The 2006/2007 yachting season is something of a record for Antigua with the 20th Classic Yacht Regatta, 40th Antigua Sailing Week and, grandfather of them all, the 45th Charter Yacht Show.
Attended by 83 yachts, a little down on last year with 13 yachts failing to arrive mainly due to poor weather conditions and one mechanical breakdown, the show was held in Nelson’s Dockyard, Falmouth Marina and Antigua Yacht Club Marina between 6th and 11th December. Despite a smaller attendance, the Antigua Charter Yacht Show is still the biggest and the best in the Caribbean and one of the world’s top charter shows.
The size of yachts varied from the 289 foot Maltese Falcon to the smallest in the show, the 48 foot Ace with everything in between and an average length of over 100 feet. All type of yachts were on display from motor yachts to sailing cruisers and palatial catamarans. Entrants arrived from countries as diverse as the U.S. and Turkey with many in between.
The Charter Yacht Show, started in 1961 by the Nicholson family, is an event designed to allow owners of luxury charter yachts to display their wares to yacht charter brokers. 285 brokers attended the show from all over the world plus 150 non-exhibiting vendors, many of them local businesses but also a number of international companies together with 30 local and international press reporters and photographers.
The now-renowned chefs competition was held in three categories of yacht, measured by size. This year chefs were asked to create and prepare a two course Caribbean Luncheon comprising a main course and dessert. Chefs were given a mystery basket 24 hours in advance and the contents of the mystery basket could be used together with any other ingredients the chef chose, bearing in mind the judging criteria.
With no trade exhibition this year, local and international companies were given the opportunity to make daily presentations at either the Antigua Yacht Club or the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel on themes varying from cruising the coast of Patagonia to ‘How to make $250,000 with Sea Dream Yacht Club’.
The show is not all work, there is some fun. Parties were held each evening and, on Saturday night, the now famous or perhaps infamous Fincham’s Follies entertained with all funds raised going to charity. Parties each night, sometimes more than one, were sponsored by different organisations culminating in the Crew Bash held at Shirley Heights after the show closed.