Antigua Sailing Week 2023 Getting Ready to Set Sail

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front 4 sailing week launch 1
Rana-Jamila Lewis, Sailing Week’s Events and Marketing Manager

By Theresa Goodwin

Antigua Observer

 

Wingfoiling – a mixture of wind, kite, and general surfing – is the new standalone sport that will be added to the packed line of events for the 2023 installment of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW).

The ASW team is teaming up with the Caribbean Foiling Championships to host the wingfoil class in the form of the Antigua Wingfoil Championships.

The wingfoilers, according to Event Manager Max van de Pol, will compete using a separate start line and customised courses during the first half of ASW 2023.

The category will feature three consecutive days of racing, including two days on a fast-paced course in Falmouth Harbour and a long distance down-winder along the island’s south coast to coincide with Lay Day activities on May 3.

“We are doing a little event during Antigua Sailing Week, we will sort of hover, we will go out and sail on the Leeward side of the island, we will go inside of Cades Reef and then we will go all the way to Turner’s Beach which will be roughly an eight nautical mile stretch.

“This is really something that the competitors look forward to, mostly because it is an opportunity to go out at sea and really surf that big wind flow that is out there,” van de Pol told reporters while speaking at a media launch on Thursday.

Antigua Sailing Week, carded for April 29 to May 5, is regarded as the premier event on the country’s yachting calendar.

As it relates to the main races, 79 boats have registered so far and Race Manager Jaime Torres explained that this year there will be five to six racing classes.

“We will be welcoming a lot of great boats that have been in Antigua a lot. The core of the racing week for many years has been CSA racing two and CSA racing three; these are my 40-50 feet boats and that is where we usually find the hardest racing,” Torres said.

He said Sir Hugh Bailey’s Rebelis the top-rated boat in the CSA racing two category.

Aside from the races and other nighttime events, another much-touted activity is Reggae in the Park which will be headlined this year by Protoje, Lila Ike, and Jesse Royal.

A host of local acts will also complete the lineup, according to Devin St Hilaire of One World Entertainment which is spearheading the concert.

“This year we brought in some of the most exciting reggae artists that are available on the planet. We are going to be using a host of local talents also; you can look forward to seeing some of the regulars like Sistah Souljahs, DJ Quest, Kenne Blessin, a lot of awesome Antiguans,” he said.

The entire Nelson’s Dockyard will be utilised to create a festival experience, St Hilaire added.

Rana-Jamila Lewis, Sailing Week’s Events and Marketing Manager, spoke to the chaser events – those usually planned by crew members who are not racing or locals looking to get in on the fun.

Some of the activities that will be available is a helicopter tour on race days with CalvinAir, a daily catamaran charter, entertainment at the Antigua Yacht Club, Lay Day activities, and more.

Sailing Week’s President Alison Sly-Adams told media that preparations for the highly anticipated regatta are going smoothly. She also expressed gratitude to all of this year’s sponsors.

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