Raising the Standard
The Antigua National Parks conservation area of Fort Charlotte will be used to start the 2010 RORC Caribbean 600. It is named after one of Lord Nelson's commanders and dates back to the 1700s. The Georgian lookout post lies on the east side of English Harbour, high above the 'Pillars of Hercules'. The half moon shaped battlement gives a spectacular vista of Montserrat to the west and Guadeloupe to the south. On a clear day, the view can extend to over 70 miles across the stunning Caribbean Sea.
Recently, the Royal Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda cleaned up the area around Fort Charlotte making it a delightful place to enjoy the spectacular view. Three locals decided that it would be fitting to erect a flagpole on the look out and Stan Pearson, one of the founders of the RORC Caribbean 600 explains how they arrived at this novel solution:
"We made the flag pole out of an old spinnaker pole and with the spreader configuration, it's free standing. The 100 kg counter weight was made by Sprout, a cabinet-maker on the island and is of solid Purple Heart, a local hard wood. Steve made the concrete foundations and Franklyn Braithwaite of A & F Sails supplied the orange starting triangle. I suppose it was a bit of a beer buddies science project but we enjoyed contributing to the restoration of Fort Charlotte".
"It was a community project," said Stan. "Ideas went backwards and forwards until we came up with a design that is ideal for starting the RORC Caribbean 600 and can be used for many other regattas in Antigua and can be lowered during the hurricane for safety reasons".
For more images, see the RORC Caribbean 600 Gallery