As you know we offer a classic yacht tour, and each year we try and compete in the Traditional Class of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. The first year we entered on the brand new Ocean Nomad with paint still drying on the deck we finished second. The next year we finished first. I didn’t race again until last year and this time it was on our new Carriacou Sloop, Zemi with paint still drying once again. We finished first and were delighted.
Since then Zemi has not been sailing once and has sat in Jolly Harbour slowly getting an engine installed. It’s finally in there and operational. She is now able to get in and out of harbours without sailing. Ocean Nomad is the older of our two sailing vessels and has been out of commission for the past month while her mast was repaired. She may be ready to sail in the regatta which starts on Friday which means that Adventure Antigua will have two boats in the Classic Yacht Regatta.
I will be skippering Zemi again this year, and over the next few days I will be strengthening the rig and finding some more ballast. In last years race we knew she was under ballasted which means she didn’t have enough lead below deck to keep her steady in the water during heavier winds. Luckily the winds were light last year and it worked to our advantage.
This year will be different if the forecast continues as it is right now with winds getting up to 22 mph. We have to have more ballast otherwise we will not be able to sail fast and will spent plenty of time over on our sides! Lead is what we need, but if we can’t find it we will be looking for anything else. We have three days to get it below deck and register the boat.
Among the team sailing with us this year we have Andy Morrell of HIHO with his son Josh. This means that Adventure Antigua’s team Zemi will have some nice clothing to race with for a few days. We also have an old team mate from Scotland sailing with us. Harry Ingram didn’t sail across the Atlantic this time but took the quick flight here for the regatta. He will be leaving his chair below deck and will be on the rail like the time when we won on Ocean Nomad. I understand he’s bringing some good Scotch to “bless the deck”. You know, it was the Scottish who first built these boats down in Carriacou for the Plantation owners of Grenada. Plenty of history which you can learn about if you end up watching Vanishing Sail which is a film about these amazing vessels. Click here to learn a bit about the project and see a preview.
Of course we will have plenty of local knowledge, skill and rum drinking/sailing experience on board too with several of our long time team members playing key rolls. Guilli, Nikolai, and Big John will be there too. Once again this year Mount Gay Rum is providing us with shirts and hats or one of the day’s racing. I am sure there will not be a shortage of rum either.
I will blog more about the progress of Zemi before Wednesday and then after the first race on Friday. Stay Tuned.