With dates confirmed as the 24th to 29th April 2011, one look at your calendar will tell you two things about next year's Antigua Sailing Week. First, racing will start on Sunday, as it did for 2010, although quite by accident (remember the Icelandic Volcano?), and having set off while the spectators with a birds’ eye view cheered the racing from their Shirley Heights lookout point, we were all reminded of the pleasures of tradition. So back to a Sunday start for Sailing Week. The second thing is that the event will take place over Easter, so the decision to enter should be made quickly, and enter you must for 2011, not least because a few other changes are afoot.
Planning has started for the 2011 Regatta and with last week’s presence at Cowes Week in the U.K. in the form of ex-Olympic sailor Franklyn Braithwaite and event organiser Paddy Prendergast, we can already see that the team is serious about delivering a week of challenging racing. The heart of the action will be the event village in Nelson’s Dockyard, the only working Georgian Dockyard in the Caribbean, both for the race results and the sizzling social side.
Over the last few weeks the new management team and steering committee have been canvassing local and international sailors through questionnaires, direct mails, telephone and one or two chats over a beer or three to get feedback on what the sailors love about Sailing Week as well as what they don’t, with the objective of delivering a superb event in 2011.
Last week the Regatta Organising Committee was officially formed following two meetings involving more than 15 racing sailors to discuss ratings, classifications and destination racing versus a single centre event. New Sailing Week Chairman Ian Fraser commented, ‘Feedback has been enormous and positive, and we are gratified by the goodwill that exists for Sailing Week and the desire by serious yachtsmen worldwide to come to Antigua to enjoy all that we have to offer. What is clear is that the racing has to be challenging and that we need to keep the fleets together, but that we must not forget that Antigua Sailing Week is also about having fun both on and off the water.’
If you've forgotten what it's all about, check out the event ad that was played on the screens at Cowes all week (no sound otherwise the bars would have been driven crazy with noise).
With a new Regatta Organising Committee and management team in place, Antigua Sailing Week is getting serious about raising their game.