One hundred and sixteen teams from 37 different countries raced in the 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week. Strong trade winds blew all week delivering heaven-sent conditions to over 1,000 competitors.
Sir Peter Harrison’s superyacht Sojana was awarded the coveted Lord Nelson Trophy after a perfect scoreline of seven race wins in CSA 2.
“This is fantastic. It is the second time we have won the Lord Nelson Trophy and I am really thrilled to win it again,” commented Harrison. “We have had beautiful crew work, everybody was really on their game. We had our boat restored three years ago and have new sails and the crew have all done her justice.”
The turbo-charged Volvo 70 Warrior sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. won CSA 1, scoring a win in all but the first of seven races. “These were extreme conditions; right out of the Antigua Sailing Week brochure and it was brilliant sailing. If you were skiing you would call it powder days. I am so proud of the team. It is the best crew I have ever sailed with and it’s humbling to be around them.”
Robert Szustkowski›s Polish HH66 R-SIX was the winner of the Multihull Class, winning four out of five races. Seamus Hourihan’s American Gunboat 55 Thirst was second and John Streicker’s American Leopard 45 Spellbound was third. “We feel great! Another success!” laughed Robert Szustkowski. “We have had such a great time here for the last two years and of course we will be back next year.”
OnDeck’s Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno won CSA 3 after an epic battle with Oyster 82 Starry Night of the Caribbean. “This is marvelous,” commented OnDeck’s Peter Anthony. “I tell you what this has done, it has re-engaged me. I did fall out of love with sailing as for a little while it was just a business, but once again I absolutely love sailing.”
Mark Chapman’s Trinidadian modified Ker 11.3 Dingo was victorious in CSA 4, winning the class in the very last race by a single point from Bernie Evan-Wong’s Antiguan RP37 TAZ.
Jonty and Vicky Layfield’s Antiguan Swan 48 Sleeper was the winner of CSA 5, winning all seven races. Jonty and Vicky are residents in Antigua and are very active in encouraging young Antiguans to the sport. Teenage Antiguan Shanoy Malone was calling tactics on board. “I love this regatta and we had perfect conditions for the boat. This regatta really puts Antigua on the map for sailing. It’s fantastic,” Malone said.
Frank Loubaresse’s French Sunfast 3600 Twinl-Jaws 2 was the winner of CSA 6 winning the class in the very last race after an intense battle for the win with Carlo Falcone’s Caccia Ala Volpe and Peter McWhinnie’s Leon.
The National Sailing Academy’s (NSA) Cork 1720 NSA Spirit, skippered by Jules Mitchell was the runaway winner in CSA 7, scoring six race wins. All six teenagers are the product of the NSA. Three of them, Jules Mitchell, Rocco Falcone and Louis Bavay have all represented Antigua internationally and all of the team aspire to become professionals in the yachting world. A special mention must also go to the teenage crew from the Grieg City Academy in North London, which scored three podium finishes having never sailed a Cork 1720 or visited Antigua before.
Robbie Ferron at the helm of the modified 6 Meter Biwi Magic was the winner of CSA 8 after a great battle with Biwi Magic’s owner Geoffrey Pidduck who was racing the Bavaria 42 Minerva. “That was a real battle and it came down to the last race. Biwi Magic goes fantastic to weather and that was the key to this week, especially as the conditions were tough, particularly upwind. This has been a very good Antigua Sailing Week but I have always been in love with it since my first one in 1982. It has always been a mysterious, wonderful and iconic experience. This regatta always exceeds expectations.”
In Club Class, Jonathan Constantine’s Feeling 39 Imagine of Falmouth won the class in the last race from Grahame Williams’ Bavaria 42 Full Monty; both from the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club, Antigua. “That was down to the wire; as close as it gets and it went to the last beat for the finish line,” explained Constantine. “It was great of Grahame and his team to come and congratulate us at the prize giving and that is the right spirit.”
Twenty six teams raced in the Bareboat Classes with Alexander Pfeiffer’s KH+P La Bella Vita the resounding winner in Bareboat One, taking five race wins.
“It has been a fantastic week,” commented Alison Sly-Adams, President of Antigua Sailing Week. “We have had been fine tuning this format for six years and it finally is where we want it to be; an amazing competition on the water, with fantastic camaraderie ashore.” She added, “Sailing always comes first at Antigua Sailing Week.”
Sly-Adams said the Youth to Keelboat Program had been a great success with 26 young sailors racing on boats.
Entry is now open for the 52nd edition of Antigua Sailing Week, which will take place from 27th April to the 3rd May 2019.
For full results, video and photographs, and detail of Race Week 2019, visit: https://www.sailingweek.com/
Report by Louay Habib
Photographs by Paul Wyeth Marine Photography / pwpictures.com