Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2024

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The Antigua Yacht Club presents the 35th Annual The Antigua Yacht Club presents the 35th Annual

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

17th-22nd APRIL 2024

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2024

The prestigious Antigua Classic Regatta is set to grace the pristine waters of the Caribbean once again in 2024, promising an unparalleled celebration of timeless maritime beauty, unparalleled sailing prowess, and a unique blend of tradition and excitement in the Historic Nelson’s Dockyard.

Hosted against the breathtaking backdrop of the Antiguan coastline, the Antigua Classic Regatta 2024 will take place from the 17th - 22nd of April, 2024 and will bring together a fleet of classic and vintage yachts, showcasing the grace and grandeur of sailing's golden era.

Witness the majestic beauty of classic and vintage yachts as they gracefully glide through the Caribbean Sea. A visual spectacle that pays homage to the rich maritime history and craftsmanship of these timeless vessels as skilled sailors from around the globe compete for glory. The regatta welcomes both seasoned professionals and passionate amateurs, creating an electric atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Beyond the regatta, attendees can indulge in a myriad of onshore activities. From lively social gatherings to cultural events, there's something for everyone. Explore local cuisine and the vibrant cultural scene that Antigua has to offer.

The Antigua Classic Regatta is not just a sailing event; it's a celebration that brings together the local community and international participants. Collaborations with local businesses and initiatives contribute to the event's positive impact on the region.

"The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is a unique blend of elegance and adrenaline, celebrating the timeless beauty of classic yachts and the spirit of competitive sailing. As we gear up for the 2024 edition, we invite sailors, enthusiasts, and the global community to join us for an unforgettable experience of sailing in the Caribbean" Paul Deeth, Regatta Chairman.

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I am delighted to welcome everyone to the 2024 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. We look forward to seeing all of our returning friends & sailors for another year and meeting all of you who have made it for the first time! We appreciate everybody involved including the yacht owners, crew and volunteers. You are all very special people and we could not hold this historic event without you.

We are all united in our passion for classic yachts. Owning a classic yacht is a labor of love, whether it’s a hundred year old schooner designed and built by the hallowed Herreshoffs or a traditional sloop built on the beach in Carriacou. We are fortunate that all of you share this labor of love with us; sailing these yachts is a special experience and we are all privileged to have the opportunity. Our volunteers work tirelessly to make the regatta successful and we would all like to express our endless appreciation for their dedication. Big round of applause for all!

Nelson’s Dockyard is the ultimate setting for a classic yacht regatta. The history of the area seeps into everything and the sailing conditions on the shores of Antigua are world class. Be sure to explore the historical naval Dockyard and everything that Antigua has to offer whilst you are here.

After the uncontested success of the 2023 Classic Regatta, the organizing committee began planning this year’s event with great enthusiasm. Guided by the vision of Kenny Coombs, the founder of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and aiming to recapture the spirit of the 2023 regatta we’re very excited about the 2024 edition. This year’s 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta will be better than ever! We have some fantastic events planned on and off the water, please check the schedule so you don’t miss out!


On behalf of the Antigua Yacht Club, it is my distinct pleasure to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to all participants, enthusiasts, and friends to the 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. As the Commodore of this esteemed Yacht Club, it is an honor to host this prestigious event that celebrates the enduring beauty and timeless elegance of classic sailboats designed more than 40 years ago.

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta has become a beacon in the sailing community, drawing sailors from around the globe to the azure waters of Antigua. This year’s event promises to be an unforgettable experience as we gather to celebrate the rich maritime heritage, craftsmanship, and camaraderie that defines classic yacht racing. Our regatta is a testament to the passion and dedication of sailors who appreciate the artistry of traditional yacht design. The vessels that grace our waters are not merely boats; they are living artifacts, each with a unique story and a proud history. This event is a tribute to the sailors who navigate these majestic vessels, the shipwrights who crafted them, and the designers who conceived their timeless lines.

The 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is more than a competition; it is a celebration of the sea, a gathering of kindred spirits, and a showcase of the enduring allure of classic yachts. We encourage all participants to embrace the spirit of friendly competition while fostering the bonds of friendship that make our sailing community so special.

We extend our best wishes to all participants for fair winds, safe passages, and a regatta filled with unforgettable moments.

Thank you for being part of the 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. May this event be a highlight in your sailing adventures, and may the timeless beauty of classic yachts continue to captivate our hearts. Fair winds and following seas,

Schedule of Events 2024 Schedule of Events 2024

All events take place in Historic Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua


08:00-16:00 Registration

13:00-17:00 Concours d’Elegance judging

17:00 Skipper’s Meeting on the lawn waterside of the Events Center

18:00 - 20:00 Welcome Party with drinks and canapes at Boom (Wristband Required for entry). Book dinner at Admiral’s Inn after, special menu, live music.


