SAILS ARE FURLED AND WINNERS CROWNED 40TH EDITION WINDS UP IN SPECTACULAR FASHION
05 May, 2007
A Week to Remember! Sails are Furled and Winners Crowned as 40th Edition of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week Winds Up in Spectacular Fashion Falmouth Harbour, Antigua (May 4) – It ended as it began, with perfect sailing conditions, flawless race committee work, and excellent competition in sixteen dedicated classes of racing and cruising boats of every size, color and description. With easterly breezes of 12- to 16-knots on the water and clear skies overhead, the 40th running of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week concluded today with one race apiece for the six divisions in the Division A racing fleet and the 10 classes competing in the Division B fleet of cruising yachts and chartered bareboats.
The Division A fleet sailed a challenging 28.7 nautical mile Ocean Race that started off Curtain Bluff and featured a pair of long windward legs – the first of which was a wavy, shifty, 11-mile beat – and two downwind runs, the second of which ended at the finish line off Falmouth Harbour. After an overnight layover at Jolly Harbour, the Division B competitors sailed the 22.1 nautical mile point-to-point Jolly to Falmouth Race down the island’s southern coastline.
Coming into today’s action, the leader boards were stacked with boats that had sailed an outstanding series of races and only needed to avoid a last-day meltdown to lock up their respective divisions. And there were few surprises today as the majority of boats that had risen to the top in the weeklong regatta took care of business and put the final touches on what was a memorable, exciting birthday edition of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week.
Next up on the docket for New Zealand ace Mike “Moose” Sanderson is the mighty task of leading a fledgling British squad in their pursuit of the America’s Cup. But first, Sanderson and his all-star crew on ABN AMRO ONE finished what has been a string of dominating performances in the Caribbean this spring by winning the final contest in the Racing I class and, in so doing, capturing the division in the nine-boat fleet. Along with Stanford Antigua Sailing Week, ABN AMRO ONE was also the victor in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the B.V.I. Spring Regatta. By virtue of this impressive string of victories, ABN AMRO ONE is the undisputed champion of the racing class in the 2007 Caribbean Big Boat Series.
In Racing II, coming into today’s Ocean Race, the overall leader was Avia Wilment’s Rodgers 46, Universal Marina. Like ABN AMRO ONE, Universal Marina finished in style, winning its class in today’s race and overall. In fact, finishing strong was the theme of today’s racing: In Racing III, Racing IV and Racing V, the leaders in each division coming into the final race – Clay Deutsch’s Swan 68, Chippewa; Sergio Sagramoso’s Beneteau 40.7, Lazy Dog; and Scott Chalmers’ Sigma 400, Sunrise, respectively – all finished the week with gusto, winning the seventh and final race in their Division A classes while simultaneously locking up their overall class victories in this milestone year for Stanford Antigua Sailing Week.
The only class in Division A where the winning boat didn’t close out the series with a victory was in Multihull Racing, where the Gunboat 48 Cream made its first appearance in the winner’s circle with a victory today. But in the overall scheme of things it was too late, as the leader coming into the day’s tussle was the Gunboat 62 Looking for Elvis, which took second today but nonetheless was the week’s winner among the racing catamarans.
In Division B, yet another pair of boats coming into today’s racing at the top of their fleets maintained their position with a final-day victory. In Performance Cruising I, it was the Wally 80, Indio, skippered by Italy’s Andrea Recordati. And in Performance Cruising II, Antiguan sailor Hugh Bailey did the island proud aboard his Beneteau 456, Hugo B, notching the win and top honors in the 19-boat field.
There was a bit more drama in Performance Cruising III, where another Antiguan entrant, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Cal 40, Huey Too, came into the day in seeming control of the class. But Huey Too could only manage a fourth today, and with the door just ajar, Richard Burbridge and his Swan 43, Pavlova II, took full advantage of the opportunity, winning today’s race and taking the class victory by a single point in the process.
In Cruising I, Cuyler Morris and his family aboard their Morris 48, Firefly, closed out the week with the last of what turned out to be a string of undefeated victories to take the division. Not to be undone, Robert and Darlene Hill aboard their Switch 51 catamaran, Following Tides, matched the Morris’s feat to win Multihull Cruising. The Cruising II class, however, was wide open coming into today’s racing, but with a second on the race today from Jolly Harbour, the Rhodes Bounty Sunshine – sailed by yet another solid Antiguan sailor, Hans Lammers – earned the week’s top honors.
In the Bareboat divisions, the individual class winners were sorted out after yesterday’s racing, the concluding race in the charter-boat classes. Today, the top three boats in each of the four Bareboat classes competed in the Bareboat Gold race, which was won by Heliodore, a Dufour 50 skippered by Georg Ondrei. The remainder of the fleet sailed in the Bareboat Silver race, and the winner there was Justin Baron’s Oceanis 473, Justice.
Tomorrow, there will be not one but two separate award ceremonies at the Event Village at Nelson’s Dockyard. The first, at 3 p.m. local time, will include the Prizegiving for all four Bareboat classes and for a series of Special Categories based on class points for the week. The second, beginning at 8 p.m. local time, will be the 40th Anniversary Celebration Prizegiving and will include the awards ceremony for all the Division A racing fleets as well as the Performance Cruisers and the Cruising classes. The regatta’s Overall Winner will also be named and, in honor of that feat, will receive the Lord Nelson Trophy and will join a long, distinguished list of yachts and yachtsmen who have preceded their winning ways and entered the history books at Stanford Antigua Sailing Week.
For more information, updated standings, photographs and more, visit the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week website at www.sailingweek.com.
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