King Harald first home around Antigua
The 2013 Yachting World Round Antigua Race may have been a light airs affair, but it was a highly competitive and tactically challenging race. Significant current and extreme ocean swell added to the tactical conundrum of racing along Antigua's rugged southwest coastline and the windward side produced squally conditions to further complicate strategies.
Starting and finishing off Fort Charlotte, just outside Nelson's Dockyard, it was just over six hours before HM King Harald of Norway took line hours sailing the RP 78 Whisper, to win The Yachting World Round Antigua Trophy.
On corrected time, squally conditions in the latter part of the race provided more wind for the chasing pack and the top 10 yachts, after time correction, were all below 40ft, save Philippe Falle's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka.
Quokka was leading the fleet on the water approaching the racing mark off Great Bird Island on the northeast corner of Antigua when unfortunately, due to the significant swell, the mark had moved. Quokka asked for redress and after careful deliberation the International Jury decided to grant it, resulting in a tie for first overall after time correction with First 40, Lancelot II, skippered by Chris Jackson.
"Jacko and I go back a long way," said Quokka's skipper, Philippe Falle. "In fact we have a running total of who beats who and funnily enough, today's tie keeps us even. It was a long day but a very enjoyable race and I was very pleased with how the crew performed. We have definitely benefitted from two days of practice before the race. Now we are looking forward to Antigua Sailing Week and I am sure it is going to be just as competitive."
Antigua Sailing Week properly gets underway tomorrow.