Today saw the first official race day of the 2013 Antigua Sailing Week regatta and I was quite excited to see how races are organized and function. I was at our boat at the early morning hour of 07:45 and we were 8 of us aboard and we managed to get underway relatively quickly, motoring the Lagoon 410 Catamaran from Budget Marine to our mooring position in the sea between the entrances to Falmouth and English harbours. The seas were still running quite high and the boat's motion was, to put it mildly, sub-optimal.
Nonetheless we got set up and Alfred had assigned me to assist James in raising and lowering the flags on deck. While this job might be important (as are all the duties distributed between the people on the boat), it wasn't complicated or particularly demanding as we always had several minutes between having to change, raise or lower a given flag. The principal difficulty was keeping a firm stance on the moving deck and not dropping the flag or missing a verbal command.
We started all the classes for the morning race without difficulties and the boats were also rather conservative and there were no early starts. While the boats were underway we had an hour or more to relax and get seasick while being jerked around the mooring (just kidding, nobody got sick although some admitted to getting a bit queasy).
The finishes were a bit more stressful aboard the committee boat with two parallel sets of eyes calling the sail numbers or boat names to their respective secretaries and marking down the finish times signalled by James at the finish line with a whistle and called out finish times. Most of the fleet came in well-separated but there were some close finishes that needed to be carefully observed and noted. I was on my binoculars identifying boats but also found the time (for most boats) to get the camera out and take some pictures.
We returned to the docks in the early afternoon and the day's work (plus two celebratory beers upon our arrival back on terra firma) conspired to put me to sleep very early that night!
The many pictures of the day's races from Committee Boat A's point of view can be found here.

Athos at the docks Athos at the docks in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.
[17°0'45.09"N 61°46'21.77"W (facing E)]
Athos at the docks
Athos' Masts The huge masts of Athos
[17°0'45.1"N 61°46'21.6"W (facing E)]
Athos' Masts
Splintered Mast of Blue Peter The splintered lower section of Blue Peter's mast.
[17°0'43.67"N 61°46'16.32"W (facing N)]
Splintered Mast of Blue Peter
Blue Peter broken mast The mast was broken during the Antigua Classics sailing week.
[17°0'43.67"N 61°46'16.32"W (facing N)]
Blue Peter broken mast
Antigua Yacht Club building The Antigua Yacht club building with the booths set up for the 2013 Antigua Sailing Week.
[17°0'43.08"N 61°46'13.75"W (facing SW)]
Antigua Yacht Club building
Antigua Sailing Week yachts Yachts at the docks preparing for the first day of races.
[17°0'41.87"N 61°46'14.78"W (facing N)]
Antigua Sailing Week yachts
Impressive curves on this lady Impressive curves on this lady
[17°0'45.2"N 61°46'21.33"W (facing SE)]
Impressive curves on this lady
They wouldn't let me board... The Maltese Falcon boarding passarelle was just out of reach...
[17°0'44.71"N 61°46'19.06"W (facing W)]
They wouldn't let me board...
Angry Falcon Upon close inspection the Maltese Falcon looks pretty aggressive indeed.
[17°0'44.71"N 61°46'19.06"W (facing W)]
Angry Falcon
Curved spreaders and unstayed masts The 3 unstayed carbon fiber masts of the Maltese Falcon at the docks in Falmouth harbour.
[17°0'44.71"N 61°46'19.06"W (facing W)]
Curved spreaders and unstayed masts
Maltese Falcon stern The logo and stern section of the Maltese Falcon.
[17°0'44.71"N 61°46'19.06"W (facing W)]
Maltese Falcon stern
Plan Purportedly owned by a Hollywood celebrity, this is a converted Australian marine vessel and no trace of the original insides remains.
[17°0'45.03"N 61°46'21.9"W (facing NE)]
Plan "b" superyacht
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