After many weeks of preparation, four challenging days of difficult sailing in big winds and the ocean swells off Antigua’s south coast, and more than a few cases of sea sickness, Billy Gernertt – Master of New Moon, with a crew made up of students from a number of schools on Antigua, as well as a professional sailor from the National Sailing Academy – made an outstanding showing in this year’s Antigua Classic Regatta on April 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st.
While this regatta’s conditions were difficult even for veteran sailors, just finishing the course was an accomplishment.
Gernertt and his crew of schoolchildren brought home three big victories: 1st Place in the Traditional Class category of the Concours D’Elegance; 3rd Place Traditional Class for the four days of racing on the water; and, most importantly, The John Leader Trophy, which is awarded to the yacht which “has done the most to provide opportunities for others, including sail training, while demonstrating good seamanship, sportsmanship and teamwork, thereby gaining the respect of all involved in the regatta”.
Four of the crew members who are not pictured but also raced on New Moon during the regatta are Tia Victor of ASC; along with Dwayna Riley, Alliana Spencer and Melik Charles – all of ASSS.
New Moon is described as a Carriacou sloop, a traditionally built Caribbean working vessel.
On Saturdays at the National Sailing Academy, The WISH Foundation is happy to offer, free of charge, “open sail” days aboard New Moon to interested, hard-working youth between the ages of 13 and 19. The West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation, founded by Gernertt and his wife Charlotte Hooijdonk, is a not for profit organization registered and based in Antigua.
For more information on how to support young sailors in Antigua, check our website http://www.caribwish.com