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The Antigua Charter Yacht Show

The 2004 Antigua Charter Yacht
Show was an important one. While the event itself has just completed it’s 43rd
year, this was the inaugural year under the new management team of Antigua
Charter Yacht Meeting. Originally founded by VEB Nicholson and family, they
“passed the torch” to the non-profit corporation formed solely to run and
maintain the Antigua Charter Yacht Show. Under pressure of new management and a
competing Charter Yacht show, there was a lot to prove this year and
wonderfully, all evidence points to a well run event and continued success as
the Caribbean’s premiere charter yacht show.

From December 2nd to
December 7th, 102 yachts, 285 agents and press from around the world
converged on English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. Docked at the Antigua Yacht
Club Marina, Falmouth Marina and at historic Nelson’s Dockyard, a variety of
charter yachts: sloops, ketches, motor yachts, schooners, mega yachts and
multi-hulls were on display. There was a little of something for everyone;
something to cater to every taste and it is this variety that seems a key to
success.

One particularly exciting yacht,
the sloop Tiara out of Georgetown, Cayman Islands had booked 3 to 4 charters by
the day we went on board. The second largest sloop in the world (178′), Tiara
was built in New Zealand in twenty-two months and delivered two months early. I
loved this boat! Configurable for twelve guests and with a crew of ten, there
was everything to offer. An all mahogany art deco interior detailed with
vintage lighting fixtures from a 1920’s library, secret passages, drop screens,
helipad, Jacuzzi, a well equipped and beautiful galley and a mechanized boson’s
chair that made my All at Sea teammate giddy. All in all, a well-appointed
sloop beautifully decorated without being uncomfortable.

Another comfortable and
user-friendly yacht was the motor yacht Jo. Wanting to experience the variety
the show had to offer first hand, I thought that Jo would be a great contrast.
Listed with Camper & Nicholsons, this eight-month-old yacht is all about
recreation! Well equipped with every toy you can imagine from clear-bottomed
kayaks to state of the art laptops and karaoke machines, you cannot possibly be
bored. Five to six cabins that sleep ten to twelve people are each decorated by
a different designer – Versace, Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Mulberry – and yet
each cabin is far from stuffy. There was positive feedback from the crew
regarding the show and they also booked charters while in Antigua.

The Concourse de Chef competition
coordinated by Sarah Sebastian, Maiween Beagle and Cpt Jan Robinson was
delicious. Adam Mulroney of Northern Light received the Boat International
prize for Most Outstanding Chef as well as the Best Chef in the mega-yacht
category for his Lobster and Melon Ravioli with a coconut grouper ceviche in a
crispy plantain basket with lemon foam. Mulroney also took the Best use of the
Bean award for his Frozen Cappuccino Mouse with a chocolate covered coffee
bean. Best Luxury Yacht Chef winner went to Joost Diereckx of Kalikobass II,
the Traditional Yacht under 80 feet award went to Joshua Marron of yacht Maxi
Gitana and the award for the Best Table Setting for Perrier Jouet was given to
Sapphire.

The vendor’s tent was centrally
located in Falmouth and was well attended by both vendors and visitors. In the
end, 285 exhibiting and non-exhibiting vendors were involved in the show. A
solid social schedule again highlighted the variety this show has to offer and
by accounts, a good time was had by all.

Congratulations go out to the
team at Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting for a successful and fun filled
show.

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