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Tradewinds in paradise - Antigua Sailing Week 2024

by Antigua Sailing Week 17 Dec 2023 15:58 GMT 27 April - 3 May 2024
Start of the 2023 Peters & May Round Antigua Race © Paul Wyeth /

The opening salvo of the 55th edition of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) will be the Peters & May Round Antigua Race (RAR) on April 27, followed by one week of smoking hot racing and fun parties.

It has always been an international affair. Last year, sailors from 20 different nations took part and as of today we've already registered entries from North America, Europe, the rest of the Caribbean, and, of course, a plethora of local boats. Compared to this time last year, our entries are up, and we can't wait to deliver some great competition to a wide variety of racing classes.

CSA Racing - Heating up

Antigua Sailing Week's CSA Racing Classes provide a competition where local legends take on the best sailors from around the world. Alternating between the flatter seas of the Rendezvous Bay Course and the less sheltered Windward Course, Antigua Sailing Week provides a wide range of conditions and different courses. But the solid trades and warm, clear water are always consistent.

"CSA Racing already has a fantastic mixture of performance boats raced by teams from all over the world. But for years, the most competitive Class has been the 40 to 45 footers, and this year is no different," commented ASW Race Manager Jaime Torres.

"The CSA Sportboat Class already has Antigua, Sint Maarten, and Martinique entries. Our big waves and strong winds are perfect for the pocket rockets to get planning at over 15 knots!" continued Torres.

Entries are on-going for both the RAR & ASW and the list of current entries can be viewed here.

Club class - Winning isn't everything

This fun class is building nicely and early entries include boats that are ASW regulars, such as Ian Galbraith's Oyster 53 Jigsaw and second-timer Mathias Maus on his Swan 65 - Alpha Centauri of London.

"Club Class is open to sailors who want to enjoy the on-the-water thrills but who may not take their racing as seriously as others and don't want to incur as many expenses," commented Jaime Torres. "We score Club Class with the innovative Variable Simplified CSA handicap. The ratings are easy and inexpensive to get and are adjusted after each race, depending on your finish position. By the end of the week, we hope everyone in Club Class will have taken a bow on the stage at the daily prize-giving."

Rock up and race, bareboat, race charter and motherships

For sailors without a boat in the Caribbean, organizers invite you to Rock Up & Race at Antigua Sailing Week on a chartered vessel with options for everyone from novice sailors to world champions.

US-based Sunsail Yacht Charters, the official bareboat partner for Antigua Sailing Week, has vessels providing exciting, spirited one-design racing in the Bareboat Class. With ten races over five days of action, the racing can be hard-core, but there are always a few boats racing just for fun, so a great time will be had at any skill level. Start lines are off Rendezvous Beach and Windward Beach, all within a short sail of the marinas.

For teams with extended families, Sunsail also offers huge charter catamarans with berths for up to ten people, providing a perfect mothership on the dock and a platform for cheerleaders out on the racecourse!

For additional race charter options, check out the list on website.

Antigua Sailing Week Dragon Cup

New for 2024 is the Antigua Sailing Week Dragon Cup, sponsored by the Antigua Yacht Club Marina & Zaoli Sails. Sailed on identical Petticrow Dragons, the beautiful ASW Dragon Cup will go to the winning team after a challenging week of racing. Participants can look forward to 15 races, including spectator-friendly, in-harbor racing in flat water. If conditions allow, the course could be set outside the harbour where there are slightly more challenging waves and breathtaking views of the cliffs.

The Antigua Sailing Week Dragon cup is by invitation only so if you know you have the chops are up for the challenge, this is the year to Rock Up and make it happen.

RS Elites at Antigua Sailing Week

If you aren't up for the challenge of such a highly technical Dragon, the 24-foot RS Elites keeboat which also handles nicely in Antiguas superb conditions will have its own class. Many privately owned RS Elites actively sail and race in Falmouth Harbour and are available for charter. The RS Elites will have their Class Start alongside the Dragons and up to 15 races over the entire week of racing. Contact ASW organizers to help you secure an RS Elite for participation.

Not a sailor, not a problem

Catch the racing action with a private or group Chase the Race for a full day on the water. Once back shoreside, join the sailors and friends at the Antigua Yacht Club for the ASW-originated daily prize-giving, where everyone gets together to brag or cry over the day's happenings and to celebrate the daily winners. Of course there'll be lots of musical entertainment including the highly anticipated Reggae in the Park, a brilliant gig of top international acts, followed by our mid-week break, Lay Day.

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