Antigua Sailing Week 2023 kicks off on April 29 and runs until May 5.
The class splits offer virtually level boat-for-boat racing to just about everybody. Dedicated race boats, pro-crewed racer-cruisers, race-ready charter boats, and the latest generations of comfy but fast Swans and Bénéteaus are all finding a lot of competition in the CSA racing classes.
The highlights of the 2023 classes include:
CSA Racing: The high-performance Solaris 72 cruiser racer Black Pearl, skippered by Karl Pisec, joins a strong fleet of yachts in her class which include ASW notables such as Daniel Gribble’s Tripp 65 Prevail from the USA and Adrian Lee’s Irish Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II.
The super-competitive CSA class is packed full of past winners and well-known names, including Antigua’s Bernard Evan-Wong with TAZ, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 Liquid, and top performing race charter boat El Ocaso, being sailed by owner Chris Body.
The Performance Cruising class expects a battle between Sir Richard Matthews’s ST370 Holding Pattern and Sir Hugh Bailey’s Farr 45 Rebel. This division also features Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 and Raymond Rhinelander’s J133 Bella J.
Multihulls: Gunboats include two 60s, Fredrik Moe’s Moementum from Jamaica, and Rob Merwin’s Cui Bono from the US, plus Michel Larroche’s Gunboat 62 Tribe. A newcomer to the Caribbean circuit, Oceans Tribute, a Crowther Tri, has been brought all the way from New Zealand by her owner Guy Chester.
New to ASW is a dedicated start line for the fast and nimble one-design RS Elite class. These unique keelboats are available for charter and only require two or three crew so it’s a cost-effective way to race with your sailing buddies. Reach out to the ASW race office to get assistance with organizing a charter from owners of the local fleet of RS Elites. Crews can pitch themselves against some home-grown talent with the Caribbean’s best skippers at the helm. One of them is St. Martin’s Robbie Ferron, sailing Oozlumbird. “Everybody wants to sail and race in the Caribbean,” Ferron says. “It is sometimes prohibitive due to costs and manageability, especially if you want high standards. But racing in Antigua in a RS Elite is financially easy and provides a high-tech boat that is a real pleasure to sail.”
ASW charter sponsor Dream Yacht Charter has been working to supply a range of bareboats, while individual crew spots and whole boats are still available. Contact the race office for more information on charters.
Club Class: The programme opens with the Peters & May Round Antigua Race on Saturday, April 29, followed by the English Harbour Rum Race Day and Welcome Party on Sunday. Monday, May 1, sees the Axxess Marine Y2K Race day with daily prizegiving and Captain’s Cocktail, followed by another race day on Tuesday and entertainment with Reggae in the Park. Racing crews head down to Pigeon Point beach for Wednesday’s Lay Day. The week finishes up with the Locman Italy Women’s Race Day on Thursday and racing, prizegiving and the big closing Party on Friday, May 5.
For information on Antigua Sailing Week, please visit www.sailingweek.com.