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Location: Antigua Classics Regatta

As we all slept snug in our bunks, the rain pattered on our hatches. 0630 came, and everyone woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for another day out on the racecourse! If you have yet to hear from us on board, we are participating in the annual Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. That means we are not only surrounded by beautiful boats with lots of gaffs, topsails, and varnished wood, but we are also racing against them! We are in the Schooner Class, denoted by our tiny pink flag flown on our backstay. With us is our rival (and best friends) Ocean Star(!), as well as a few beauties called Mary Rose, Aschanti, Juno, and my personal favorite Colombia. She has some classic looks, such as a HUGE gaff-rigged main, a boom that extends past the stern, and wooden spars.

Today’s course was called the butterfly, we started on an upwind leg to the first mark, so everyone was in their places to do many tacks to make it around the buoy. Once we made it around the first marker, we high-tailed it out to the far mark, making a straight line on a close reach. When we made it out to the mark, we tacked too soon and missed our mark; as we made our way out, Chronos (in the Tallship Class) was close behind. With the stutter, we thought they were sure to pass us, but it turns out they also tacked too early! Making our way around the mark and Chronos close on our stern, we made the long leg up to the furthest western marker. On that leg, we couldn’t point as high into the wind as we wanted, so we had to tack ourselves to make it around the mark, but the problem was that when we tacked, the waves stopped us dead in the water, and Rhea (also the Tallships Class) was fast approaching on or beam. Tom hailed them (with no response) and made the decision to start the engine (just in case!), but the wind filled our sails once again, and we scooted out of their way. We made the mark on that tack and gybed around it to make it out to the far southern mark yet again. To finish up the race, we gibed around the south mark, tacked around the east mark, and then tacked a few times to make the finish line.

Here on board, the mood is high, it’s a long day with 5+ hours of sail handling, but it is filled with chants, beans, hype, and most importantly, colored zinc. Today was particularly nice because Tom allowed me to take over the docking, which involves dropping an anchor, maneuvering around expensive yachts, and backing into a tiny space with just stern lines to hold us in place. Easy peasy. This evening we are attending the open mic night where Tolo accompanies his new friend Elsa on the guitar, and Lil P is singing! All and all, a great day!