Antigua Sailing Week Top Tips

How to Survive Antigua Sailing Week!

Antigua Sailing Week has grown from a local regatta, starting in 1967 with only 10 boats, to a prestigious international event, with up to 200 boats entering, attracting sailors from all over the world. You can line up against the America’s Cup sailors, Volvo Ocean racers and many other stars of racing. You can expect to encounter some big name sailors and some big boats!

As one of the world’s premier race events, this regatta consists of 5 days of top-class racing in some of the best sailing conditions in the World! The strong trade winds and big ocean swell make the racing fast, tough, competitive and thoroughly exhilarating. Throw in the glorious Caribbean sunshine, local rum, crystal clear seas and white sandy beaches, you have the ultimate sailors paradise and the perfect regatta.

Antigua Sailing Week is renowned for it’s challenging races and equally renowned for it’s parties! Below are some top tips to help you navigate your way around the regatta and survive the beautiful mayhem that is Antigua Sailing Week!

Be prepared for Antigua Sailing Week

Having the right kit is the key to success. There are limited chandleries to buy kit and stock will be low once other yachties have hit the Island. Get all you need before you get on the plane. TOP TIP: Take a small dry bag for daily essentials, you do not want to be the crew member that has packed everything but the kitchen sink adding unwanted extra weight onboard. Think minimalism. Pack, then re-pack, and re-pack for good measure. On the day all you need is, Hat, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle and suncream, suncream, suncream!

Antigua Sailing Week
CSA Fleet 5 Start

Be mentally and physically ready for Antigua Sailing Week

This regatta is a tough physical and mental challenge. The heat, rolling seas and volume of boats means each manoeuvre is imperative. Be physically prepared for quick and frequent calls from the skipper and mentally prepared to gain some odd tan lines and bruises in the process. One challenge that most of the sailors face, is dealing with the hangover from the night before! Have some ginger beer to settle the stomach, and remember, to sit downwind if the regrets of last night pay a visit. Pace yourself for the week, don’t go wild on the first night and hate the opening day of racing, things will build over the week, as will your tolerance and understanding of Caribbean rum measures!

Take in the spectacle of Antigua Sailing Week

In the midst of all the mayhem of the start line, remember to take a look around and bask in the glory of it all; the stunning coastline, and equally stunning yachts. Embrace the race, you’ve made it. You are in one of the greatest places in the world surrounded by elite boats and sailors. Enjoy it. Get involved in every aspect you can. Join in the tug of war on lay day, try the local delicacies, go to Shirley Heights for the view and steel band, go and talk to the crew from your favourite yacht, they won’t bite! Don’t get too caught up in it, remember to enjoy the moment.

Keep it local at Antigua Sailing Week

Roadside BBQs near Nelsons Dockyard pop up over night with customer favourites returning year in year out, offering the best in local food such as conch water, lobster, grilled fish, macaroni pie as well as the unparalleled chicken, ribs and burgers. With English Harbour Rum a main event sponsor, you will grow accustomed to the Antiguan rum and its smooth taste. The Galley Bar in Nelson’s Dockyard and owner Dutch have become sailors favourites over the years and you can become part of history by leaving your mark on the ceiling with thousands of other who have stood before you. If you fancy a change from the Dockyard, head to Skullduggery’s for their namesake rum, or try their espresso martini if you dare! The best night to head to Skullduggery’s is Tuesdays where you will encounter one of Antigua’s best local bands, The Sound Citizens. TOP TIP: Find Momzy and have one of her burgers. Momzy’s burgers are famous in Antigua and you have my word they are great, especially at 3am after a ‘Dark and Stormy’ night.

Finish Strong at Antigua Sailing Week

Shoreside, the party schedule is phenomenal for both sailors and spectators alike. All of the action will be located in and around Nelson’s Dockyard and the adjoining Falmouth Harbour. Sailors will be within walking distance of every party, every night. By the time the final prize giving and party rolls around you will be battered and bruised from the week of intense racing, but you will have earned bragging rights and definitely a few extra drinks. Celebrate your achievements of the week in style surrounded by all the wonderful competitors you’ve met during the week, in one of the most exquisite venues, Nelson’s Dockyard.

To all competitors taking part, and all spectators lucky enough to be on the island for this incredible event, good luck and enjoy!

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