Smiles on the Docks: Antigua Sailing Week – Final Day

Winner: CSA 4, Quokka 8, Grand Soleil 43, Philippe Falle of Deep Blue Racing, (GBR)

You could almost feel the tension on the dock as the international fleet sailed out to the combat area. With many class winners yet to be decided, the pressure was heightened by tricky conditions. The breeze was rarely more than 10 knots and there were huge wind holes appearing all over the racing area. However, the Race Committee did an excellent job getting in a fair race for all classes. Starts are always important, especially in light airs and several yachts could not control their urgency enough, resulting in several individual recalls and two general recalls. The last day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week was not for the faint hearted. [Read more…]

Trade winds return for day 3 of Antigua Sailing Week

Bristolian roaring along on day 3 of Antigua Sailing Week

After two days of relatively calm weather by Antiguan standards, full Trade Wind power returned to deliver a spectacular day of action at Antigua Sailing Week. Big breeze and blazing sunshine whipped up the racing action, especially in the big boat classes, which were fully powered up all day. The race committee responded to the change in conditions by altering the schedule for CSA 1 & 2 to a brace of races on a long windward leeward course off the southwest corner of Antigua and there was some ballistic action. [Read more…]

Chilled out Antigua – day 1 of Antigua Sailing Week

Beautiful sunshine, crystal clear blue skies and a gentle breeze produce a positive vibration for the first day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week. Winners are always grinners but as sailors came ashore, after three hours of racing in paradise, there were smiles all round. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de Saint Barth: Finding the Groove

Having been given plenty of time on yesterday’s longer courses to sort out their crew work, sail selection, tactics and sunscreen, sailors took to the turquoise seas off the French West Indies island of St. Barth for a second round of competition today at Les Voiles de Saint Barth. With the first day down and competition defined, now it was time to fine-tune and sort out standings.

The race committee selected three courses: 22 nautical miles for Classics, Non-Spinnaker, Spinnaker 3 and Melges 24 classes; 27 nm for Spinnaker 1, Spinnaker 2, and Multihulls; and 29 nm for Maxis. All three courses took the boats out and around the northern end of St. Barths and the outlying islands.  The southeasterly breeze was more sustained today at around 18 knots, with gusts to 20, which on the windward-side of the island produced large swells.
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Les Voiles De Saint Barth 2013: Bring it On

Hamachi downwind sailing at the Voiles de Saint Barth on Day 1
© Christophe Jouany

It was hard to tell dockside in Gustavia this morning if there was a care in the world among the Les Voiles de St. Barth competitors, what with the trade winds blowing, blue skies prevailing, and large cumulus clouds scudding overhead. With the first warning signal at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. for the rest of the week), there was time for the crews to enjoy café and a croissant in the race village, finish prepping their boats, and catch up with friends.

The atmosphere was relaxed and thoroughly Caribbean-style, though it belied somewhat the competitive spirit found in a good part of the fleet. Through just about all classes, sailors were scouting their competition, checking ratings and looking to see what modifications had been made since their adversaries last competed on the water. [Read more…]