April 24, 2018

Antigua Sailing Week 28th April- 4th May 2018

Antigua Sailing Week is an eagerly anticipated event by yachting enthusiasts all over the Caribbean. It celebrated its 50th anniversary only last year, and its popularity remains consistent, with over 100 yachts competing each year. Antigua Sailing Week became established when captains and crews from charter boats challenged one another to a race from Antigua down to Guadeloupe in the 60s. With extra races and events added over a series of days, Antigua Sailing Week was founded, and helped to extend the tourist season for the island. Based in the scenic Falmouth, and English Harbour, it is a lively and popular regatta for avid sailors, and shore-based enthusiasts alike. There are many yachts that are available for charter, so don’t miss out, charter a yacht and make some fabulous memories.

rorc race begins

The week begins with the Peters & May Round Antigua Race, on Saturday 28th April. Re-introduced in 2012, this race is open to all yachts whether they are participating in the Sailing Week, or not. It is a popular conclusion to the Caribbean racing season for those having just taken part in the Classics Regatta, and with results not impacting on the weeks scoring, it is a great warm up for those that are competing in the Antigua Sailing Week.

The race record at present is held by Phaedo 3, a MOD 70 trimaran, who in 2015 completed the race in an astonishing time of 3 hours 26 minutes and 9 seconds.


Phaedo 3, current record holder

The Farr-designed 115-foot Sojana, holds the current monohull record. In 2009, she completed the race in an impressive 4 hours, 37 minutes and 43 seconds. We eagerly anticipate her attempt this year to see whether she will be able to break her own long-standing record, missing by only one second last year!


Monohull record holder, Sojana

Prize giving for the Peters & May Round Antigua Race will take place that evening, alongside the official Antigua Sailing Week Opening Party.

For those who would like to take part in the Peters & May Round Antigua Race there are privately crewed yachts to charter for such events. You can experience the fun and exhilaration of taking part in a fantastic race, with the support and expertise of an experienced crew behind you.  Just imagine the stunning scenery as you circumnavigate around the island of Antigua, cutting through the turquoise warm waters, the sails billowing and the sun beating down, it doesn’t get much better than that. Charter a yacht today and live the dream.

By Laura Barber

April 23, 2018

Enjoying the 2018 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

It has been such a fantastic experience to be able to spectate, and enjoy this incredible regatta. Billowing sails framed by azure skies. Timeless beauties cutting their way through turquoise seas. You can’t get a more idyllic setting. There are many opportunities to charter your own classic yacht, so instead of spectating from the sideline, make your dreams come true, and get out on the water and be part of the action.



Two classics completing Race 2, The Butterfly

It was great to have the opportunity of meandering around the Antigua Yacht Club Marina to view some of the spectacular yachts. The variety of classic yachts is astonishing, and it was fantastic to be able to appreciate and see the exquisite workmanship up close. The amount of work involved in maintaining and cleaning these yachts is simply mind-boggling.


The classic yachts make a stunning sight

With sails carefully packed in their assigned bags, and ropes tidied away, it is hard to believe that these yachts were battling it out on the sea earlier in the day. I don’t think I’ve used the term, ‘ship-shape and Bristol fashion’, in a more fitting way! Ticonderoga of Greenwich, and Jonathan, are two stunning examples of the passion and attention that goes into keeping these historic yachts in such pristine condition.

cyr tied up


The morning of Sunday 22nd saw the start of Race 4, The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Race. Kenny Coombs was one of the founders of the  Antigua Classic Regatta, as well as helping to develop the Spirit of Tradition class, which is now embraced all over the world.


Yachts jostling for space at the start of the race


Impressive and eye-catching sails

The competitors make a impressive sight as they race around the marker at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour

race 3

The Classic Yacht Parade is the ideal opportunity to find out more about the individual yachts, as there is a running commentary . The commentator certainly keeps things entertaining, not that you would have a chance to get bored as the yachts parade into English Harbour.



Petrana, measures 50 feet, and was built in 1968. Her patriotic owner, Paul Deeth, flies the flag for Antigua! Petrana, has remarkably remained in ownership with the same family since built, and celebrates her 50th birthday this year. She remains in first place for the Classic GRP, with one more race to go tomorrow.


Free in St Barth, is a Alwyn Enoe Carriacou Sloop and is 42 feet. She was built in 2015, in the traditional Carriacou way, and can achieve impressive speeds.



Columbia, still impressive, even with the sails down! Despite her classic look, she is only nine years old, and was completed in 2009, taking only three years to build. She is the childhood dream come true, for owner Brian D’Isenia, of the USA. She is as close a replica as possible to a Gloucester Fishing Schooner, and at 141 feet, she is certainly impressive.

With many classic yachts available to charter, whatever your experience, there is no excuse not to get out on the water and start making your own memories , and maybe even win a few races yourself!

