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Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Senator Chet Greene with Corsairs Class winner 112ft Baltic, Nilaya. (

The sixth edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua attracted eleven magnificent ocean-going yachts from 80 to 151ft. The impressive fleet took part in three days of competitive racing along the stunning south coast of Antigua, complimented by laid-back social events, The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is a wonderful celebration of sailing and parties, dedicated to pure fun afloat and ashore, where all participants enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, free from commercial endorsements.

In the Buccaneers Class, the 128ft sloop, Tenaz, designed by Ed Dubois and built by Pendennis, had a close battle with Oyster 82, Zig Zag. The class win went to the wire with Tenaz winning the last race to take victory in the Buccaneers Class with Zig Zag second. A consistent performance by the one-off ketch Maramar, was rewarded by the final podium position. This was the first regatta that Tenaz had ever competed in.

“I have a 100% record in regattas.” joked the owner of Tenaz. “This has been a fantastic experience and not just because of the result but more the whole process because we have a crew that have shared with us and made racing available to us all. We have been racing to win but we have focused on having a great time and I hope that this regatta carries on in that manner. I understand the addiction to winning amongst competitive people, but this style of regatta is tremendously enjoyable and a lot of fun.”

In the Corsairs Class, racing was incredibly close with seconds deciding the outcome in many of the races. Four yachts took podium places during the four race series; Nilaya, Visione, Freya and the brand new Baltic 115ft. sloop, Nikata, which was competing in first ever regatta. The 112ft. sloop Nilaya, designed by Reichel Pugh held off the powerful 147ft sloop Visione, also from the drawing board of Reichel Pugh, to win the class. Frers designed Swan 90 Freya was third.

“This is a great start to the Caribbean season for the team, the owner was driving all of the time and he just loves it and that is good for the sport.” commented Nilaya's tactician, Bouwe Bekking. “We will be racing with the Volvo boat for much of the season, it will be with the same team but it is something different. This has been a great way to knit the team together for the racing ahead.”

A new trophy was awarded this year, donated by the superyacht Timoneer, who have been firm supporters of the Superyacht Challenge since its conception. The Gosnell Trophy is a perpetual trophy awarded to the yacht, who in the opinion of the competitors and the race committee, has competed in the Spirit of the Regatta, where they have sailed as hard as they can with the equipment available while still representing the yacht well ashore. A fitting tribute to Mrs G, the spirit of Timoneer and the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. Phil Wade, skipper of Timoneer for many happy regattas, was delighted to award the Gosnell Trophy to the 126ft twin-masted schooner, Gloria.

“That is just awesome.” commented Gloria's skipper, James Box. "Timoneer was the main reason we got involved with this regatta and our relationship with Timoneer is a great one, as Gloria has the same philosophy. The owner of Gloria really enjoys the event and so do the crew, who love the social side as much as the racing. We don't take ourselves too seriously, enjoying the regatta is our top priority.”

The seventh edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua will take place from the 27th to 29th January 2017. Entries are limited to 12-15 yachts dependent on the overall length, as the 2016 edition was close to capacity, and early expression of interest is advisable.

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