As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge countries around the world, Antigua and Barbuda are no exception. Currently, yachting stakeholders are cautiously optimistic about the potential for some return to normality as it pertains to yacht racing events for 2021. The Antigua Sailing Week team are working on the race formats and shoreside protocols to ensure the safety of everyone who will be involved in the event and are already receiving entries from around the world to attend the 6 day regatta during 24 – 30 April.
With the importance of the event to the national economy of Antigua and Barbuda and as the anchor at the end of the Caribbean season, the event creates vital revenues for the entire island which in turn facilitates businesses being able to support themselves over the long summer period. The cancellation of the 2020 event hit the organization, which is a not-for-profit, and the island hard. In order to assist in creating a safe and successful 2021 event the organisers are launching a ‘Friends of ASW’ programme.
Of the programme, president Alison Sly-Adams says: ‘Antigua Sailing Week was the first regatta of its type in the region and continues to today to create important economic activity for the island as well as destination marketing year round. In 2019 we estimated the event injected EC$7.4m /US$2.7 m directly into the economy. Many local businesses as well as ASW were hit hard with the cancellation for 2020 as the world went into lockdown due to Covid-19 the financial burden was immediate. As an organization we acknowledge the responsibility of ensuring we can deliver an event for 2021 as the world battles to operate with Covid-19 protocols and restrictions in place.’ She went on to say, ‘ As we commit to delivering an excellent week of racing for our participants in 2021 we hope that our long term supporters will see the value in assisting the event and ensuring that the show can go on. We know that the international yacht racing season was massively impacted this year and that many sailors are anxious to get back to racing . We look forward to welcoming them back to an event for 2021 which will surpass all of their expectations and deliver safe interactions modified to adhere to local guidelines in place at the time.
Different levels of supporter are available from US$200 for individuals to US$2500 for corporates and donations of any size are very welcome. For full details and to show your support visit www.sailingweek.com/friendsofasw.