CANADIAN HOCKEY IN THE CARIBBEAN
06 Apr, 2005
March 14, 2005 - With the official cancellation of hockey in Canada,
fans of the sport may want to head down to Antigua Sailing Week at the
end of April (April 24 to 30). Hockey Canadian-style will be the name
of the game on the official rest day, LayDay. Ron MacLean, host of
Hockey Night in Canada, will be picking up a hockey stick as he takes a
short break from competing on his yacht, Nanuk of the North, which won
its class last year.
In addition to playing, MacLean is expected to provide a little off
the cuff commentary adding Antigua Sailing Week to his broadcast resume
which has expanded over the years to include hosting CBC's coverage of
the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Hockey Day In Canada, the Calgary
Stampede and the Export A Skins Golf game.
wait to race the waters once navigated by Horatio Nelson. My longtime
partner on Hockey Night in Canada Don Cherry, is very much inspired by
the teachings of Lord Nelson," said MacLean.
has it that when Nelson left Antigua in 1787 he took a case of rum to
pickle his body if he died. I shall defend the Lord's tradition. The
matter of Nanuk's 2004 title, I'll leave to Sailing-Gods who govern the
surf beyond Devil's Bridge and the transplanted Hockey-gods who've
taken up residence at Falmouth Harbour."
Hockey has taken place the last couple of years at the basketball court
in Falmouth Harbour but this year the event is taking a leap to a more
organized status. Patrick Festing-Smith, co-owner of Nanuk with
MacLean, is the driving force behind the competition: "We have plans
for a series of matches starting on Layday, late afternoon and again in
the evening. Plus, Thursday and Friday evenings. Nets and sticks will
be shipped down from Canada and we'll put a sign up board on the fence
at the basketball venue. It's a great team building activity, as one
crew challenges another for the land-based title."
is also working on team keepsake t-shirts and looking for corporate
sponsors to donate items. Interest to compete has already been
expressed by a Canadian team based in Antigua and other teams are
encouraged to join the fun by contacting Patrick Festing-Smith at
Antigua Sailing Week
held April 25-May 1 - saw 211 boats in 16 classes registered, with 200
making it to the start line for the first start gun off English
Harbour. Twenty-eight yachts 60 feet and over gathered with the fastest
monohull in the world, Mari-Cha IV, leading the charge.
countries were represented with Russia and Hungary entering for the
first time. Eighty-five bareboats battled it out. A total of 28 Swans
competed - a record for Antigua Sailing Week – and a king's ransom of
international sailing talent that was hard to keep track of was
scattered through the fleet.
After the week of
racing, Dr Hasso Plattner's maxZ86 Morning Glory walked away with the
Lord Nelson's Trophy for best overall, the Curtain Bluff Trophy for
winning Big Boat I and the Ricochet Cup for best American yacht. She
won four of her seven races, dropping two to Titan XII and one to her
sistership Pyewacket. She beat Mari-Cha IV over the line three times.
a week of building winds, the 37th annual Antigua Sailing Week ended
with a bang on the last day of racing. Rain and cloud greeted the fleet
but as the day wore on the clouds gave way to Caribbean sunshine. Winds
moderated slightly and averaged 23 knots but 28-knot gusts were seen
after the start.
Racing concluded on Saturday with
the second annual Bareboat Championship Race. Conditions were still
demanding with 20-25 knot winds and 6-8 foot seas. Eighteen boats - the
top three from each class - lined up on the start line and DSD Carnival
with Phil Otis on the helm emerged victorious.
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