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35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - The Grand Finale

by Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 23 Apr 20:03 PDT 17-22 April 2024

The 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta came to a close yesterday with the single-handed race, cream teas, gig racing and prize-giving ceremony in the historic 18th century Nelson's Dockyard.

The intrepid sailors participating in yesterday morning's single-handed race headed out in the building breeze. In the small classics class (under 45' LOD) 30-foot fractional rigged 1963 Rita came first, in the large classics class (over 45' LOD) 50-foot schooner Adventurer came first and in the spirit of tradition class 1970 Nicholson 55 Eager won. Adventurer experienced the extra challenge of having to sail back into the harbour with the aid of the helpful dinghy wranglers when her engines failed.

The evening prize-giving ceremony was held last night at the Dockyard Museum compared by the regatta coordinator, Robin Stout. Barrels of rum sponsored by English Harbour Rum were presented to the winners.

After the single-handed race winners were awarded their trophies, the ceremony continued with the presentation to the Concours D'Elegence winners who were judged before racing started last Wednesday. In the Traditional class professionally maintained Navasana won, and for privately maintained New Moon won. In the Vintage class professionally maintained Nordwind won, and privately maintained Adventurer won, she also got a special mention. In the Classic class professionally maintained Bolero came first and Alani won the privately maintained trophy. In the Spirit of Tradition class, Freya came first in the professionally maintained and Revelia was first in privately maintained, she also received the Arne Frizell prize. The overall winner of the Concours D'Elegance was given to Nordwind. Hearty congratulations to all the boats that work so hard at maintaining their beautiful classic yachts.

The prize-giving ceremony continued with barrels of rum presented to first, second and third placed winners of each class in the regatta. The full results can be seen here.

The Woodstock Trophy for the best restoration was presented to the 70-foot cutter Galatea, the oldest yacht in the fleet built in 1899. The final award of the night was the Kenny Coombs Memorial Trophy which is presented to the yacht that captures the spirit of the regatta as voted on by the competitors. Special mention was made of Pancakes, a Cornish family that sailed from Falmouth UK to Falmouth Antigua and captured the hearts of the regatta participants but the award went to Harold Neel's 70-foot gaff-rigged schooner Cassiopeia II. This is Harold's second award having first won it back in 1998 when it was simply called the Spirit of the Regatta award. "I nearly burst into tears when I heard my name called" Harold said after the ceremony. "I knew Kenny Coombs very well and it's an incredible honour." Harold was a live wire throughout the regatta and out on the race course they selflessly stopped to haul in a long fishing net near the first mark on Sunday.

The evening ended with plenty of revelry and dancing to a lively and enthusiastic band under the full moonlight. The friendly camaraderie was palpable having built up over the course of the week and there was plenty of talk about returning next year where we will also be celebrating the 300-year anniversary of Nelson's Dockyard which promises to be a spectacular event.

Plenty of photos from our talented photographers will be uploaded to the gallery on our website here within the coming days with links to their websites, and to see the wonderful videos taken by Aquafilms here.

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