For those of you who get swept away with the romance of being on a classic yacht, there are lots of classics that are also ideal to charter for the more relaxing holiday experience. With luxurious interiors, plenty of toys to keep you busy, as well as crew to meet your every need, you can pretend you are living out your own real-life fantasy aboard your yacht.

By Laura Barber


April 18, 2018

Classic Yachts for Charter

With the long- awaited Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta now upon us, it is easy to get swept away with the beauty and elegance of a bygone era. Approaching Falmouth Harbour, the skyline is awash with majestic masts towering above buildings, drawing vertical lines in the striking azure sky. Gleaming varnish, impressive rigging, and glorious lines, everything that makes a classic yacht so extraordinary. There is certainly something magical and romantic associated with classic yachts, and it is hard not to let the imagination run wild, with images of swashbuckling pirates, and barrels full of rum!  Private owners, as well as those that have chartered one of these magnificent vessels, will enjoy six days of scheduled races and fun during this popular regatta.


Nelson’s Dockyard

Fortunately, Falmouth Harbour has moved on from its blood-thirsty and violent past, and is now a popular  harbour that is bustling with activity during the yacht charter season. Huge superyachts, and timeless classics line the dockside, where Nelson once commanded his ships. It is a sight to behold. The picturesque English Harbour makes a fitting backdrop for the Classic Yacht Regatta Parade which takes place on Sunday 22nd at 1.30pm. Over the years English Harbour has managed to maintain its charm and beauty, and as the only working Georgian dockyard in the world, it was recently awarded the UNESCO title, to preserve and protect the remarkable site.

There are several classic yachts that are available for private charter, and you certainly don’t have to commit to a race, or regatta if you do! These timeless classics have been restored to their former glory, with all the comfort and luxury that you’d expect when chartering a yacht.


Eros, available for charter

The Blue Peter, is a stunning example of one of the classic yachts that is available for private charter. Launched in 1930, she is renowned worldwide on the classic yacht circuit, and has a worthy reputation not only for her race successes, but also for her exquisite styling, and flawless appearance. She was designed by Alfred Mylne and built by W. King & Sons of Burnham-on-Crouch.

blue peter

The current owner, Mathew Barker, took ownership in 1999, while he was traveling. He spotted her in Elba, and realised her potential. Having been neglected, and altered from her original form, Mat spent 3 years restoring her to her former glory, and when the coffers ran dry, made the decision to try his hand at chartering, having decided not to return to his previous career in banking.

Mat has enjoyed a successful career in chartering The Blue Peter in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and now the States. She is a popular choice for both racing regattas, and for those that just want to escape for some relaxation on a timeless classic. I caught up with Mat on his return to Antigua for the 2018 Classics Regatta. Having had the misfortune of losing his mast during the 2013 regatta, I wondered if this race also held more fonder memories of late.

mat 2

Captain Mat Barker

With The Blue Peter tied up outside the Galley Bar at Nelson Dockyard, a convenient location(!),  Mat was waiting for the imminent arrival of his charter guests. Mat has been taking part in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta for many years now, and has found it to be a well run and organised event. In fact, it was the late Kenny Coombs, one of the founders of the Classic Regatta, that encouraged Mat to venture over from the Med to give the Caribbean a go. Mat explained how privileged he was to have raced alongside Kenny on The Blue Peter, finding him to be a truly inspirational character.

When asked why he thought that The Blue Peter had been such a successful charter boat, the answer was simple. She is the perfect size for racing and regattas, she can accommodate 10 guests and 2 crew, and can achieve an impressive 11 knots. When people enter races they want to win, and The Blue Peter has an impressive success record. As well as races and regattas, she is a popular choice to charter for corporate events and groups of friends. Mat explained that the boat can be set up ready to go for when the guests arrive, or for those that like to fiddle and tinker, they can be more involved in the setting up. The range of sailing experience that guests possess can range from complete novices, to American Cup Sailors. Mat is happy to help teach the basics to enthusiastic novices, as well as step back for the more competent sailors.

blue peter

Immaculately presented, The Blue Peter

With the  arrival of his charter guests, a group of experienced sailors, I wished them the best of luck in the upcoming regatta. With the plan to spend Wednesday and Thursday practicing, their official racing will start on Friday, as they have chosen to forego the Single-Handed Race on Thursday. With four days of intense racing, we hope for the perfect weather racing conditions for them.

