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Ocean Series at Antigua Sailing Week

New format to be introduced in 2011

Tuesday October 19th 2010, Author: Louay Habib, Location: Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua Sailing Week’s third annual Ocean Series of races will be run in tandem with the 2011 regatta. Yachts can enter both the Ocean Series and Antigua Sailing Week, or either one of these events.

The Series consists of three offshore or coastal races ideally suited for ocean-going yachts that will be able to revel in Antigua’s trade wind conditions on courses of a suitable length.

Stan Pearson is one of Antigua’s most experienced yachtsmen. He has been racing classic and maxi yachts in the Caribbean for decades and was the course designer for the RORC Caribbean 600.

“There is no doubt that it is possible to put on courses that deliver the thrill of racing offshore in some spectacular conditions," he said. "The leeward coast of Antigua has a shelf that extends out to sea some 15 miles at depths of up to 100 feet. It is an area that could be ideally suited to setting a course for the Ocean Series. Antigua’s sailing grounds are such that it is possible to provide excellent courses for ocean-going yachts in whatever conditions Mother Nature chooses to throw at us. The sailing in and around Antigua is really as good as it gets!”

The Regatta Organising Committee plans to provide courses that are tailored-made for the type of yachts that enter the Series and for the prevailing weather conditions. The Ocean Series is likely to consist of the Yachting World ‘Round the Island Race' and two offshore/coastal races designed to be completed during daylight hours so that yachts are off the water in time to enjoy the evening entertainment.

The ever-popular Guadeloupe Race will remain as a feeder race to Antigua Sailing Week but it will no longer form part of the Ocean Series.

It is anticipated that there will be considerably more entries than in previous years, in part because there are a large number of trans-Atlantic races taking place in the months preceding Antigua Sailing Week. Early indications are that many of these boats will remain in the Caribbean to participate in other regattas throughout the season. Included in this group are participants of the Route du Rhum such as Class 40s and Open 60s as well as yachts competing in this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

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