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5 February 2005, 09:37 am
The Granddaddy Of Them All
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Antigua Sailing Week 2005

As Antigua Sailing Week 2005 (April 24 to 30) approaches the 'big three' classes can look forward to stretching their legs in the first Around Island Race for the granddaddy of them all.
To ease their way into LayDay, the yachts in Big Boat 1 and 2 and Racing 3 will be sailing anti-clockwise around Antigua in a 44-mile race on Tuesday, April 26. Starting and finishing off Curtain Bluff, the yachts are expected to complete the race in four to six hours if the typical Antigua Sailing Week winds of 12-18 knots hold true.

'We thought that because the boats are getting so fast we could include this race,' said Tommy PATERSON, race committee chairman. 'My Tartan 10 takes eight hours on a normal day and these new boats are more than twice as fast so ideally will do it in four hours. It gives these ocean greyhounds another record to add to their lists and a race more in keeping with the sailing for which they are designed.'

The rest of Division A will be sailing the South Coast Race while Division B will be racing the Falmouth Harbour Race from Jolly Harbour.

Trinidadians lining Up To Honour Late Sailing Week Stalwart

Enzyme, from Trinidad, has been entered by the crew that sailed with Dougie MYERS for years on his Soverel 42 Legacy. Several of the crew had jumped ship two years ago to sail their own Henderson 30 - the first Enzyme - but after Dougie's death last year, they wanted to buy Legacy and reunite the entire team. The plan changed because Legacy is still in probate; buying the old regatta-winning Crash Test Dummies, a Henderson 35, was the second choice.

As Paul SOLOMON, skipper and one of the four owners explained: 'We upgraded from the Henderson 30 to the 35 because we wanted to sail Antigua Sailing Week in the same class as Antigua's Caccia Alla Volpe and carry on our long term rivalry on Dougie's behalf.' They're off to a good start having just topped the racing class at the Grenada Sailing Festival.

To honour Dougie, Antigua Sailing Week has renamed the Morris mark on the southern end of Cades Reef off Curtain Bluff Legacy and the Enzyme crew want to be first around the mark. But it seems that there's going to be a battle as Reggie WILLIAMS, also from Trinidad, has the same plan with his Frers 43, Titan M.

Antigua Sailing Week 2004 held April 25-May 1 - 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 PLATTNERSs 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.

After a week of building winds, the 37th annual Antigua Sailing Week ended with a bang on the last day of racing. 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.

Racing concluded on Saturday with the second annual Bareboat Championship Race. Conditions were still demanding with 20-25 knot winds and 6-8 foot seas. Eighteen boats - the top three from each class - lined up on the start line and DSD Carnival with Phil Otis on the helm emerged victorious.

For more information on Antigua Sailing Week visit the website via the link below.

Stanford International Bank Limited is a diamond sponsor of the event. Platinum sponsors are Cable & Wireless, English Harbour Rum, American Express and Yachting World. Virgin Atlantic and LIAT are Silver sponsors.

Story/Image: Alastair Abrehart/
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