Swan 56 in collision en-route to Antigua Sailing Week 2/5/06

Berthon boss Brian May was a wearing a Polo shirt with not one but two yacht names, which we thought was pretty impressive until we discovered that the Swan 56 he was due to charter at Antigua Sailing Week had been in a collision with a freighter off Anguilla.

The yacht was being delivered from the BVI to Antigua when the accident happened at about dawn. The impact was so enormous it took off a large section of the bow but a double forestay arrangement and an inner forestay somehow saved the rig.

The skipper managed to get the yacht back to port where a further section of the bow was removed and made temporarily good before she was gingerly motored to Antigua where the damage was being assessed by Nautor’s Swan staff who had been specially flown out.

John Burnie who runs the Nautor charter business in Guadaloupe said the yacht would either be repaired in Antigua or shipped back to her builders in Finland. Not one to miss an opportunity, Brian May was keen for the work to be done at his extensive repair facilities at Berthon in Lymington. In the meantime he had chartered the Gerry Dijkstra-designed modern classic Annagine. Beautiful to look at, but probably more at home in Antigua Classic Week?