|Antigua Bliss: Credit: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com|
Report by Louay Habib
When the sun is shining on tropical waters with 15 knots of warm breeze filling the air, it is most sailors’ idea of rapture. The second day of racing at Antigua sailing Week was blessed with these heavenly conditions.
For the CSA Classes racing in Rendezvous Bay, it was a day to keep your head out of the boat, looking for subtle changes in wind speed and a watchful eye on the competition. The tight course made for plenty of traffic and confused air. The smart sailors avoided the holes in the wind and the sailboat congestion.
Antigua Sailing Week attracts sailors from all over the world, but many local Antiguans are participating this year. Their skill and local knowledge is paying dividends to many yachts racing at Antigua Sailing Week. After two days of racing four of the class leaders have Antiguan sailors amongst their crew, more than any other nation.
Two of the leading boats in the big boat class have Antiguans in key positions. Veteran sailors Karl James on Whisper and Franklyn Braithwaite on Maximiser are two of only a handful of top class Antiguan sailors of their generation. However, In 2010 the Government of Antigua & Barbuda added sailing to the list of National Sports and The National Sailing Academy offers the opportunity for Antiguan school children to learn to sail free of charge. This grass roots development is now producing young Antiguans who are excelling at Antigua Sailing Week.