If you know someone who’s ever wanted to feel the wind in their hair and the taste of salt on their lips while sailing, have them speak with the participants from The Superyacht Cup race in Antigua last month. The wind was so strong that it roiled up the seas and gave several yachts fits; the weather even prevented two megayachts from making it in time. As if that weren’t enough, the conditions additionally resulted in damage to two boats.
Even with black clouds, squalls, and winds exceeding 35 knots, five yachts made it to the Caribbean island in time to participate: Wild Horses, Signe (above), Timoneer (participating in her sixth Cup), Tenacious, and Kalikobass II, and each gave her all. Signe won the first race day and looked poised to grab the big trophy on the last day of sailing. But Timoneer gave her a run for her money in what the observers say was one of the most exciting yet nail-biting finishes they’d ever seen. A powerful squall came through, and Signe brushed the last mark, so the penalty points allowed Timoneer, who was in a close second, to take the title.
Though the photo below of the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Gosnell, and their crew all clad in Hawaiian shirts doesn’t give a hint at the drama, Timoneer actually cracked her mizzen boom at one point. The Superyacht Cup was characterized by other drama, too: Tenacious started out well in the second race, but she lost her main halyard and had to pull out of the competition.
Thankfully, no one was injured in any of the incidents. And there was even another “first” to make this edition of The Superyacht Cup special: a 94-years-young friend of the Gosnells got to sail aboard Timoneer. And that’s what the spirit of this twice-yearly sailing race is all about.