Meanwhile, the regatta had reached its equator and even, with a push, crossed it. Two long races were held - one from Barbuda back to Antigua, the other from Jolly Harbor around Antigua to Falmouth Marina.
Both races were held by itBoat correspondents on board of one and the same yacht under the helm of the Kaliningrad skipper well-known to all of us By Dmitry Zaritskyrecognized as Yachting Blogger of the Year. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side, although the races, especially the second one, turned out to be very tense and even exciting.
In the first long race we had a great start, manoeuvred beautifully and as a result were first at the top mark, over 10 hulls ahead of the other competitors. However, as it is said in a favorite book from my childhood days, «the start was good, but all the good was limited to the beginning». The second part of the race turned out to be boring and long - almost
And only when Zhenya Nikiforov came around us from downwind (!) we understood that we had to do
Dmitry commented for us: «Yesterday we raced Ok, two tackes were right, we had chances to pass all the fleet but we lost the tack in one of the turns. Getting nervous, I hit the throttle knob, backing up. The propeller spun into reverse, we lost the turn. Eventually, everyone drove over us.
Then we worked it out, put the knob in neutral. We started to catch up with the leading group of eight yachts, almost got her, but got caught in a windless spot. The fleet that was ahead of us got away strongly and the rear ones got to us. But on the last tack we pulled together, bypassed three boats, strongly caught up with the steel ones, and, had the tack been a bit longer, we could have come in better - at the finish the gap with the fifth boat was less than three hulls».
As a result, the sports results for now are as follows: in our division (Sunsail 44i) led Sergey Peshkov, second place is taken by Evgeny Nikiforov. In Dufour division Andrey Arbuzov'screw is in the lead (who would have doubted it?!).
From the commentator's point of view, we can say that this regatta (and its competitors) shows good sportsmanship and a high level of tension. The competition was a real sporting event and not a purely social one, as we had feared.
We randomly chose one of the captains of Harmony division and asked him to comment on the course of the regatta. Here is what Andrey Petrov told us : «I'm afraid to sound banal, but I absolutely love it.» Everything is well organized, the coastal program is not banal, the racing is exciting but not stressful. We have picked a very strong and equal group of participants. I can honestly say that if the organizers had said that they would run the second week as well, I would have quit and stayed here...