Antigua Sailing Week - Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge at Pigeon Beach
by Marin Wadhams on 17 May 2013
A highlight of Antigua Sailing Week this year was the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge which took place on Lay Day. The invitational event sailed in 24-foot RS Elite keelboats was watched by hundreds of spectators on Pigeon Beach. Eight top skippers and crews competed for the prize of a week’s stay with unlimited watersports activities at luxurious and secluded Nonsuch Bay Resort, where a variety of RS dinghies, keelboats, Hobie Cats and kite surfing equipment offers some of the best watersports activities you’ll find in the Caribbean.
At the split, Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge - Antigua Sailing Week Martin Wadhams
The four skippers to win through to the final were: Mark Dicker (Mini Maxi World Champion), Al Ashford (XOD Champion), Ross Applebey (RORC Fastnet and 600 winner) and Marc Fitzgerald (Farr 115 Overall winner, Antigua Sailing Week). After some intense racing, Mark Dicker, showed a clean pair of heels in a fantastic final to win all three races. Dicker’s crew was Irish Olympic Finn sailor, Tim Goodbody and King Harald of Norway’s bowman, Christian Jensen. Dicker’s effort was made all the more impressive by the fact that the opposition included sailors from the Olympics, World Championships and Admiral’s Cup.
The RS Elite’s shallow draft meant that the course was set just metres from Pigeon Beach allowing spectators a close up view of the action accompanied by live commentary and banter. Nonsuch Bay’s 2011 Caribbean Chef of the year, Mitchell Husbands, organised a fabulous barbeque on the Beach!
At the prize giving, Mark Dicker was delighted to accept a week’s stay at Nonsuch Bay Resort. 'I would like to thank Antigua Sailing Week for laying on such a great event and Nonsuch Bay for providing a wonderful prize' smiled Dicker. 'Nonsuch Bay is a superb place to sail and I’m a regular for kitesurfing. The facilities there are second to none.'
Sales and Marketing Director at Nonsuch Bay Resort, Mark Whinney was delighted with the success of the event. 'Watching the RS Elites racing right off the beach was fantastic and we hope to partner with Antigua Sailing Week at next year’s event. The RS Elites are a perfect boat for this kind of competition; with tight racing on short courses, the action is thrilling for both the competitors and spectators. Crew weight and strength is not critical with the Elites so it definitely added to the Lay Day atmosphere to see three women amongst the crews. We definitely think that this format is very attractive to sailors. At Nonsuch Bay we have hosted groups of individuals who have staged their own competitions.'
This year, a group of Salcombe Yawl sailors from Devon enjoyed a week at Nonsuch Bay Resort racing RS Elites.
'Nonsuch Bay tailor-made the event for us, providing an accommodation and sailing package including laying out the race course each day,' commented Martin Beck. 'The sailing area in the bay is just fantastic; warm water and exciting Trade Winds blowing straight down the bay made for some truly memorable racing and just in shorts and t-shirts at a time of year when sailing in Salcombe is not at all comfortable. The week was just about getting a bunch of sailing friends together in glorious conditions but the racing was very competitive and after racing there was plenty of light-hearted bragging over a few cocktails.'