Thursday, April 29, 2010

Antigua decisions

Well folks, even last year when Sue and Dick had to leave GL, I knew I hadn't the funds to employ Fred and reach NZ without Sue And Dick aboard. I had to make a decision, and Antigua was going to be the Island it happened. North or south! north means back to UK! South means carry on to Panama! I have to report that funds are giving way and Panama will not be an option. At this time of year winds are supposed to favour a return via the Azores or Panama, and that will be my plan now. I feel not sad as I have achieved so much at this point in time, who could have thought of GL being so successful, I can not imagine how that could be topped, so I am very happy to come home, there is one hell of a big journey between where I am and Beaumaris with all the trials that it will bring, so hide the kids GL and Roy are coming home again !!!! Of the so many friends Ive made some are going N some are going S, so I will have company on this journey also, to swop horror stories etc i'm becalmed again!!. And absolutely in, on, or under any circumstances am I going to make fish cakes!!! promise.

Roy more as i find out.

A sample of pics by me

These photos are a taster to what we've seen while racing, I have a complete collection of GL as well but would take too long to blog.

pic 1 Velsheda pic 2= Ranger Pic 3= Rebecca very close pic 4= Rebecca catching Windrose pic 5= ranger at full speed.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Race pics

I am still assembling race pics,
it took all day to blog these new pic's so now 8 pm, I fancy food drank and wimen not important in which order!

even more pics

Hi again everyone,

These pics are from Ann and John 'Fan Club' members and are 1= receiving 1st for concourse, 2= surprise, 3= receiving special Arne Fritzal prize 4= L t R, John Ann me Daria and Alex, 5= collage by Ann. all photo's here were by Ann

more Pics

Hi again more pics

Some Pics of some 'Fan Club' members at the pre race B-B-Q at Pigeon beach Falmouth Harbour

Antigua pics update

Hi Everyone,trying to upload pics to keep blog updated.

A few pics 1 = Montserrat at sunset on my way to Jolly Harbour
2 = At anchor pic from the deserted beach Montserrat and volcano smoke plume, 3 4 5 views taken that Sunday night at Sherlys Tights!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Antigua Classic Prize giving

Tuesday 20th April was a quiet day for everyone I had moved GL to the dockyard and was about 10 feet away from the coming 'do', they had set up a huge screen to show donated pictures by all the press and private photographers, and a huge Bar-B-Q the 'Fan Club' were there as was all the crews as predicted we knew GL had won, so drinking had started some time before, we sat on the grass and watched the show, amazing pictures of all the boats were shown, every time a picture of GL came up the Fan Club cheered with gusto, I on the other hand had had a senior moment and lost my voice somewhere so was unusually quiet, the time came and trophies were handed out, then as my class was announced my crew and myself went on stage to collect the first prize of a beautiful engraved glass decanter, then photo pose and take the applause, as the night drew to a close I had a foredeck party, then with Marcy (phsyco Bety) from the Pink Lady crew went to another boat and carried the party on into the morning, next door on Buxom II, Lindsey, Erin and Sandra carried on next morning Wednesday in true classic style, so having been told to leave before 12, we all left the dock and have anchored in various places, My Fan Club has started to continue on their journeys but the few left arranged a beach farewell party and a nice evening ensued. Today 22nd I am in the cafe doing this blog and having a calm downer. I have just had the most magical time of my life never to be forgotten experience, some washing and choosing which photos to get from local guys before I leave, a quiet day.
I have read the comments and thank you all for your praise, I think GL deserves it, she is one special boat, it couldn't have happened without her!
more later when pics have been collected

Race day 4

During the parade in Nelsons Dockyard we got our first look at the boat 'Alert' that had now beaten us twice as day 3 we again came 2nd, it is a beautiful wooden ketch but it was 62 feet long! there is no way in the world GL could have beaten her, the only reason we managed a first was she had had a collision and DNF on day 2, this is a lowest points winning scoring so we had calculated even if we came 2nd today we would still win, we looked for her on the line but could not find her anywhere. The race was a long one with a long beat to windward, we left our opposition behind again by a long way and finished getting the first cannon, according to the points Guiding Light has won her class Vintage Class B in this the 2010 Antigua Classic Regatta
Needless to say but the partying, celebrations and hard sailing is now taking its toll with all of us, still 2 nights to go, so forget that and carry on, at least no sailing tomorrow.

Race day 3

Again off we went to the start line, I should mention here that a lot of boating friends I've made along the way have broken off their voyages and come here especially to cheer me on with their support, so as I leave the dock and pass them in the anchorage they cheer and hoot horns, my very hart felt thanks, I have so appreciated this show of friendship and camaraderie. We were positioning our boat quite well at the start line but one boat did a daft thing very close to me and nearly had a collision with another boat, I went further than planned and with only seconds left had to tack twice, no disasters and off we go again, this course was called the cannon, straight out 6 miles and back, twice, you get to see any faster boat at least twice. On one leg with CJ on the tiller and starboard tack he said "Roy what should I do?" he was referring to the fact that coming towards us on port, neck and neck and very close together was Ranger and Velsheda, (sorry about this but) Shit! I thought for a couple of seconds cos that's all the time you get, and said, split em, just aim straight between them, CJ looked at me and I nodded yes, if he had hesitated for a second I would have taken over, but CJ is a good helm and we split them apart, and with one traveling down each side experienced the best sight of them you can imagine, again, wowww! unbelievable. Then another close encounter, of the forth kind, again with 'Windrose' we had gone so fast and caught a faster grp boat, I was stuck to his stern like glue and he couldn't shake me off, were heading for the finish on starboard again and crossing Windrose's track, she was coming at a hell of a rate so I dearn't look, I said to Dunc "how close" "close" 30' "how close" "closer" 30' "how close" "you better look" I turned round to see her bowsprit what seemed like inches away from my stern and she screamed past WoW, we then seconds later crossed the finish line right behind Ruffian.
Immediately after this race I had promised to take part in the parade of sail around Nelsons Dockyard, I was a bit late getting there, Windrose had just gone in and the guys from the Tot Club asked me to wait a couple of mins, they gave the go ahead and I went in slowly, Windrose had turned round and was on her way out, as we slowly passed each other I noticed Capt'n Kenny Coombs chairman AYC amidships then he and the crew lined the rail from bow to stern and applauded GL!! what a moment, then as we passed the slipway a commentary of GL's history and my trip getting here could be heard given to the gathered crowd, then the moment of glory as the crowd applauded me, my crew, and Guiding Light!!! a bit further on (and all my what they called themselves) 'Fan Club' applauded me from the opposite bank, what a day.

