The majestic 114-foot teak ketch, Saharet of Tyre, built in 1933

The majestic 114-foot teak ketch, Saharet of Tyre, built in 1933

Antigua Classic starts on Avril 17th


15/04/2024 - 08:36

The 35th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, with its unique blend of sport, tradition, camaraderie and maritime heritage, starts next Wednesday, April 17th and promises to be an unforgettable experience for all who attend. The racing will be held off the scenic south coast of the island while the onshore events will be in Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is dripping in history.

With the largest registered fleet of classic boats since 2014, this year's regatta is poised to be a truly spectacular event. From the 177-foot sister ships Chronos and Rhea to the 29-foot Falmouth quay punt, Phoebe of Fowey, a diverse range of vessels will grace the waters off Antigua's picturesque shores. The beautiful 70-foot custom cutter Galatea built in 1899 will be the oldest yacht on the water while Chloe Giselle, a spirit of tradition sloop built in 2014 with long overhangs, low profiles and smooth lines that gives her the look of a classic 1930’s yacht, will be the youngest. There is also an impressive line of other yachts including the magnificent 115-foot staysail schooner Eros, the majestic 114-foot ketch Saharet of Tyre, the three-masted square topsail schooner Alvei, the marconi yawl Nordwind built by the German navy in 1939, the legendary racing yawl Bolero, The Blue Peter who will be back for her tenth Classic Regatta, the beautiful schooners Charm III and Adventurer and a fleet of local Carriacou sloops as well as a host of others making this a fantastic fleet.

An eruption of primping and polishing is expected in Nelson’s Dockyard before judging of the Concours d’Elégance gets underway on Wednesday afternoon. A team of prestigious judges, led by Jane Coombs, wife of the Regatta founder Kenny Coombs, will inspect the meticulously maintained classic yachts and have the unenviable task of selecting the winners.

Racing begins Thursday morning and the boats and crews will test their mettle on the Classic Regatta’s tried and true courses. Racing continues through Sunday before the skippers try their hands at multi-tasking in the single-handed race on Monday. The winners will be awarded a barrel of English Harbour Rum at the Awards Ceremony on Monday night.

Sponsors English Harbour Rum and Red Stripe Beer will light the fuse on a jam-packed social schedule at the Welcome Party on Wednesday night. There is a happy hour after the racing every night of the regatta where sailors will be entertained with steel drums, stilt walkers and a fire eater at Caribbean Night, an Open Mic Night and a Rain Gutter Regatta where teams from each yacht build a ten-inch boat and race it down a rain gutter. Sunday afternoon during the Parade of Classics, visitors can take in the timeless beauty of these yachts as they pass through English Harbour. Viewing tents with food and beverage service will be set up on the lawn in front of the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel. Monday afternoon the focus shifts to the Admiral's Inn for the Cream Tea and Gig Racing. After the evening Prize-Giving Ceremony, join us for dinner on the lawn outside Copper and Lumber and remember to put on your dancing shoes to dance the night away under the swaying palms.

96-year old Charm III, 50-foot staysail schooner

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. World-renowned for the beautiful yachts that participate as well as the camaraderie of those that sail them, it is a place where friendships form, sea stories are swapped and indelible memories are made. We cannot wait to see the sailors, our enthusiastic volunteers, generous sponsors and gifted photographers. We extend a warm Antiguan welcome to all who join us so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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