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25 April 2005, 10:48 am
Good Start To First Day
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Antigua Sailing Week 2005
English Harbour, Antigua

As the fleet in the 38th annual Antigua Sailing Week made it's way to Dickenson Bay today, the bad weather that sliced through the fleet as they prepared for the regatta yesterday, held off.
A dark sky welcomed participants but 14 knots of wind, with some 18-20 knot gusts, drove the fleet north and sunshine was eventually the staple for most of the day.

The fleet started off English Harbour and after a short beat east, headed west and then north with those that could, carrying spinnakers for much of the way. Division B boats were given a little dog leg into Curtain Bluff and Division A was sent further out to sea. At the end of the day no protests were heard.

Coming as little surprise, Tom HILL's R/P 75 Titan XII romped home first, taking the day on elapsed and corrected time in Big Boat II. She beat Mari-Cha's time last year by twelve minutes with an elapsed time of two hours and 21 minutes. Showing good form today, Bill ALCOTT's Andrews 68 Equation was second. Les CROUCH's R/P 44 Storm from Trinidad topped Racing III. Antigua's Jamie DOBBS and his Lost Horizon crew on their Olson 30, the smallest boat in their class, surfed their way to a win in Racing IV.

Danilo SALSI's Dasian, the Swan 75 on her first regatta outing and loaded with Italian talent, got elapsed and corrected in Performance Cruiser I. DASIAN's crew includes America's Cup veteran Lorenzo BORTOLOTTI as tactician, round the world sailor and Star Olympian, Pietro D'ALT, as mainsail trimmer, and Gigio RUSSO of North Sails Italy as headsail trimmer. Second-placer Genesis, a Next 57, is now full of Maximus crew, after her delivery was foiled by engine problems with her transport ship, and includes co-owners Charles ST CLAIR BROWN and Bill BUCKLEY. Maximus is now due to arrive in Antigua as the Sailing Week finishes and she will miss the racing. However she is planning a round the island run before she leaves for the US for the start of the Rolex transatlantic race.

There was upset in the Bareboat class where last year's all-conquering Phil OTIS placed fourth in class sailing BVI Yacht Charters/HIHO. His class, Bareboat V, was won by an all-girl crew on Seabiscuit.

Class winners for today:

Racing Big Boat II - Titan XII, Reichel/Pugh 75, Tom HILL (PUR)
Racing III - Storm, Reichel/Pugh 44, Les CROUCH (TRI)
Racing IV - Lost Horizon II, Olson 30, Jamie DOBBS (ANT)
Racer/Cruiser I - Murka, Swan 48, Mikhail MOURATOV (RUS)
Racer/Cruiser II - Tarka, First 40.7, Nicholas JONES (GBR)
Performance Cruiser I - Dasian, Swan 75, Danilo SALSI (ITA)
Performance Cruiser II - Wayward, Beneteau 43, Jerome MCQUILKIN (TRI)
Performance Cruiser III - Finn, Finngulf 391, Diederik De MESEL (BEL)
Cruising I - Mustang Sally, Farr 46, Warren BATT (AUS)
Cruising II - Arc Angel, Swan 36, Elizabeth JORDAN (ANT)
Bareboat II - Nanuk of the North, Beneteau 50, Patrick FESTING-SMITH (CAN)
Bareboat III - Heliodore, Dufour 50, Christophe NIELSEN (GER)
Bareboat IV - Justice, Beneteau 47, Justin BARTON, USA
Bareboat V - Seabiscuit, Sun Fast 37, Pat NOLAN (IVB)
Bareboat VI - Durley Dene, Bavaria 36, Alsop THOMPSON (IVB)

Tomorrow, division A yachts will race Olympic courses off Dickenson Bay and Division B will race to Jolly Harbour.

Alastair Abrehart (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Racing gets underway in beautiful conditions:© Alastair Abrehart/Broadsword/www.caribbeanracing.com
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