CRUISING YACHT “HUGO B” READY TO DEFEND CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
22 Apr, 2011
Sir Hugh’s confidence has remained high thanks to the 45 foot yacht, Hugo B’s, performance for the past 12 years. The Antigua and Barbuda flagged vessel has settled for the top three positions in the Cruising Class at both local and international regattas. “Most of the time we come out top of the class, either first, second or third. Winning requires consistency, team work is the key, and there is no letting up because if you break something you lose the race.”
Last year, the renowned sailor said there were no expectations. The magnificent 45 foot yacht, sailed to victory and swept the top prizes in all the available categories.
Among the the Hugo B's achievements are Best Antiguan Boat, Best Caribbean Boat, Best Boat over 20 years old, First in Class and First Overall in Fleet.
“We are anticipating a repeat and I know our crew is in high spirits. We are a good team. We work hard and you have to be good to beat that,” said Sir Hugh, who got bitten by the sailing bug at age 15.
Sir Hugh, who has 53 years of experience in professional sailing said he prides the sport and is always prepared for competition.
“Hugo B has been on dry dock for approximately three months, undergoing extensive repairs. We have done work on the hull, its interior and exterior, replaced sails, rigging and lines and servicing among other things, for the upcoming races.”
“We prepare her well; Hugo B is in good condition. Our permanent guys are highly trained. We’ve been together for years, trained together and have become highly competitive.”
Griffin “Teen” Smith has done most of the repair work putting the vessel in shape.
Despite Sir Hugh's die hard veteran level of experience, he is not immune to challenges on the water. Beyond his control lies the natural forces of nature.
Sir Hugh recalled on numerous occasions the weather conditions on a calm day. He confidently claimed how even the faster, much more powerful yachts found the harsh weather conditions to be more than a handful. “My low, calm is just as bad as storm and in the calm you roll around and break things.”
Sir Hugh Bailey with his boat "HuGo-B"
Despite the odds, Sir Hugh recalls fond memories of his team representing Antigua & Barbuda in the United States for the first time in 1976 at the Bi-Centennial. Since then, Sir Hugh exclaimed his team has sailed in competitions throughout the Caribbean as well as other international countries and territories.
Referring to the race of 1976, Sir Hugh recalled, “There was a race from Bermuda to New Port that was later abandoned due to the lack of wind.” He maintained that although the race was called off, Antigua came out victorious.
“Antigua was awarded the second smartest boat. There was a parade of all the boats, all the guys had to march, because it was a cadet sail training and Antigua led the with the flag flying down Broad Way, in New York.”
Over the course of the last fifteen years, Hugo B has accumulated a team of 12 crew members, six of which are permanent. The crew members are: Shawn Malone, Adrian "BM" Solomon, Jerome Bailey, Steve Smith, "Trooper" Brathwaite, "Bishop" Rhodes, "Naja" George, "Rusty" Pamphil, Franklyn Brathwaite, Ivor Jackson, Dr. John from the USA, Brian Sylvester from Grenada, lone female crew Heather Cooper, an Antiguan who lives in England.
"It is customary," Sir Hugh adds, "to extend the sail experience to a visitor."
The humble owner of Baileys’ Boat Yard, in Falmouth, also described how he came to own the 45 Foot Wonder. He added Hugo to his fleet in 1989, shortly after Hurricane Hugo devastated the country. The yacht at the time, also suffered from Hugo’s passing but was repaired sometime after.
In 1995, Sir Hugh purchased Hugo B, formerly called Paradise. Hugo B, Sir Hugh indicated, is the sister yacht of Hugo.
The Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer, the Speaker of the House D. Giselle Isaac and Senator Joanne Massiah, Minister of Finance and the Economy Harold Lovell have all sailed the Hugo B, during the regatta.
Over the years Hugo B has received sponsorship from the Falmouth Harbour Marina.
The yacht also received support from LIAT the Caribbean Airlines, Karib Cable and Catamaran Hotel & Marina.
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