Jaime Torres wraps up his report from Antigua Sailing Week from Class Zero. Results are here, with the overhead shot from Tim Wright/photoaction.com
Let me re-cap the checklist I put together yesterday:
-Make sure Tonnerre beats True – CHECK
-Beat Scarlet Runner – CHECK
-Get the race committee to spare us from anymore Code Zero reaching legs. -CHECK
-Keep the A2 in one piece in 17 knots – CHECK
The deed is done, and an incredibly hard-fought second place will be etched into the memory of our crew of Northern Europeans for the rest of their lives!
It was a bad break for the otherwise well-sailed Scarlet Runner to rip a headsail halfway up the first windward leg on the final day of racing, and it goes to prove that old sails happen to best of us. They were our boat -for-boat challenger all week, and it sucked to lose our racing partner. We rocked the start (again), and kept the hammer on the whole time. Tonnerre did too – they were very fast off the line and led most of the class, boat-for-boat, for the beginning of the first leg. That team has been around the Caribbean a few times and I enjoyed racing them when they were a 43 footer and my Smile and Wave was a 40 footer; they’re just as good now – or better. Tonnerre finished with a perfect score line and truly deserve their top ranking. True suffered not from a performance malady but, in my opinion, from a rating sting. They sailed well all week, but a 47-foot boat rating the same as TP52… it’s tough no matter how you look at it.
Our 2nd this week has been so thrilling to our team. Yes, we had some key positions filled by very qualified sailors… the driving, bow, pit, trim; Yes, the boat is very well rated; Yes, except for the lack of racing sails (an issue soon to be sweetly corrected), the boat is awesome. But, what made this regatta terrific was the team. Our navigator kept us in the game, the charter master, Ola Hox quickly learned the ins and out of TP52 driving and kept the boat on a groove when our seasoned pro Nic Bol was on break (about 50% of the time!) and the charter guests, a motley collection of businessmen, lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs, provided plenty of horsepower to drive the grinders. Even in the worse of times everybody was smiling. The only rule was to have fun because, lets face it, that’s the only reason we are all here.
This team embodies the Smile and Wave sailing spirit. Those of you that have been following our adventures know that how cool its is to hang with great friends at fabulous regattas in a fun boat. Good performances generally follow, a podium finish is just a bonus, and the most important thing – the smiles – are enjoyed by all.
Our Caribbean season is done but I hope for more racing to be in the cards…Europe, Newport, Florida…who knows? Keep an eye on Smile and Wave’s exploits here.