Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Final Result in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2009

In the last blog entry, I mentioned that we were leading. We had three guests on board who were giving the regular crew plenty of help. Andy Morrell who runs HIHO, the famous sailing adventure in the BVI, came along with his son Josh and ran the jib and geneka trim. We also had Harry Ingram from Aberdeen tailing the jib sheets and helping with main trim too. Unfortunately all of these guys had to fly out early and had only planned on doing the first two days. I had asked my good friend Nikolai to sail with us for the entire regatta because i knew he had been a yacht skipper for years and years and knew boats better than most people. He was our "rock star" who pretty much ran the boat when i was concentrating on steering. He used to run the kitesurfing school for a few years before going back to Yacht Surveying which he does full time these days. We still needed more crew and for race three we managed to get Charles Kenlock, the owner of Jolly Harbour Marina to sail with us. We were still short of crew for race three. The race was what many call the drag race which was a reach straight out 6 miles and straight back in, back out and back in to finish. I knew this wasn't our best type of course against the other boats as we like a bit of upwind sailing and a bit of dead downwind action too. The day before we had come a bit too close to the start of another class and before race three the race committee had sent out a written warning to all racers telling them to keep clear or to face a penalty. It seems as though Genesis which races alongside us didn't receive the new instructions and were given a 5 minute penalty in race three. On corrected time before the penalty the beautiful Carriacou Sloop "Sweetheart" owned by Georgio finished first with another Carriacou "Pipe Dream" in second, Genesis in third and us in fourth by 18 seconds. The smaller boats seem to do better compared to Genesis and our boat on the long reaches. Anyway, after the penalty Genesis finished behind us in fourth. On Monday we had the final race and my dad and sister, Rachel, came along with us too. We sailed a conservative race because i knew that all we had to do was to beat "Sweetheart" in order to win the Traditional Class and we didn't want to make any big mistakes. Genesis had what seemed like a perfect start and was ahead of us from the start. She pulled away from us on the long broad reach down to Curtain Bluff, but we were confident that we could catch her on the longest upwind beat of the regatta. After all upwind was our best point of sail. Things didn't work out. Our winches which were salvaged by Todd last year started failing the day before but on this beat seemed to fail on every tack. We couldn't get the head sail in quickly and on every tack we were extremely slow to get our speed back up. Guys had to leave the windward rail to come and man-handle the sail. It was wildly frustrating, but there was nothing we could do. Alexis on Genesis sailed very well and finished about five minutes in front of us. On corrected time (actual finishing time adjusted to "elapsed time" using a formula which takes into account each boats "rating" which is a number based on all of the boats measurements.), Genesis finished first with us in second and Sweetheart in third.
The final results for the overall position in Traditional Fleet were as follows.
Ocean Nomad 1st with a cumulative of 7 points
Sweetheart 2nd with a cumulative of 9 points
Genesis 3rd with a cumulative of 10 points

For some reason which i can't exactly figure out the organizers split the small Traditional Fleet into three groups A,B and C. This gave us another trophy but I don't think it was necessary. We were First in Fleet and First in Class. If it were not for his penalty, we would have tied with Alexis in the A Class, but would have still won the overall fleet with him and Georgio on Sweetheart tieing for second. The regular Adventure Antigua fishing and sailing crew of Jason, Big John, Trevor, and Guilli all were on hand at the awards ceremony and were all very proud to be a real local boat kicking ass. Of course we couldn't have done it without the help from our other crew and we are all eager to race again soon.
For more info on all the scores you can check The Antigua Classics website results here. And for way better fun check photos of the regatta on Tim Wright's website where you can search by boat name. Remember our's is Ocean Nomad. The next regatta where our team will be sailing is just 10 days away and will be held in St. Barts. The West Indies Regatta is a new thing which is starting up for the first time this year. Check the website for more info. We may need crew too, so if you are a good sailor give us a call!