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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 8, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesACTION TIGHT AT ANGUILLA BOAT RACES IN ST. THOMAS

ACTION TIGHT AT ANGUILLA BOAT RACES IN ST. THOMAS

Eagle took first place in the race of visiting Anguilla sloops at Brewers Bay on Saturday. The second position was a photo finish between Viking 007 and De Chan, as the two boats collided 100 yards from the finishing buoy. The two 28 footers remained in contact as they sailed that last stretch. With the crowd yelling encouragement from the beach the two vessels straddled the buoy, each crew claiming to have touched it first. De Tree finished a close fourth avoiding the melee happening a boat length or so ahead.
Saturday's event got under way before noon as the nine sloops, transported from Anguilla by the Lady Romney barge, sailed off and on the beach. Harris Richardson, owner of De Chan, said the crews were checking the local winds and currents while rearranging the collection of lead and sand bags providing ballast inside the boats. All crews agreed that proper placement of the ballast was vital for winning speed. Crews were packing sand into containers for last minute trim adjustments up to a few minutes before the 2 p.m. start.
A horn sounded at ten minutes before two and the crews manned their boats, turning the bows away from the beach and filling the sails. All nine strained at stern lines tied to the shore until flags dropped at each end of the group.
Most of the sloops leapt away smartly. The exception was Miss Anguilla which had to heel over to dislodge her keel from the shallow sand. Then she quickly joined the pack as they sailed west. The boats were very close during the first leg with Stinger, owned by Donald Hodge and captained by Tates Romney, rounding the west mark first.
There were several lead changes on the trip back to the beach. Eagle, owned by Kent Webster and captained by Eddie Hughes, was living up to her pre race press and led the group sailing on the outside of shore. De Tree, owned by the Community of Blowing Point, and driven by Errol Romney chanced a course close inside. Coming up the middle were Irin Hughes' Viking and De Chan steered by Alvin Conner.
At the last half mile there was no stopping Eagle from touching the mark placed about 50 yards off the beach and thereby claiming first. Then things got really interesting. De Tree encountered lighter winds and lost her slim lead over the middle boats. The finish mark was small and the finishing boats could not see it until the last minute. When the crew of De Chan spotted the mark, they realized that they had to change course and pass an anchored boat on the same side as the close by Viking. Viking held her course and De Chan gave her a hard thump. The two then sailed on, in contact with each other, directly to the mark. The mark slipped between the two boats with each claiming to have touched it first. The crowd rushed the boats as they sailed the last few feet to the beach and luckily the commotion remained only loud and verbal.
The exciting finish capped a day of beauty, racing, and comradery at Brewers Bay. Chairman of the Anguilla Boat Racing Committee Calvert Carty, credited Dr. Richard Lloyd of St. Thomas for his sponsorship and work in coordinating the event with the Carnival Committee. Carty also thanked Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and the Immigration Service which allowed the crews to come to the U.S.V.I. for the event.
Crews packed away booms and sails and anchored the boats just offshore. The shore side crowd had spent the time between the start and finish catching up with friends and family. The sailing crews joined the hundreds of spectators around the band on the beach. It was time to squeeze in some party action before the 10:00 a.m. start of Sunday's race.

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Eagle took first place in the race of visiting Anguilla sloops at Brewers Bay on Saturday. The second position was a photo finish between Viking 007 and De Chan, as the two boats collided 100 yards from the finishing buoy. The two 28 footers remained in contact as they sailed that last stretch. With the crowd yelling encouragement from the beach the two vessels straddled the buoy, each crew claiming to have touched it first. De Tree finished a close fourth avoiding the melee happening a boat length or so ahead.
Saturday's event got under way before noon as the nine sloops, transported from Anguilla by the Lady Romney barge, sailed off and on the beach. Harris Richardson, owner of De Chan, said the crews were checking the local winds and currents while rearranging the collection of lead and sand bags providing ballast inside the boats. All crews agreed that proper placement of the ballast was vital for winning speed. Crews were packing sand into containers for last minute trim adjustments up to a few minutes before the 2 p.m. start.
A horn sounded at ten minutes before two and the crews manned their boats, turning the bows away from the beach and filling the sails. All nine strained at stern lines tied to the shore until flags dropped at each end of the group.
Most of the sloops leapt away smartly. The exception was Miss Anguilla which had to heel over to dislodge her keel from the shallow sand. Then she quickly joined the pack as they sailed west. The boats were very close during the first leg with Stinger, owned by Donald Hodge and captained by Tates Romney, rounding the west mark first.
There were several lead changes on the trip back to the beach. Eagle, owned by Kent Webster and captained by Eddie Hughes, was living up to her pre race press and led the group sailing on the outside of shore. De Tree, owned by the Community of Blowing Point, and driven by Errol Romney chanced a course close inside. Coming up the middle were Irin Hughes' Viking and De Chan steered by Alvin Conner.
At the last half mile there was no stopping Eagle from touching the mark placed about 50 yards off the beach and thereby claiming first. Then things got really interesting. De Tree encountered lighter winds and lost her slim lead over the middle boats. The finish mark was small and the finishing boats could not see it until the last minute. When the crew of De Chan spotted the mark, they realized that they had to change course and pass an anchored boat on the same side as the close by Viking. Viking held her course and De Chan gave her a hard thump. The two then sailed on, in contact with each other, directly to the mark. The mark slipped between the two boats with each claiming to have touched it first. The crowd rushed the boats as they sailed the last few feet to the beach and luckily the commotion remained only loud and verbal.
The exciting finish capped a day of beauty, racing, and comradery at Brewers Bay. Chairman of the Anguilla Boat Racing Committee Calvert Carty, credited Dr. Richard Lloyd of St. Thomas for his sponsorship and work in coordinating the event with the Carnival Committee. Carty also thanked Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and the Immigration Service which allowed the crews to come to the U.S.V.I. for the event.
Crews packed away booms and sails and anchored the boats just offshore. The shore side crowd had spent the time between the start and finish catching up with friends and family. The sailing crews joined the hundreds of spectators around the band on the beach. It was time to squeeze in some party action before the 10:00 a.m. start of Sunday's race.