15 Feb, 2012
2012 marks the 45th Antigua Sailing Week, the Caribbean's longest running
and most prestigious regatta. The first edition of the regatta was run in
1967, the year that the symbolic national flag of Antigua and Barbuda was
adopted. The black is for the African ancestry of the people, the blue for
hope, the red is for energy of the people and the successive bands of yellow,
blue, and white stand for the sun, sea, and sand.
Undoubtedly, the most famous Antiguan competing at this year's event will be
Sir Hugh R.M. Bailey, KGN MBE GCM. Falmouth's native son was a young man
competing at the first Antigua Sailing Week and his contribution to sailing
in Antigua since that time has been immeasurable. Her Majesty the Queen of England
recognised his contribution by awarding him both The Silver Jubilee Medal in
1977 and later an MBE in 1982. His yacht, Hugo B, will be competing at
Antigua Sailing Week this year, as it does every year. Hugo B's spinnaker
bears the colours of the Antiguan flag and there can be no more fitting a yacht to fly
them than that of Sir Hugh Bailey.
"Antigua Sailing Week is the highlight of sailing in the Caribbean and is
well known worldwide for the great sailing conditions in our waters.
It lures many sailors from around the world and it is an important promotion
for Antigua," commented Sir Hugh.
"There were 17 boats at the first Antigua Sailing Week, which was born out
of the Guadeloupe Race, which started three years before with Ken
Malone, Desmond Nicholson, Joylon Byerley, John Glegg and I. Some of the old
timers have moved on, some can only look on. As the youngest of the old
timers, I am the only one left on the race course. Many thanks of course, to
my young keen Antiguan crew and others on yacht Hugo.
“One of the most marvellous sights at Antigua Sailing Week is when all of the boats
are out on the race course with their spinnakers flying - it is a spectacular
view. But the shoreside parties can be just as fabulous when they are in
full swing. If this will be your first time at Antigua Sailing Week, I have some
good advice for you - come with your sailing gloves, suntan lotion and a good
Peter Holmberg hales from the Virgin Islands and is a big fan and veteran
competitor of Antigua Sailing Week. He is the Caribbean's most accomplished
sailor, having won the America's Cup, a Silver medal in the Olympic Games
and is ranked Number One on the World Match Racing Tour. Peter is often at the
helm of Peter Harrison's Sojana, holder of the Lord Nelson Trophy and record
holder for the Yachting World Round Antigua Race.
"Antigua Sailing Week is still the most well known Caribbean sailing event
around the world," commented Peter Holmberg. "Combined with other main
events in the Caribbean, Antigua Sailing Week helps promote the region as a great
winter circuit for sailors. Antigua Sailing Week has traditionally been the
final event of the Caribbean racing circuit, when all the boats from the
various islands meet to settle the score, alongside the big international
“Probably one of the main attractions of the regatta is that it provides the
best ocean sailing conditions of all the Caribbean events, where you can
expect big breeze and big seas, for some exhilarating rides. Sailors can
really enjoy the great West Indian culture of Antigua, visit some of the
spectacular beaches, and hang on for some true trade wind racing."
The 45th Antigua Sailing Week will take place 29 April - 4 May. Visit the
official website for more information: www.sailingweek.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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