Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge
Antigua Sailing Week held a new and exciting event on Pigeon Beach, Falmouth Harbour for the first time on Lay Day 2013. The event, known as the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge, is a one-day invitational one-design racing event featuring 24-foot RS Elite keel boats. Antigua’s luxury sailing resort and sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week, Nonsuch Bay Resort, is the sponsor of this exciting event which sees eight invited teams competing in the RS Elites normally based at the Resort.
The Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge offers top-quality racing for highly qualified skippers and their teams. Racing is held in close proximity to Pigeon Beach inside Falmouth Harbour where Nonsuch Bay Resort features a hospitality tent for RS Elite Challenge competitors and their guests, as well as providing delicious food for sale for what is expected to once again be hundreds of spectators.
Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round which also consists of three races. All races are approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length, keeping them challenging and exciting to watch!
Racing is expected to once again begin at 1 pm and the prize giving will be held on the beach at approximately 5 pm. The top prize provided by Antigua Sailing Week’s sponsor Nonsuch Bay Resort, is one week’s bed and breakfast accommodation and use of all sailing equipment at Nonsuch Bay Resort, Antigua. Trophies will also be awarded to first, second and third place overall.
The line-up of skippers and their teams for 2015 is shaping up nicely with Peter Holmberg of St. Thomas (see his bio below) returning to defend his 2014 title. Two other places will be filled by skippers and their teams who earned their positions in a summer series final held at Nonsuch Bay Resort last December. Those skippers are Marc Fitzgerald of Sojana and Martin Beck, an experienced RS Elite skipper. Also confirmed for the 2015 Challenge are Lucy Jones of Performance Yacht Charter and Nicole Lameter, a long-time Antigua Sailing Week bareboat participant with KH+P yachtcharter or Germany.
The remaining teams will be confirmed shortly and will be led by high-profile racing skippers who will be participating in Antigua Sailing Week. If you’re planning to participate in Antigua Sailing Week and would like to be considered for participation in this event in future years, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite you to join us on Pigeon Beach on Lay Day, Wednesday April 29, to witness the third annual Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge and to cheer on all eight teams.
Profiles of the 2015 skippers will be featured when their participation has been confirmed. Peter Holmberg was winner of the 2014 Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge and he will be returning in 2015 to defend his title.
Peter Holmberg was born and raised on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and went on to win the first and only Olympic Medal for the US Virgin Islands in the 1988 Olympics in the Finn Class. Peter followed this into a professional sailing career that saw him win the Maxi World Championship, the 50’ World Cup, the Match Racing World Tour, and ultimately, the 2007 America’s Cup. Peter is now based again in the Virgin Islands and continues to sail professionally for various racing programs around the world. Peter is also currently the President of the Caribbean Sailing Association.
Marc Fitzgerald is best known as captain of Sojana, the 115′ super yacht that has won plenty in the Caribbean – the St. Barths Bucket, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Antigua Super Yacht Challenge, Maxi-Transat, and the Lord Nelson Trophy for Antigua Sailing Week overall. She also holds the Round Antigua Race and Round Redonda Race records. Before Sojana Marc was quite busy in the UK with class wins in the Fastnet, Cowes Week, Cork Week, IRC and IRM Nationals, plus Admiral’s and Commodore’s Cups. He is now, sadly, both shorter and slower than his eldest son, but hopes he has a few more races left in him.
Martin has sailed since childhood in Salcombe, England, principally in the local ‘Yawl’ fleet, a highly competitive classic class, previous winner and fleet Chairman. He continues to race there in the summer months and now spends as much time racing and growing the RS Elite fleet here in Antigua in teh winter months and earned his place to compete in this year’s event. In addition he races and cruises his Maxi 1300 ‘Sheer Madness’ in the UK and Ireland.
Robbie grew up in St. Thomas and began sailing and racing with family during the first of the Rolex, BVI and Antigua Sailing Week regattas in the 1970s. He raced J-24s extensively out of Annapolis during the 1980s. Based in St. Maarten for the last 30 years, racing took a back seat to family and business until getting involved again about 15 years ago. He has been a regular participant since then in the Caribbean regatta circuit on several different boats and classes. Robbie is currently campaigning a Melges 32 out of St. Maarten, ‘Kick em Jenny 2′, handling logistics, boat maintenance and main trim.
Nicole started racing Optimists when she was five. Her first Antigua Sailing Week was as a skipper for KH+P yachtcharter in 1993 when she was 23. Since that time she skippered for KH+P every year until 2009. After a two year break she returned and has done every Antigua Sailing Week since that time. Nicole had the first KH+P all woman crew in the mid-1990s. She has often won her Class as well as winning Best German Yacht in 1998 and Best Yacht Sailed by Women. Nicole owns a Beneteau 25 in Germany regularly races it with female friends.
Pietro started sailing Lasers and was Laser Standard Junior Italian Champion in 1997. After that time he switched to match racing in various boats including BlueSail 24, Platu 25 and Melges 24. He was the March Race Junior Italian Champion in 2002 and has competed successfully in many events including 1st place finishes in BlueSail 24 Italian Championship in 200 and 2005, IMS European Championship in 2006, Melges 20 Primo Cup an ORC World Championship in 2011.
Lucy started sailing when she was 8 in dinghies, working up through Toppers, Lasers, RS’s and 29ers. Since 2009 she has been running Swan 51 Northern Child and in 2013 she started racing on Southern Child in Europe and the Caribbean. Lucy was the first female skipper in the ARC in 2011 and in the Rolex Fastnet race in 2013.
LLOYD THORNBURG/TEAM PHAEDO^3