Saturday, 6 February 2010
I first attended Antigua Classics regatta in 2007. I sailed up from Bequia on 62 ft Herreshoff schooner - Perception - and ultimately sailed her home to Martha's Vineyard after the regatta. It was, for me, a life changing experience. I could not believe the wealth and variety of beautiful boats and had to keep pinching myself that I was actually racing and competing amongst them. Although the larger boats, the J's especially, were breathtaking, what really caught my eye were the beautiful little, brightly colored, Carriacou sloops. I was in love.
During my passage up to the states I sat alone on night watch and began to hatch my plan. I would go to Carriacou, build a sloop on the beach, paint her pink, gather an all female crew, dress in pink bikinis, turn up in Antigua looking like a bunch of bimbos then show those boys who's boss and WIN!
Two years later I was on charter down in the Grenadines. We sailed by Palm Island and as we drew closer something caught my eye. A perfect little pink Carriacou sloop anchored off the golden beach sitting in the turquoise water. I reached for the binoculars and focused on her stern. 'Pink Lady' was her name and I knew she had to be mine.
I discovered the owner of my baby was Robert Barrett (he also owns the Palm Island resort). I found an email address on the resort's web site and started to make inquiries. I finally heard back from Mr Barrett himself who was very firm in his response that she was neither for sale nor available for charter. The emails and the phone calls continued over the next year; I wasn't giving up. Each time he came back with 'No' and 'No'. When I felt I had hit a wall I played my final card, spilled the beans and told him my dream. 'Perhaps we could use it to promote the resort in some way' I said. 'Let's talk' came back his near instant reply.
I returned to the Caribbean this winter to be told that Mr Barrett was traveling until February. So the emails continued and hotted up as January came to a close. Finally a phone call. A begrudging voice tells me 'I am going to let you take the boat'. I comment that he doesn't sound very happy about this decision. 'I'm not' he replied 'It's against my better judgment. You are some strange woman who I have never met and know nothing about but GODDAM you are persistent!'.
So I am gathering my female sailor friends as I type, ordering our pink bikinis and preparing to go down to Palm Island to see what needs to be done in order to get this lovely lady into racing condition. Antigua we comin'!
Anyone interested in knowing more about the Pink Lady or sponsoring our efforts please contact - firstname.lastname@example.org