10:00 Race 1 Old Road

17:30-18:30 Free Happy Hour at the Capstans sponsored by English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer with photos from the day’s action (Wrist Band Required). Cash bar also available Caribbean Night at the Capstans with steel drum band, cultural dancers, stilt walkers, a fire eater and limbo dancer.


10:00 Race 2 Butterfly

17:30-18:30 Free Happy Hour at the Capstans sponsored by English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer with photos from the day’s action (Wristband Required). Cash bar also available Seafood Friday on the waterfront at the Copper and Lumber Store. Food also available at Hot Spot Cafe, Galley Bar and Pillars.


10:00 Race 3 Caterpillar

17:30-18:30 Free Happy Hour at the Capstans sponsored by English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer with photos from the day’s action (Wristband Required). Cash bar also available

1830-24:00 Open Mic Night at the Capstans featuring Those Guys Again and talented musicians from participants and spectators. Food will be available from NPA, Galley Bar and Hot Spot Cafe.


10:00 Race 4 Cannon

12:00-20:00 National Park Authority will have food, bars and viewing areas for spectators of the Parade of Classics on the water side of the Events Center.

After Race 4 around 13:30 Parade of Classics in English Harbour – take in the timeless beauty of meticulously maintained classic yachts as they parade through English Harbour.

17:30-18:30 Free Happy Hour at the Capstans sponsored by English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer with photos from the day’s action (Wristband Required). Cash bar also available Suggestions for crew dinner: Shirley Heights, Pillars at Admirals Inn.


09:00 Skippers Meeting for Single Handed Race at the flagpole on the waterfront near the Events Center

10:00 Single Handed Race

14:00 Gig Racing & Cream Tea at the Pillars

17:30-18:30 Free Happy Hour by the Museum sponsored by English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer (Wristband Required) with video and photos from the regatta. Cash bar also available

18:30 Prize Giving by the Museum followed by Dinner, Live Music & Dancing on the waterfront at the Copper and Lumber Store.

*Check the board outside of the Event Center for updates.



Paul Deeth

Clare Cupples

Robin Stout

Alexis Howard


Chairman - Paul Deeth

Regatta Coordinator - Robin Stout


Ginny Field

Mike Stout


Race Coordinator - Clare Cupples

Race Committee - Paul Deeth

Alexis Howard

Richard Archer

Chris Mansfield

International Judge - David Pelling

Single-Handed Race- Tim Wall


Race Officer - Neil Andrews

Timekeeper - Anne Morcom

Radio - Mike Rose

Flags - Tim & Caroline DeGarve

Horn & Spotter - Helen Phillips

Spotters - Helen Brayley & Angela Parry

Recorder - Pam Mansfield


Antigua Yacht Club - Karl James, Nesie Nicholas-Gore & AYC Team

Marks - Rowan "Archie" Bailey

Paramedics - ABSAR

Safety Patrol - Antigua & Barbuda Coast Guard


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A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Incredible Volunteers at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta comes to life thanks in large part to the dedication and commitment of our incredible volunteers. Every volunteer breathed life into this 2023 ACYR, leaving an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to be a part of it. From the planning committee whose tireless efforts set the stage for an unforgettable regatta to the race committee, whose expertise and precision kept the regatta running smoothly from start to finish to the dinghy wranglers who ensured the smooth operation of the classic yachts as they came and went from Nelson’s Dockyard to the administration and housekeeping workers who kept everything organized and shipshape to everyone who helped in making the Cream Tea and Gig Racing a huge success. Your dedication to preserving the legacy of classic yachting shined brightly, and we are profoundly grateful for the countless hours you devoted to making this regatta a reality.

Beyond your invaluable contributions to the logistics and operations of the regatta, it is your spirit of camaraderie and community that truly sets our volunteers apart. Throughout the regatta, volunteers had the opportunity to forge new friendships, reconnect with old ones, and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of camaraderie and fellowship that permeated every aspect of the event. Whether swapping stories over a shared meal or cheering on participants from the sidelines, your warmth and generosity helped create memories that will last a lifetime.

