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2016 Valentine's Regatta gets underway in Antigua
Published on February 15, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

Three days of competitive racing gets underway at the Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta. Photo: Tim Wright/

By Louay Habib

JOLLY HARBOUR, Antigua -- The first day of racing at the 2016 Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta was held in one Antigua's most beautiful locations. Five Island Harbour is renowned for its clear turquoise water and stunning coastline with rolling green hills and remote white sandy beaches.

The sheltered location, just outside Jolly Harbour, produces flat water conditions but the wind oscillated sporadically during the day, with the wind speed pumping up from 15 to 20 knots. With the wind in the south, the higher hills of the west coast of Antigua produced unstable conditions and when the wind backed to the east, stability returned, as well as the wind speed whipping up to 20 knots.

Three races were held for all four classes racing under the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) rating rule.


Pamala Baldwin's J/122, Liquid scored two bullets and a second to lead after the first day's racing by three points from Lucy Jones' First 40 Southern Child – Performance Charter. Jonty Layfield's J/11S Sleeper was third.

“A fabulous day for everyone.” Baldwin said. “I think about the cold weather back home in New York and I just think we are all so lucky to be sailing in such a beautiful location with gorgeous weather. This is the first real regatta of the season for Liquid but we have been racing with Jolly Harbour Yacht Club for several months now. The team isn't always the same but we have been spending some time on the water and maybe that showed today. Winning is always nice but I just love to go sailing, whether it is cruising or racing. I hope we do well tomorrow but we will enjoy it all the same.”


Highly competitive racing in CSA Two produced a three-way tie for the lead at the end of the first day with Geoffrey Pidduck's Six Meter, Biwi Magic, Hans Lammers Luders Yawl, Frolic and Tanner & Shari Jones' J/30 Caribbean Alliance Insurance, all taking a win. However after racing, Biwi Magic was disqualified from Race Two, giving Frolic a single point lead after three races from Caribbean Alliance Insurance with Biwi Magic in third.


Terry Alan's Grand Soleil 343, Volare swept to two straight victories to start the regatta in fine style but a fifth in Race 3, pegged the team back to end the day level on points with Tim Richards Chilli Chilli. Tony Sayer's First 42, Augustine had a consistent day to finish third just a point behind the joint leaders. John Wills' Sweden 42, Ocean Harmony scored two podium finished today to stay in touch with the leaders.

In the Pocket Class, Robbie Ferron's Jeanneau 20, Budget Marine Micron 99, won all three races. However, Trish Webster, racing Hawk 20, Miss Bliss double handed, came close to winning the last race of the day; just 31 seconds behind on corrected time.

Spinnakers flying in Five Island Harbour. Photo: Tim Wright/

The second day of racing was held just outside Jolly Harbour Marina and unsettled weather with numerous squalls provided difficult conditions for race officer, Paul Miller and the competing yachts. With gusts of wind topping out at 25 knots, boat handling was at a premium and those competitors that stayed under control reaped the rewards.

Three races were held for all four classes racing under the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) rating rule.


Pamala Baldwin's J/122, Liquid remains top of the class but the day's best performer was Jonty & Vicky Layfield's J/11S Sleeper, taking two wins and a second, lifting the team into second for the regatta. Performance Yacht Charter's First 40, Southern Child, skippered by Lucy Jones had another consistent day but drops to third.


Three very competitive races resulted in a change of leader for the regatta with Tanner & Shari Jones' J/30, Caribbean Alliance Insurance now leading on count back from Hans Lammers' Luders Yawl, Frolic. Sandy Mair's First 35, Cricket had a better day scoring three podium finishes to finish the day in third place for the regatta.

“Frolic has a great crew and we do this for fun and we certainly are enjoying the Valentine's Regatta. We are up against lighter and nimbler boats, so tomorrow we will be hoping for plenty of upwind and tight reaching angles and we need plenty of wind, so I really hope it blows tomorrow.”


Tony Sayer's First 42, Augustine had a great day on the water, winning the last two races to jump from third overnight to lead the class after six races. Tim Richards' Chilli Chill scored three podium finishes to claim second in class with Terry Alan's Grand Soleil 343, Volare in third. The racing in CSA Three is incredibly tight, 13 seconds and ten seconds on corrected time, decided the winners of two races.

“We were thrilled with our performance today, Augustine is going like a witch upwind and Daniel our Dominican crew is really calling the tacks well. The boat loves hard conditions and I hope that we get the same tomorrow, I just hope the crew have enough energy left."


Robbie Ferron's Jeanneau 20, Budget Marine Micron 99, kept up their winning ways with three more wins. “Myself and Cary used to run this regatta and we love it.” said Robbie Ferron. “Flat water and good breeze and an interesting coastline with plenty of shifts, which are hard to read.”
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