Antigua Sailing Week 2014 Pictures

Day 1 of the Antigua Sailing Week began for our Committee Boat B with roll call at 08:00 at the boat. I'd put my long lens, binoculars, hand bearing compass, handheld VHF and assorted smaller items into my backpack and dinghied over to our catamaran so that I arrived exactly on time. Most of the others on our boat were already there and we had quite a bit of time to wait before departing, as the other committee boat (Katzenellenbogen) had to leave before us, since the space at the dock was quite narrow.
We left by 08:30 and our skipper had a bit of work keeping the boat on a straight course, but the waves were a bit sloppy and we did have a bit of underlying swell and wind. We were soon on station, tied securely to the mooring ball and Paul and Clare (our race officers) soon had the start line planned out and the pin boat laid it. After the countdown began we were all busy, Paul and I were up top with the flags and we'd sorted out our system, the only difficulties we had were being able to stand up high on the cabin top and bimini top in the jerky rolling motion of the catamaran. Angela called out the times and which flags we had to display or drop and we didn't have too much time for seeing what else went on aboard the boat, but the starts went smoothly from our point of view. The fleet that we were working with was the smaller boats and a large contingent of charter vessels, so the start line wasn't hotly contested and sometimes we had 30 seconds or so after the signal to wait before the boats passed - but we knew that this would get better as the week progressed and the sailors got to know their vessels and the start lines.
During the wait between the starts and finishes we heard odd clunking and banging noises but we couldn't locate the source, I even peered under the hulls to see if something was hitting the boat from the outside. The noises disappeared after a bit and we didn't give it much thought until after we'd finished timing the racers and wanted to head home. I noticed odd turbulence behind our port hull and saw that the rudder seemed to be at a strange angle. I opened up the engine compartment and saw that the rudder had detached itself from the bar that connected the two sides of the boat together. Upon close inspection, the washer and nut had fallen off and were lying on the bottom of the engine compartment but I wasn't going down there in the seas, as the rudder stock was banging about and the engine was running (and quite hot). So our skipper decided to motor into Falmouth Harbour with one rudder and two engines and that we'd fix it in the calmer waters of the anchorage. He'd also radioed Sunsail so that their chase boat could come and assist us. The chase boat arrived, but with only a skipper and no hands, so once inside I had to climb into the engine room and do a quick fix. That was quickly accomplished and we were soon back at the dock (except for a fender-overboard episode to lively things up) and Sunsail later spent over an hour fixing our problem, which turned out to be bigger than expected as the steering cables had jumped pulleys and the steering bar had twisted; thankfully I was a spectator sitting in the shade and drinking a post-race beer while watching the Sunsail guys slave away in the bowels of our catamaran.

Paul on the radio to the contestants Paul, our Race Officer, on the VHF to the contestants.
(2014-04-27 09:36:18 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Paul on the radio to the contestants
Sails on the horizon The press helicopter zips among the boats on the upwind course.
(2014-04-27 10:41:29 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Sails on the horizon
Pin boat taking out the mark Pin boat taking out the mark
(2014-04-27 10:43:42 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/11.0, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Pin boat taking out the mark
Press Helicopter The helicopter flew amongst the boats most of the day, getting a different perspective than what we saw.
(2014-04-27 10:44:54 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Press Helicopter
Rudder repairs The other rudder had disengaged itself during the return trip and we'd fixed that, but the final repairs involved work on this side of the rudder bar and linkage assembly.
(2014-04-27 17:17:07 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/8.0, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Rudder repairs
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