Antigua Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week is one of the world’s top regattas as well as one of the most notable events in Antigua and Barbuda. Founded in 1967, it attracts over 150 yachts, 1,500 participants and 5,000 spectators every year.

The island of Antigua is situated in the Caribbean region. Its English Harbour is known for its protected shelter during violent storms and internationally famous as a yachting and sailing destination. During Antigua Sailing Week, many sailing vessels arrive at Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbor to participate in the world-class regatta.

The history of Antigua Sailing Week began in 1968 when a group of friends got together to hold a regatta. Their main goal was to extend the tourist season by encouraging people to stay a little longer or to come specifically for the event. The first Antigua Sailing Week was sponsored by the Antigua Hotel Association and took place from June 8–15, 1968. Its program featured a three-day regatta, power boat races, Sunfish sailing contests, and deep sea fishing. Participants included sailors from the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada.

The inaugural Antigua Sailing Week turned out a great success so it was decided to make it an annual affair. What started as an attempt to prolong the tourist season has grown to become one of the world’s most famous regattas. The dates of the event eventually changed. Today Antigua Sailing Week officially begins on the last Sunday in April.

Some things have changed since the early days of the regatta due to the evolution of yacht racing, but some events have remained a fixture to this day. Regardless of any changes, Antigua Sailing Week remains one of the most anticipated events in Antigua and Barbuda as well as one of the world’s top regattas.

What does Antigua Sailing Week has to offer? One of its highlights is the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race that takes place on the Friday before the official opening of the week-long regatta. It is a feeder race for boats that come from the island to the south of Antigua. Another signature event preceding the regatta is the Peters and May Round Antigua Race. Held on the Saturday before the main event starts, it is a one-day race open for all yachts.

Antigua Sailing Week itself features five main races, including the English Harbour race. There are participants from all over the world representing over two dozen countries. Spectators can watch the races from one of the numerous vantage points across the island or take a spectator boat trip. Each race day concludes with prize giving and a party. The program also features special breakfasts, parties, and other events. The final awards ceremony is followed by the traditional Lord Nelson Costume Ball.

Antigua Sailing Week

Photo: GAC Pindar




Related Articles