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CAPTAIN'S GUIDE MAGAZINE FEATURED LETTER ON A&B HAMPTONS CHALLENGE
Wednesday 25th June 2014

May 6th, 2014

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Minister John Maginley and the good people of Antigua for having myself, family and crew as their guests for Antigua Sailing Week.
    
I would like to thank Minister Maginley further, first for his work on the ANTIGUA BARBUDA HAMPTONS CHALLENGE race held here in Sag Harbor and secondly for his work on insuring that we had a sensational time on Antigua.  
    
The Race held here last year was well run, well attended and I must admit, had a great ending.  Being the overall winner of the race, I was given a nice trophy and a fabulous prize; Sailing Week in Antigua!
    
Throughout the ten days we spent on Antigua we met wonderful people, ate fantastic food, swam at beautiful beaches, danced the nights away and sailed our hearts out!
    
I cannot say enough of the people we met.  They were helpful, funny, inviting, generous, beautiful and as interested in us as we were of them.  
    
As a boatyard owner I have heard the stories of Antigua Sailing Week for many years.  There have been customers whose boat we readied for the trip there as spectators and customers who have come back from winter sailing vacations with praise for the Series and a new found excitement for the sport.  You can count me as one of them.
    
Our crew consisted of myself, my brother Mike, his two teenage sons, Danny and Ryan; my wife Pat and my two daughters, Elizabeth and Camille.  The boys sailed with us and the ladies scouted the island for the elusive great deal and best meal. They watched the opening race from a chartered boat; zip lined through the forest, snorkeled at the beaches and boogied to the sounds of the Caribbean.
    
We on the other hand were at the boat by 8:00 am, coffee and sandwiches from Joyce and Bubala, some water and beer and we were on our way.  The sailing crew was comprised of the aforementioned Grignons; Captain Disco (the pilot that came with the boat), Captain Graham (a Brit expat who was our tactician) and Hank Smith.  Hank, having retired from the racing circuit 15 years ago he was dragged back in and placed in his old familiar spot as trimmer. Hank, who has worked here at the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard varnishing for the past 6 years, is an Antiguan native.  He introduced us to his brothers, his cousins and Bubala.
    
The Racing!!!!!!!
    
Can’t say enough about it.  The weather, the wind, the sun, the gentle rollers coming in, all fantastic!

The boat was much larger than I have raced before.  But what a ball of fun.  A 20kt. breeze was perfect.  Never feeling over powered I was able to just take each puff for the lift it was worth and smiled.
    
The Race Committee did a wonderful job.  All instructions were clear and timely.  The race courses were provided at sign in along with a jug bottle of English Harbor Rum.  
    
Our division was a tough, local compilation of boats.  My hat off to Biwi Magic, High Tide, Blue Peter, U-Go, Frolic and Cricket who all finished ahead of me and in this order.  All boats finished in the same order each day, but, we managed to shrink the time disparity by 95% from race 1 to the last race.  If only there was 1 more race!!!
    
Our driver, Radley was a gem.  Anywhere, anytime he was ready to go.  Reservations, not a problem.  Tickets, I can get them too.  A reserved table at the awards party, there it was; with 4 bottles of wine open and ready to go. We received many invitations to come back and share the good times again.  You can count on us next season to visit!
    
I would like to thank Kathy Lammers for running an efficient and organized race week.  The gentleman doing the announcements for Start Boat “B” was exceptional.  He provided timely, clear & concise instructions and updates.  His manner was friendly and patient. To the other boats in CSA 8, thanks for the fun, see you next year.
    
I would like to thank again the people of Antigua.  Our morning coffee and sandwiches were tasty and delivered on time.  Our afternoon rum was a needed elixir and the Wadadli beer was cold and refreshing; thank you to all those who served us. The various services provided us by the chartering, photography, transportation, lodging, and the various restaurants were above and beyond expectations.
    
Thank you Antigua.

My best,

Louis Grignon
Sag Harbor Yacht Yard

 


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