Serious Salty Dawgs Know How to Sail! PDF Print Email
Monday, January 11, 2021 12:00 AM

English Harbor, Antigua, BWI 

Sailing Vessel Allegro, owned by Salty Dawgs Sharon and Lee Demarest, was the first to cross the finish line and the over-all winner of Antigua’s annual Nelson’s Pursuit race. Lee and the all-Salty Dawg crew (consisting of Jim Felds, Mark Hoenke, John Hueber, Brian Schuemacher, David Tesar, and Bill Woodruff) expertly piloted the 1984 Tayana 52 cutter-rigged cruising boat over the 16.1 mile course in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 15 seconds (sailing at an average of 7 knots) beating out 23 other boats. 

Also receiving mention in the official race results is Salty Dawg vessel Gerty, which finished 8th in their class in an especially tight race against Katina, finishing 15 seconds apart, with Gerty ahead.   

The race is sponsored by the Antigua Yacht Club and attracts a wide range of boats, from 20-foot Carriacou sloops to 90-foot modern ultra-light yachts. It was conceived as a re-enactment of Lord Nelson’s famous pursuit of the French fleet across the Atlantic in 1805. The slowest boat to enter the race starts first and carries the French flag. The remainder of the fleet represents the English fleet in hot pursuit. Traditionally the race is held on New Year’s Eve day, but due to excessively high winds, this year the race was postponed until the third of January.  The proceeds from the race, including entry fees and donations, go to St. John’s Hospice. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the traditional skippers’ meeting was not held and all communication was done via email. Also sadly omitted was the awards ceremony at which the rum punch flows and each entrant receives a bottle of rum. The winner also receives a commemorative scrimshaw engraving.