Today’s conditions confirmed exactly whyÂ Antigua Sailing WeekÂ (24- 30 April 2010) is so special. 15-18kts of breeze from the south-east, sparkling sunshine under a crystal clear blue sky, and big, surfing turquoise blue waves rolling in from the east, are the sort of conditions sailors’ dreams are made of.
For Division A racing yachts it was another two-race day on courses set just off Falmouth. The first race of the day (the postponed race from Saturday) was a one-round, windward/leeward sprint with three-mile legs, which lasted less than an hour, to give enough time to complete the scheduled Race 5 (Willoughby Bay Race) in the afternoon. Crews in the cruising and charter boats in Division B – many nursing sore heads from last night’s big party at Jolly Harbour – enjoyed a 29nm coastal race from Jolly Harbour back to Falmouth where they will remain for the remainder of the week.
Three days into the regatta, the situation is really starting to hot up now in many of the fleets including Racing 1 where Tom and Dotty Hill’s custom Reichel/Pugh 75Â Titan 15Â and Niklas Zennstrom’s 72ft Judel Vrolijk-designedÂ Ran, together with Austin Fragomen’s, JV52Â Interlodge, and Ron O’Hanley’s Farr 50Â PrivateerÂ are enjoying some of the closest racing. This was confirmed in the in both races today day whenÂ RanÂ crossed the finish line just one second ahead ofÂ TitanÂ in race one, and two seconds ahead in race two, despiteÂ TitanÂ having to execute a penalty turn for a port-starboard incident at the top mark.
RanÂ spent the morning keeping tags onÂ TitanÂ as they once again headed offshore on their own two-horse race. As hard as she tried,Â TitanÂ was unable to break cover upwind and with just one round, could not extract herself fromÂ Ran, even downwind.Â InterlodgeÂ andÂ PrivateerÂ had an equally close race, with yesterday’s racer winner -Â InterlodgeÂ – managing to take third place, while in the second racePrivateerÂ took the upper hand and finished by less than a minute ahead.
It seems like nothing is going to stop Lindsey Duda and team onÂ Sin DudaÂ – the American Santa Cruz 52 – in their quest to win Racing 2. They bagged yet another two wins today beating Andrea Casale’s Swan 90Â DSK Pioneer InvestmentsÂ in both races. With five wins in a row, and first place overall more or less guaranteed, the race is on now on for second place overall.
The extremely well-sailed RP44Â Peake Yacht Services StormÂ showed her true colours today making short work of the windward/leeward course this morning beatingÂ Elandra, Calvin Reed’s Beneteau First 40.7, by over a minute on corrected time, and closing the gap between current class leaderÂ Catapult, the brand-new J/122 sailed by Marc Glimcher and team. Another win forÂ Peake Yacht Services StormÂ in the afternoon’s race shifts her nearerÂ CatapultÂ on the overall scoresheet.
Marco Serafini and his team aboard the FY61Â TykeÂ scored their second win of the regatta today putting them in a strong position atop Performance Cruising 1. Erik Lindgren from Sweden sailing a Baltic 500Â SpiritÂ scored second in the Jolly Harbour Race today, which now confirms his position in second place on the scoreboard. However, British sailor Christian Reynolds in the chartered Swan 51 –Northern ChildÂ – is on equal points, which mean when racing resumes on Thursday, an interesting battle will no doubt develop.
The Antiguans are dominating the top end of Performance Cruising 2 with five boats in the top six. Hugh Bailey’sÂ Hugo BÂ scored his second win of the regatta today, which puts him two points ahead of the Six MetreÂ Biwi MagicÂ – winner of the first day’s race. The only non-Antiguan boat in the top six is Robert Jones’ Oyster LightwaveÂ AmandlakuluÂ who scored a respectable third place today which leaves him and his team in fourth overall.
Steve Kuhl and team on the British Jeanneau 49Â Sunbeat IVÂ notched up another win today, making it three in a row in Cruising 1. In second place, also for the third day in a row are Dave Perkins and team on the Jeanneau 54Â Windward Spirit. Another British sailor keen to fly the flag is Burt Keenan sailing the Frers custom 48Â AcadiaÂ who posted his third win of the series and confirmed his position at the top of Cruising 2 with just three races to go.
Jakob Oetiker and his all-Swiss team aboard Moorings-chartered Beneteau Cyclades 50 -Â Monumental DreamÂ – sailed a good tactical race today in Bareboat 1 to take their first win of the regatta. With a fairly poor scoreline going into today’s race including a sixth and fifth place respectively, the team were pleased with their performance today. Marcus Webber – tactician – chatting as he stepped ashore, said: “It was a fabulous race in 15-16kts of breeze and fairly tough. We had a good start and chose a course fairly well inshore, which seemed to be a good option.” Elsewhere in the fleetÂ Grazzi– the Beneteau Oceanis, who has added another second to her consistent scoreline, has knockedÂ VivaldiÂ -Michael White’s Harmony 52 – off the perch at the top of the fleet.
The seven-strong team onÂ KH+P GirlÂ in Bareboat 2 had an exceptional day’s racing by leading for the majority of the race and winning their class on corrected time. A downwind start from Jolly Harbour in good winds gave teamÂ KH + P GirlÂ the chance to demonstrate her speed off the line although tactician Sasha Jaeger was a little disappointed that they were pipped at the post by Herbert Muenzel’sKH+P Sea you later, in the closing stages. Commenting, Jaeger said: “We led the race from the start but 100 metres from the line we were overtaken and missed line honours by 27 seconds. However, we’re having a great time sailing with people we’ve never sailed with before and we’ve proved we can really sail the boat fast.”
There was more success for KH+P charter boats in Bareboat 3 today withÂ KH+P Sun King, a Dufour 385 sailed by Beate Mohn and team taking their second win of the regatta.
Roman Paszke and the Polish team on the sole Racing MultihullÂ R-Six TeamÂ suffered a shredded mainsail in today’s Division A, first race. Just when the wind picked up sufficiently for the giant, 90ft carbon-fibre catamaran to fly a hull, the lower half of the main came tumbling down on the crew, leaving them no option other than to retire. Paske said he was keen to get the sail sorted in time for Thursday’s penultimate race.
There was no surprise in the Cruising Multihull class to see Robbie Ferron and team on the Lagoon 410 catamaranÂ KatzenellenbogenÂ taking yet another win from Joe Walsh’s Lagoon 470 -Â Suave.
Tomorrow is Antigua Sailing Week lay day, which means there’ll be plenty of festivities taking place not only tomorrow at Antigua Sailing Club, but also tonight at theÂ English Harbour Rum Street PartyÂ in Nelson’s Dockyard. Competitors and visitors are lining up to enjoy traditional Antiguan hospitality with performances from some of the best bands on the island and a taste of Antigua Carnival. Serious racers competing in theÂ Antigua Ocean SeriesÂ will compete in the final race of the series -Â Round Redonda RaceÂ – tomorrow, a 40nm sprint to the neighbouring, uninhabited island and back.
For regular, updated information and racing schedule go toÂ www.sailingweek.com.