Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

An interview with Carlo Falcone about the 2019 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

by David Schmidt 15 Apr 2019 08:00 PDT April 17-23, 2019
Racecourse action at the 2018 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta © Image courtesy of Beverly Factor

If you love classic yachts, Caribbean culture, and gorgeous, tradewind-fueled, warm-water sailing conditions, it’s almost impossible to beat the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. This annual regatta regularly attracts some of the prettiest wooden boats afloat, as well as some of the world’s most dedicated wooden-boat sailors, with its promise of well-organized racing on one of the world’s most picturesque racecourses.

Not surprisingly, this year’s event (April 17-23, 2019) is shaping up to be as fun and competitive as ever, packed with events including concours d’elegance judging, a singlehanded race, four scheduled buoy races, a parade of classic yachts, gig racing, and a cream tea party at the Admiral’s Inn at Nelson’s Dockyard.

Nautical eye candy will include historic classic yachts such as Mary Rose, a 64.5-foot Herreshoff-designed schooner from 1925; Sumurun, a 118-foot Fife-designed ketch from 1914, and Eilean, a 72-foot Fife-designed ketch, as well as Spirit of Tradition boats (read: new[er] boats built to classic lines and sometimes modern materials) such as Athos, a 203-foot Hoek schooner from 2011; Blackfish, a Jim Taylor-designed 49-foot sloop from 2017, and the Spirit of Bermuda, which is a 116-foot, three-masted schooner from 2006.

Additionally, spectators can look forward to the sight of the beautiful International Dragon Class boats, which have been an important part of sailboat racing in Antigua for decades.

I checked in with Carlo Falcone, race chairman of the 2019 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (April 17-23) and a longtime competitor and former Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta winner via email, to learn more about this Bucket List-worthy regatta.

How many Antigua Classic Yacht Regattas have you participated in? Also, what was the first year that you raced in this event?

I have participated since 1993 when I bought my 80-foot vintage yawl Mariella, a Fife design built by Alfred Mylne in 1938. That year the amazing 1927 motor yacht Talitha G was the Committee Boat and it was truly spectacular.

I have competed in every Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta since except for three- once because I was sailing her around the world at the time and the other two because Mariella was in Italy where she was being repaired after hurricane damage.

How would you describe the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta to someone who has never raced in the regatta?

It’s like someone with a passion for flowers being in the midst of a beautiful garden! Such lovely weather, so many beautiful boats!

Do you have any advice or racecourse tips for first-time competitors?

Follow the rules and enjoy the beautiful trade wind and superb warm, sunny Caribbean sailing conditions.

How would you describe the level of competition at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta compared to other classic-yacht regattas?

All Classic Yacht regattas are highly competitive and ours is no exception.

What kinds of weather conditions are common at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta? Also, what’s the best-case and worst-case scenarios in terms of weather?

We have perfect tradewinds. The best case is when they consistently blow at a reasonable speed able to be handled by all boats; the worse-case scenario is flat calm–luckily, [flat calms are] very rare!

What’s your favorite part or aspect of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta? (Maybe this is a mini distance race or a day of racing around the buoys or maybe it’s the onshore/social aspects?)

Racing in perfect conditions and returning to the comradeship and camaraderie on the Antigua Yacht Club Marina docks and meeting many interesting sailors and admiring the many different types of beautiful yachts.

What are your team’s goals for the 2019 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and what kind of training/practice are you investing to help make these goals a reality?

Mariella is always racing and travelling, over a 1,000 miles a year, so the team is always ready to go racing! Last summer she was racing in New England, next summer in the Mediterranean.

Related Articles

Celebrating offshore success and the CCA's awards
Latest Sail-World newsletter from David Schmidt in the USA The Cruising Club of America's annual awards are a great opportunity to celebrate offshore sailing in the depths of winter. Posted on 25 Feb
Gladwell's Line: What do we really know?
A look at the use of prototype or test boats, alternate strategies and the nuances of a dry tack A look at the use of prototype or test boats in this America's Cup cycle, and the alternative strategies teams could be using as they keep their Cup developments running. Plus a look at dry tacks and gybing in the AC75. Posted on 24 Feb
Time for Fresh Oil
It's a new year and a new season of SailGP, so it's definitely a great time for some fresh oil. It's a new year and a new season of SailGP, so it's definitely a great time for some fresh oil. As we know, this is really important for the best shallow or deep fry, and for Season Two the gas has been turned up somewhat with the seven F50s. Posted on 23 Feb
James Mitchell on the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds
An interview with James Mitchell about the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds I checked in with James Mitchell, event chair of the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds (February 21-28, 2020), via email, to learn more about this high-level One Design world-championship regatta. Posted on 19 Feb
Tokyo 2020 U.S. selections, Tea Route, Cup news
Latest Sail-World USA newsletter from David Schmidt While the Tokyo 2020 Olympics don't start until July, the sailing world got clarity as to which sailors will be representing the USA at this summer's Games as racing concluded at four critical world-championship regattas. Posted on 18 Feb
Olympic moments abound
The Summer of Sailing around Port Phillip has been quite the big deal The Summer of Sailing around Melbourne's Port Phillip has been quite the big deal. How cool would it be to have Australia represented in the 470M, Laser, 470W, Finn, 49er, FX, Nacra, and also Laser Radial Posted on 16 Feb
Rolex awards, anticipating four Aussie worlds
Honoring sailing's greats and looking forward to Down Under worlds US Sailing's annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards are two of the biggest honors that are awarded to U.S.-flagged sailor. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry, as well as Daniela Moroz, received these honors for 2019. Posted on 11 Feb
Steve Burzon on the Caribbean Multihull Challenge
An interview with Steve Burzon about the 2020 Caribbean Multihull Challenge I checked in with Steve Burzon, event organizer of the 2020 Caribbean Multihull Challenge, via email, to learn more about this exciting, warm-water multihull event. Posted on 11 Feb
Welcome sign, not toll booth, nor boom gate
The question of participation is the proverbial whipping boy of yachting Quite possibly, and even more so than keels of Unobtanium and constantly dynamic sail membranes filled with Helium, the question of participation in our sport is the proverbial whipping boy of yachting. Posted on 9 Feb
Gladwell's Line: SailGP rings changes for Season 2
SailGP was very much at the forefront of the sailing stage this week SailGP was very much at the forefront of the sailing stage, this week - and not for what happened on the water. Great Britain SailGP announced a crew line up stacked with members of the INEOS Team UK America's Cup team and a minority investor signed on. Posted on 9 Feb
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 2Official-Event-Store-Red-alt1  728x90 BOTTOMiSails 2020 - February - FOOTER