Today was the final day of the 2017 Antigua Sailing Week and we only had one race scheduled for all classes as they needed to get back to their berths or moorings in time to get ready for the daily prize giving and the big awards ceremony later on in the evening. The scores must have been close for some of the boats, as they were quite aggressive on the starting line and one race had so many yachts OCS (on-course-side before the start signal) that our race officer had to sound a general recall for all racers in that class. The other classes had the occasional boat over as well. All was going like a well-oiled machine until the big Russian catamaran, “Helicat Red” crossed the finishing line on a port tack and then proceeded to tack very ponderously and slowly. Before they'd completed the manoeuvre and gotten away they had drifted back onto our mooring ball and snagged it in their rudder and/or propeller shaft. I sent Karen forward with a kitchen knife in case Steve couldn't untie our mooring line under pressure and got the engines going while the finish crew was busy scoring racers. Once it was clear that Helicat Red wasn't going get away and might crash into us Steve dropped our mooring and subsequently Helicat Red got the gear untangled but unfortunately dropped the line in 50 meters of water which means that the ground tackle might be lost forever.
This happened with less than half of our racers having finished, so for the rest of the race I fought to keep our committee boat in position on approximately the same line between finish buoy and shore that we were on before - a task made difficult by the huge windage on our Catana catamaran, exacerbated by the tiny under sized engines and the strong current and big swell did their share to make it a challenging exercise. Yet we managed to finish all the boats and those who noticed that we were no longer umbilically attached to anything didn't say anything and luckily no racer protested.
Once back ashore we got the boat cleaned up and removed all flagpoles and holders, reattached the sheets to the jib and genoa and got the mainsail halyard working again (it had been pre-empted to serve as a haul for our big "C" (committee) flag. Then a cold beer got our spirits up and all of us separated in order to get ready for the evening's big awards ceremonies. I arrived in time to get a table for our group (unlike last year there were no reserved tables) and pulled out our 3 bottles of sparkling wine from their double-sealed cooler bags.


Click on the image to go to the picture pages for the 2017 Antigua Sailing week
Antigua Sailing Week 2017 logo

Daphne and Irene sighting the start line Checking to make sure that nobody goes across before the signal, Irene assisted by Daphne pay close attention
(2017-05-05 09:51:41 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Daphne and Irene sighting the start line
Scoring Equipment The timer, sheets and the VHF radio are all part of the scoring system aboard for the 2017 Antigua Sailing Week races
(2017-05-05 09:29:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Scoring Equipment
Team preparing for the first races No flags are displayed yet as we prepare for the sequences of rolling starts that will send off our 10 classes of racers
(2017-05-05 09:51:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Team preparing for the first races
Class flag and The "P" flag (blue with white square) is lowered one minute before the race for class green-dot-on-white begins
(2017-05-05 09:54:24 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Class flag and "P" flag
Daphne on the bow Daphne on the bow
(2017-05-05 09:55:30 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Daphne on the bow
Black flag displayed The green-dot-on-white class has had a general recall due to too many boats over the line, so a black flag rather than the normal white-blue one is displayed so nobody will go on the course side of the start line
(2017-05-05 10:03:28 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Black flag displayed
Volunteers at the prizegiving Volunteers are what makes the Antigua Sailing Week work, and these two are combining having a good time while working.
(2017-05-05 18:27:49 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Volunteers at the prizegiving
Committee crew at the prizegiving Our crew and that of the Committee Boat "A" mingle at the final awards ceremony
(2017-05-05 19:57:17 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/1.8, 1/60s] ISO 320)
Committee crew at the prizegiving
Racers at Rendezvous startpoint The sailboats are racing upwind with Antigua as a backdrop seen from the Committee B boat moored at Rendezvous
(2017-05-05 09:49:06 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Racers at Rendezvous startpoint
Stage for awards ceremony The stage is set and crammed with goodies in preparation for the grand awards ceremonies later on in the evening
(2017-05-05 18:42:23 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/3.5, 1/800s] ISO 320)
Stage for awards ceremony
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