View Full Version : Island Tripping with the Women of White Wings

04-21-2010, 12:35 PM
Island Time,

A metaphorical statement referring to the slow nature of things in places worthy of the term “paradise.”
Whether by design or happenstance, things move at a different pace in the Caribbean. It’s good for the soul, off the treadmill for a while, a chance to relax, absorb things. Smelling of the Bougainvillea.


Reports, internet connections, and email replies are no exception.
Sailing in two back to back Caribbean regattas aboard the W-76 White Wings, Emma Creighton is “ Back where she belongs” enjoying good company, warm temps, slow times and radiant sunshine. The 1st adventure was a week long, St Barts Voiles des Saint Barths, with an all female crew, essentially match racing against her sister ship Wild Horses. The end results, the ladies and the beautifully designed, cold molded classic Joel White designed yachts 1, rat race zero.


Joining Emma in St Barts:
Faraday Rosenberg skipper/ navigator/ tactics.
Sarah O’Neil was on downwind helm.
Marlies Sanders on Main
Natalie Jade Ray on trim and grinding
Jess Lee on grinding
Kim Petritz on trim
Alden Alexander on bow,
Laurel Gaudet on mast
Kelsey VanBeever on runners and grinding
Kristi Chesher on runners and grinding
Tania Thevaaz


The inaugural event attacted 23 yachts from all around the world. From the Maxis “Rambler” with Ken Read aboard and “Sojana” the 115 Farr design with Loick Peyron to the smallish Feeling 30 Baladin with no one you would know aboard, White Wings and the al woman crew stole the show, and damn near the class trophy. Damn near.


“So, got to st Barth, where both White Wings and Wild Horses are here. For the practice day the 15 chicks went out with the owner, and all the regular crew (including the boys who, for the record, think they've died and gone to heaven having us all here) for a quick sail. It's beautiful here, it was blowing 18-22, warm, did I mention beautiful? The sail was a bit hectic, lots of new people, lots to learn, and I think we all walked away from it feeling a bit apprehensive.
This morning, woke up, swim, coffee and it was time to get ready and head out. This was the first time we'd sailed together as a group alone on the boat and things took longer than they will tomorrow, and we ended up being a bit late to the start. Wild Horses got off the line first, we port tacked the fleet of smaller boats (they started at least two, maybe 3 classes together) and off we went. The course was 25 miles, around a variety of islands and buoys. We chased Horses all day and really put the pressure on a few times, never falling further behind than we had been at the start.

Once we were in the groove we managed to stay in it for a long time and I think it can only get better. It's a great group, a fantastic balance of serious intensity and laughs. I'm in the back of the boat doing taveler and helping on the main and wow there is never that much grinding on the mini and I will sleep like a baby this evening.
After one day Horses is in first overall, with us in second. The internet connection here on the boat is very slow so I can't get any photos to upload. I'll try to get some to you tomorrow!”
The all woman team ended up 2,2, 1 and 2 with 7 points to Wild Horses 5. It was time to giddy up to Antigua!


Now we're in Antigua. It's a very different scene from the St Barth event. Now we're just sailing one boat (White Wings) so there's no real match racing, no all-girls boat proving themselves. It's just straight sailing, and we're the fastest boat in our class. Yesterday we were first to finish and first in class, today again, first to finish, I'm not sure if we got our class though. The courses are all very reachy- which is nice for most of the classics, but it's a bit boring at times. Especially in comparison with last weekend when we were proper sending it


It's been very squally- ever since leaving St Barth... We saw everything from 7- mid 20s today with lots of rain. And we were finished and sails down by 1 something. It's all very civilized.
I'm trimming main and traveler again, pretty awesome to be in the back of the boat as a little girl, and feeling appreciated at the same time. Amazing.
What else.... Poor Galatea was run into yesterday, they did a crazy quick fix over night of some awful damage to the stern, and today their mizzen came down from the stress of yesterday. So that's a bummer.. There are so many beautiful boats here, but I have to admit I have a good long look at Interlodge every morning on our way out and definitely miss carbon. I'll be back to the mini soon!


The Antigua Classics has been attracting the elegant yachts of yester year and likeminded designs since 1991, as described on the website:
To be eligible for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, all entries should have a full keel, be of moderate to heavy displacement, built of wood or steel, and be of traditional rig and appearance. Old craft restored using modern materials such as epoxy or glass sheathing, or new craft built along the lines of an old design, are acceptable. Vessels built of ferro-cement may be accepted if they have a gaff or traditional schooner rig. Fibreglass yachts must have a long keel with a keel-hung rudder and be a descendant of a wooden hull design

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta has maintained a steady growth, hosting between 50 and 60 yachts every year and enjoys a wonderful variety of competitors including traditional craft from the islands, classic ketches, sloops, schooners, and yawls making the bulk of the fleet, together with the stunningly beautiful Spirit of Tradition yachts, J Class yachts, and Tall Ships. All of which makes a wonderful spectacle of sail, in the ideal trade wind sailing conditions of the Caribbean. The sailing combined with Antiguan hospitality, plenty of rum, sunshine, and great camaraderie, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere, places the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, in a class of it’s own.


IN Antigua, the team became coed, Emma provides a best of her memory crew list:
Donald Tofias (owner) driving,
David Martin on Main/ tactics
Faraday Rosenberg on navigation/ tactics
me on Trav, main, tactics
Kim Petritz on upwind and downwind trim
Thierry something or other on upwind trim
Tyler Landry on mid bow/ mast
Jess Lee on Mast
Kelsey VanBeever and Kristi Chescher grinding
Roger Conradie grinding/ mast
Justin Warner (who runs the other boat, Wild Horses) on bow
Heather Gardner and Sarah O'Neil on runners
Guillaume Touhadian
Antigua, it seems, was slightly less hospitable than St Barts. With courses set more favorable to long reaches and not so much tactics as one would enjoy with weather legs. The price on pays on the exhausting Caribbean Classics Tour:


Today was ROUGH. It was a super boring out and back and out and back (reaching the whole time) and then a short beat and a long downwind. The tack line wasn't set before the hoist (no idea what happened there) so we lost the kite immediately and Donald didn't want us to set again. PAINFUL. It was also the day that the parade happens over in English Harbour but we had battery issues (as in one of them was hot and spewing acid everywhere) so we bailed and just went back to the dock in order to have enough power to run the windlass to set stern to at the dock.

But a few beers do wonders and we're all in better spirits already. Tomorrow's the last day, then Tuesday is the gig races (rowing and sailing dinghy races, all sorts of divisions and a really fun time) and then we're back to St Barth. Looks like I'm delivering the boat up to Newport with them so it'll be a few weeks before I"m back in SF.


Results ror races mentioned can be found here:

More info on the W-Class: http://www.w-class.com/spirit_of_tradition_yachts/f/w_class_yachts_home.html

And a VERY Special thanks to Jessica Rousseau:

And Emma Creighton: http://emmacreighton.net/