Photo copyright Jody Sallons-Day

Photo copyright Jody Sallons-Day

The Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta is about to become a major international sailing festival. The first annual regatta was organised by Jolly Harbour Yacht Club in 1993 and the event has been held on the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day every year since. In 2013 the Valentine’s Regatta will celebrate its 20th anniversary from February 7 to 10, so what better time to make a significant change to the scope of the event.

The beginning of the week in February that encompasses Valentine’s Day is one of the last time slots available for a major regatta in the Caribbean Sailing Association’s racing calendar and with love in the air it’s a fantastic time to hold a fun regatta that will have something on offer for all types of sailors.

Building on the foundation that Jolly Harbour Yacht Club has already created for this exciting event, a group of interested parties in Jolly Harbour has come together with the Yacht Club to build the Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta into a major international event. The Foundation Partners of this expanded sailing festival include Caribbean Developments (Antigua) Ltd., Budget Marine, Jolly Harbour Marina, Jolly Harbour Yacht Club, Jolly Harbour Merchants’ Association and Jolly Harbour Homeowners’ Association.

A new company will be formed to contract with Mainstay Caribbean, an event marketing and management company based in Antigua, to deliver the event both on the water and on the shore. It will include three days of professionally-managed fun racing for boats with a maximum 10-foot draft. Classes will be available for CSA-rated boats, bareboats, Carriacou sloops, Lasers, Dragons and other one-design boats and dinghies. A pursuit race series will also be held for those who prefer individual starts to fleet starts. This vibrant sailing event will also feature a poker run which, along with the dinghy racing, will provide spectacular spectating opportunities.

If you’re not a sailor, don’t be deterred from coming out for this exciting event. There will be plenty of shoreside activities every day for sailors and non-sailors alike. Parties will be held each evening during the event and will feature the beach, the marina docks and the shopping and dining facilities. The Thursday evening welcome party will be followed by bigger parties on Friday and Saturday and will culminate with a beach party beginning Sunday afternoon and carrying on long after the final awards presentation is finished that evening. Antigua is famous for its beach parties and this is definitely one not to be missed!

Jolly Harbour, Antigua is an idyllic Caribbean racing and cruising destination for all yachtsmen. It features a world-class marina and boatyard, a safe harbour, a commercial centre, an 18-hole golf course and two of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. The marina is only steps from bars, restaurants and shops and the marine trades businesses in the boatyard can fix anything on your boat that may need attention. With the exception of only a few, all residences are waterfront – both private and rental – and many feature their own private dock at which you can moor your boat. Sailing and racing conditions outside Jolly Harbour on the west coast of Antigua couldn’t be more ideal – generally flat waters with great winds that offer challenging racing for boats of all sorts.

We invite you to come to Jolly Harbour from around the Caribbean and around the world to experience the exciting new version of the Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta. Bring your own boat, charter a bareboat or fully-equipped racing charter boat, or secure a place on one of the many boats that charter individual spots. Unlike many of the other big Caribbean regattas, the Valentine’s Regatta will cater to boats of all types, from hot racers to family cruisers, sport boats and dinghies. If you’re crew on a super yacht based in Antigua or elsewhere in the Caribbean during the winter months, don’t miss this opportunity to get off the dock and out onto the water to polish up on your racing skills.

Don’t miss the all-new Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta . . . where sailing meets fun! Once you arrive in Jolly Harbour, you may never want to leave!

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