The Caribbean superyacht season starts in earnest on Thursday 1st February 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 programme 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.
Racing starts Thursday February 1st, with a scheduled start for Race One at 11:00 AST (UTC-4). For the full schedule of events and more information: superyachtchallengeantigua.com
by Louay Habib