With many class overall results resting on the last day’s racing, a grand finale was guaranteed for the 43rd Antigua Sailing Week held April 24 to 30. In Division A, Racing 1, it was right down to the wire with the biggest boats in the fleet.
Titan – Tom and Dotty Hill’s custom Reichel/Pugh 75 – and Niklas Zennstrom’s 72 foot, Judel Vrolijk-designed Ran engaged in their match-race style battle once again on the two-mile leg, windward/leeward course set just to the east of Falmouth. Ran however, pulled off a stylish win, beating Titan by just over a minute on corrected time. In doing so, she not only won her class, but also won Division A overall.
As he stepped ashore the final afternoon, Zennstrom, Ran’s Swedish owner, said, “Fantastic weather, good breeze, good waves and tough competition is what Antigua Sailing Week is all about. We had amazing two-boat racing with Titan all week … We really enjoyed it and I know the Titan guys did too … It was a great way to end the regatta.”
There was no great surprise to see Sin Duda – the American Santa Cruz 52 owned by Chicago-based Lindsey Duda and her 15-strong team – take an overall win of Racing 2, but Andrea Casale’s Swan 90 DSK Pioneer Investments managed to break the 52s’ complete domination of the class by winning the last race on corrected time.
Marc Glimcher and his team on J/122 Catapult secured an overall win of Racing 3 by winning the final race, beating Peter Peake and team on the extremely-competitive Reichel Pugh 44 Peake Yacht Services Storm by just two points overall.
Racing for the top spots in Division B was equally close, with many classes battling it out on the windward/leeward courses west of Falmouth. In Performance Cruising 1, Italian Marco Serafini and team on the FY61 Tyke secured their place at the top of the podium with a third place in the final race.
One of the closest fleets during the week was Performance Cruising 2 where competition, particularly among the Caribbean contingent, was extremely high. Three Antiguan boats took the top three places including Hugh Bailey’s First 456 Hugo B whose win the final day confirmed first place overall, while Geoffrey Pidduck in his modified Six Metre, Biwi Magic, took second, confirming second place overall. Carlo Falcone in Caccia alla Volpe with just three points adrift took third overall.
In Cruising 1 Steve Kuhl and his British Sunbeat IV Jeanneau SO 49 team sailed a fantastic last race to secure first place overall.
Rick Gormley in his First 38 Elethea, notched up another class win the final day in Cruising 2 but it was too late to make an impact on Burt Keenan’s Frers 26-year-old Custom 48 Acadia, (which) sailed an impeccable series this week, not only taking first in class but an overall win of Cruising Class. Tactician Neil Harvey said, “We’ve had a great week and are proud to win this prestigious title.”
The Bareboat Charter fleets were split into Gold and Silver fleets, determined by the results from the week’s racing, and Herbert Muenzel’s Dufour 455 KH+P Sea You Later won the Gold Fleet overall. This team, who’ve been racing together for 24 years, confirmed their average age of 70 years, which, according to Muenzel, means they have a total of 351 years of experience between them. Muenzel said, “We’d like to tell all those young people, there is still hope.” The Silver Fleet winner, also from the KH+P Charter company, was the Dufour 40 Fantasque skippered by Martin Wambach.
Five wins in a row for Robbie Ferron and team on Lagoon 410 Katzenellenbogen secured the win of the Cruising Multihull class, while Roman Paszke in the Polish 90ft catamaran R-Six Team had an enjoyable week learning about the boat in preparation for his forthcoming round the world voyage.
Prizegiving for the 43rd edition of Antigua Sailing took place the last evening at Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour. For full results: www.sailingweek.com.
Report courtesy of Antigua Sailing Week/Sue Pelling