Repeat Business at Antigua Sailing Week

Like many international sailing events, this spring’s Antigua Sailing Week found itself having to cope with the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajkull volcano, the bareboat fleet in particular taking a serious hit.“The Icelandic volcano probably lost us 15 to 20 boats,” said regatta director Neil Forrester. “Flights out of Europe were closed just at a time when a lot of charter guests were
Author:
Updated:
Original:
antigua.interior

Like many international sailing events, this spring’s Antigua Sailing Week found itself having to cope with the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajkull volcano, the bareboat fleet in particular taking a serious hit.

“The Icelandic volcano probably lost us 15 to 20 boats,” said regatta director Neil Forrester. “Flights out of Europe were closed just at a time when a lot of charter guests were coming over to pick up boats from other islands to bring them up.”

In all, 106 boats took part in 12 different classes, down substantially from years past when the regatta hosted more than 200 competitors. Blame the volcano, blame the economy, blame whatever you like, just don’t say the regatta has lost its spark—because it most certainly hasn’t.

Check out any of the myriad of parties—particularly the blowout gala atop Shirley Heights on the event’s penultimate evening—and you’ll see keen amateurs intermingling with pros and locals. Couple this with one of the Caribbean’s most dramatic coastlines, postcard conditions and friends from yesteryear, and you’ll understand why so many sailors return again and again.

While conditions at this year’s regatta proved light—with average winds around 10 knots and hotter-than-average temps—the competition was as advertised, but with an increased emphasis on tactics and strategy rather than boathandling.

In the grand prix classes, all eyes were on the closely fought duel between the Judel-Vrolijk 72 RAN and the Reichel-Pugh 75 Titan XV, a tussle that was ultimately decided in RAN’s favor by a four-point margin.

In the bareboat fleet, Herbert Muenzel’s Dufour 455 Sea you later won first overall in the Gold Fleet, despite having one of the, er, most “experienced” crews in the regatta. According to Meunzel, the average age of his crew, which hails from northern Germany, was about 70, giving them a whopping 350 years combined experience afloat. “We’d like to tell all those young people, there is still hope,” Muenzel said afterward. “We feel extremely happy to have won this incredible title.”

Related

CONNECTING-SHROUD-2048

Experience: Wild Ride

My Hartley 38, Moet, is pounding into massive Pacific Ocean seas. One week of continuous storm conditions has taken me 700 miles south of Fiji, heading for New Zealand. Every few seconds the bow lifts out of the water and hangs in midair for a moment while I tense my muscles, ...read more

01-LEAD-nSterling-ProCombi-S-2

Know-how: Inverter, Charger Combos Offshore

With solid-state inverters and domestic AC devices becoming increasingly efficient, it only makes sense for many sailors to install the necessary 120V AC power for the many appliances now finding their way onboard: including washing machines, TVs, microwave, laptops, chargers ...read more

IMG_5308

Chartering in the British Virgin Islands

Not for nothing are the BVI known as the “nursery slopes” of sailing charters. There simply is no better place to ease yourself into a first-time sailing vacation; for that matter, such is the appeal of these islands that many charterers return year after year. The islands ...read more

IMG_7831

Racing and Bareboat Chartering in the BVI

If not all who wander are lost, then not all who charter are content with sailing between snorkeling spots and sinking a few Painkillers at beach bars. Some want a dose of hard-sailing action blended in with their sunshine and warmth—the kind of action you can only get from ...read more

01-GMR19FP45_1194

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

With new catamaran brands springing up like mushrooms, France’s Fountaine Pajot is something of an oak tree in the market, with a story that goes back to its founding in 1976. It is also one of the largest cat builders out there, sending some 600 boats down the ways in 2018. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no Chances This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

190910_ROSS_PORTSMOUTH_0187-2048x2048

Cup Boats Hit the Water

Emirates Team New Zealand may have been the first to launch a new-generation America’s Cup boat, but it was the New York Yacht Club’s challenger, American Magic, that had the last (first?) laugh. Just a few days after ETNZ’s radical-looking AC75 hit the water in mid-September, ...read more