Tuesday, April 27, 2010
ANTIGUA RACE WEEK
As we left Falmouth harbor to follow the racers around the island we passed the Athena, at 275 feet loa the largest privately owned sailing vessel in the world. We just found out that is owned by John Clark who also owns Hanuman so I guess the plan was to use it as a mother ship during the races. Pity then that Hanuman never went racing!
The wind was not very strong but soon we were running wing on wing down the Goat channel inside Cades reef with Gisela on the helm.
We had not realized that the racers were doubling back on themselves and we quickly found ourselves sailing through the field and from time to time getting a close up look at some of the racers.
These two for instance were having their own private match racing duel with only seconds separating them after a long race. The noises from the two boats were alarming with much creaking and groaning from the carbon fibre spars as they tacked and gybed on their way to the finish line.
The cruiser classes were well represented although the overall entries are well down compared to the glory years of 200+ boats and the mayhem of mass starts.
This one even had crisp brown paper sails, the sign that someone was serious.
We spent the night at Hermitage bay a beautiful spot just round the corner from Jolly Harbour and were in a good spot to watch the starts the following day.
We are planning to visit Montserrat next and may leave on Thursday but as always I like to look at the clouds on the morning I make passage so we will see.
I just spent a hard hour or two giving the bottom a scrape, for a boat that was supposedly antifouled last November with Micron CSC it was badly fouled and the barnacle growth is extensive.