The More Things Change....
22 April 2014 | Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
....the more they stay the same. Going to a regatta, out spectating in a runabout, Jeff shooting photos of sailboats - still the same. Started over 30 years ago with E boat regattas on Nagawicka Lake, continued on with X boat regattas on Pine Lake, Optimist regattas on North Lake, C boat regattas on Okauchee Lake, A boat regattas on Pewaukee Lake... Now, it is the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in the Caribbean.
There were 2 days of ogling all these magnificent yachts as they were coming into Falmouth Harbor, down the channel past all the anchored cruising vessels. To have a closer look at all the teak, mahogany, bronze, and superb craftsmanship we walked the docks at the Antigua Yacht Club where the smell of varnish permeated the air as all the crews were busy with last minute touch-ups before the judging for the Concours d'Elegance. We kibitzed with friends, took in the evenings' programs and watched the sun go down as we enjoyed the complimentary beverages and savory hors d'oeuvres served nightly from the Panerai tent on the lawn.
A hike with friends and their dog to a high bluff with a panoramic view of Windward Bay and beyond where over a dozen classic yachtsmen were demonstrating their individual skills on the course was our viewing platform for the single handed race. The next day, we thought up close and personal would be fun on the first day of full crew racing so we took Beamer, our trusty dinghy, out to ride the swells and look down the line as fleet after fleet maneuvered their way through the starting sequence until more than 50 yachts were across the line and racing.
As these classic beauties zig-zagged their way toward an unseen mark on the horizon we steered Beamer to the beach and hiked to a higher vantage point for a good view overlooking the finish line. The first boat to cross the finish line was our favorite, Lily Maid built in 1904, who had been working furiously on their prop shaft while anchored next to us in the days preceding the regatta. Close behind on the course was Rainbow, a newly built J-boat, who sailed to the port of the finish pin rather than between the bouy and committee boat thus missing the finish line! Four other boats came in before the helmsman and crew realized their mistake and sailed back onto the course to cross the line and finish the race. The more things change.... the more they stay the same!