Run Like Smoke N’Oakum

by Alison Sly-Adams

Race Day Two 15 March 2024

Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua, 15 March 2024.  For the second day of racing at the Superyacht Challenge Antigua the start was blessed with 17 knots just south of east. This rapidly backed, piping up to over 20 knots of wind speed during the day. The fleet were in their element, blasting through the waves upwind with white water hissing at the rail, and off the breeze, running like smoke N’oakum.

The SYCA Race Committee, led by PRO Hank Stuart, set an 18.1nm triangular course for the Buccaneer Class including downwind legs and a long beat offshore. The Corsair and Privateer Classes were set a more complex course of 30.0nm with relatively longer legs than the previous day. Both courses included a full-on beat, appropriately to the mark renamed ‘Stan’.

Before racing, the competing yachts headed offshore to the ‘Stan’ mark and formed a line of respect either side of Superyacht Maximus. SYCA co-founder and well-known Caribbean sailor Stan Pearson was then laid to rest at sea. Racing for the second day of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua continued immediately after – that is what Stan would have wanted.

Stan Person Tribute

Oyster 82 Zig Zag © Claire Matches

Buccaneer Class

The 108ft (33m) Hoek designed sloop Namuun, skippered by Tom Aiken, made the best class start, crossing the line just five seconds after the gun from Fort Charlotte. John McMonigall’s Oyster 82 Zig Zag, skippered by Carl Raynes, made a more conservative start but revelled in the strong conditions to score their second bullet of the regatta. Namuun, which started four minutes after Zig Zag, was up for the challenge, finishing under two minutes behind Zig Zag on elapsed time. However, after ORCsy time correction Zig Zag was the winner by just under 11 minutes.

108ft Hoek sloop Namuun © Claire Matches

“The owners of Namuun have houses in Antigua and they love spending time here and love going sailing,” commented Niall Malone who hails from New Zealand and calls tactics on Namuun. “A lot of people on Namuun are related or have been friends for a very long time, it is a real family team. Namuun was not built to race and we still have the sunshades up but the owners do have vast experience racing. Today started with a memorial to Stan, a very important sailor in this community, and the racing that followed in fantastic conditions, made it one to remember. It was really nice to push Namuun and have no issues, the whole team had an incredible day.”

Privateer Class

The 218ft (66.45m) Dykstra/Reichel Pugh ketch Hetairos skippered by Graham Newton, made the best start in the class, crossing the line seven seconds after the gun was fired from Fort Charlotte. The 182ft (55.5m) Dykstra schooner Adela skippered by Greg Perkins was more cautious.

The two largest yachts at this year’s Superyacht Challenge Antigua were an awesome sight today, Hetairos hitting well over 20 knots of boat speed, quite remarkable for a boat of over 66 metres in length. Hetairos took line honours in the race in an elapsed time of 02 Hours 21 Mins and 31 Secs and scored their second win on ORCsy time correction. (pictures to follow!)

Corsair Class

Both Swan 90s hit the line on the staggard start with precision Don Macpherson’s Freya and Hummingbird, skippered by Josh Hill nailed the start, both of the powerful Swans were  just 2 seconds after the gun. Last away in the Pursuit Start, and only nine seconds after the start, was the 110ft (33.5m) Malcolm McKeon sloop Zemi, skippered by Hjalmar Winbladh. Zemi lit up in the strong conditions to score the quickest elapsed time for the class, beating Freya to the accolade by just 33 seconds. After ORCsy time correction, Freya won the race retaining their unbeaten record. Hummingbird corrected out to second place and Zemi was third by just 30 seconds after time correction.

Adela Pirates © Claire Matches

The Fabulous Cook-off was held on Nelson’s Dockyard Beach right next to the Superyacht Dock. Team chefs displayed mouth-watering culinary creations, which were eagerly consumed by over 200 superyacht owners, guests and crew. The Cook Off theme this year was Pirates of the Caribbean and the costumes on display were fantastic! DJ Joz’Akaum was spinning the tunes for a memorable night! The winner of the Cook Off is decided by the judges for a dish cooked on a traditional coal-pot which must be lit without using modern means! The winning chef will be announced at the Prizegiving!

Racing at the Superyacht Challenge Antigua continues on Saturday March 16th with the penultimate day action off the South Coast of Antigua.

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