The first of Panerai’s Classic Yachts Challenge for 2017, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta got underway Wednesday.
The beautiful Mariella at the Concours d’Elégance judging - Click image for a larger image
Early risers Thursday applied last minute prep and polish for the Concours d’Elégance, a pageant for yachts with an emphasis on heart, soul, and a bit of Miss Congeniality.
Judges, fueled by curiosity and a love of maritime tradition, spent hours probing the well- kept secrets of 19 yachts.
Conditions of contestants were as varied as designs and rig. The 79’ Alfred Mylne yawl, Mariella, is pure elegance after an 18 month restoration in Italy.
In contrast is the 1911, 57’ Harris gaff yawl, Anne Marie. Owner Simon Allan stated, “we recently saved her from a near-death experience.” She’s on her way to the UK for major surgery yet still charmed judges today with remnants from her storied past.
Concours sponsor this year is the lovingly restored 62’ Herreschoff schooner, Mary Rose. Prizes will be awarded Saturday evening.
Click image for a larger image
The weather smiled on the Single-Handed Race this afternoon, with ENE winds of 10-14 knots.
Fifteen competitors sailed a course set for upwind tacking contests and a run downwind. The favourable conditions discouraged reefing, resulting in a strenuous workout for lone sailors.
On Hera, a 43’ Abeking and Rasmussan yawl, owner Claas Lehmann ran a marathon while handling running backs, a jib pole and a full suit of sales.
Winners of the Single-Handed Race were: over 45’ Saphaedra, and under 45’ Stiletto.
Nelson's Dockyard, early 1950s - Click image for a larger image
To commemorate this monumental year, the venue has shifted to the Dockyard, an elegantly restored UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rare photos of the grounds, taken in the early 1950s by legendary yachtsman and historian, Desmond Nicholson, are on display at the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel in a show entitled, “Times Past.”
Several new social events will surely delight traditionalists. A large-scale Royal Navy Rum Tot will give rum aficionados a chance to showcase their finely-honed skills.
Swashbucklers and pirates can brandish swords and beer, Caribbean style, at a party in their honour.
A collection of vintage cars will grace the remarkable backdrop during the Parade of Classic yachts on Sunday.
The pinnacle of period festivities will be Saturday’s Vintage Ball, when captains and crew will attempt to dress the part of their vessel in suits, gowns, hats, and most likely, antique flip-flops.
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21 April 2017 10:55 GMT