We are filled with gratitude for each and every one of our volunteers who helped make this event possible. Your selfless dedication, unwavering commitment, and boundless enthusiasm are a testament to the power of community and the magic of classic yachting. On behalf of the entire regatta committee and all of our participants, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your invaluable contributions to this cherished event. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2024 for another unforgettable regatta experience.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, email

Cream Tea & Gig Racing

Amidst the spirited races and billowing sails of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, participants and spectators alike find respite in the timeless tradition of the Cream Tea & Gig Racing. You couldn’t ask for a better location for the event than the green lawn and waterfront next to the Pillars at the Admiral’s Inn near the entrance to Nelson’s Dockyard. Taking you back to a bye gone era, the Pillars come alive with the delightful clinking of teacups, as participants and onlookers savor warm scones, generously adorned with clotted cream and jam as well as other delights. This delectable interlude offers a serene contrast to the adrenaline-fueled gig racing that takes place during the event. The gig races, featuring traditional sailing boats, rowing boats, kayaks, and SUPs inject a dose of friendly competition into the festivities, showcasing the prowess of skilled sailors of all ages maneuvering through the azure waters.

The Cream Tea, as well as being a unique community event, has always been popular as it lends a bit of fun after the more serious yacht racing. The event wouldn’t happen without the efficient organization of Lyn Bardoe and Sue Day who led a group of volunteers that turned out in festive garden-party attire and hats festooned with flowers to display their baking and serving skills. A raffle ticket was included in the price of the tea with the happy winners walking away with valuable prizes that were donated by local businesses. All proceeds from the Cream Tea go to St Johns Hospice, a nonprofit organization that is the only hospice in the eastern Caribbean. A local wholesale company, Island Provisions, came on board and made a large donation towards the food items needed, making this a truly charity driven event that generated much enthusiasm.

The Gig Racing took place on the other side of the Pillars, where pirates, wenches and small children raced in almost anything that floated. It was a brilliant way to wind down after the main regatta races. There was lots of family fun and interesting racing accompanied by some hilarious commentary dockside. The classic sailing gigs, rowing

boats and paddle-boards were loaned from participating yachts and the races directed by old hand, Flip Bamford. The classes were male or female racing as singles, doubles or mixed and families with their children. Each race was cheered on enthusiastically by the ebullient crowd of spectators lining the dock of the Admiral’s Inn. When a big, modern catamaran happened to motor straight through the small boat fleet, it was booed as vigorously as the winning rowers and sailors were applauded!

So, put on a hilarious hat or a whimsical get-up and sit back and relax with some genteel refreshment at the Cream Tea or join in the fun of the Gig Racing and have a nice, cold beer or glass of Prosecco as you watch the spirited competition out in the harbour. Even better, join in on both!

Preserving Tradition: The Story of Summer Cloud, a Caribbean Workboat Turned Racing Yacht

The story of Summer Cloud begins on the sandy shores of Petit Martinique where she was launched as a traditionally rigged Carriacou sloop. Built in 1995 by the skilled hands of Baldwin De Roche, but it was in Antigua that Summer Cloud found her calling under her original owner, Eddie Barreto, a discerning yachtsman with a passion for classic vessels. When she arrived in Antigua she still needed an engine and a basic interior but under Barreto's care, she flourished, successfully racing and cruising throughout the Caribbean. Her next owner, Charles Hambleton, a notorious figure in Caribbean sailing circles, sailed her far and wide, adding tales of daring escapades to her storied history. It was around 2010 that Andrew Robinson, owner of Woodstock Boatbuilders, crossed paths with Summer Cloud, discovering her languishing on St. Bart’s in Gustavia Harbour. She was on the verge of sinking but Andrew, recognizing her potential, acquired her and began a journey of restoration and enhancement that continues to this day.

Summer Cloud underwent significant modifications, or as Andrew calls it she was “pimped up” to compete in the Carriacou Regatta's Working Boat division. Her engine was removed and external ballast was added. Her length was extended to 42 feet, her rig was reconfigured to a Bermudan sloop with a retractable carbon fiber bowsprit and she was outfitted with Kevlar sails and both asymmetrical and symmetrical spinnakers. The reconfiguration was an unqualified success. Andrew helmed Summer Cloud to class wins at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in both 2010 and 2012. It wasn’t all about the serious racing however. One year at a Classic Regatta a crew member dressed as Batman appeared on the bow of Summer Cloud as the traditional boats maneuvered in the pre-start sequence. Batman, actually a Brazilian drummer for a local band, spoke dockside. “The world is full of too much plastic and these beautiful wooden boats will be re-cycled, nurtured and loved for hundreds of years. That is the message Classics is putting out to the world.”

