Antigua Sailing Week - Day 5, 2013-05-03


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Today was the final day, number 5, of the Antigua Sailing Week and it came very close to becoming a no-race day due to light wind conditions. The weather forecast was borderline and had the winds come according to WindGuru and other online weather prognostication systems it would have been day ashore for everyone, but once we were on station the winds at the surface were between 3 and 7 knots and the wind speeds at the masthead were more constant and higher at 5-6 knots.
After measuring the variable directions for a good hour our Race Officer, Alfred, finally decided on where to set the start marker and, by doing so, implied that we would indeed be having a final race on this wonderful Caribbean day. The starts all went well except the final one, where we delayed it and reset the mark in order to make it a fair start as then winds had backed a bit. After the final start of the day it was decided that we'd shorten the course and had to race at speed on the catamaran in order to make it in time to finish the first competitors who were completing the race. We made it, with only seconds to spare, and were on station to mark the finish times of the first yachts coming in. We then had a lull and anchored in 160 feet of water (my hands and arms ached from preparing the anchor rode) but we didn't drag at all despite the deep waters and finished all the classes without a hitch.
I didn't get as much opportunity today to take finish line pictures, since I had duties aboard (we lost James and Carrie who had to zip off to finish the big boats at the original finish line) but I did at least manage to photograph a couple of boats.
After the races I retired to Zanshin to edit some of the pictures and get away from all the excitement at the docks. I was listening to blues music while editing the first day's race picture when I heard an awful noise coming from above. At first I thought someone was torturing cats in public but soon I realized that there was a bit of melody to the threnody of noise and it suddenly dawned on me that someone was playing the bagpipes. Indeed, there was a yacht motoring up the channel with a bagpipe player on the bow. I'm now one vision closer to being able to say “Now I've seen everything

