Thursday 04 May: With women accounting for a quarter of sailors at Antigua Sailing Week, Locman Italy Women’s Race Day was a success even before the first gun on the race track. From America’s Cup sailors, such as Suzy Leach, to young aspiring women new to the sport, such as 12 year-old Imani John-Polanco, nearly every team racing at Antigua Sailing Week has women on board.
At the Locman Italy Women’s Race Day Prize Giving held at the Antigua Yacht Club, today’s top teams were awarded their prizes and there was one special award. Locman Italy representative, Camilla Holme awarded Pippa Turton a Locman Italy watch for inspiring women into the sport of sailing. Pippa was a founding Board Member of the National Sailing Academy of Antigua. Pippa now lives in Spain, but returned to Antigua Sailing Week with an all-women’s team on the GS39 Mozart.
“This is lovely,” said an emotional Pippa Turton. “Being here (in Antigua) was such a fantastic part of my life and being honoured in this way is so special. Coming back and seeing all these people who remember me for what I did is amazing.”
The south easterly trade winds held strong, delivering 15 knots of warm breeze. The CSA Racing Classes had two races starting off Rendezvous Beach, with the deep water mark ‘Old Road’ in the mix to make use of stronger breeze offshore. Off Windward Beach all Bareboats had three races today. The Bareboats were joined in the morning race by Club Class 1. The race featured a long upwind leg to ‘Africa’, giving the teams a real taste of ocean swell.
On the penultimate day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week, class leaders are emerging, as well as contenders for the Lord Nelson Trophy. RESULTS LINK
In the CSA Racing Classes four teams are odds on to win their respective classes tomorrow: CSA 1 – John Evans & Trey Sheehan’s Hooligan (USA), CSA Multihull – Guy Chester’s Oceans Tribute (AUS), CSA 5 – Tristan Marmousez’s GFA Caraïbes – La Morrigane (FRA), and CSA 4 – J/120 J-Aguar (USA).
In CSA 2, it’s tight at the top with Chris & Caroline Body’s El Ocaso (GBR) scoring two bullets today to take the class lead by one point from Pamala Baldwin’s Liquid (ANT). Chris and Caroline Body race El Ocaso with their two daughters Annabelle and Jessica.
In CSA 3, Chris Woods’ Assuage (GBR) holds a four-point lead from David Crum’s Quintessence III (USA). Andy Middleton’s EH01-Global Yacht Racing (GBR) won the last race today to take third in class.
For the Racing Classes, what will make it interesting tomorrow is that a second throw-out will come into play, and that will shake up the leader board in several classes.
In Club Class 1, it’s going to the wire tomorrow with just two point separating Matthias Maus’ Alpha Centauri of London (GER) and Reginald Williams’ Legacy (TRI). It’s even closer in Club Class 2. The teenage crew skippered by Carrack Jones on Absolute Properties BP (ANT) is leading Octogenarian Geoffrey Pidduck racing Hightide (ANT). The difference is just a single point with one more race tomorrow.
In the Bareboat Classes, supported by Dream Yacht Charter, two Swiss teams will fight for regatta victory tomorrow in Bareboat 1. Alfred Geisser’s KH+P Botero leads by two points from Jakob Oetiker’s KH+P Braque. In Bareboat 2, Coleman Garvey’s Royal Cork YC team on KH+P Nolde have a conclusive lead. The same is true of Robby Nitsche’s German team on KH+P Barbuda in Bareboat 3. Both teams have a perfect score of race wins and are vying for the overall win for the CSA Bareboat Class, along with KH+P Botero.
Women on the Water at Antigua Sailing Week
Approaching 200 women are racing at Antigua Sailing Week, including four all-women teams, and a further 14 teams that have women skippers/co-skippers. Teams such as First 47.7 Kali have eight women in a crew of 13, including New Yorker Ruth Cole who was driving today.
“It’s been an amazing Antigua Sailing Week so far, and even better to score our best result yet on Locman Italy Women’s Race Day,” commented Ruth Cole. “With women on the bow and trimming the kite as well as driving, we’re pumped for the final day tomorrow!”
Lyssandra Barbieri’s Dufour 40 Hatha Maris is racing with an all-women team for the second year in a row. Last year, Lyssandra won the Locman Italy watch, presented as the inspirational women’s award. Today, Lyssandra announced that the Women at the Helm Antiguan Internship Program has two more internship positions available.
Racing in Bareboat Class, Dufour 412 KH+P Bequia is chartered to an all-women crew from Munich, Germany and skippered by Anna Seidl. Back home, Anna and several of the crew race in the highly competitive J/70 sportsboat class, scoring numerous podium finishes racing on Lake Constance.
“We came to Antigua Sailing Week as we thought it would be a great opportunity for a girls’ team,” commented Anna Seidl. “Racing in big heavy boats is very different to a J/70. The first few days were really hard. We have learnt, and now in the last two days we have been getting faster. Antigua Sailing Week is a great event, great racing, we love the parties and the regatta management. We would love to come here again.”
Before The Locman Italy Women’s Race Day Prize Giving, all women sailors at Antigua Sailing Week were invited to the Locman Lounge after racing for complimentary drinks and nibbles. Opening the prize giving, Alison Sly-Adams, President and Commercial Director, Antigua Sailing Week explained the objective of celebrating women on the water at Antigua Sailing Week.
“Today we are simply celebrating all women sailing at any level and want to invite more to join us on the water,” commented Sly-Adams. “Despite the many role models performing at the top of our sport, equity in our sport is way off. Many have not stepped into the sport or developed in it due to their own experiences or perceptions of barriers. We are delighted to see the increase in women at the helm and numbers in Antigua Sailing Week 2023 and will continue to play our part in inspiring more women to get out on the water.”
Camilla Holme, Locman Italy Area Manager, Caribbean Ltd spoke at the Prize Giving: “Locman Italy is super-excited to sponsor Locman Italy’s Women’s Race Day again at Antigua Sailing Week. It is important for women sailors to have role models and be represented in the sailing world, and this is our way of supporting that. We are also excited that there are more women racing this year. It is great to see a positive result and we welcome back even more women sailors next year.”
Evening entertainment for Locman Italy Women’s Race Day was hi-temp Antiguan Party Band 17 61º playing a live set on the main stage on the lawn at Antigua Yacht Club. The final day of racing at the 54th edition of Antigua Sailing Week will be tomorrow, Friday 5th May.
For more information about Antigua Sailing Week: www.sailingweek.com