A Postcard from Simon (Antigua)

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Going down to Antigua to sail on the newly restored Eilean, the boat we filmed the Rio video on in 1982, was a much better experience than the nostalgic one I had anticipated it would be.

As it happened, we were staying on the same beach in English Harbour, that we stayed, and filmed on, all those years ago. It's not surprising then, that we did spend an inordinate amount of time trying to work out, for example, which wooden jetty it was where the mirror broke over model Rima's head.

The Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge is a rather upmarket affair, with the focus very definitely upon the lovingly maintained yachts themselves. These elegant wooden racing boats - with their teak decks, polished brass, varnished wood deckhouses, rails and spars - were built mainly between 1900 and the late 1930s. And it is a testament to their owners' dedication that all of the boats are in such fine condition today.

There was good strong wind, and we had three fine races. I had the good fortune to be asked to take the helm of Eilean for two of them. We did ok, we got round the course without breaking anything, or more crucially, losing anyone overboard.

There were cocktail parties, dinners and a prizegiving evening down at Nelson's Dockyard where they showed the Rio clip before we presented the owner of the winning boat, Lone Fox, with a trophy.

Nick, Roger & myself, all things considered, were well looked after and had a mighty fine time, when really, we were just there to make the boats look good.

whooosh
s

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