The 37th annual Antigua Sailing Week ended with a bang today. Rain and cloud greeted the fleet but as the day wore on the clouds gave way to Caribbean sunshine. Winds moderated slightly and averaged 23 knots but 28-knot gusts were seen after the start.
Big seas made it hard going for even the big boats let alone the small ones.
Division A was sent out to "Africa" a windward mark six miles out to sea on the two-lap Ocean Race course. In Big Boat Racing I, Roy E. DISNEY's Pyewacket took the gun today after a week of being Morning Glory's bridesmaid. Unfortunately it was too little too late and Dr Hasso PLATTNER's Morning Glory took the class prize leading Pyewacket by six points at the final tally. Tom HILL's Titan XII was third. Top three fleet places went to these boats too.
Swan 68 Chippewa was second to Alex HOFFMANN's Swan 86 Aspiration today but it was enough to secure Big Boat II by one point - a sweet victory after last year's loss to Sotto Voce. We seem fated to always be in close ones,"
said owner and skipper Clay DEUTSCH, "but it's more fun to win a close one.
"I thought we had a great class, the competition was strong. Aspiration in particular, I give them credit, I didn't think that boat would be that fast. She's a big heavy boat and the conditions were good for her but they sailed that boat brilliantly."
Bermudian boat Starr Trail was third.
Transpac 52 Rosebud buzzed all over the course today and took another first in Racing III, recovering quickly from a shredded chute as she flew on the downwind legs. Aera was second and Lolita was third. Final places mirrored today's results.
Trinidadian Beneteau Guardian Star racked up another win in Racing IV to win the class by a seven-point margin over Dougie MYERS' Legacy. In some incredibly close racing the spread between second and fifth place was less than a minute on corrected time. Antigua's Caccia Alla Volpe was third in class. Jamies DOBBS Lost Horizon II never made it back to the start line after her retirement yesterday.
Mabuhay II, Disco Inferno II and Crescendo were first second and third respectively today and the class crown for Racer/Cruiser I went to Mabuhay II.
Jagga managed to keep the local Caribbean boats Pipe Dream and Huey Too at bay to win another in Racer/Cruiser II. She won the class, BVI boat Pipe Dream was second. Third place went to Antiguan boat Tango Mike.
In division B, Gefion had won today until she received a 40 percent penalty from the jury sending her to seventh place. Yocahu was second and Spirit of the North was third which was enough to boost her to a class win.
Performance Cruising II saw results change for race two today when the International Jury addressed an issue that has been rumbling on. An improperly marked buoy prompted calls for redress and protests which had been dealt with earlier. However the IJ reviewed their findings in light of new evidence, reversed their decisions, and awarded all the boats in this class average points based on the other four races. So Far topped the class, HuGo was second and iGoodia was third.
Pavlova III won today in Performance Cruiser III, Sunbeat III was second with Sky Hunter a mere six seconds behind her. Pavlova II took the class, Sky Hunter was second and Antiguan boat Trouble was third.
In cruising I, whooping and hollering echoed around Nelson's Dockyard as the girlsforsail.com kittens discovered they'd won today. "This is the best result we've ever had!"
said Anne O'SULLIVAN, founder of girlsforsail.com. "We got a good start, we were third over the line, we had absolutely brilliant tacks. We were slowing the boat down quite a lot through the week but now the girls are getting really hot. Our spinnaker hoist was top. I just think the tactics were right, the team was excellent and the driver concentrated all the way round. Everything came together that we have been practicing all week."
In the bareboat classes, Jan SODERBERG's Rosco won today's race by a comfortable margin of five minutes while Nanuk won Bareboat I by less of a margin - 18 seconds; both took class. DSD Carnival and Durley Dene cleaned up in Bareboat III and VI with five for five. Laurel won in Bareboat V after another win today.
The Lord Nelson's Ball and prize giving wraps the event on Saturday evening.
Stanford International Bank Limited is a diamond sponsor of the event. Platinum sponsors are Air Jamaica, Cable & Wireless, English Harbour Rum and American Express. LIAT is a Silver sponsor while Sticky Wicket Restaurant and Going Places Travel are Copper sponsors.