Countdown to Antigua Sailing Week Begins

Images: Paul Wyeth
Images: Paul Wyeth

During the bitterly cold winter, the idyllic climes of the Caribbean seem tantalisingly far away. However, for when the icy months do melt away, we have Antigua Sailing Week to look forward to. The wheels are in motion for the 52nd edition of the race to kick off in three months time.

The 2019 lineup is shaping up to be an impressive one. With over 1000 splendid sailors from around the globe taking part, it is impossible to mention all the names that deserve a look in. However, boats to watch include M/Y Sojana, which is the largest entrant thus far. Sojana belongs to Sir Peter Harrison of Great Britain, who has lifted the Lord Nelson Trophy not once but twice.

Racing the Antiguan cruising grounds for the first time is the Dovell 100, SHK Scallywag. We can expect great things from the yacht, which is captained by Sailing Master and Volvo Ocean Race skipper David Witt of Australia. Ambersail2 and her Lithuanian crew are also forecast to perform well, with the VO65 having stormed the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. Finally, the Volvo 70 M/Y Ocean Breeze have also thrown their hat into the ring, and should enjoy some stiff competition.

"Antigua Sailing Week is the best inshore regatta in the world," commented Lithuanian competitor Simonas Steponavicius, who is back to race for the 8th time. “It is -5ºC in Lithuania right now and when I think of the beautiful weather and fantastic sailing conditions, I cannot wait to get to Antigua!”

Come April, seasoned sailors will flock to this unassuming island paradise, with the legendary festivities of Antigua Sailing Week (including the famed Reggae in the Park and Lay Day Beach Party) drawing many more nautical enthusiasts and party-goers alike. The irresistible buzz of the show is a true annual highlight.

However, if you simply can’t wait to trade in long, dark evenings for sumptuous, sunbaked days, why not charter the region? Winter is Caribbean season, and many of the finest charter vessels are currently cruising the beautiful islands. Soak up some rays on M/Y Aquila (available with Burgess), skim azure waves aboard Apogee (with TWW Yachts), or take in island views chartering Skyfall (available with IYC). We know where we’d rather be!

Antigua Sailing Week is the best inshore regatta in the world
Simonas Steponavicius, Competitor