St. John’s Antigua- It was yet another day of episode and drama at the 45th Antigua Sailing Week (ASW). This year’s regatta is producing intense battles right through the fleet with close encounters a plenty.
Stress levels were running high yesterday with start line incidents aplenty and a major collision on the first upwind leg of the day in the big boat class. With just one final race today, nearly all of the classes are yet to be decided.
In CSA 1A, Stefan Lehnert’s Tripp 56, Passion 4C, won both of yesterday’s races, virtually assuring the German team of winning the division.
The first race of the day saw a serious collision between Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean, and On Deck’s Farr 65, Spirit of Isis, which resulted in a large part of the Farr 65’s transom being smashed in.
Luckily only very minor injuries were sustained, and once safely on shore, the skipper and owner of Starry Night were quick to apologise for the collision, showing good sportsmanship.
“The regatta was going really well and a fantastic performance has been put in by the team who are charter guests of mixed sailing ability. We were looking forward to another good race, vying for a podium position,” explained the skipper of Spirit of Isis, Vicky Blunt.
“Whilst we were on starboard tack, there was an unfortunate incident involving Starry Night which came at us on port tack, ending our regatta in dramatic fashion. Thankfully everyone on board responded well and rallied together to bring the boat and crew safely back alongside. Many thanks to ABSAR and the coastguard for their speedy response and assistance in this incident.”
In CSA 1B, Geoff Hill’s Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes, had a cracking day on the water, scoring two bullets to pull the Australian yacht up to within one point of overall division leader, Peter Harrison’s Farr 115, Sojana.
Today is the final day of the regatta and the last race will decide many of the class titles. However, the weather forecast is looking light, which should make for some very tricky conditions.
This has been an action-packed Antigua Sailing Week but you never know, tomorrow might just top the lot. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is due to pass Antigua today and maybe, just maybe, the Volvo 70s may pop in to see what’s going on.