Antigua Sailing Week 2021 is cancelled
Published on February 18th, 2021
Event organizers will be joining local government and the international community in working to limit and eradicate the COVID-19 spread by cancelling the 2021 edition of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW), including the Peters & May Round Antigua Race, which were scheduled April 24-30. The 2020 ASW was also cancelled due to the pandemic.
This is the latest cancellation for the 2021 Caribbean season which already has lost RORC Caribbean 600, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, St Barths Bucket Regatta, and Les Voiles de St. Barth.
The timing of this decision for the cancellation was taken after in-depth consideration of the obligations participants have to charter companies, hotels and villa companies, shipping companies, and also taking into account international travel restrictions and an inability to organize an impenetrable bubble for the safety of all participants, volunteers, and the wider community.
“With entries still coming in we were grappling with finding the right formula to accommodate those interests, but with the increased restrictions being put in place to manage the further spread of COVID-19, cancellation is the only possible outcome at this time,” stated ASW President and Commercial Director, Alison Sly-Adams.
“For over 50 years we have looked forward to hosting the return of new and old friends to ASW as much as the sailors look forward to the epic racing conditions. This cancellation, while being the right thing to do, hurts our sailing soul. We are truly excited to get back to what we love, the business of yacht racing, next year.”
The cancellation of the 2021 event further compounds the financial blow to the non-profit entity which organizes this internationally respected event, as well as to the greater local community. The staging of the event results in a positive economic impact for the destination to the tune of EC$6 million each year. This is a giant loss to the economy of Antigua and to the yachting sector in particular.
“We are disappointed to have to cancel the event for a second year,” share Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles Fernandez. “Not only is it very important to us as an economy, but for many of us, it is our favorite time of year when we come together as a community with our visitors to celebrate the wonderful yachting season.
“This year, however, as a destination we are prioritizing managing the health care system and the vaccination programme for the good of the community, which in the long term will allow us to welcome back our visitors safely. In fact, we have started planning for 2022 and intend to make it bigger and better than ever.”
Antigua Sailing Week is held annually at the end of April and the 53rd edition will commence with the Peters & May Round Antigua Race on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Following that will be five days of racing off the rugged south coast of Antigua, which will wrap up on Friday, May 6, 2022.