With a truly stunning coastline, near-constant sunshine and 'trade winds' blowing all year round, it's no surprise that Antigua is a draw to sailors from across the world. Nautical enthusiasts take to the waves during every season here, and in the last week of April everyone who is in anyone in sailing can be found attending Antigua Sailing Week.
This year, Antigua Sailing Week begins on 23 April, with an exciting schedule of social and sailing events on the calendar. Whether you're a participant or a spectator, there are plenty of races on the waves to excite. Meanwhile, on land there's a constant party atmosphere, with exclusive events and open parties happening each and every day! With plush mega yachts docked in various harbours, Antigua buzzes with life and glamour for the entire week!
Much of the action centres on Antigua Yacht Club, whose beer garden is open throughout the week for you to enjoy a cool drink, watch prize presentations or engage in post-race debates. Practically next door to this venue is newly opened marina hotel South Point, so if you don't want to miss a moment, this is the place for you. Nearby, The Inn at English Harbour has strong sailing traditions of its own. Here, you can charter a private yacht to circumnavigate the island or explore the Caribbean Sea further at any time of year.
In fact, if taking to the waves sounds like your idea of heaven, you can get amongst the racing action during Antigua Sailing Week! It's not just professionals who line up to compete; amateur sailors 'Pay to Play' with a host of charter options available. But hurry, they always sell out!
Of course, almost any luxury hotel you choose on Antigua will be getting into the spirit of Sailing Week. If you'd like to taste the action from a slight distance, resorts like Curtain Bluff and Carlisle Bay lie just a few miles down the coast and offer the perfect setting for a luxury Antigua holiday with some sailing excitement thrown in!
Whatever your level of involvement, if you like to party then don't miss your chance to experience Big Party Night. This huge night of live music, food and drinks happens in the middle of the week, but don't worry, you'll have time to recover! The day after is officially 'Lay Day'; a break from the serious sporting pursuits when spectators and competitors join in fun events, or simply enjoy the sunshine!
Then its back to action, with the two more days of racing in 13 classes. All this culminates in the presentation of the overall award, the Lord Nelson Trophy, which this year was claimed by an Antiguan boat, Sleeper; the first time in a long while!
This glamorous affair has grown from a small regatta with just 10 boats in 1967 to an island-wide, world class sailing festival with around 200 entries this year. Next year will be Antigua Sailing Week's 50th anniversary, and we can't wait to see them pull out all the stops for that!
Antigua Sailing Week 2016 runs from 23-29 April, and if you'd like to experience the buzz of this fantastic occasion, we'd be happy to help!