However, in recent years the boat began to show her age and a decision was made to return to her roots. For the past four years, Summer Cloud has undergone a rebuild at Sammy’s Boatyard in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. The list of projects was extensive from new frames and knees, new deck beams and a new deck to new bulwarks and cap rail. Also, a new hollow, gaff-rigged wooden mast was fitted, honoring her traditional design while ensuring practicality and seaworthiness. New rigging was installed and a new mainsail and jib brought onboard. Whether it was structural repairs or cosmetic enhancements, every effort was made to preserve her authenticity while embracing modern standards of safety and comfort.

Summer Cloud stands on the cusp of her relaunch with Andrew and his crew of craftsmen hard at work preparing for the 2024 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. She symbolizes more than just a vessel; she embodies a legacy of craftsmanship, adventure, and resilience. Her journey from a humble workboat on the shores of Petit Martinique to a racing yacht traversing the Caribbean seas is a testament to the enduring spirit of maritime tradition in the region. Sadly she’ll be looking for a new owner to pass her on to but she’s in the best shape she’s ever been in and ready to take on the next thirty years or more.

All Things Wet (part 2)

All Things Wet, part 1, was published in last year’s Classic’s programme. It covered most of the aspects of organising a Regatta from The Race Coordinator’s point of view, the advance planning involved, and described the roles of many of the volunteers during the actual Regatta. Without these dedicated folks giving up a week of their lives the Regatta would not happen.

A group of volunteers not mentioned last year are the Dinghy Wranglers who were definitely part of the All Things Wet Team, sometimes a little too literally, although this is discouraged. True Classic yachts have what are called long (or full) keels which give vessels excellent directional stability but are not so great at manoeuvring under power. Add to this the possibility of an off-set propeller, i.e. not on the center line, bowsprits, bumpkins, excess windage and often an underpowered engine, “parking” aka mooring, said yachts can be an “interesting” experience, especially in Nelson’s Dockyard where all the berths are stern to.

The Dinghy Wranglers, all yachtsmen in rubber dinghies, stood by for the duration of the regatta to assist yachts mooring and unmooring, be it helping with lines or as pushing tugs. They were briefed not to assist unless asked, but with 40-odd boats all leaving the harbour at the same time and then coming back in as they finish the race, they were kept very busy, especially on the Sunday after the Parade of Classics when the harbour was full of spectators when they tried to assist in avoiding embarrassment. It is a fact of life that when there’s nobody watching, parking manoeuvres go beautifully but not so well when you add a crowd. I believe it may be called Sod’s Law.

Up until last year, we’d never had a female Dinghy Wrangler although there was no reason why not. My suspicion is that the partners were either busy helping with the many other things involved with the regatta or just enjoying having a break from their better halves!

I’ve already mentioned the Parade of Classics which gave locals and visitors the opportunity to admire the beauty of our competitors. From about 1:00 PM on Sunday the yachts started to enter the harbour. Many made a special effort to make it a real spectacle, with the most impressive winning a barrel of rum. There was a team out at Fort Berkeley identifying the yachts and gently controlling the order of entry as the competitors couldn’t see what was happening in the harbour and to ensure that there wasn’t a traffic jam as yachts went to their dock. In the Dockyard there was a live commentary giving details of each of the yachts, some of it technical but also some human stories that we’d found out during the week as we got to know the competitors. Food and drink were available at various outlets and at the restaurants overlooking the harbour and the whole event made an excellent family day out.

Monday was a very busy day. Although the main races were completed there wa a Single-Handed Race in the morning for those who wished to compete and still have the energy to do so. Sailing a classic yacht is a challenge in itself, let alone completing a 5 mile windward/leeward course single handed. Classic yachts don’t tend to have winches to assist with the lines and the use of auto-pilots is strongly discouraged. Each yacht had an extra person on board to assist in the event of an emergency but hopefully, their only role was to make the next cup of tea. One year we had a 26 foot Folkboat who’s owner had just sailed across the Atlantic singlehanded and failed to understand why he needed someone else on board. Conversely, last year we had one entry who, unbeknown to me, completed all the main races single-handedly without anyone else on board! Over the years many different yachts have participated from the tiddlers of 30-odd feet to yachts over 100 feet, now that was quite a challenge.

Monday afternoon was an opportunity to relax for most. Many of the yachts had classic dinghies on board, both sailing and row boats, and there was Gig Racing from the Admiral’s Inn where folks could watch the fun whilst enjoying a traditional English cream team in the ambiance of a beautiful and historic environment. It was the opportunity for the ladies to show off their frocks and hats.

