Carriacou sloop Sweetheart is a 36ft wooden boat built on Windward Beach at Carriacou by Zepeherin McLaren in 1987. The sloops Summer Wind and Summer Cloud were the first to take part in the annual Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, closely followed by Sweetheart. Others followed, such as Genesis, Good Expectation, Mageeta II, Pipe Dream, Alexander Hamilton (built in Nevis), the schooner Jambalaya, sloops Pink Lady (crewed entirely by ladies wearing bright pink bikinis!), Ocean Nomad, New Moon, Zemi and lastly Exodus (the most recently-built Carriacou sloop in 2013). In 1998, a special class, the Traditional Class, was created for these very fast, attractive and colorful boats.
The owners and crews of these unique island vessels are also special: there is an irresistible fun-loving camaraderie evident in this group of boats which all dock together stern-to at “Carriacou Corner” every Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. They race hard, they drink hard (the local rum is excellent!) and they party hard and noisily. Everyone is welcome to come and lime (West Indian term for “to relax and hang out”) with them once the serious business of racing is over for that day.
This painting of Carriacou sloop Sweetheart is actually based on an image taken at the increasingly popular West Indies Regatta. Now in its fifth year, this takes place annually in St. Barth’s not long after the Antiguan Classics, so many, if not all, Carriacou sloops sail there directly from Antigua for this fun event, which attracts traditional island craft from up and down the islands. This Regatta, founded by Alexis Andrews and the former mayor of St Barth’s, now also boasts a local artisanal market to complement the theme of reconnecting the islands with traditional craft
Acrylic on canvas panel