After damaged boats and men overboard on the first day of racing (luckily none resulting in casualty), Antigua Sailing Week has settled down a bit, but is still providing an ample amount of exciting racing.
After two days of big breeze, day three of Antigua Sailing Week saw similar conditions for the competitors. However the Ocean mark laid for Tuesday’s big boats was a new addition. It took over 300 feet of line to lay the mark four miles off the leeward coast of Antigua. The sizeable yachts in CSA 1 were an awesome sight, smashing through the start line to windward through the Caribbean surf and after coming off the wind at the Ocean mark, the yachts speared off downwind, bow up, accelerating off big waves to surf at speeds of 20 knots plus.
In CSA 1A, Geoff Hill’s Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes scored its first win of the regatta. Geoff Hill has been to Antigua Sailing Week many times before but, surprisingly, this is the first visit to the Caribbean’s longest running regatta for the true Australian sailing legend. At 85 years of age, Syd Fischer is probably the oldest competitor at Antigua Sailing Week. Syd shares a record of five America’s Cup challenges and has won just about every classic yacht race going, including the Fastnet and the Sydney Hobart Race, which Fischer has competed in on 40 occasions.
“It’s a long flight to get here from Australia but I have to say it has been worth it, great conditions similar to Hawaii when I used to compete there in the Kenwood Cup. This is my first visit to Antigua but I have enjoyed the sailing so far and it was great to get a win today. We have only had the boat for a very short time and it always takes a bit to get a new yacht up to speed.”
Antipodes beat Peter Harrison’s Sojana in Tuesday’s race by less than a minute. However Sojana has a virtually unassailable lead in the division. Jan Rupert’s Tripp 75, Blackbird is in third.
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