by Louay Habib
On day one of the fourth edition of The Superyacht Challenge Antigua the first race of the was blessed with stunning Caribbean conditions. Warm air, ocean swell and 17-20 knots of breeze. The 22 mile course tested the yachts and crews at just about every point of sail and there was plenty of close action on the water but that was nothing compared to the intense competition for Friday night's 'Cook Off' but more of that later.
The Superyacht Challenge, Antigua 2014
The first yacht to start in the pursuit race was the 126' Schooner, Gloria, which was announced by a blast of The Doors tune G-L-O-R-IA! The 182' Dykstra Schooner, Adela had the best start, through the line at full pelt, just a few seconds before the gun and with some impressive crew work, Adela led the fleet rounding Curtains for the long beat back towards the finish. However, the 113' carbon composite sloop Inoui went like a rocket upwind to pass Adela to take line honours.
There was tremendously close racing throughout the fleet, especially between 90' Swan Maxi, Freya and the 180' ketch, Marie. The David and Goliath battle for the line was won by Freya by just 4 seconds. Germán Frers 113' sloop, Unfurled made an excellent recovery to finish third over the line, after blowing out their spinnaker but today's race was won by the 102' ketch Marama, which corrected out to win Race One from Adela.
Shark bites race officer - The Superyacht Challenge 2014
After completing the race, a sensational cookery competition was held right off the superyacht dock at Nelson's Dockyard. By design, superyacht crews have some highly talented chefs both amateur and professional and each yacht produced, what can only be described, as a galloping gormet of fine fayre, beautifully and artistically presented. With racing points awarded towards the overall score their was a real incentive to shine and the eight tables of rare roast beef, succullent shrimp, fish curry and all manner of spiced and seasoned vegetable accompaniments was a feast fit for a king. The jury is still out but Adela's eye catching watermelon shark most definitely caught the eye of race officer, John Coveney and the rib of beef from SY Marie was cooked to perfection by Ninja Mutant Turtles!
Saturday 1st February, two races are scheduled, if they are as fun as the 'cook off' there will be smiles all round!
Antigua 2014 Results Race 1 - The Superyacht Challenge 2014