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

01-LEAD-Sailing-upwind.-300-dpi

Cruising: Australia’s Rugged Southern Coast

After a hard 33-day crossing in the Roaring Forties from Cape Town, South Africa, Jeannie, my wife and shipmate of over four decades, and I arrived to kiss the dock in Albany, a small but well-serviced Victorian town on Australia’s southwestern coast. We were glad the trip was ...read more

ETNZ_14_5687-2048x2048

BREAKING: A Kiwi Spy in the America’s Cup?

Emirates Team New Zealand announced this morning that security breaches have resulted in leaked information and defamatory accusations against their 2021 America's Cup campaign. The campaign has suspected a leak for six months, sweeping their base for bugs and testing firewalls ...read more

02a-Italia-11.98_fTaccola©_FAT8534

New Boats: One Hull or Two?

Even in the increasingly crowded world of exotic multihull performance-cruisers, the McConaghy line of catamarans stands out with its emphasis on quality construction, style and performance. The newest member of the line, the McConaghy 60, has been on our radar for some time now, ...read more