Please select your home edition

The Superyacht Spirit - Superyacht Challenge Antigua Final day

by Louay Habib 5 Feb 2018 09:35 PST 31 January - 4 February 2018

The Caribbean superyacht season kicked off in fine style with the 2018 Superyacht Challenge Antigua. Now its eighth year, the Superyacht Challenge Antigua is free from commercial endorsements, and has one clear objective; to provide all the facilities to stage an ideal event for an exclusive selection of yachts, where fair racing and good companionship are valued above all else.

The regatta once again attracted a magnificent fleet, including five previous winners. Dazzling yachts ranging in size from 82ft (25m) to 172ft (52m) took part in four days of racing along the stunning south coast of Antigua. Five races were scored using the new 2018 ORCsy Superyacht rule. The 90ft Hoek designed sloop Acadia was second in 2017 and made no mistake this year winning the Buccaneers Class with straight bullets.The 112ft German Frers designed sloop Spiip, successfully defended their Corsairs class win from 2017.

Corsairs Class

Over five highly competitive races, Spiip won the class in the last race, and was voted by competitors and the race committee, as having competed in the Spirit of the Regatta, both afloat and ashore, winning The Gosnell Trophy.

"This has been a really enjoyable regatta, and that is why we keep coming back." commented Spiip's navigator, Campbell Field. "To win our class was very rewarding especially against well prepared, and well sailed boats. To win the Gosnell Trophy has made this event all the more memorable. To be recognised by our competition, and the race organisers, is very special and much appreciated by Spiip's owner and all of the team."

The Corsairs Class featured examples of the world's most outstanding performance superyachts including the 172ft Hoek designed Elfje, which placed second on countback from the 140ft German Frers Rebecca. The 105ft Bill Dixon designed sloop, Danneskjold was the best starting yacht of the regatta, and will go on to compete in the gruelling RORC Caribbean 600 later in February. The Corsairs Class was incredibly competitive with the overall lead changing hands at the end of every race, many races were decided by just a few seconds.

The Superyacht Challenge Antigua uses the ORCsy Rule to decide race winners. "Just look at how close the results are and you can see that this rule is working." commented the regatta organiser Stan Pearson, who had been at the helm of Rebecca. "The Corsairs Class was decided on the last race, and right at the end the top three positions all changed. I only wish we had stuck to the old format of a three day regatta, because we would have won!"

The Buccaneers Class

Acadia put in an outstanding performance in the Corsairs Class winning all five races against well sailed opposition, including Oyster 82 Zig Zag, class runner up in 2016, and the unique Dominique Presles designed 102ft ketch Maramar, a winner in 2014. Zig Zag was second and owner John McMonigall and his team plan to be back with a new Oyster 885, which is in build at Oyster Yachts.

"This is a nice event; low key, great racing and fits in really well with our schedule. Our owner likes to race but also enjoys remote cruising, and by racing Arcadia it lets us test the limits, so we really know what the boat can handle, especially when we plan to visit the higher latitudes later this season." commented Arcadia's skipper Heinrich Muller.

Paul Deeth, proprietor of Admiral's Inn, and founder of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, was at the helm of Marama for the regatta.

"The regatta has stuck to the ethos of providing fair sailing and enjoyable social occasions. Designed solely for the pleasure of superyacht owners, their guests and crew, it is a simple recipe, and one that the organising committee has no intention of changing. Behind the scenes the committee and all the staff put in a tremendous amount of effort to ensure that the regatta is enjoyable, and I know I speak for all of the sailors involved; it is very much appreciated."

Whilst the racing is conducted within the confines of safe and fair sailing, there are no inhibitions ashore. Every evening has a party with awards for the Famous Cook Off, the best fancy dress and the Loudest Caribbean shirt. This year a new fun-filled paddle board competition was a huge success, and raised over 3000 EC$ towards the creation of a properly managed marine park in English Harbour. Party prize winners are given awards at the Prize Giving held at the Admiral's Inn, and they receive as much applause and cheers as the class winners. However the biggest cheer of the ceremony was for Spiip, and not just for winning the Corsairs Class. The standing ovation was for their great contribution to the spirit of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua.

Related Articles

2023 Superyacht Challenge Antigua Notice of Race
Dedicated to pure fun afloat and ashore The Superyacht Challenge Antigua has one clear objective; to provide all the facilities to stage an ideal event for an exclusive selection of superyachts, where fair racing and good companionship are valued above all else. Posted on 20 Mar
2022 Superyacht Challenge Antigua wraps up
Held in strong winds for all but the last race of the regatta After four days of exciting racing, the 11th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua concluded with the Prize Giving held at the Admiral's Inn Nelson's Dockyard. Posted on 14 Mar
11th Superyacht Challenge Antigua day 1
Full trade winds produce spectacular sailing for the magnificent fleet Race One of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua was held in full trade winds producing spectacular sailing for the magnificent fleet. It was a bumpy rollercoaster ride on the South Coast of Antigua with the superyachts reefed for high-octane, uber-action. Posted on 11 Mar
11th Superyacht Challenge Antigua opener
Hetairos charges to Round Antigua Record Hetairos has set a new monohull race record for Round Antigua Race. The 218ft Dykstra/Reichel Pugh ketch skippered by Graham Newton, completing the 46.8nm Round Antigua Course in an elapsed time of 3 hrs 46 mins 08 seconds. Posted on 10 Mar
11th Superyacht Challenge Antigua: Back in action!
Ten magnificent superyachts set for action in the Caribbean The 11th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua has attracted ten magnificent superyachts, all set to race in the fantastic waters around Antigua. Ideal conditions are forecast for the regatta with blue skies, trade winds and Caribbean swell. Posted on 7 Mar
Superyacht Challenge Antigua overall
Zig Zag awarded the Gosnell Trophy After a vote from all competing boats, the Gosnell Trophy for the 2020 Superyacht Challenge Antigua has been awarded to John McMonigall's Oyster 82 Zig Zag, skippered by Philip Howard-Smith. Posted on 17 Mar 2020
Superyacht Challenge Antigua day 3
Both bizarre and eventful Oyster 885 Firebird skippered by James McDonald took their third straight bullet in the Buccaneers Class. In the Corsairs Class The 112ft (34m) Baltic Nilaya, with Filip Balcaen at the helm, took their first win. Posted on 15 Mar 2020
Superyacht Challenge Antigua day 2
Beautiful South Day Two of the 2020 Superyacht Challenge Antigua was blessed with beautiful conditions on the South Coast of Antigua. A stable breeze of 14-15 knots just south of east, with no squall activity, produced picture-perfect conditions. Posted on 13 Mar 2020
Superyacht Challenge Antigua day 1
Perfect cocktail opener The opening day of action for the 2020 Superyacht Challenge Antigua featured exciting racing for the magnificent fleet off the South Coast of Antigua. Posted on 13 Mar 2020
Superyacht Challenge Antigua preview
Bigger than Ben Hur The 10th anniversary of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua has a record entry of fifteen superyachts and four J Class taking part. The 2020 Superyacht Challenge Antigua is the largest collection of superyachts that has ever raced in Antigua. Posted on 11 Mar 2020
McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 FOOTERZhik 2022 New Season Gear FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER