Soon after the end of Antigua Sailing Week 2010, when most yachts had returned for the summer season to their home ports on the east coast of the United States, back across the Atlantic Ocean, or elsewhere in the Caribbean, the organisers of Antigua Sailing Week went immediately back to work developing a survey and contacting sailors from all over the world to obtain their feedback on the 2010 event and on previous Antigua Sailing Weeks. Sailors welcomed the opportunity to offer their comments and suggestions and were very passionate about their input. The quality of that feedback resulted in the scheduling of meetings with local sailors and others with a keen interest to discuss positive changes for the coming years.
As a result, several improvements are in the works for Antigua Sailing Week 2011. The Notice of Race was issued last week (see link to the press release on the right) which reflects many of the planned changes. CSA and/or IRC classes are on offer along with major changes to the way classes are divided and the length of courses being planned for boats of varying lengths. No longer will 40 foot racing boats have to sail courses of over 35 miles in the wake of boats 80 feet and over! And overwhelmingly, the feedback received indicates that sailors are in favour of only one race-end venue each day, keeping the fleets together and improving the shore-side events.
The past couple of years has seen the development of a new Ocean Series designed mainly for bigger boats – a series of three races that were entered separately from Antigua Sailing Week. Previously the Series included the Guadeloupe to Antigua race on the Friday before Sailing Week, the Round the Island Race on the first day of Antigua Sailing Week and the Round Redonda race held on Lay Day. Many boats found it difficult to schedule extra days into their week’s plans so the Guadeloupe race will remain as a feeder race to Antigua Sailing Week but will no longer be part of the Ocean Series. The Redonda race was found to be a too long and not exciting enough for many boats, so it will be dropped in 2011. Instead, the Ocean Series will be run in tandem with Antigua Sailing Week and the three planned races will likely include a Round the Island race and a race on Lay Day. Final plans for the Series are still being developed but early indications are that a large number of boats that will be in the Caribbean following cross-Atlantic events earlier in the season are likely to enter the 2011 Series.
An Event Village will be set in up Nelson’s Dockyard and it will be the centre of activity throughout the week. The Committee Desk will be located there along with results boards, a beer tent and a selection of reasonably-priced food stands representing local food establishments. Lay Day will once again offer exciting water-side events for enthusiastic crews, both young and not so young. And a variety of post-race parties will be planned, with something to suit everyone!
The Regatta Organising Committee will keep you informed as plans develop for Antigua Sailing Week 2011. So check out future issues of Antigua’s Yachting Insider for regular updates and visit www.sailingweek.com for current information at any time. We hope you see you back in Antigua for Antigua Sailing Week 2011.
Article written by Kathy Lammers, Editor of Antigua’s Yachting Insider.