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Sweethearts of the Caribbean & Classic Yacht Regatta

Saturday 11th February, 2023 | Race Report: Rose Chapman

In 2023 the Sweethearts Regatta took place on Saturday 11th February, with all competitors visible by the race committee on the start line, ready to go at 10.30 am.

We had the beautiful blue 1992 built 42 ft Schooner, Daphnae, with Brian Duff on the helm, Dave Lake’s trusty Wicked Winch, a 30 ft Hunter, My Deere, Jim Chesson’s 46 ft Hylas, and Libertas, a Beneteau First 40 skippered by Kevin Wrigley.

With breeze on, Libertas had an excellent start, crossing the line within seconds of the horn and leading the fleet away towards Great Thatch, with full sails and raked over in the breeze, closely followed by Wicked Winch and Daphnae.

Libertas had extended her lead after rounding Great Thatch, with second and third placed Wicked Winch and Daphnae so close together they were flanking each other along the course.

It was a lively race, My Deere suffering gear failure in the breeze and having to put in an early retirement, with all the others completing the race unscathed.

As the leaders approached the finish line, so too did a large green concrete mixer delivery ship, the Princess Sam Asia, right on cue to block the race committee’s view of the course. At the crucial moment of crossing the line in first place, Libertas was almost completely out of sight of the race committee behind the maneuvering green ship, who had not even been visible moments before. By happy chance, the race committee were able to see Libertas’s sails and the pink house finish marker through a window opening in the vessel so all was not lost. Perfect timing of Princess Sam Asia to blank the finishers, but the finish was recorded without issue.

After sufficient gap for Princess Sam Asia to depart having deposited her cargo, Daphnae crossed the line in second place, with Wicked Winch catching up fast in third. It was a fast race and a fun challenge for the competitors too, gauging by conversations afterwards in the bar, and the crews were able to moor their boats in good time before the prizegiving. This too was a lively affair, kindly hosted by Omar’s Fusion, including prizes, many thanks, from our sponsors Omar’s Fusion and Indigo Beach House.

Click HERE for full photo gallery.

Photo Credit: Teri Grossman

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