ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The 45th Antigua Sailing Week got off to a start with a mix of activities in the Nelson’s Dockyard on Saturday evening when hundreds turned out for a night of partying and to welcome sailors from around the world to the Caribbean’s largest sailing regatta.
Joining in the festivities was the Minister of Tourism John Maginley who expressed his delight at yet another opportunity to share Antigua’s renowned sailing conditions and the warmth of hospitality with the visiting competitors.
He further encouraged the sailors to return to the island for other racing events on Antigua’s yachting calendar, which runs from November right into May.
The changes that were introduced to Antigua Sailing Week this year were prompted mainly by the wishes of the sailors. The Minister noted the value of constant feedback as the committee and government are making a much greater effort to listen to everyone involved in Sailing Week.
He urged the community to make their voices heard as the organisers continue their work in developing and improving the product, not only for the sailors, but also for residents.
Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee Kathy Lammers also welcomed the yachtsmen and women and wished them good luck and a fun time in the next few days of what has already turned out to be an exciting time of racing in Antigua Sailing Week.
The various winners in the Yachting World Round Antigua Race were handed their awards by Editor of Yachting World Magazine, David Glenn, and Maginley.
A cocktail reception earlier in the Copper and Lumber Hotel attracted top local officials, dignitaries and press. It was held against the backdrop of the Marine Art Exhibition and the showcase of some of the top entries and winners in the annual LIAT sponsored Schools’ Art Exhibit.
With formalities over, the partying continued as the Vision Band played well into the night delighting the hundreds who gathered for the English Harbour Rum Welcome Party.
The after-race activities returned to the Dockyard yesterday with the Imobile Dockyard Day. Big bands and giveaways were a part of the entertainment line-up. Sir Vivian Richards was on hand signing autographs and presenting prizes to the winners of the first official day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week.