DAY 2: DREAM ON IN ANTIGUATuesday 1st May 2012
Written by Louay Habib
The second day of Antigua Sailing Week will be remembered for sparkling racing conditions which piped up at the end of the day to deliver some high octane racing in the sublime waters on the leeward side of Antigua. So far Antigua Sailing Week has produced dream-like conditions. Heavy upwind work with warm sea spray breaking over the deck rewarded with a wild ride downwind through the deep blue Caribbean surf.
Peter Harrison's Farr 115 team on Sojana continued to deliver in CSA 1A with another two bullets to top the class, but Sojana was pushed hard in the last race of the day. Jan Rupert's Tripp 75, Blackbird posed a big threat and after time correction was less than a minute behind the winners. Geoff Hill's Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes, with legendary Australian sailor Syd Fischer on board, posted a second and a third today, claiming second place in the series just two points behind Sojana.
In CSA 1B, Stefan Lehnert's Passion 4C had a great day on the water winning both races, with Hector Velarde's NM92, Locura showing great speed to post two second places. However the result of Race 3 is subject to a protest in which Locura is calling Passion 4C to the room. Richard Matthews' Oyster 82, Zig Zag leads the division, Passion 4C is currently in second place and consistent sailing from OnDeck's Farr 65, Spirit of Isis has the team in third place but only on countback. Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean ripped its mainsail in the first race and hope to have it repaired to get back on the race track tomorrow.
In CSA 2, Chris Brand's Swan 52, Merel Four started the day with a lowly fifth, ten minutes behind the winner, Ulrich Rohde's Swan 53, Dragon Fly Plus. However, Merel Four finished the day on a high, scoring its first win of the regatta. Dragon Fly Plus scored two podium finishes to claim second in the series just one point behind the class leader, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster.
In CSA 3, Richard Wesslund's J/120 El Ocaso stamped its authority on the class with two more victories today. However, Don Payan's Farr 40, Rigel found an extra gear in the last race of the day to come within a minute of spoiling El Ocaso's perfect score line. It might be the jet lag, the Royal Hong King team on First 40, Lancelot, skippered by Nick Burns was called OCS again today but the squad showed determination and scored two podium finishes to claim third overall in the class.
CSA 4 produced the most competitive race of the day. Race 2 was eventually won by Sir Hugh Bailey's Hugo B much to the delight of his crew. In a photo finish Hugo B corrected out to beat reigning class champion Elandra, helmed by Canadian Calvin Reed by just ten seconds. Carlo Falcone's Caccia alla Volpe was a very close third. Elandra came back to take the last race of the day with Hugo B second and Jonty Layfield's J/39 Sleeper had a great race to take third. After three races, Elandra leads the class but Hugo B is just one point behind.
Doctor John has been racing on Hugo B for 20 years. He comes from Seattle but ask any of the Bailey family and they will tell you he is an adopted son of Antigua. "That was just fantastic racing today, most of the time the competition was so close you could have reached out and touched them. Hugo B is 28 years old and a lot heavier than Elandra. If the wind keeps blowing we have a chance, so fingers crossed that these wonderful conditions continue but you can be sure that Hugo B will be giving it everything we've got."
In CSA 5 Geoffrey Pidduck's Six Meter, Biwi Magic was unstoppable today, demonstrating some awesome upwind speed and no short amount of guile, which was demonstrated by a fantastic manoevre on the first windward beat of the day. Biwi Magic lee bowed a larger boat and showed great pointing ability to climb up and over the top of the competition to make the top mark by some distance. Tanner Jones' J/30 Blue Peter had another good day to take second place but Stephen Carson's Dehler 34, Hightide was pushing hard and was only 11 seconds behind on corrected time.
In CSA 6, David Chatterton's Jeanneau 49, Resting Goose is having an excellent start to Antigua Sailing Week, scoring their second win of the series by some margin. After two races, Alex Johnstone's Bluewater Sailing Grenada is in second place with Phil Munday's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52.2, Great Escape of Southampton in third. Today was a better day for the Argentinean skipper of Voilactus, Eduardo Lentz, which scored a second today after retiring from racing yesterday.
In the Bareboat fleet, Canadian Dave Read racing Jamais had a great day on the water. "This is my first Antigua Sailing Week and I am here with my two sons, Jake (20) and Merrick (21). We like to take one sailing trip together every year. We normally sail at home on Lake Ontario but the water temperature is mighty cold at this time of the year. We had heard so much about this event and it has been just fantastic sailing and to be moored up in English Harbour with a great crowd, well it doesn't get much better than that."
The Antigua Sailing Week video team, Acquafilms were out today ripping it up on Peter Aschenbrenner's 63ft trimaran Paradox
and Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster
. You can video of today's action which will be uploaded shortly at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AntiguaSWVideo
Tonight's Prize Giving takes place on the lawn at the Antigua Yacht Club and after the winners have cleared the stage, rock band Itchy Feet will rip it up. The wicked local band doesn't play to empty dance floors! Racing continues for all classes tomorrow; weather forecasts predicts that normal service will continue; good wind and waves should result in more adrenalin pumping action at Antigua Sailing Week.
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DAILY VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS:
Video highlights from the day's action on and off the water can be viewed on the official Antigua Sailing Week website: http://www.sailingweek.com/v3/eventvideos.php
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