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14 March 2005, 01:46 pm
Canadian Hockey In The Caribbean
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Antigua Sailing Week 2005
Antigua, Caribbean

With the official cancellation of hockey in Canada, fans of the sport may want to head down to the Antigua Sailing Week on 24-30 April. Hockey Canadian-style will be the name of the game on the official rest day with Ron MacLEAN, host of Hockey Night in Canada, taking a short break from competing on his yacht, Nanuk of the North.
In addition to playing, MacLEAN is expected to provide a little off the cuff commentary adding Antigua Sailing Week to his broadcast resume which has expanded over the years to include hosting CBC's coverage of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Hockey Day in Canada, the Calgary Stampede and the Export A Skins Golf game.

'I cannot wait to race the waters once navigated by Horatio NELSON. My longtime partner on Hockey Night in Canada, Don Cherry, is very much inspired by the teachings of Lord NELSON,' said MacLEAN.

'Legend has it that when NELSON left Antigua in 1787 he took a case of rum to pickle his body if he died. I shall defend the Lord's tradition. The matter of Nanuk's 2004 title, I'll leave to Sailing-Gods who govern the surf beyond Devil's Bridge and the transplanted Hockey-gods who've taken up residence at Falmouth Harbour.'

LayDay Hockey has taken place the last couple of years at the basketball court in Falmouth Harbour but this year the event is taking a leap to a more organized status. Patrick FESTING-SMITH, co-owner of Nanuk with MacLEAN, is the driving force behind the competition: 'We have plans for a series of matches starting on Layday, late afternoon and again in the evening. Plus, Thursday and Friday evenings. Nets and sticks will be shipped down from Canada and we'll put a sign up board on the fence at the basketball venue. It's a great team building activity, as one crew challenges another for the land-based title.'

FESTING-SMITH is also working on team keepsake t-shirts and looking for corporate sponsors to donate items. Interest to compete has already been expressed by a Canadian team based in Antigua and other teams are encouraged to join the fun by contacting Patrick FESTING-SMITH at

Antigua Sailing Week held 25 April-1 May 2004 saw 211 boats in 16 classes registered, with 200 making it to the start line for the first start gun off English Harbour. Twenty-eight yachts 60 feet and over gathered with the fastest monohull in the world, Mari-Cha IV, leading the charge.

Twenty-four countries were represented with Russia and Hungary entering for the first time. Eighty-five bareboats battled it out. A total of 28 Swans competed - a record for Antigua Sailing Week - and a king's ransom of international sailing talent that was hard to keep track of was scattered through the fleet.

After the week of racing, Dr Hasso PLATTNER's (GER) maxZ86 Morning Glory walked away with the Lord Nelson's Trophy for best overall, the Curtain Bluff Trophy for winning Big Boat I and the Ricochet Cup for best American yacht. She won four of her seven races, dropping two to Titan XII and one to her sistership Pyewacket. She beat Mari-Cha IV over the line three times.

Alastair Abrehart (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action From 2004:© Daniel Forster,
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