The 6 th Annual MEGA YACHT CHALLENGE was held off the south west coast of Antigua on the weekend of 25th-26th March by the Antigua Yacht Club.
In order to qualify as a Mega Yacht, boats had to be 100 feet or more (length overall). The entry fee was US$1,500 and all races were pursuit races with a slight twist in that as yachts crossed the finish line of the second race they immediately commenced their third race. Not only did this avoid the necessity of the lead yacht waiting for others to finish, it also made the race more tactical as handicaps were adjusted at the end of each race dependent upon finishing position.
The start and finish line was off English Harbour below the Pillars of Hercules with the race committee conducting proceedings from the cliff tops. The course was approximately 12 miles around buoys laid in the English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour sea area.
Disappointingly, only three yachts competed in the Mega yacht Challenge but to supplement the occasion the first race included ‘all comers’. A further six yachts joined in, one or two of which, a few years ago, may have been considered as mega yachts.
Unlike many recent regattas, the Mega Yacht Challenge did have the benefit of reasonable winds of around 12 to 15 knots enabling all races to be completed.
The ‘all comers race’ was won by the J/V 66, Bella Mente with Sojana, a Farr 115 second and the Finot 75, Runaway, third. In the Mega Yacht Challenge Sojana took first place followed by the Hood 101, Savanah, with Rebecca, a Frers 140, third.
The Antigua Yacht Club held a competitors party on the Saturday evening with prize giving on Sunday afternoon. Particularly popular prizes were the barrels of English Harbour rum.