| HM King Harald of Norway skippers the RP78, Whisper to victory in The Yachting World Round Antigua Race
Credit: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com
Report by Louay Habib
The 2013 Yachting World Round Antigua Race may have been a light airs affair but it was a highly competitive and tactically challenging race around the beautiful coastline of Antigua. Significant current and extreme ocean swell added to the tactical conundrum of racing along Antigua’s rugged southwest coastline and the windward side produced squally conditions to further complicate strategies.
Starting and finishing off Fort Charlotte, just outside Nelson’s Dockyard, it was just over six hours before Line Honours was decided when HM King Harald of Norway took the gun sailing RP78, Whisper, winning The Yachting World Round Antigua Trophy.
However, on corrected time the conditions conspired to aid the smaller yachts. In the latter part of the race, squally conditions provided more wind for the chasing pack and the top 10 yachts, after time correction, were all 40 feet or under, save Philippe Falle’s Grand Soleil 43, Quokka with Matt Sheahan of Yachting World on board.
Quokka was leading the fleet on the water approaching the racing mark off Great Bird Island on the northeast corner of Antigua when unfortunately, due to the significant swell, the mark had moved. Quokka asked for redress and after careful deliberation the International Jury decided to grant redress, which resulted in a tie for first overall after time correction with First 40, Lancelot II, skippered by Chris Jackson.
“Jacko and I go back a long way,” laughed Quokka‘s skipper, Philippe Falle referring to Chris Jackson. “In fact we have a running total of who beats who and funnily enough, today’s tie keeps us even. It was a long day but a very enjoyable race and I was very pleased with how the crew performed. We have definitely benefitted from two days of practice before the race. Now we are looking forward to Antigua Sailing Week and I am sure it is going to be just as competitive.”
The social scene for Antigua Sailing Week kicked off after the Yachting World Round Antigua Race with Itchy Feet and DJ Stiffler entertaining hundreds of party-goers in Nelson’s Dockyard for the official welcome party last night (Saturday 27th April)
Guest of honour was Antigua’s Minister of Tourism, The Honourable John Maginley. The racing programme for the 46th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week starts today.