It's Regatta Time again in Anguilla. The Ninth Annual Anguilla Regatta happens over the long weekend of May 6 – 8 in Road Bay and around the West End of Anguilla.
There will be three days of racing comprising yachts hailing from several islands in the Caribbean Leewards, including St. Barth, St. Maarten, and Anguilla.
The headquarters of the Regatta will be in the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club's clubhouse on the beach at Sandy Ground, where an official notice board will be used to post results as races are completed.
Volunteers will be on had to sell regatta T-shirts and the ever-popular Champagne tent will be fully stocked and staffed with cheerful and hospitable servers.
This year's regatta edition will include four race classes: Spinnaker, Non-spinnaker, Multi-hull, and Carriacou Workboat.
The Carriacou workboat class was started last year with just two boats, but the organizers expect to have a larger field this year, as more and more of these semi-classic sloops are being refurbished and prepared for active racing. Because of their relatively limited handling characteristics, the sloops will sail their own courses, which will be announced on race days.
There is one yacht race on Friday, starting just after 11 AM. Its course begins in Road Bay and takes the yachts around the West End of Anguilla and along the Southern shore, dipping toward Cap Juluca Hotel's Maunday's Bay and continuing as far as Rendezvous Bay where the boats will round a mark just off the beach at CuisinArt Hotel and then back around the West End to a finish in Road Bay.
On Saturday, several races will be run on a triangular course set just outside Road Bay, close to Sandy Island. The races start in early morning and will continue into mid-afternoon. The number of races to be held will depend on the strength of the wind, and the stamina of the racing crews.
Sunday's race will begin around 9 AM with the yachts starting in Road Bay and completing a course that takes them out near Dog Island and then back to a finish in Road Bay. This race begins and ends early so that winners can receive their awards and get back home before dark sets in. Prize-giving is scheduled for around 3 PM.
The Anguilla Regatta is held each year to raise funds in support of the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club. The AYSC was founded to teach sailing to the young people of Anguilla and to date have taught the international sport of sailing to more than 400 students. It is a non-profit organization, supported entirely by donations and funds raised by such events as the Regatta and the annual Villa Tour which was recently held. No qualified student who wants to learn to sail is ever turned away because of inability to pay the course fees. Nearly half the students are on some form of scholarship.