The Peters & May Round Antigua Race is the traditional stand-alone event before the start of Antigua Sailing Week. This year two courses were in use by the Race Committee, including a 26-mile Almost Round Antigua. Moody weather with pewter skies and tropical downpours affected this year’s race. With the wind speed varying from 16 knots to almost flat calm, the 52-mile course was shortened to a finish at Curtain Mark, just southeast of the stunning Cades Reef. Normal trade wind service is expected to resume for the first day of Antigua Sailing Week, starting on Sunday 1st of May.
The overall winner of the Peters & May Round Antigua Race after CSA time correction was the American FAST40+ Tschuss, skippered by Johnny Mordaunt. “It was a light wind race especially at the start, but halfway round the breeze picked up and it was really enjoyable. It was quite refreshing and very interesting because after a windy Caribbean season that is the first time we have raced the boat in under 10 knots. The boss will be super-happy to receive the Peters & May Trophy at the prize giving tomorrow.”
Gunboat 68 Tosca, co-skippered by Ken Howery and Alex Thomson took line honours in the Multihull Class. Back in January, Ken Howery crossed the Atlantic with Tosca to get to Antigua and was reunited with his team for their first race in the Caribbean. “Today the conditions were not as advertised, but we had a really great sail and it was great to see the island from the water. We did have a few run-ins, including touching a rock, but we had a wonderful day and it is lovely to be here. This is my first Antigua Sailing Week and I have my family here, so I am really looking forward to sailing with my dad and my cousin,” said Howery after the race.
This is not the first Antigua Sailing Week for Vendee Globe veteran Alex Thomson, but this regatta will be the first time Thomson has ever raced a multihull inshore. “We are really just starting with this boat so we are learning every day,” commented Thomson. “Antigua Sailing Week is always advertised as the best racing in the Caribbean and although today did not live up to that, we are really looking forward to racing this amazing boat at the famous regatta.”
Lithuanian VO65 Ambersail 2, skippered by Raimundas Siugzdinis took line honours in the monohull class. “It was tricky to keep the speed up, especially through the transition zone on the north east corner of Antigua,” commented Ambersail 2 Mainsail trimmer, Tomas Barakauskas. “We were very happy to be the first to finish the race but for Antigua Sailing Week, we would like more wind please! However, during this race we had the most amazing experience. A whale as big as the boat breached just 150 metres from us. It was just incredible.”
In the Almost Round Antigua Race of 26 nautical miles, Walter Keenan’s Libertas from the BVI took line honours and the win on CSA corrected time. Tommy Patterson’s Antiguan First Love was second and Torben Lundgren’s Danish team racing Daisy was third.
After racing, all of the skippers taking part in the Peters & May Round Antigua Race received a complimentary bottle of English Harbour 5-Year-Old Rum and the Antigua Yacht Club and pop-up bars were bustling with sailors from all over the world. The Original Steel Orchestra entertained the crowd with a live set on the main stage. The Peters & May Round Antigua Race Prize Giving will be held on Sunday May 1st. Racing at the 53rd Antigua Sailing Week will also start on Sunday with English Harbour Rum Race Day.
Results are here for the Peters & May Round Antigua Race:
For further information on Antigua Sailing Week, please visit the official website: http://www.sailingweek.com
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ENDS/… Louay Habib