This Caribbean regatta attracts some of the top Olympic yachtsmen in the world and gives local yachtsmen an opportunity to compete against them. There is no charge to come along and watch these amazing events, and in fact chartering is highly recommended to really get an up close taste of what these yachts are capable of. Antigua expects around 5000 visitors there during this time.
This yachting regatta started from small beginnings back in 1967 when Peter Deeth, who owned the Inn Hotel at English Harbour and Desmond Nicholson, owner of the Admiral's Inn formed a racing club. They met every Sunday morning and raced their Sailfish. The Club had no finances in the beginning so relied entirely on people's voluntary help. Later as finances improved and interest grew, the Club got planning permission for a Club House to be built at Falmouth Harbour. In 1972 the club announced its new name of "The Antigua Yacht Club". Things have move on fairly quickly since then.
Before the start of this racing week, there is another important yacht Regatta known as the "Classic Yacht Regatta". This always takes place the week before, and it is a must to see these splendid yachts racing to Guadeloupe and back as part of a celebratory tradition to mark the end of the charter season. There are tall ships, J class yachts, sloops, schooners, classic ketches and yawls totalling around 50-60 entrants. The races have had good sponsors over the years with support from Edmond Rothschild and Elizabeth Meyers, Boat International, Mount Gay Rum of Barbados and Offficine Panerai watches. With their backing and marketing the event has achieved worldwide acclaim.
The dates for the sailing week start with 3 days of training and the Regatta itself runs for the following 6 days. As this is part of the final race of the Caribbean Big Boat Series there are many famous yachts competing. In 2009 there was Charles Dunston's yacht "Rio" winning overall honours, Titian, Kialoa, Infinity to name but a few. The crew are from the Armed Forces and there will be three 67 foot yachts racing against the best yachtsmen in the world. This is leg 10 of their one year round the world expedition and will draw a lot of support.
Anyone can enter these races and little experience is required. The Island will be alive with carnivals, music and parties over the Island during this time. For those who are spectators there are many good viewing points which will be marked out by the Yachting Club. Booking a villa or Hotel for those just wishing to watch the races, needs to be done well in advance to avoid disappointment. There is plenty of information available through the Department of Tourisms official web site, or contact Bluewater Charter Department and we will help with your booking.
Don't miss out on this spectacular yachting event set in this exotic, warm and vibrant Caribbean Island. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy such as golf, cricket, visiting the pottery, local craft shops and art galleries. The Island has a long and interesting history which is set out at the local museum. There are organised hikes to discover the beautiful interior and over 170 different species of birds frequent these Islands.