To find out more about chartering The Blue Peter, visit the website

By Laura Barber

April 11, 2018

One week to go until the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2018

This year’s Antigua Classic Sailing Regatta schedule is jam-packed over six days, with the opening ceremony kicking off on Wednesday 18th April. If you haven’t chartered yourself one of these amazing yachts yet, don’t leave it too late, or you’ll miss out on taking part in an amazing regatta. The first out on the water is the single-handed race, which starts on Thursday at 2pm. Race 1, the ‘Old Road’, is on Friday, with race 2, ‘The Butterfly’ on Saturday. ‘The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon’, begins on Sunday, with the regatta concluding on Monday with the ‘Windward Race’. All four races are due to start at 10am, with prize giving at Nelson’s Dockyard on Monday at 8pm. Don’t miss the spectacular Classic Yacht parade at 1.30pm on Sunday at Nelsons Dockyard. Tuesday afternoon will see the traditional cream tea party being held at the Admiral’s Inn at 2pm.

classic regatta '18 map

There are certain criteria that a yacht must meet to be able to enter the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Apart from stating the obvious, that they must have a traditional rig and style, they should also have a full keel, be of moderate to heavy displacement, and built of wood or steel. Concessions have been made regarding the restoration of older yachts that have used modern materials, and new boats built from old designs.  To ensure that all entrants are abiding by the Spirit of Tradition, yachts that are entering for the first time will be required to provide drawings and photographs for approval by the committee, who will make the final decision.



Alternatively, there are classic yachts that meet all the criteria that are ready to charter. Eros, is a 115 feet classic schooner, and is a perfect example of a yacht that is available to charter for such a regatta. Launched in 1939, she was recommissioned as a luxury sailing yacht in 2010 after a colossal renovation and benefitted from a complete interior redecoration in 2016. She has managed to maintain her timeless splendour, without forgoing the comfort and pleasure necessary for the most discerning of guests. If you were to charter Eros, you could combine the excitement of participating in such a prestigious regatta, with the luxury and comfort expected on a superyacht. Eros is more than capable of keeping pace, and can reach speeds of up to 12 knots, making her a popular choice to charter for regattas and races.

Eros outside dining

Eros has a comfortable outdoor dining area, perfect for watching the stunning scenery as you cruise past 

By Laura Barber


April 8, 2018

Crewed Motor Yachts For Charter Continued

Catching the first glimpse of Adastra while walking around Falmouth Harbour, you could be forgiven for thinking that something had literally dropped out of the sky. Surrounded by other superyachts that were available for charter, she was the most extraordinary in the marina. Your thoughts immediately turn to something you’d expect to see in a sci-fi film. The superstructure is moulded from a carbon fibre laminate on a Nomex honeycomb core, and she is powered by three engines, one in each hull. She is simply extraordinary to look at.

adastra 1

With our curiosity piped, we were invited the view the yacht by Elijah, one of her long- standing crew members. We were unsure what to expect. How did you gain any living space, and where did you sleep in such a strange shaped vessel? Once inside we pleasantly surprised by the space on offer. Built in 2012, on a concept design originally conceived on a napkin by her two British owners, she is a 139ft custom built multi-hull.

adastra saloon

Open planned saloon and dining room

The saloon in Adastra has been cleverly designed to make the most of the unusual space on offer. She is bright and spacious, with bespoke cupboards, and seating stylishly shaped to fit the unique shape of the boat. It’s amazing to see just how well the spaces actually works.

adastra cabin

The master cabin

Adastra has 3 cabins and can accommodate up to six guests. There is a master, a VIP Stateroom and one twin cabin. As you tour the boat it is hard not to be impressed by the ingenuity that has been put into the design. The cabins, although modest, are created around the yachts unique shape. Cabin walls are shaped into the curve of the hull, giving a feeling of light and space. Storage is gained in cleverly hidden areas, and doors are positioned and opened in such a way that the space flows. It is remarkable what has been achieved in such a challenging space.

To charter this yacht would be a unique opportunity, as it is the first time she has been available for private charter. Although she may lack the luxury and space that is expected on a superyacht, she has an astonishing range of 7500 nautical miles. That’s twice across the Atlantic! She cruises comfortably at 17 knots, and has a top speed of 22.5 knots. She has been designed to be able to reach isolated areas quickly. Simply, there is nothing equal, or equivalent on the market.

With a crew of five, you can still be assured that your every need will be attended to. She is certainly suited to the more adventurous charterer, for those that wish to explore the more isolated and far flung places, that would have the average motor yacht turning back to port. Guests wishing to indulge in deep sea diving, she has all the equipment on board. With mixed gases and re-breathing equipment, like the yacht itself, there is no restrictions on where you wish to go.

Being a multi-hull, she is extremely stable at anchor, so you can be assured of a good night’s sleep after a busy day exploring.

adastra foredeck

Daniel and I enjoying a drink on the foredeck.

If you charter Adastra, you can be sure that you will be turning heads wherever you go. She is dramatic and stunning at the same time. Her accomodation, although functional is both spacious and cosy. She is a complete contradiction.

By Laura Barber