The final event of the Regatta was the Prize Giving, held on Monday evening. Over the years Classics has been given some beautiful and distinctive trophies which are on display at Antigua Yacht Club and were laboriously moved to the Dockyard for the Regatta and provide a stunning background for the Prize Giving. You could tell, or rather, hear when they’re being moved. The Abordage Trophy is a large brass trophy with

two dolphins holding a bell with a clapper that “dongs” with every step. The yachts are all very different, yet we had to try and make them comparable in order to award trophies, otherwise it would have been like trying to compare apples and oranges. Competitors were divided into classes for the races, mostly being divided on the age of the boat and then, if necessary, sub-divided taking into account rig type, the objective being to attempt to master the black art of having 5 or 6 yachts of comparable performance to give satisfying and competitive racing on the water.

After each race, the elapsed time was converted to corrected time and positions in the race awarded, with the shortest time being awarded 1st place and given 1 point, the next yacht gets two points and so on down the class. At the end of the four races, the points were added up and the yacht with the lowest number of points won. The prize giving started with awarding trophies for the Concours d'Elégance and Single-Handed Race, then moved on to the main races. Each class and sub-division was treated individually and 1st, 2nd and 3rd were awarded with appropriately sized barrels of English Harbour rum. Needless to say, the prize giving was a lot of fun, and I should at this stage say that yachts crewed by youngsters were presented with empty barrels, much to the disappointment of their parents. The prize giving ends with awarding the most prestigious trophies including the Kenny Coombs Trophy and the overall winner. Kenny was the Face of Classics for many years and was instrumental in guiding it to the World Class event it now is. His trophy was awarded to the yacht which, in the opinion of the other competitors and organizers, has given the most to the Regatta on the water or ashore. The overall winner is always a difficult decision with so many types and sizes of yachts sailing in the regatta. After a week of competition on the water, the prize giving always has a feeling of camaraderie where everyone celebrates the magnificent classic yachts that come to Antigua for the Classic Regatta.

See you on the water!


History of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta has a rich history that reflects the deep-seated passion for classic yacht sailing, maritime heritage, and the enduring beauty of traditional boat design. The event has become a cornerstone of the international sailing calendar, attracting participants and enthusiasts from around the world. It wasn’t always that way. However, it did start with a bang, a bang on the table that is. Jane Coombs recalls an evening in 1986 when three schooner captains met for their customary sunset rum in Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua. Captain Uli Pruesse the irrepressible German master of Aschanti of Saba, then one of the largest sailing yachts in the world at 114 feet, planted the seed when he suddenly banged his fist on the table in excitement setting the rum glasses jumping and declared that what Antigua needed was a schooner race! As the sun went down and glasses were filled yet again, the idea was brandished about in earnest. Tony Fincham, owner of the Antigua based, ferro cement schooner, New Freedom proposed that perhaps his annual Tall Ships Race to Guadeloupe could be built on. Kenny Coombs, captain of the restored New York 40, Vixen II thought schooners alone would be too limiting and it should be open to all traditional craft. By the end of the evening they had settled on the concept of a Classic Yacht Regatta to be held prior to Antigua Sailing Week in mid April.

The inaugural Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta was held in 1987. The legendary Jol Byerley, a veteran classic sailor came onboard with much sage advice and ex Whitbread sailor Julian Gildersleeve helped shape the event into a bona fide regatta held under the auspices of the Antigua Yacht Club. The Regatta became an event that celebrated the elegance and craftsmanship of classic yachts and the camaraderie of those who sailed them. Initially, the race was from Antigua to Guadeloupe. “Those first few years a dozen or so yachts would set off on a roaring reach only to find they invariably ran out of wind several miles from the finish line down in Guadeloupe due to the enormous wind shadow of such a lofty island! Customs and Immigration also posed a problem for a party ashore so we all partied in style on the elegant committee boat, Kalisma” Jane Coombs recalled. By 1991 the decision was made to change the format to a series of races off the south coast of Antigua. The beginnings may have been humble but the enthusiasm and love for these timeless vessels laid the foundation for what would become a renowned sailing event.

