ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK RACES
During the last week of April each year, yachts from all over the world arrive in English and Falmouth Harbours to participate in one of the world’s premier sailing events, Antigua Sailing Week. From small beginnings this regatta has developed over 45 years to become one of the preeminent yacht racing events in the Caribbean. Its international status ensures its ongoing fame worldwide. Over 100 yachts participate each year, ranging in size from 24 to over 100 feet. The Regatta attracts serious racing boats including state-of-the-art, high-tech racing machines, along with a variety of performance cruising and cruising boats.
The sight of all these yachts, both from vantage points on the shore and from spectator boats carrying onlookers alongside the races, is unforgettable. The reputation of Antigua Sailing Week allows the event to attract some of the world’s top racing yachts including in 2012 Geoff Hill's Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes, Jan Rupert's Tripp 75 Blackbird, Stefan Lehnert's 56-foot Passion 4 C and, once again, Peter Harrison's 115-foot Sojana.
For five days crews are challenged with a variety of coastal race courses encouraging tacking duels around the buoys – all set on the deep blue Caribbean Sea with the ever-present trade winds. It’s a picture perfect setting that is enhanced as the evening colours brighten the western sky and the sun-burnt, salt-encrusted, weary sailors make their way to the barbecues, steel bands and rum punches. While hundreds of locals and visitors carry on partying well into the evening, many of the yacht crews know there is another day of racing out there and so they leave the late night revelry for the others to finish.
After the week of ever-exciting racing, Antigua Sailing Week draws to a close in the romantic historic Nelson’s Dockyard with the final awards presentation attended by Antigua's government representatives alongside the owners and skippers of the yachts with their crews, friends, well-wishers and race officials.
This exciting event is followed the next day by the Beating of the Retreat in historic Nelson's Dockyard as the Antiguan flag is lowered to signal the close of Antigua Sailing Week for yet another year. It is a truly fitting end to a week of glorious racing.
Photo © Kevin Johnson.
NOTICE OF RACE
The 2013 Notice of Race for Antigua Sailing Week can be viewed here.
PROVISIONAL SAILING INSTRUCTIONS
Provisional Sailing Instructions for Antigua Sailing Week 2013 can be viewed here.