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Spirit and competition shine at Antigua Sailing Week

by Louay Habib 4 May 16:03 PDT 27 April - 3 May 2024

The 55th edition of Antigua Sailing Week attracted 88 boats from 20 different countries and 750 crew from all over the world. Antigua Sailing Week is one of the most celebrated regattas in the sailing world; the 2024 edition added another great chapter. The racing through the classes was fierce and the camaraderie was strong. Light winds gave a gentle start to the regatta but that built to a full-on foam up by the final day.

The Final Prize Giving was held in the historic surroundings of Nelson's Dockyard. Guests of Honour were the Governor-General of Antigua & Barbuda His Excellency Dr. Sir Rodney Williams & E.P Chet Greene, Minister of Parliament for St. Pauls. J'ana Million sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem of Antigua & Barbuda. Antigua Sailing Week President Alison Sly-Adams thanked all of the sponsors and the volunteer SWAT team, over a hundred strong, for their hard work. ASW Race Manager Jaime Torres was the Master of Ceremonies and welcomed the trophy winners to the stage. All of the Class Winners received Locman Italy watches presented by Camilla Holme.

The Lord Nelson Trophy is the biggest prize at Antigua Sailing Week and is adorned with the names of famous raceboats over seven decades. Two boats have won the famous trophy three times in previous editions: Larry Ellison's Farr Maxi Sayonara and Sir Peter Harrison's Farr 115 Sojana. For the 55th edition of Antigua Sailing Week, the J/122 El Ocaso has joined that elite club. Chartered to British couple Tony & Sally Mack, McFly on El Ocaso lifted the Lord Nelson Trophy in Nelson's Dockyard Antigua for the best performance at Antigua Sailing Week.

"I am feeling just fantastic!" exclaimed Tony Mack. "This is a lovely place to come sailing. I have been to world championships and I have never been to a prize-giving like this one! The message to anybody is that if you can come and race out here, do it! Antigua Sailing Week is great fun."

"You hope to surround yourself with good people and we have a golden rule that if we do well it is always a team effort. If we do badly it is down to me; the blame culture stops there! This has been very much a team effort, everybody worked so hard. We won and lost races by seconds, it was ever so competitive and that makes it mean a lot."


Winning the Curtain Bluff Trophy and the Ricochet Trophy for best American yacht was Woody Cullen's Swan 58 Wavewalker (USA). Winning the Corum Trophy for second was Sir Hugh Bailey's Farr 45 Rebel (ANT) which also won the Hightide Trophy for best Antiguan yacht in CSA Racing. Adrian Lee's Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II (GBR) was third.

"A super experience," commented Wavewalker's Woody Cullen. "We worked really hard as a crew getting the boat ready and in training. We put a lot of effort into this and it just feels super!"


Winning the English Harbour Rum Trophy and also the Fletcher Trophy for Best British yacht was McFly on El Ocaso (GBR). Second in CSA 2 was Ed Bell's Dawn Treader (GBR). Richard Matthews' ST370 Holding Pattern (GBR) was third.


Winning the Chippy Fine Yacht Woodwork Trophy was Michel Ngo's J/133 Credit Mutuel Jivaro (FRA). In second place was Chris Woods Swan 48 Assuage (GBR). David Crum's Frers 46 Quintessence III (GBR) was third.

"The boat is really well prepared and we have a great crew," commented Credit Mutuel Jivaro's Michel Ngo. "This gives us an advantage and the design of the boat is really good for this type of racing. I was here five years ago with another boat and I have come back because I like this regatta as there's always good wind, the courses are tactical and it is a very good week."


Winning the Sanhall Trading Cup was First 40.7 Strada Geothermal - Escapado (GBR), skippered by Mark Zamaria (FRA). Second was Carlo Falcone's One-Off Caccia alla Volpe (ANT). Patrick Holloran's First 40.7 Caipirinha (GBR) was third.

"We have a superb team that have raced together a lot all over the world, that experience allowed us to gel quickly," commented Strada Geothermal's Mark Zamaria. "This week we had a charter boat but we brought our own sails. We have loved being here and we will definitely be coming back."


Winning the Governor General's Cup was Sacha Daunar's FC10 Pepsi Zéro - Montebello (FRA). Second was Jean-Francois' J/109 Sang Neuf (FRA). Third was Alan Paris' J/99 Learning to Fly (USA). After being presented with their silverware, Sasha Daunar invited all of the podium teams to a group photo.

