Racing for Johnnie Walker at Antigua Sailing Week
Published on April 25th, 2016
(April 25, 2016) – Over 1,000 sailors from 20 countries enjoyed a racing sunsplash on the second day of Antigua Sailing Week. While stormy weather east of Bermuda sucked some of the power out of the trade winds, all classes got in their racing fix today at Johnnie Walker Race Day 2.
Just a single point separates the top three yachts racing in CSA Racing 1. Linas Ivanauskas isn’t a name that easily rolls off the tongue, unless you are Lithuanian, but this skipper of Volvo 60 Ambersail was leading the class after the second day of racing in CSA Racing 1.
After being disqualified for not sailing the proper course on the first day, the Lithuanian team came back to win both of today’s races to lead the class on countback from Russian Maxi Weddel, skippered by Avanasy Isaev. Chris Stanmore-Major’s British Whitbread 60 Challenger is just a point off the lead. Ambersail’s sail number is LUT 1000 as the yacht was launched to commemorate one thousand years of existence for the Baltic country and has sailed twice around the world.
“The secret to today’s performance is that we made few mistakes,” said Ivanauskas. “Both strategically and technically we kept it simple and we avoided any big mistakes. We are here to tell the world about our sailing heritage, to have a lot of fun and to win!”
The Samba party is warming up in CSA 2. Renato Cunha Faria’s Brazilian Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3 scored a second and a bullet in today’s races to lead the class by three points. S&S 78, Kialoa III skippered by Jorge Madden also scored a bullet and a second today.
The famous Maxi is returning to Antigua Sailing Week after 37 years to emulate its last appearance; a win in 1979. Kialoa III is lying in second place after four races. Alan Edwards’ British Swan 65, Spirit is sailing consistently in the light airs and lies third, but will be a force to reckon with when the breeze whips up towards the end of the week.
“Today we started well in the first race and the team worked really well together, but in the final race we didn’t start so well and we made some tactical errors and Kialoa won the race by a big margin,” said Cunha Faria. “So we have a lot of pressure from them as they are very good sailors. We are having a great time in Antigua and are very happy to fly the Brazilian flag!”
Sir Hugh Bailey’s CS40, Gypsy-UGo has scored three straight bullets to lead the class by a massive seven points after three races. Only two other teams in the CSA fleet are also unbeaten; Tony Langley’s Gladiator and Chris Body’s El Ocaso. Sir Hugh Bailey’s magnificent Antiguan flag spinnaker has dominated CSA 7, but the Antiguan team was pushed all the way in the last race, winning by just three seconds. Geoffrey Pidduck’s modified 6 Metre, Biwi Magic is in second place for the class, just a point ahead of Remco van Dortmondt’s Curacao J/35Sunbelt Realty – Dash.
“We are sailing really well,” said Gypsy-UGo tactician, Bob Green. “All of us have sailed together for a long time so we know what to do which really helps, especially at the beginning of the regatta, but there is a long way to go yet. The whole team is from Antigua except one American, but he has been here forever so we count him as one of our own.”
After racing, the lawn at Antigua Yacht Club featuring the Presidente Beer Garden was in full swing. Connoisseurs of Scottish whisky enjoyed a tasting session of Johnnie Walker and today’s class winners received a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label from Race Day 2 sponsor Johnnie Walker.
Antigua is a country full of talented musicians; many bars and restaurants play live music. It is also renowned for having a beach for every day of the year, but it has more live music nights! Performing at Antigua Sailing Week tonight is Zambai and Friends. The Johnnie Walker Reggae Vibes Party has DJ Kuma spinning the tunes late into the night.
Antigua Sailing Week is scheduled daily from Sunday April 24 to Friday April 29 with a layday on Wednesday April 27.
Report by Louay Habib.