Racing on Nordwind

During our stay in Antigua I was lucky enough to get a place on Yacht 'Nordwind' for 4 days of racing in the 'Antigua Classic Yacht Reggata'. I got the place after 2 days of dockwalking, asking various boats if they had room for an extra crewmember.
Luckily for me the boat I got on was a true classic, built in 1939, she's a racing veteran and held the Fastnet Challenge (a famously ardous offshore race) record for over 15 years. Her hull is made of wood, same with the masts and the decks are teak. She's a Yawl rig and about 88 foot long.

Before the races started I did a couple of days work on her, made up of polishing, cleaning, running errands and moving sails. This was great as it gave me a chance to get to know the crew as well as getting two delicious lunches.

On the first day of the races all of the crew gathered onboard for the captains briefing. There were only 4 permanent crew, not including the owner, the rest were made up of people who were just crewing for the Reggata. There was about 15 crew in all, made up of all nationalities- German, Spanish, American, Australian, Canadian, English (obviously...), French, Dutch and maybe a few more that have slipped my mind. Over the next four days we were to all make good friends and improve the handling of Nordwind a lot.

The races themselves were very good fun, when we had enough wind we were reaching 10-12 knots of speed and were dipping the toerail in the water-quite a feat by a boat that weighs about 60 tons! Racing her was pretty challenging, it took all 15 of us to make a tack. I was on the Genoa Sheet with two other guys, as one was needed to tail and two to winch. In the end we came last in our class, but none of us were expecting to win with such a new crew and anyway, it's the taking part that counts... We did win the 'Spirit of the Reggata' Trophy which basicaly means friendliest boat!

So, to finish off, Great People, Beautiful Boat and really good fun.