Anguilla - ANGUILLA LIES NEXT DOOR TO ST. MARTIN. THESE PICTURES ARE A COMPOSITE OF MY SEVERAL TRIPS TO THIS LOVELY ISLAND

ang2

UFO WINS TRADITIONAL RACING IN THE 2004 ANGUILA REGATTA (reprinted from All at Sea - May issue 2004)
By – Nancy Terrell

It was well worth the trip from the BVI to Anguilla On May 8th & 9th just to view the wonderful Anguillan traditional boats competing. What a great race. I have never seen anything like it and was totally fascinated by the entire process. The boats in Class A are 28 feet long (9 metres), nine feet wide (3 metres) and have masts of up to forty feet (12 metres). They carry some ten to eighteen men and, as you may suspect, their rules for racing are entirely different from those of CSA, CYA or PHRF.
During the morning the boats are sailed over to Sandy Ground where they are beached and worked on until the start of the race, which was at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. The crews are there, checking it all out, with half of them on the beach anchoring the boat by holding the halyard in place. This is the reason that they are this size – so that the crew can pull them up onto the beach.
These boats are totally unique to Anguilla, with enormous main sails and jibs and in the way that they are fitted and handled. They are built as a community effort with everyone pitching in making it definitely a sport of “keeping up with the Jones” as each entry tries to outdo the others.
The keels are very shallow and require ballast and lots of it. The crews sit on the large bags of sand that will be used the ballast for the individual entries. There is no decking and no external ballast on the hull. These sand bags, all of which, under the rules must be removable, are required to keep the boat standing up when going to windward and act as supplements to any lead ballast that they have. Amazingly, the crew also uses large smooth rocks and iron as ballast. Some of the crew act as bailers, armed with buckets to bail out the large quantities of water that comes from the sea over the bow and the lee rail.
I also enjoyed a long visit with Harris Richardson, Chairman of the KATS programme on Anguilla and a huge fan of traditional racing, who gave me the history of these boats. “Started about 60 years ago when sailors started racing back from the Dominica Republic where they were cutting sugar cane. Also fishing boats would start racing back because there was usually an argument over the traps and they would take their passion out on racing instead of fighting.
These boats today are designed from some of the older boats. As time passed the boats got bigger and with more Dacron modern sails replacing sailcloth. From the wooden spars we have gone to aluminum masts. Some masts attain heights of almost 60 feet and booms can be 37 feet - all of this is open with no decks and lots of ballast.
The point system counts in rating with the winner getting 5 points. The boat with the most points at the end of the season wins Boat of the Year. Last year Super Star won this. During August we have the Champion of Champs, which is very prestigious. The competition never stops.” Harris gives me the list of captains for this regatta. “Well, we have Super Captain or Glen on Super Star; George Romney on NWO; Alberto Hughes on Light & Peace; Julio Cartes, Jr. on Miss Anguilla; Arista Richardson on Glade Maud; Boo on Heart of Light and Errol Romney on The Tree”.
But the winner was UFO, who sailed around the corner into the bay just minutes before the race started. Evidentially, this boat is kept in “hiding” most of the time. Just before the race she is sailed to the start line according to Shawn Webster, who accepted the prize – beaming and cheering on behalf of his team. “It feels great being the winner. You know we have been racing for a very long time and we are really glad to be the champions of the Anguilla 2004 Traditionals.”
He then jumps up in the air, cheers and comes down with a resounding, “UFO FOR LIFE!”

i LOVE ANGUILLA - MY BEST VISIT WAS WITH FOXY AND TESSA FOR THE ANNUAL ANGUILLA YACHT REGATTA IN 2004. MANY PICTURES HERE ARE FROM THAT VISIT. IT HAS BEEN FUN TO REVISIT THIS LOVELY ISLAND WITH ALL OF ITS HAPPY MEMORIES.

ang6
ang9
ang13
ang5

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.


Get Flash Player