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RS ELITE CHALLENGE QUALIFIER AT NONSUCH BAY RESORT SUNDAY
Friday 12th December 2014

Nonsuch Bay Resort has again signed on to sponsor Antigua Sailing Week 2015 and the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge which will take place on Lay Day in April 2015.  On Sunday, December 14 a qualifier race series will take place at Nonsuch Bay to determine which two local teams will go on to represent Antigua against six highly skilled international sailors in the RS Elite Challenge next April.

Eight Antiguan and Antiguan-based skippers will go head to head on the ideal race course in Nonsuch Bay.  Pitching their skills against each other will be:  Patmore Watson, Bernie Evan-Wong, Franklyn Braithwaite, Ashley Rhodes, Geoffrey Pidduck, Robbie Ferron, Marc Fitzgerald and Martin Beck, each with two additional crew members.

Patmore Watson participated in last year's RS Elite Challenge and finished in a very respectable third place behind the likes of Olympic medalist, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean race sailor, Peter Holmberg.  Patmore has been sailing in Antiguan waters since a very young age, and has participated in many international regattas throughout the region. Over the years, he won Antigua Sailing Week's single-handed race so many times that he was given the trophy to keep.

Bernie Evan-Wong took home a boatload of trophies following Antigua Sailing Week 2014, including the CSA Travellers' Trophy for participating successfully in more Caribbean regattas than any other regional race boat last season.  Bernie has enthusiastically represented Antigua in regattas across the region for many years on several different boats including the famous Huey Too, High Tension and even a Melges 24 among others.  Bernie and crew are currently familiarizing themselves with the latest addition to the fleet, Taz, which Bernie expects to race successfully in the coming regatta season.

Franklyn Braithwaite, owner of the successful A & F Sails, is a former Antiguan Olympic sailor and aside from extensive sailing and racing in Antiguan waters and throughout the Caribbean region, Franklyn is a highly sought after crew member for regattas around with world on very high profile boats with very successful results.

Ashley Rhodes has been sailing since a very young age and is one of Antigua's top Laser sailors.  He races on a regular basis in local and regional regattas and, like Franklyn, he is a welcome addition to many crews on top racing boats in regattas around the world.  Ashley has just returned from the CAC Games where he acted as coach to Karl James.  Ashley owns A & A Rigging.

Geoffrey Pidduck has at times been called Antigua's Sailing Icon.  He has been racing successfully in Antigua and throughout the region for more years than most of us can remember and at the age of 76, he is still very active in local and regional regattas.  Geoffrey was responsible for encouraging many Antiguan youngsters to pursue sailing as a sport which for many led to careers in Antigua's yachting industry.  Geoffrey always did in the past and still does welcome local youngsters to crew on his boats to encourage their love of the sport and improve their sailing skills.

Robbie Ferron of Budget Marine fame is an active and very successful sailor and racer and in addition to participating in many regattas across the region, he is the driving force in making many of them happen.  Robbie was instrumental in the development and success of the Heineken Regatta over the years.  He still loves to get out on the water to race at every opportunity.

Marc Fitzgerald is skipper of the well-known Sojana which, with Marc at the helm, has participated in Antigua Sailing Week many times over the years, in addition to participating in the likes of the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Antigua Superyacht Challenge.  Marc fielded a team at the inaugural RS Elite Challenge in 2013 and is now competing for a second opportunity to participate in the event.  In addition to racing the Elites, Marc has also had success racing in the Antiguan Dragon fleet.

Martin Beck is a Nonsuch Bay homeowner and an RS Elite owner.  He has years of experience racing boats of all types and is an avid RS Elite sailors. He also participated in the Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge earlier this year.

Aside from major bragging rights, all members of the two winning teams will be the lucky winners of items of clothing from the new Gill branded 2015 Antigua Sailing Week merchandise range which arrived on island last week.

Spectators are invited to come and watch the battle unfold from the deck or from the dock starting at 10 am.  Drinks will be available for purchase throughout the day and for those who develop a hunger from watching all the action, there will be an optional barbecue lunch available in the Bay Restaurant at the Resort all afternoon from midday.  With the restaurant, beach and swimming pool it’s a great place to spend the day with family and friends. Or bring your boat around, anchor in Nonsuch Bay and get a close-up view of the on-the-water action, then come ashore for a few drinks and lunch.

If you plan to enjoy the barbecue lunch, please contact Nonsuch Bay Resort in advance of Sunday to make reservations for you and your group at (268) 562-8000.

Hope to see you there!

 


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