"On the water we fight for victory, but afterwards it is very important to congratulate everybody for a great competition," commented Sasha. "When you sail, everybody is family!"


Winning the Grant Thornton Trophy was Nicolas Gillet's Surprise 25 Clippers Ship - Doub 6 (FRA). Second was Ashley Rhodes Melges 24 Whiplash (ANT). Tristan Marmouzes' Surprise 25 GFA Caraïbes - La Morrigane (FRA) was third.

Bareboat 1

Racing in Bareboat 1, Tim Ford's Braque KH+P (GBR) was the winner after strong competition from runner up Botero (USA) skippered by Patrick Henrikson. Braque KH+P was also declared overall winner of the three Bareboat Classes winning the Wave Ice Bucket. Tim Ford and his team come from Dorset, UK and are self-confessed Poole Pirates!

"We will be celebrating tonight!" laughed KH+P Braque's Tim Ford. "It's a very big surprise to win first overall in Bareboat. We think we can sail a bit in Poole, and this is justification to get more people to come to Antigua Sailing Week! We will definitely be back."

Bareboat 2

Racing in Bareboat 2, Bill Lehnert's young team Lunatic Fringe - Island Time (USA) was the winner. A very close second was the 'cool German kids' racing Barbuda KH+P (GER). Lunatic Fringe was second overall in the Bareboat Class. "I think this week, the young crew has learnt to work together as a team," commented Lunatic Fringe's Bill Lehnert. "They have learnt to work a big boat, big waves and big wind on a great race course!"

Bareboat 3

In Bareboat 3, the winner was Alex Pfeiffer's Culebra KH+P (GER). Second was Helmut Haas' with Nevis KH+P (GER). "You always have to have the boat up to speed, that is the secret to one design racing," commented KH+P Culebra's Alex Pfeiffer. "It doesn't matter what kind of one design boat it is. Good speed, the right tactics and a very good team will win the race."

One Design Racing - Dragons and RS Elites

In the RS Elite Match Race, Justin Scott's A Sombra da Bananeira (USA) won eight races to take the class. Second was Robbie Ferron's Budget Marine (SMX) with five bullets, including the last two races.

In the Dragon Class, Poul Jensen's Jabberwock (ANT) scored 10 race wins to take victory by five points from Simon Strauss' Simplicity Dragon (GBR). Third was Neave O'Clery's Fresia (GBR).

Legacy Class

Winning the West Indies Publishing Cup Trophy in the Legacy Class was the youngest team at Antigua Sailing Week. Tyler Jones' J/30 Absolute Properties Blue Peter (ANT) was co-skippered by his teenage sons Carrack and Tyden Jones with a team including crew as young as 12. Second was Bernie Evan-Wong's Cal 40 Huey Too (ANT), and third was Sandy Mair's Beneteau 35 Cricket (ANT).

"These kids have learnt that if you don't give up and you push through, good things can happen," commented Blue Peter's Tanner Jones. "They didn't stop once, they kept pushing each other and they were amazing."

Club Class Max

Winning the American Airlines Trophy in CSA Club Class Max by a single point was Matthias Maus' Swan 65 Alpha Centauri of London (GER). Second by the narrowest of margins was Juerg Schneider's Swan 65 Saida (SUI). Third was Thierry Bergerault's XP-50 Madness (FRA).

"That was so close and a good match race this year," commented Alpha Centauri's Matthias Maus. "It was fantastic racing, we both had full crews who knew the boats well. The winner came down to unforeseen circumstances, which you cannot calculate, so luck played its part!"

Club Class Modern

Jon Constantine's Feeling 39 Imagine of Falmouth (ANT) was the winner of CSA Club Class Modern by a single point from Ian Galbraith's Oyster 53 Jigsaw (SCO). Third was Sebastian Gylling's Swan 51 Eira (FIN) from the beautiful Nyländska Jaktklubben in Helsinki.

"Just one point between the 1-2-3," smiled Imagine of Falmouth's Jon Constantine at the prize-giving. "It was a fight for the win. On board we had one of the Youth 2 Keel graduates from last year; Ryanne Small and she is great. We like to encourage that here, sailing for young people is what Antigua is all about, we have got to bring them on."

After a wonderful Final Prize Giving, Asha Otto & Itchy Feet played a live set on the main stage followed by the After Party with DJ Charlie spinning the tunes until the early hours.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year at the 56th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week in 2025.

For more information about Antigua Sailing Week including racing, watching the action and the fun-packed shoreside entertainment, visit the official website:

Full results available here.

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