Vineyard yachts post big wins in Antigua Classic racing

Juno sailing in the 2010 Moffett race off Martha's Vineyard. — File photo by Louisa Gould

Two Vineyard-built sailing yachts gave standout performances in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. The racing concluded Tuesday.

Each of the yachts was built by Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway. Juno, the 65-foot schooner owned by Robert and Melissa Soros, was designed by Nat Benjamin, and Eleda, a 41-foot sloop, was designed by Ross Gannon, together with Mr. Gannon’s nephew, Antonio Salguero. The two vessels were in different classes, and each won its class.

Mr. Benjamin was aboard Juno for the races. Captain Scott DiBiasi is Juno’s professional master.

Mr. Gannon, captain of his family yacht, and his wife, Kirsten, sailed Eleda to the West Indies last fall and spent the winter there, along with their children, Greta and Olin. Mr. Gannon’s son, Lyle Zell, was aboard Juno for the racing. Eleda was awarded the Arne Frisell Prize, which recognizes vessels built with great attention to structural strength and safety.  

Juno often spends the winter in St. Bart’s, and she has participated successfully in the Antigua races on several occasions.

The boisterous conditions in the ocean racing caused two of the five racers in Juno’s class to drop out of the race, and in one of the races for Eleda’s class, three of the four competitors did not start.