Some stiff winds at the beginning of the regatta photo credit: Sheryl Shard
After three days of great sailing and even better partying the 13th Annual Anguilla Regatta drew to a close on Sunday the 8th of May. The event, known as the best “small” Big Boat Regatta in the Caribbean, attracted 17 boats from St. Maarten and St. Barts and also featured Anguilla’s own carriacou sloop Tradition. With over 120 sailors and their supporters invading Sandy Ground for the weekend, talk of tactics, mishaps and triumphs could be heard all over and no place was safe from having a good time.
Day one saw ideal racing conditions with good winds of 14 to16 knots and clear conditions. The race was a good one for all the crews to get their bearings and even the waves of the Anguilla Channel were relatively calm. It appeared that all that held their height in the channel went on to do well. Day two saw blazing sunshine and winds that were gusting up to 20 knots, making it a tiring day for all. The last day the winds had dropped and many of the competitors found it hard to make it to the Prickly Pear mark, forcing the Race Committee to shorten the course. With a mix of almost every condition seen all weekend, ranging from stiff breeze to almost flat waters, the competitors were really put to the test.
The Budget Marine - Micron 99 team on the last day Photo credit: Louise Fayet
After all the salt spray had settled, Island Water World had won in the Racing Class with a remarkable 5 bullets. Despite having a disappointing fourth on Sunday, Kick em Jenny still had enough to pick up second place overall and went home with the Rose Champagne. In third place was Fiji Racing Team followed by Panic Attack and the valiant Canada II, the first former America’s Cup boat to participate in this regatta.
Wild Devil proved dominant in the cruising class with Micron 99 Budget Marine skippered by Robbie Ferron a close second. Speedy Nemo came in third and L’Esperance was an unusual fourth this year.
Our team in the winners circle Photo credit: Louise Fayet
In the multi-hulls the surging Carib Cat had three firsts and two seconds to take the Magnum of Champagne and Quality Time pulled off an impressive second with a first and three seconds. Triumph who ended up third overall had one first of her own and lost by less than a minute on two of the other races, showing how well she could compete.
As the single entry in the Tradition Class, the carriacou sloop Tradition managed to take top honors and generously donated all the proceeds from its charters to the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club.
It was a truly wonderful weekend full of fierce competition, intense comradery and fun for all with the real winners being the young sailors of the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club. They not only benefitted from all the proceeds of the Anguilla Regatta, many of the boats also recruited additional crew from the ranks of the students and graduates of the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club with as many as twelve young sailors experiencing the thrills and challenges of big boat racing.
The organizers would like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers without whom this event would not be possible and would especially like to thank the Anguilla Tourist Board and The Royal Anguilla Police Force for providing the safety boat and the super duo of Paul and Deborah Miller who oversaw all the officiating and scoring.