Still waters (and air) in Falmouth The waters in Falmouth are flat and barely a whisper of wind is moving around as I dinghy to the start boat in the morning.
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Still waters (and air) in Falmouth
On station and looking for wind Hans using binoculars to see if the other committee boat and the boats around it are doing any better on wind.
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On station and looking for wind
Waiting for wind Our team is waiting aboard Katzenellenbogen for more wind, currently it is light and variable and borderline for a race today.
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Waiting for wind
Powerboat with markers waiting The crew of the powerboat waits for information on whether to set the start mark and where it should be put.
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Powerboat with markers waiting
High-Tech wind tool Steve using his high-tech wind measurement tool along with a bearing compass to determine where the elusive wind is coming from.
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High-Tech wind tool
Backup wind-measurement device Steve's backup wind measuring tool getting some use, just in case it reads differently from the main device.
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Backup wind-measurement device
Where's the Wind? Where's the Wind?
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Where's the Wind?
Taking a wind sight/measurement Steve once again measuring the wind.
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Taking a wind sight/measurement
Calling in a time-check Steve counting down the time to the racers.
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Calling in a time-check
Calm seas - not what one wants to see in a race Winds of about 5 knot barely cause a ripple on the waters by Falmouth Harbour in Antigua on the final day of the 2013 Sailing Week.
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Calm seas - not what one wants to see in a race
Guess Ambersail's bottom paint color? On the day before, "Ambersail" had wrapped her keel around our mooring line, and today we pulled it in all the way to discover that Ambersail's bottom paint is indeed red.
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Guess Ambersail's bottom paint color?
Last minute repairs A crewmember being hoisted up for some last-minute work.
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Last minute repairs
Final wind direction check Steve using a bearing compass and his high-tech wind measuring tool for a final direction check prior to setting the mark.
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Final wind direction check
Only 3.7 knots of wind Steve measuring the wind speed at 3.7 knots; this was during a bit of a lull as I didn't see it go much lower all morning.
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Only 3.7 knots of wind
Setting the mark for the start line After much back-and-forth with the changing wind direction, Alfred decides upon a location for the start line.
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Setting the mark for the start line
Postponement Flag raised Alfred calls a postponement for the last race group.
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Postponement Flag raised
Postponement flag and horn Steve with a raised postponement flag sounding the air horn.
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Postponement flag and horn
Counting down to the start Counting down the minutes and seconds to the final start of the races.
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Counting down to the start
James holding the final flag James holding up the last class flag of the day.
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James holding the final flag
Resting and watching the races Relaxing a bit after the final start and watching the competitors race off.
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Resting and watching the races
Anchored in deep water We had to move quite a ways to the changed finish line and then I had to drop the anchor chain and about 200 feet of line in order to anchor on this spot - we didn't drag.
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Anchored in deep water
Robbie aboard his catamaran Robbie, the owner of our Committee catamaran, Katzellenbogen, aboard the boat after the races.
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Robbie aboard his catamaran
Committee Boat A from aft Our trusty catamaran seen from aft at the Falmouth docks after the final race of the 2013 Antigua Sailing Week regatte.
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Committee Boat A from aft
Luckily he wasn't needed On of the SAR RIBs coming to the docks on the final day - we're all happy that SAR's services weren't needed.
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Luckily he wasn't needed
Arethusa Arethusa
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Arethusa
Digicell Challenger Digicell Challenger
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Digicell Challenger
Digicell Challenger Digicell Challenger
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Digicell Challenger
Kick 'em Jenny Kick 'em Jenny
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Kick 'em Jenny
Bagpipes on Jig Saw I was alarmed when I heard these bagpipes as I initially thought that someone was torturing a bagfull of cats.
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Bagpipes on Jig Saw
Scottish Bagpipes in Antigua This competitor, Jig Saw, came motoring through the anchorage with a bagpipe player (I use the term "playing" loosely) on the bow.
[17°0'46.07"N 61°46'34.66"W (facing S)]
Scottish Bagpipes in Antigua
Jig Saw's bagpipes What else could happen - bagpipes being played on the bow of a boat motoring in Falmouth Harbour?
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Jig Saw's bagpipes
Final Race - Start Line 1 The start mark is just by the distant power boat (the pin boat) and one of the videographers is getting a shot of the action as the final race of the series gets unders way.
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Final Race - Start Line 1
Final Race - Start Line 2 Competitors gingerly approaching the start line.
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Final Race - Start Line 2
Final Race - Start Line 3 And they are off, only one boat was over the line and needs to return (it isn't 53444, but GBR9804R)
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Final Race - Start Line 3
Final Race - Start Line 3 Final Race - Start Line 3
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Final Race - Start Line 3
Final Race - Start Line 5 Sumatra starting on the last race.
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Final Race - Start Line 5
Final Race - Start Line 6 Wings and Scarlet Oyster at the start.
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Final Race - Start Line 6
Final Race - Start Line 7 Milanto trying to turn back for a restart without getting in the way.
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Final Race - Start Line 7
Final Race - Start Line 8 Milanto still attempting to get back through the racing boats in order to restart.
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Final Race - Start Line 8
Final Race - Start Line 9 Final Race - Start Line 9
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Final Race - Start Line 9
Final Race - Start Line 10 Wings and Jaguar racing and Milanto in the centre turning back for the start.
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Final Race - Start Line 10
Final Race - Start Line 11 Final Race - Start Line 11
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Final Race - Start Line 11
Final Race - Start Line 12 Sumatra beginning the final race of the day and of the regatta.
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Final Race - Start Line 12
Final Race - Start Line 13 And they are all off, almost
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Final Race - Start Line 13
Final Race - Start Line 14 Milanto returning past the start line, having finally found a path through the starting boats.
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Final Race - Start Line 14
Final Race - Start Line 15 Milanto finally off on course after passing back over the line and restarting as the final starter.
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Final Race - Start Line 15
Maximizer Maximizer
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Maximizer
Maximizer Maximizer
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Maximizer
Milanto Milanto
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Milanto
Quokka Quokka giving the committee boat a wave after finishing.
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Quokka
Light winds on the final day. Light winds on the final day.
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Light winds on the final day.
Yachts beating upwing on the first leg Yachts beating upwing on the first leg
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Yachts beating upwing on the first leg
Selene Selene
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Selene
Selene Selene
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Selene
Southern Child Southern Child on her final finish of the races.
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Southern Child
Starry Night Starry Night
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Starry Night
Starry Night Starry Night
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Starry Night
Visio Optik Visio Optik
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Visio Optik
Whisper Whisper
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Whisper
Whisper Whisper
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Whisper
Whisper Whisper
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Whisper
Whistler Whistler
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Whistler
Wings Wings
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Wings
Wings Wings
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Wings
 
Falmouth Harbour panorama Panorama at Falmouth Harbour on the still morning of the final race day of the 2013 Antigua Sailing Week.
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Falmouth Harbour panorama
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