Everyone's in Antigua


Apart from James Boyd, who reviews what he's missing this week
The 35th running of the Caribbean's biggest regatta, Antigua Sailing Week kicks off on Sunday with an impressive fleet of more than 200 boats from every corner of the globe. The hardcore shoreside aspect of the regatta has been cranking up all this week in the numerous hotspots along 'the strip' between Falmouth and English harbours and other popular dens of iniquity nearby. Tomorrow will see the skipper's briefing taking place, while the racing proper kicks off on Sunday. There have been a few amendments to the racing this year. Once again the fleet is divided into division 'A' - racing, big boat, sportsboat and racer/cruiser (with spinnaker) classes, while division B includes racer/cruiser (non spinnaker), cruiser and bareboat classes. But this year for the first time the different division will be racing on separate courses. On the first race up to Dickenson Bay Division A will follow an eastward course around the windward side of the island, while Division B will sail on the leeward side to the west. After a night of serious partying on the beach, there will then follow some Olympic triangle courses off Dickenson Bay on the Monday, with a race back to Falmouth harbour on the Tuesday. Wednesday is lay day when merry hell breaks loose. Ashore there are festivities around both English and Falmouth harbours - the wet T shirt competition for some reason always seems to be a high point - the Antigua Yacht Club also run a singlehanded race open to boats of up to 45ft. Take your pick. The racing continues on the Thursday and Friday off the south side of the island. The entry list is teeming with boats from maxis, to the ever increasing bareboat charter division, to sports boats and cruisers, although at 205 it is

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