The Tripp 65 Prevail is ready to duke it out over the coming week at Antigua Sailing Week in the CSA Racing class © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com
All Set for the 54th edition of Antigua Sailing Week
The 54th edition of Antigua Sailing Week is all set with the famous regatta's on-the-water action kicking off with a spectacular curtain raiser on Saturday 29 April; the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race. Five days of red-hot racing follow for Antigua Sailing Week, with legendary shoreside celebrations and daily prize givings. New to the race programme for 2023 will be the Antigua Wing Foil Championships with two days of in-harbour racing and a one-day downwinder on Lay Day, as well an RS Elite One Design class.
Antigua Sailing Week is a melting pot of nations; boats from 18 countries are competing at the 54th edition. Sailors come from all-over the world to experience Antigua & Barbuda, a spectacular Caribbean destination surrounded by world class sailing waters. The racing is not the only source of fun and thrills, shoreside the party-scene after racing is renowned. By mid-regatta, the Reggae in the Park live gig is followed by all the laughter you can handle on Pigeon Point Beach for Lucky Eddi's Lay Day. The Final Prize Giving in Nelson's Dockyard is always a memorable night! Taking a bow on the main stage by winning your class at Antigua Sailing Week is the aim, but it's also the pathway to the ultimate goal, the big one - lifting the Lord Nelson Trophy.
Jaime Torres, Antigua Sailing Week Race Manager is ready to welcome sailors from around the globe, as well as closer to home to this bucket-list Caribbean regatta. "With a very good forecast and so many great racing boats we are looking forward to some very close racing. The boats in most divisions are very evenly matched and have very narrow rating bands. It will be a superb regatta and grand finale to the 2023 Caribbean racing season."
Speed versus Torque
CSA Racing will feature a bevy of high performance designs raced by international pro-am teams. John Evans & Trey Sheehan's TP52 Hooligan Racing (USA) will be hard to match for boat speed. They will be up against Newport to Bermuda Race class winner, the Tripp 65 Prevail, raced by a top level mix of pros. Two powerful displacement yachts will also be hoping Antigua delivers big conditions: Karl Pisec's Black Pearl (AUT) and Iain & Jacqueline Kirkpatrick's Fatjax (GBR).
Multihull racing at Antigua Sailing Week will feature at least two high performance Gunboats. Michel Larroche will be racing Gunboat 62 Tribe from the Larchmont YC, New York. Fredrik Moe's Jamaican Gunboat 60 Moementum will be returning after first competing in 2019. Guy Chester's Crowther Tri 46 Oceans Tribute must surely be the longest delivery by any boat at Antigua Sailing Week. Virtually single-handed, Guy Chester sailed the record breaking multihull to Antigua from New Zealand.
The performance racing yachts of around 45ft have always had a battle royale at Antigua Sailing Week and this year's alumni has thrilling racing right through the scratch sheet. Proven regatta winners in the pack include Chris Body's El Ocaso (GBR), Sir Richard Matthews Holding Pattern (GBR), Pamala Baldwin's Liquid (ANT), Sir Hugh Bailey's Rebel (ANT) and Peter Lewis' Whistler (BAR). Thierry Vangout's Class40 Palanad II from Guadeloupe, and Jean Michel Figueres' Punch Croisieres - Maison Satec from Martinique, could be counted as a dark horse for Antigua Sailing Week.
Among the cruiser-racers at Antigua Sailing Week is a colossal crowd of passionate Corinthians, plus a mixture of experienced sailors with salt in their veins, right through to newbies at Antigua Sailing Week. Every team is looking to win their class, but there are match-ups to home-in on a best performance. Cowes UK based race charter firm Global Yacht Racing has always had high demand for Antigua Sailing Week and this year features two Beneteau First 47.7s; EH01 and Kali. The third 47.7 is Ryan Donaldson's Unbound from Antigua, which will no doubt look to beat their rivals, as well as share a cold drink or two. Similar displacement cruisers should enjoy a close match; Chris Wood's Swan 48 Assuage from Brighton UK and David Crum's Frers 46 Quintessence III from Minnesota, USA. A North American duel is set for two J/133s; Geoff Manchester's Vamoose from Rhode Island, USA will be taking on Raymond Rhinelander's Bella J from Nova Scotia, Canada.
Women and Youth Racing at Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week will once again be celebrating Women on the Water, encouraging more women to take up the sport and to win Locman Italy Watches as prizes. From the Pacific West Coast of Canada, Katy Campbell's Salona 45 Pancea X will duke it out with Chloe Need's Salona 44 Moonflower 3 from Great Britain. Pancea and Moonflower are not alone in having women skippers. Lyssandra Barbieri's Hatha Maris has an all-women crew, Mallorca's Pippa Turton racing Mozart has a majority women crew and Alice Martin's Painkiller team is back for more thrills and spills. In the Bareboat Division Anna Seidl will skipper KH+P Bequia with a team from Germany. This year Antigua Sailing Week has also introduced the RS Elite Class, which will also feature two women skippers, Lorna Saunders on Zan, and the teenage Antiguan Optimist Champion Emily Gaillard, who is just 15 years old.
The Youth to Keel Boat (Y2K) programme has been a feature of Antigua Sailing Week for five years and this year 35 graduates from the Y2K programme are peppered right through the fleet. Seventeen are racing on individual boats and 18 are on boats fully crewed by youth teams on RS Elite Out Door Worlds (Ocean Warrior), skippered by Emily Gaillard, the National Sailing Academy's Cork 1720 Spirit, skippered by Jules Mitchell, and on J30 Absolute Properties (Blue Peter).
Falmouth Harbour and Nelson' Dockyard are all set for Antigua Sailing Week. Ready to welcome over a thousand visitors to the regatta. Antigua Sailing Week's mantra is Race, Chase, Celebrate. For those who want to watch the racing action and save their energy for the party vibrations, there are a myriad of options to watch the racing and party afterwards.