Big conditions forecast for Antigua Sailing Week
A full on Atlantic squall this morning heralded the arrival of the big breeze that is forecast to stay for the Antigua Sailing Week. With racing due to start on Sunday, 29 April, the Antigua Yacht Club is a hive of activity with crews registering for the 45th Anniversary of the Caribbean's oldest and most prestigious sailing regatta.
Today's Guadeloupe to Antigua Race took place in winds gusting close to 30 knots. The traditional feeder race from Guadeloupe has been running for over 40 years. Line Honours went to Hector Verlarde's NM92, Locura completing the 42-mile course in just over three and a half hours. Stephen Schmidt's Santa Cruz 70 Hotel California Too was second home and the Dufour 45 Triskell finished third.
Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster has been racing in the Caribbean all season after winning the Racing Division of the ARC. For Antigua Sailing Week, she will be racing in CSA 2, which has a number of heavy displacement yachts likely to revel in the breezy conditions.
'It has been a dream of a season," said Appleby dockside in English Harbour. "Best British Boat in the Nelson's Pursuit Race and a class win in the RORC Caribbean 600, so Antigua has been a great race venue for us, but to be honest I have really been looking forward to this year's Antigua Sailing Week. Ever since I was a child it is a regatta that I have always wanted to do and although I have been here before, it has never been with my own boat. For the regatta I have guests on board from Guernsey who are all experienced racers and I understand they are also highly likely to make full use of the shoreside entertainment so it looks like it is going to be a fun week!"
Racing the First 47.7 Global Yacht Racing, is owner Andy Middleton, wife Claire but otherwise a Russian crew. "The crew is full of enthusiasm," said Middleton. "However, out practising today we realise that the language barrier is a bit of an issue, but with a few hand signals sorted out we will be fine. Claire has done a lot of racing including a Round Britain and Ireland and it's looking like a great regatta, I can't wait for the racing to start."