by Louay Habib
For the second day of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua glorious conditions prevailed. Two races were held in 17-20 knots of warm Caribbean breeze and the two shorter, tighter courses provided some thrills and spills for the eight strong superyacht fleet.
Gloria crashing to windward - The Superyacht Challenge 2014
In the first race of the day, the 182' Dykstra Schooner, Adela got away to a flying start, smashing to windward before unfurling 'Big Red' and accelerating downwind. Adela performed well, playing the current and shifts and the crew excuted some text book boat handling to score their first win of the regatta. Germán Frers 113' sloop, Unfurled sailed well to post a second place with the 108' Vitters sloop Inoui third. Yesterday's winner, 102' ketch Marama suffered a torn mainsail but quick crew work to reef the sail, saved the day.
The last race of the day was full of incident, unfortunately Inoui could not compete due to gear failure but will be back racing on Sunday. One of the Adela crew was flicked over the side during a manoeuvre , Maxi Swan 90, Freya immediately offered assistance, furling away their head sail and in a controlled gybe went to assist the man overboard but the Adela crew was safely recovered by a chase boat. Freya received three cheers from several yachts after the race.
126' Schooner, Gloria has been in consistent form all day and stayed out of trouble in the last race to take the first win. Marama was second and the very consistent Unfurled in third. This is the first occasion that Gloria has entered the Superyacht Challenge Antigua and the owner and crew were elated with the win. Gloria's bow crew are all in their twenties and composed of as many gals as guys, the regular crew on Gloria have been joined with sailors in Antigua working on other yachts. Most of the rear guard (critics section) is composed of silver foxes with decades of superyacht know-how and the blend of youth and experience produces a laugh a minute atmosphere on board.
Caribbean Beach Party - The Superyacht Challenge 2014
Saturday night's entertainment was a Caribbean beach party with a loud shirt competition. The colourful clan enjoyed a barbecue with a traditional Antiguan dance troop to get the party going and dance tunes kept the tempo up right through the night. Prizes for the loudest Caribbean shirt will be awarded at tomorrow's Prize Giving, the smart money is on Timoneer!
Racing concludes today with the fourth and last race of the 2014 Superyacht Challenge Antigua. After a short windward start, the fleet will stride out on a 5 mile downwind leg offshore into deep ocean, then its a broad reach back to Curtain Bluff with a six mile beat and a sprint reaching finish. Spectators in Antigua can watch the action from Fort Charlotte, Rendezvous Bay and Curtain Bluff.
All of the yachts have satellite tracking systems with a race player on line at the event website.