WINNERS OF THE INAUGURAL ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA HAMPTONS CHALLENGE ON THEIR WAY TO ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK 2013
22 Aug, 2012
August 22, 2012 (New York, NY) - The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority showcased the destination’s nautical side this past Saturday in the Hamptons while hosting the 1st Annual Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge boat race in Sag Harbor. Despite the inclement weather, 25 boats entered to race, vying for what has been dubbed, “the largest sailing prize to be awarded in East End history". The event was hosted with the theme "Hamptons in the summer; Antigua and Barbuda the rest of the year".
The Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge which was the brainchild of Tourism Minister Hon. John Maginley MP included a Grand Prize donated by the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism. The coveted prize was captured by the winners Captain Jim Ryan and his crew of the boat “Wasn't Me”. The prize included an all expenses paid trip to Antigua to participate in Antigua Sailing Week 2013. An elated Captain Ryan and his crew also received the Champion Cup presented by Minister Maginley who expressed his congratulations to the winning team and stated, “The success of the 1st Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge is testimony that Antiguans and Barbudans and East Enders alike have a passion for sailing that is undeniable. It is this very connection that makes the Hamptons a perfect market for promoting Antigua and Barbuda as a destination and Antigua Sailing Week on a whole. The extremely positive feedback received from sailors, the press and the 10 yacht clubs that participated indicates that this novel idea to link Antigua and Barbuda and the Hamptons via the lucrative yachting market will be a win-win partnership for both destinations."
The exciting race was followed by the Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Party held at the Breakwater Yacht Club which was transformed into an authentic “Antigua and Barbuda Village”. Racers and Hamptonites were serenaded by local sounds of steel pan and calypso, tasted locally inspired eats and treats and experienced a local cocktail of rum punch which included a special ingredient of the destination’s award-winning English Harbour Rum.
Other members of the Antigua and Barbuda team, namely Ms. Shermain Jeremy and Mr. Dean Fenton, were on-hand at the event and distributed the signature bright yellow tote/beach bags filled with brochures and exciting giveaways to all who were in attendance. The CEO of the Tourism Authority Mr. Colin James, who also attended the event, expressed, “I am so pleased with the outcome of the Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge and the opportunity this gives us to target this key marketing niche. The exposure that our destination has gained from this event in the Hamptons and the data that we have captured will position us to grow the event, eventually making it one of the most prestigious sailing events in the northeast area. This is critical to our strategy to grow our yachting tourism product here in the U.S.”
Multiple vacation packages were raffled and auctioned compliments of Nonsuch Bay Resort, Copper and Lumber Hotel, The Inn at English Harbor and Sugar Ridge Hotel. The raffle Grand Prize included a one-week stay at Carlisle Bay Resort, a rental car for a week and a boat excursion from TiTi Car Rental. All proceeds from the event will go directly to I-Tri and The Breakwater Yacht Club Junior Sailing, two East End charities that benefit over 2,000 youths.
The 1st Annual Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge was co-ordinated by Mr. Rob Roden, an avid sailor and local Hamptonite who is the publisher of the well known Captain's Guide Magazine. The lead up to the event was heavily featured in several local publications and radio stations to include the notable Dan’s Paper, The Sag Harbour Express which carried a full two page spread on the day of the event, and 92.1 FM.
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism along with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority look forward to making next year’s Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge an even more successful one, where we will once again invite yachties and residents from the area to sail "Hamptons in the Summer and Antigua and Barbuda the rest of the year".