The coasts of Antigua are ideal for yacht cruising and racing, with constant trade-winds, and many harbours for exploration. Easily a week could be spent cruising around this picturesque island of the Caribbean. The sister island of Barbuda has shell laden beaches so long that they dip below the horizon.
There are good airline connections with North America and Europe and Antigua is centrally situated for Caribbean cruising.
Happy Birthday, Antigua! The 40th Anniversary of Antigua Sailing Week Just Weeks Away
Falmouth Harbour, Antigua – With a new sponsor onboard and with a fresh injection of energy and spirit into what was already one of yacht racing’s most anticipated annual events, the countdown to the 40th running of Antigua’s classic week of sailing and partying has begun. Preparations for the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week festivities, scheduled for April 29-May 4, are already in full swing.
At the top of the list of changes for the venerable regatta is a new title sponsor: Stanford International Bank Ltd. “They’re a tremendous asset and they’ve been very dynamic,” said Neil Forrester, the General Manager of the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association, the long-time organizer of the week. “Everyone at Stanford is looking forward to the racing as much as the sailors are.”
That’s saying something, as the blue waters off Antigua have now been attracting an international gathering of seasoned sailors for decades. It all began 40 years ago, when island yachtsmen, merchants and hoteliers came up with the idea of a weeklong sailing festival that would extend the season for sailors and tourists alike. The first regatta was won by Dr. Cesar Berrios of Puerto Rico aboard his 39-foot sloop, Enzian. The rest, as they say, is history.
Yachting has evolved by leaps and bounds since Dr. Berrios sailed into the winner’s circle. With three weeks still to go, 137 boats have thus far registered for the 2007 event. At the very top of that list is ABN AMRO ONE, the radical Volvo 70 that demolished the fleet in the recent running of the Volvo Round-the-World Race. Fresh from convincing victories in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the BVI Spring Regatta, ABN AMRO ONE is in prime position to take overall honors in the 2007 Caribbean Big Boat Series. Skipper Mike Sanderson and his all-star crew will be looking to complete their trifecta of perfect scores during Stanford Antigua Sailing Week.
But ABN AMRO ONE is hardly the only boat with long-distance credentials. Andrew Pindar’s Open 60 Pindar Alphagraphics is also a veteran of the marathon round-the-world circuit. Pindar and his crew will face staunch competition from local favorite Johnny Malbon on another Open 60, Artemis Ocean Racing. Both 60-footers will hope to hold off the charge of the 67-foot Adventure, a yacht that competed in Chay Blyth’s Global Challenge race. Now crewed by a team of British Army soldiers, it’s on a 10-leg tour around the planet with Antigua a welcome stop on the voyage.
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