Race day 2

I woke up this morning to grey skies and lots of squally winds, with crew assembled off we went again to the start, this time I got it right and as the start cannon fired I was crossing at full speed. We had now been round the dock and ID'd the other boats in our class, but we hadn't spotted the one that came 1st on day 1, we raced the ones we knew about though, and left them behind in our wake. As the squally weather continued we got some exciting conditions, and soaking wet too, in torrential tropical rain. To give you a clue as to how hard the wind blew now and again poor 'Galatea' snapped her mizzen mast close to the deck!! Her crew worked all night repairing it!
The race covering helicopter buzzed us on the way round for what seemed like ages, so we knew we were being filmed blasting through the swell, one of the big one's 'Windrose' passed us at full tilt and full sail, no wonder she broke the 98 year old Atlantic schooner race record and won it in 2002, what a sight, she was only about 50 foot away and as she overtook us, well I for one was gob smacked! 'Yahooo', what a good days race, and wearing oily's as well. So after returning too the dock we waited with bated breath in the AYC for the results, having a few beers at the same time....and......
WWoooW!!!! we had come FIRST!!
Partying can't describe the celebration we did of that that night.

Race day 1

Hi again everyone,
Well with my three Friends as Crew---Duncan UK---CJ Barbados---Jacob Venezuela we set out on the first day to the start line, hoping I wouldn't do anything stupid on the start line I manouvered GL and although not quite close enough started without a hitch, we as yet had not Identified the boats in our class so just went for it as fast as we could, weather was perfect and we had a great time, as the bigger classes caught up we were treated to some amazing sights of some of the worlds most famous classic yachts blasting along at near full speed, so close you felt as though you could touch them, Wow Wow Wow, after the race we came back to the yacht club marina were I had moved the boat to previously, and docked among the other classic yachts. Galatea (1899) had had a collision and nearly lost her stern rail (hell) we had no clue as to were we had come in the race so we went to the hospitality lounge for a couple of free beers, I was so made up to have had such a good sail, you just can't believe how good it is to race & sail in a trade wind. At about 5pm the results were posted, day 1 and we got 2nd place! wow owo woooow! We then celebrated our success at the Sundowner Party and single handed prize giving, I came 9th in that one but it also was a good race.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Antigua Classic

Hi Everyone,
Well your not going to believe this because I didn't, I entered GL in the Boat International 'Concours DE'legance' judging was on the 15th before the single handed race, and prize giving in the evening, well Guiding Light took 1st place!!! in the Vintage Class, as I went to leave the stage Kenny Coombs chairman of AYC told me to stay put, they then awarded the top Special prise for the best original and well maintained strongest/safety , I WON!!!
Today is the first race and I have to get ready now, but what a result.
More later

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

7th April 2010

Hi everyone, thanks for the many birthday wishes received, you just never know where you'll be as these days arrive, I'd just about forgotten it was coming, I had a very pleasant meal at 'Cloggys' restaurant with, Dawn Richard Tina and Tony, fellow boat friends (2 am finish??). So now well on the way preparing GL and myself for the coming challenge, have had the yachts name redone so I can paint that area, also ordered a couple of 't' shirts with the boat and name on them, have to look half decent for this eventI think. As the time is rapidly approaching I am going to be too busy to come ashore to Blog so bear with me on that, It will take a week of blogging after this cos I have a feeling many photos will want posting, hope pics of classic yachts will be interesting, Velsheda is here as are many gorgeous classic yachts, I have even found another Gauntlet yacht, it is the bigger version being 14 tons and restoration is in hand at 'Woodstock' boat yard, Micheal who owns the boat has done a fantastic job so far, very impressed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Hi everyone, Well have been excepted for the Antigua Classic !!! I met the committee members on Tuesday and have since been measuring GL and begin preparing for the races. Fred poor thing has been removed completly, filled the reg form out today so thats sorted. Have had an interview with the yachting author who covers the event for the AYC. Program allows for a classic single handed race, and I've been asked to enter that as well! so all is in progress. Wish me luck, but just taking part with all the famous classic boats will be fantastic, I hope to get some really good photo's for the blog
more to come

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pics 8

pic 1= Crossing the line in 4th position
pic 2= Prize giving SLYC

Pics 7

These pics are of the Saint Lucia Yacht Club J24 Club Championship Race, I was invited to join as crew and was on the fore deck of No. 3 Attitude! all 6 boats took part, pic 1(bott) race start, 2= BMW rule OK! 3= all 6, 4= all 6 again, 5 =Spin up look see!, 2 more pics next post Roy