Caribbean Superyacht Season Gets Underway
Published on January 31st, 2018
The 2018 Caribbean superyacht season starts in earnest on Thursday February 1st with the 8th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. The Superyacht Challenge Antigua has once again attracted a magnificent fleet, including five previous winners. This will be the first regatta using the new 2018 ORC Superyacht Rule (ORCsy).
Dazzling yachts ranging in size from 82ft (25m) to 172ft (52m) will take part in four days of racing along the stunning south coast of Antigua. Five races are scheduled, with a fun-filled social program for all participants in the magical confines of Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua.
The 172ft Hoek designed Elfje, and the 140ft German Frers Rebecca, are set for a battle royal as the two largest ketch-rigged superyachts competing at the regatta. Rebecca was victorious in 2012, and Elfje returns after a stunning debut last year. The unique Dominique Presles designed 102ft ketch Maramar was a winner in 2014, and will be an equal adversary after time correction.
The impressive 112ft German Frers designed sloop Spiip is back to defend their class win last year, and is set for a close battle with the sensational 105ft Bill Dixon designed sloop Danneskjold. The 90ft Hoek designed sloop Acadia returns after making her debut last year, finishing second in class. Oyster 82 Zig Zag is back for their third regatta, hoping to go one better than runner up in 2016.
The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is free from commercial endorsements, and has one clear objective; to provide all the facilities to stage an ideal event for an exclusive selection of yachts, where fair racing and good companionship are valued above all else. The racing is competitive, with a high tariff placed on safety. Class winners are presented with rum barrels suitably filled, and The Gosnell Trophy is awarded to the yacht, who in the opinion of the competitors and the race committee, has competed in the Spirit of the Regatta, both afloat and ashore.
The challenge is held in Antigua in late January or early February when yachts in excess of 80 feet are invited to participate in an exciting, friendly event. From a Start/Finish line off the entrance to English Harbour, the course marks for the three 12 – 30 mile (approx) Pursuit Races are set daily according to the prevailing conditions off the south coast of Antigua.
The regatta will continue with a limited entry of 12-15 yachts depending on the type of vessels. This decision was made to ensure that the magnificent amenities available at Nelson’s Dockyard would comfortably host the event.
Furthermore the event will have no title sponsorship, to ensure that the Superyacht Challenge Antigua will be held for the pure enjoyment of the participants without any conflict of interest with a third party.
Racing starts Thursday February 1st, with a scheduled start for Race One at 11:00 AST (UTC-4).
Source: Louay Habib, Media Manager Superyacht Challenge Antigua