles, with average winds in
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

By David Schmidt

Few regattas dish up the trade winds, the big waves, and the international scene that can match Antigua Sailing Week. This year there may have been an extra infusion of Europeans, considering the high value of the euro in terms of U.S. dollars. What awaited them this year were conditions on the light side for this exposed flank of the Antilles, with average winds in the 10-to-15-knot range and small, lumpy seas.

LeopardDS


Happily, light air merely added a level of complexity to the tricky courses, full of chicane turns, loops, and grand arches, favored by Antigua Sailing Week’s race committee. These courses may have confused American participants who are used to the standard windward-leewards, but they made for exciting times, especially aboard the Super-Maxis Leopard and Rambler, which sail with enough crew to allow for wardrobe changes (the equivalent of a “normal” boat cracking off the headsail sheet a few inches.

Among the Division A boats (all-out racers), the first-generation TP52 Pantera was the boat to beat. While speculation among the bigger-boat crews pegged Pantera’s luck on a soft rating, the crew sailed a brilliant regatta and topped out in first place, ahead of the 90-foot Reichel/Pugh Rambler (don't miss the on-deck account of racing aboard both Rambler and Leopard, coming in the July issue of SAIL).

gunboatcropped

Also a presence in Div-A were three Gunboat 48s and three Gunboat 62s, racing in a special Gunboat class. These exciting, exquisite all-carbon catamarans turned heads with their speed and stunning good looks. I had the pleasure of sailing aboard the GB48 BLAST, with Peter Johnstone at the helm. The boat was as interesting to sail as it was comfortable to be aboard, and it definitely changed my opinion of big catamarans. Rumor has it that Gunboat is building a 90-footer, and that would sure turn heads, even at such a visual feast as Antigua Sailing Week.

Most of the racing was staged off the southern coast of the island, with charterboats either anchoring or docking at Nelson’s Dockyard while the bigger boats sheltered in Falmouth Harbour. Here, the visual feast included boats as stunning as the J-Class Velsheeda, a wealth of Dutch-built megayachts, and too many Swans, Wallys, and other floating exotica to count. Add nightly partying that was, shall we say, commensurate, and yes, it must be Antigua.

EosDS

Related

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGood ConnectionsI wish I’d had a dollar for every time I’ve cobbled together an electrical fitting with a “that’s good enough” shrug. An old shipwright once taught me that “good enough is not good enough” ...read more

tides2

Gear Test: Tides Marine Sailtrack

Gravity is an important force at work on a sailboat. It keeps the boat upright, it makes the anchor drop to the bottom, and it makes the mainsail slide neatly down the mast to be flaked and put away at the end of the day… until it doesn’t.In the case of dropping the mainsail, the ...read more