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Antigua Sailing Week Ocean Series will be Tailored to Thrill

Antigua Sailing Week’s Ocean Series is definitely for you if you want to experience the thrill of surfing offshore in some of the best sailing grounds anywhere and be back in time to party at one of the world’s most famous sailing events.

Antigua’s third annual Ocean Series of races will be run in tandem with Antigua Sailing Week 2011. 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 revel in Antigua’s trade wind conditions. The main objective for the 2011 Ocean Series is to provide fabulous racing on courses of suitable length that give the adrenalin rush of blasting through the Caribbean at high speed.

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. 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 cross-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.

The new format for the Ocean Series will provide fast, thrilling ocean racing conditions and Antigua has the resources and experience to meet the demands of the ocean-going yachts that will participate. The results of all three Ocean Series races will be combined to determine the winner of the overall trophy, which will be presented at the official Antigua Sailing Week Prize Giving Ceremony.

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