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2019 Royal Southern Yacht Club Antigua Sailing Week May Regatta - Day 1

by Louay Habib 18 May 16:53 PDT 18-19 May 2019

A light wind start to the Antigua Sailing Week May Regatta did not stop the party atmosphere ashore at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The first of four regattas making up the 2019 Summer Series may have got off to a slow start on the water but the shoreside fun attracted an energetic gathering at the club's superb facilities on the banks of the River Hamble. At the Prince Philip Yacht Haven, the complimentary English Harbour Rum cocktails were flowing at the after-racing party with live music to entertain the competitors and club members. This year's prize for the overall winner of the Summer Series, an all-expenses entry to the 53rd edition of Antigua Sailing Week for seven people, was very much in the thoughts of the competitors.

In the White Group Andrew Barraclough's Jenga8 won both of today's races in the J/70 Class. The Black Group had one race today, Steve Masters' First 40.7 Spiritwalker won in the Club Class, Catrina Southworth's Quarter Tonner Protis was the winner in IRC 3, Malcolm Wootton's Farr 30 Evo Pegasus DekMarx won IRC 2, and Jan van Berne's J/111 Red Herring was the victor in IRC One.

In IRC 1, Red Herring scored a bullet today, defeating last year's Summer Series Overall Champion, Blair and Beckett's King 40 Cobra. Paul Griffiths' J/111 Jagerbomb was third, 41 seconds ahead in corrected time from Michael Wallis' J/122 Jahmali.

The Red Herring crew will be travelling from Holland to compete in this year's series, and the fantastic prize is the main attraction. "Antigua Sailing Week is a regatta that we all want to do," agreed all of the Red Herring Team. "We have all seen the videos, the pictures and heard about the legendary parties, it is a very impressive regatta."

In IRC 2, Pegasus DekMarx won the first race of the regatta by 63 seconds after time correction from Bruce Huber's new J/112e Xanaboo. Alex Mathers FarEast 28 Mittens' Revenge was third.

"It has been many years since myself and my wife have been to Antigua Sailing Week, so it would be great to go back next year," smiled Malcolm Wootton, owner of Pegasus DekMarx. "Today, we had a good win, but it was very tricky in the light, especially as we were ahead from nearly all of the race, and if you fall into a wind hole, the danger is that the competition can sail around you. Pegasus is really quick in light breeze, winning today is a great way to start the series."

In IRC 3, Catrina Southworth's Quarter Tonner Protis, with Ian Southworth of the helm, scored a big win and not only on the race course. Son Marty was also awarded a prize for his zany dancing at the after party! Last year's class champion, Martin and Cara Moody's Beneteau 25 Scallion, was second, and Ian Handley & Tim James Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter was third.

In the Club Class, Steve Masters racing First 40.7 Spiritwalker scored an impressive win over last year's class champion, David Hitchcock's XP-38 Red Five. Teresa Whelan's X-342 Xarifa was third.

The daily prize giving is a new feature for the Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series, and was extremely well attended. Joining well over one hundred sailors were special guests whose collaboration has provided the series big prize: Antigua Sailing Week Racing Manager Lorna Saunders, Antigua & Barbuda Director of Tourism for UK & Europe, Cherrie Osbourne, and Dream Yacht Charter's Andy Byham. Bottles of English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum were awarded to today's winners and special prizes including bags, gilets and T-shirts donated by regatta sponsor North Sails.

Racing at the Antigua Sailing Week May Regatta, organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, will conclude tomorrow, Sunday 19th May.

For more information including full results visit www.royal-southern.co.uk

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