Over the years, the regatta grew in both scale and reputation but has always kept the spirit of traditional yacht racing. The picturesque harbors and clear, blue waters of Antigua provided an ideal backdrop for showcasing classic yachts and the event began attracting more participants and spectators thanks in large part to long time chairman Kenny Coombs, who became the driving force behind the regatta. Kenny worked tirelessly promoting and organizing the regatta and was the ideal ambassador for the event. Under Kenny’s leadership sailors and boat enthusiasts from various corners of the globe started marking their calendars for this unique celebration of maritime history. As the event grew it became a dazzling display of maritime elegance and competitive spirit, where a fleet of meticulously restored classic yachts graced the Caribbean waters in a symphony of sails. Against the

backdrop of Antigua’s stunning coastline, these vintage vessels, adorned with billowing canvas, engaged in exhilarating races, showcasing both the timeless beauty of their designs and the skill of their crews. The regatta’s atmosphere crackles with anticipation before the starting gun as sleek hulls slice through the azure waves, propelled by the wind’s graceful dance. The event not only celebrates the rich heritage of classic yacht design but also fosters a camaraderie among sailors and enthusiasts who share a passion for preserving the artistry of seafaring history.

However, the spectacular sailing wasn’t the only thing that kept people coming back year after year. Kenny never lost sight of the fact that fun was an essential ingredient. “I recall the year a giant blow-up rum bottle was stolen from the Yacht Club roof and rigged on the fore deck of one of our prominent yachts for the start of the race and I suspect that Kenny might have had a hand in that.” Jane Coombs told us. Participants and spectators alike also fall in love with the on shore activities. The Cream Tea, Gig racing, open mic night and parade of sail create an intimate and inclusive atmosphere that binds the seafaring community together. Most importantly, everyone who attends the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta goes home with unforgettable memories. Sir Franklyn Braithwaite, owner of A&F Sails said “I have done many local, regional and international regattas but none comes close to the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. The beauty and radiance of the boats, the gentlemanly attitude from the sailors and the comradeship, thought quite competitive, make this a special event. My most enjoyable moment was sailing with Alexis and crew aboard the Petite Martinique built traditional sloop, Summer Cloud.” For Jane Coombs her most unforgettable moment was reaching at hull speed for the Curtain Bluff mark in her 26 foot, 1937 Harrison Butler sloop, Cora, sandwiched between the mighty J’s Shamrock and Endeavour. “I thought it best to just pick a tree on the shore and steer as straight as I possibly could and not look around. I will never forget the thunderous sound of them passing though.”

As the regatta gained recognition, it became a platform not only for showcasing the beauty of classic yachts but also for promoting the preservation and restoration of these historic vessels. The event’s commitment to authenticity and adherence to the spirit of traditional yacht racing contributed to its appeal among sailors who cherished the artistry of bygone eras. As the regatta continued to evolve, it gained international acclaim as one of the premier events in the classic yacht racing circuit. The allure of warm Caribbean waters, coupled with the regatta’s commitment to preserving nautical traditions and maintaining a spirit of camaraderie, attracted a diverse fleet of classic yachts.

Today, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta stands as a testament to the enduring passion for classic yacht sailing. The event continues to attract a mix of seasoned sailors, boat owners, and enthusiasts who gather to celebrate the elegance, history, and camaraderie associated with classic yachting. The regatta remains a highlight of the sailing calendar and will be preserving and promoting the legacy of classic yachts for generations to come.

Adix the Belle of the Ball

In the world of classic yacht racing, the word schooner conjures images of acres of billowing canvas, forests of spars, miles of rigging and the seamanship of a bygone era. The majestic, 212 foot ADIX is the epitome of the word schooner. It’s a testament to both timeless design and enduring elegance and a symbol of grace and power on the open seas. She occupies a special place in the hearts of all who attend the Antigua Classic Regatta. Robin Stout, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta Coordinator says “Anytime someone asks about the regatta one of the first things they ask is ‘Is ADIX coming?”

When renowned naval architect Arthur Holgate designed the yacht he looked to William Gardner’s legendary schooner Atlantic for inspiration. Atlantic was launched in 1903 and to say she was fast is a serious understatement. She crossed the Atlantic in 12 days and 4 hours in 1905 setting a record for the fastest transatlantic crossing that wouldn’t be eclipsed until 1988. The boat’s lives seem somehow intertwined. Atlantic was broken up for scrap in 1982 just as Holgate was working on his design which blended the traditional look and feel of a schooner with modern engineering. The new design came to life in the shipyard of Astilleros de Mallorca in Spain in 1984. The result was a stunning steel hulled schooner launched for Argentine businessman Carlos Perdomo. Originally named Jessica after the owner’s girlfriend, who was once a secretary in the Nicholson office in English Harbour. She captured the essence of traditional sailing and evoked a sense of nostalgia for a time when such vessels ruled the seas yet incorporated modern technology for enhanced performance and comfort.

Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond purchased her in 1988 and renamed the boat Schooner XXXX to near universal derision. Bond, who had bankrolled the first syndicate to wrest the America’s Cup from U.S. shores in 1983 only owned her for one year, selling the yacht in 1989 to the current owner, Spanish businessman Jaime Botin, in 1989. Botin changed the name to ADIX, hired Paul Goss, who still serves as her Captain, and they drew up a list of changes they wanted to make, most of which would make any boat owner weak in the knees. Things like chopping off the shallow full keel and replacing it with a 16 foot deep, 43 foot long fin keel with a skeg hung rudder to improve upwind performance and cutting off the transom and welding on a new one that was 18 feet longer to improve her appearance. These and a host of other jobs, including an all new interior were performed at Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1991. She’s undergone several other refits over the years including getting carbon masts and a new carbon bowsprit in 2015. The new rig was fashioned to look like the old with one notable exception being the introduction of ‘deadeyes and lanyards’ as a nod towards her traditional heritage.

When you see ADIX the first thing you notice is her regal, towering presence. The three masts pierce the sky creating an arresting silhouette with the mainmast measuring over 180 feet tall. When you step onboard her 185 foot long deck and 28 foot beam engulfs you but the overwhelming feeling is stepping back to another era. ADIX is a living testament to the craftsmanship and design principles that defined the golden age of sailing. Out on the water she displays power, speed and grace slicing through the waves. With over 18,000 square feet of sail area you can feel every puff accelerating the 370 ton yacht through the water. Standing on the rail with the water rushing by and the sails pulling is something that no sailor can ever forget.

ADIX has sailed just about every ocean in the world and is a regular in ports on both sides of the Atlantic.

Reflecting on his 34 years as skipper of Adix, Paul Goss said “The boat has given me so much, but at the same time she demands a lot. Originally conceived as a training ship, she started to take on her new personality as a private yacht when she was purchased by the current owner all those years ago. I joined him at the outset of that odyssey, and it has been a steady, but constant process of development which has led to the magnificent yacht she is today. If you need to go to sea in anger, this is probably the boat to do it in. She is a remarkable vessel: deceptively fast in light conditions, but a safe and powerful boat when the going gets tough. Whilst the rig may look ungainly to some, it is the inherent simplicity and flexibility that makes her what she is. Labour intensive, yes, but what a way to learn seamanship. Watching young deckhands put in their time as they develop their knowledge and skills, many whom have gone on to be Captains in their own right, is probably my greatest satisfaction.”

Through 34 years of work, remodeling and refinement, ADIX is the epitome of the well found and smartly sailed Schooner. In the world of classic yachting, ADIX stands as a symbol of maritime heritage, captivating audiences around the world. Its annual appearance at the Antigua Classic Regatta is a celebration of timeless design, skilled craftsmanship, and the enduring spirit of sailing.

FALMOUTH HARBOUR Tel:(268) 460 1832 & 464 2447 Email: CHIPPY Fine Yacht Woodwork Interior Joinery Specialists Decks Marine Plywood Spars Top Quality Teak Warranty Work Hardwoods Established 1978

The Carriacou Sloops

Nestled in the southeastern Caribbean, the island of Carriacou is home to a maritime tradition that has withstood the test of time, the Carriacou sloops. These traditional wooden boats, handcrafted by skilled artisans on Windward Beach using age-old techniques, embody the rich maritime heritage of the island. Beyond their functional role as fishing and trading vessels, Carriacou sloops have become cultural symbols, showcasing the island's commitment to preserving its seafaring legacy.

The history of Carriacou sloops dates back to the early 19th century when Scottish boat builders were brought to the island to construct vessels for the booming inter-island trade business. Of course, much of the trade was in the illegal transport of rum and many of the boats became rum runners often painted dark red to make them harder to see at night on their illicit voyages. As the boat building industry flourished it became a mainstay of the Carriacou economy and culture. Carriacou's craftsmen, master shipwrights with generations of knowledge passed down, select and shape indigenous hardwoods to create vessels perfectly adapted to Caribbean sailing.

The Carriacou sloop boasts a distinctive design that reflects a seamless blend of functionality and aesthetics. The sloops feature a single mast with a large mainsail and a jib. With a sharp bow and a sturdy hull, these vessels are designed for stability and speed, making them well-suited for fishing, transportation and today, racing.

Participating in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta as well as other Caribbean sailing events, these vessels engage in friendly yet competitive races, capturing the attention of enthusiasts and spectators alike. Their presence adds a touch of nostalgia and authenticity to the regatta, serving as a living testament to the enduring allure of classic sailing in the modern world. The Carriacou sloops not only compete for victory but also contribute to the regatta’s vibrant tapestry, celebrating the maritime traditions that continue to inspire and captivate sailors worldwide. The Carriacou sloops are truly Caribbean classics and the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is the perfect place to see them compete.

