REVVING UP IN ANTIGUA
23 Apr, 2011
Racing starts tomorrow at Antigua Sailing Week and English Harbour is buzzing with crews making last minute preparations for the 44th edition of the Caribbean’s longest running regatta.
Seamus Fitzpatrick and his crew are competing in First 40.7, Mermaid V. The team comes from Dublin, Ireland. “We have a big campaign this year back in Europe racing a J 109,” commented Skipper Paul Adamson dockside. “We are using the week to get tuned up for the season ahead and with four 40.7s competing we should get some close racing. To be honest we are also here to have a really great time, when the weather back in Dublin is still pretty cold.”
Nick Rose’s Harmony 47, Aristote is racing in Bareboat 1. “I think this will be my 16th Sailing Week in a row and I have been coming here for years,“ smiled Nick. “It is just a great atmosphere, really good fun, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Girls For Sail have been out practicing today in their Elan 37, Diamonds are Forever. Skipper Annie O'Sullivan reckons that she has a very capable all girl crew and not just on the water but also on the dance floor! “Diamonds are Forever has been in the Caribbean for the whole season and Antigua Sailing Week is our finale event. We have a crew of ten for the regatta and afterwards four will take the boat back across the Atlantic,” commented Annie O’Sullivan.
Hugo Stenbeck’s Dubois 90, Genuine Risk had a shakedown sail today, the canting keel maxi was tearing around outside English Harbour all morning. The all star crew includes America’s Cup helmsman and Olympic medalist, Andy Beadsworth, and the highly experienced Guy Barron. Dane Jens Dolmer from the Volvo Ocean Race is also racing on the Maxi.
Richard Matthews’ Humphries 54, Oystercatcher XVIII has his regular hand picked crew including Match Racing champion and America’s Cup helmsman, Andy Green, calling tactics alongside SB3 World Champion, Jeremy Hill. Oystercatcher XXVIII was out this morning for a test sail and the crew are all off to play golf this afternoon for a team bonding session.
Racing for all classes starts tomorrow at 0955 local time. The weather forecast is showing a gentle breeze by Antiguan standards with 12-16 knots from the northeast with swell of 1.6 metres. Tomorrow might be a good day for the lighter displacement yachts and the nine-strong multihull fleet should enjoy some champagne sailing.
Tonight the Event Village, located waterside in Nelson’s Dockyard with 20,000 square feet of great bars and international food, will open for the first time with Happy Hour scheduled from 3 to 6 pm (one hour is never enough in Antigua!). The nightly entertainment kicks off with The Mansire Steel Band so the Beer Tent should be a lively place tonight!
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