In recent years, concerted efforts have been made to preserve and promote the art of boat building in Carriacou to ensure that the knowledge and skills required for this intricate craft are passed down through the ages. Recognizing these efforts traditional boat building in Carriacou and Petite Martinique has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list and Alwyn Enoe, who has spent the better part of fifty years building traditional boats on Windward beach in Carriacou, was awarded a British Empire Medal by King Charles.

The Carriacou sloops stand as timeless witnesses to the island's seafaring heritage, weaving together history, craftsmanship, and community. As these traditional wooden boats continue to navigate the Caribbean waters, they carry with them the stories of generations past and present that have left an indelible mark on the cultural fabric of Carriacou. Through the dedication of its boat builders and the enthusiasm of its sailors, the legacy of the Carriacou sloops sails proudly into the future, embodying the spirit of the island.

Nelson's Dockyard, Guardian of Antigua's Maritime Heritage

On the southeastern coast of the idyllic Caribbean island of Antigua lies a living testament to maritime history, Nelson’s Dockyard. This iconic location, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has played a pivotal role in the island’s history and continues to captivate visitors with its rich maritime heritage.

The story of Nelson’s Dockyard begins in the 18th century when it was established as a naval base by the British Royal Navy. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, who served in Antigua in the 1780s, the dockyard served as the hub of naval operations for the British fleet during the height of the Caribbean’s prominence in the sugar and maritime trade. English Harbour was strategically located providing shelter and a secure haven for ships navigating the treacherous waters of the Caribbean. Construction of the dockyard started in 1725. Its position allowed the British Navy to maintain a strong presence in the region and safeguard their valuable sugarproducing colonies. During its heyday, Nelson’s Dockyard bustled with activity as ships from the Royal Navy and merchant vessels arrived for repairs, resupply, and recreation. Facilities for everything that an English ship cruising the Caribbean might need were built. There was a sail repair loft and copper for the ship’s bottoms, as well as lumber were available. A large cistern to supply fresh water and a powder house to store gunpowder were built. There was also an area for carnage where the ships were pulled onto their sides with the now restored capstans and the barnacles were scraped off their bottoms.

The Dockyard wasn’t a stand alone operation. The entrance to English Harbour was guarded by Fort Charlotte and Fort Berkeley both bristling with guns as well as Dow’s Hill Fort which has a commanding view of the area. The area surrounding the dockyard developed into a vibrant community, complete with barracks, a hospital, warehouses, and officer’s quarters. The nearby Shirley Heights served as a military vantage point, offering panoramic views of the harbor and surrounding sea where lookouts were constantly scanning the horizon for the French fleet.

As the global maritime landscape evolved, so did the role of Nelson’s Dockyard. With the decline of the sugar trade and the advent of steam-powered ships, the strategic importance of the dockyard diminished. By the mid-19th century, it fell into disrepair and was all but abandoned in 1854. For the next 30 years it was reduced to little more than a storehouse and coaling station until it was officially decommissioned in 1889 and left to deteriorate for another 60 years. However, the late 20th century saw a renewed interest in preserving the historical significance of Nelson’s Dockyard thanks in part to the efforts of Vernon Nicholson, a British yatchman who sailed into English Harbour shortly after World War II, fell in love with the island, and never left. Extensive restoration efforts began in the 1950s, led by the Antigua National Parks Authority, transforming the dilapidated structures into a premier historical and cultural attraction. The dockyard was officially designated a National Park in 2016, securing its status as a guardian of Antigua’s maritime heritage.

Today, visitors to Nelson’s Dockyard can stroll along the picturesque marina, explore the well-preserved Georgian architecture, and immerse themselves in the maritime history of the Caribbean. The dockyard houses a museum showcasing artifacts from its storied past, and its cobbled streets are lined with charming shops and restaurants. On the well maintained hiking trails in Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, you can still find the occasional potsherd and other artifacts as well as foundation walls and remnants of buildings and infrastructure that once stood proud.

As Antigua’s most celebrated historical site, Nelson’s Dockyard continues to be a beacon for those seeking to connect with the island’s maritime legacy. Its fascinating journey from a bustling naval base to a cultural treasure trove stands as a testament to the resilience of history, inviting all who visit to step back in time and witness the Caribbean’s seafaring legacy come to life. It also serves as the home of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and as dockworker, Que said “No matter how long you’ve been gone or how far away you were, it’s always good to come back home and Nelson’s Dockyard is the home of the Classic Regatta.”



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