Antigua Sailing Week (Photo: Justin Peters for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority)
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Antigua and Barbuda tourism officials and yachting stakeholders are optimistic about the 2017 sailing season, as the destination recognizes the 30th anniversary of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and 50th anniversary of Antigua Sailing Week. And, preparations for new additions and returning events to the sailing calendar are well underway.
Registrations for the flagship destination sailing event, the Antigua Sailing Week, are impressively more than double the entries received during the same period in 2016, while expressions of interest for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta are trending up.
Organizers of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) 600 are also indicating that 2017 will be another record year in entries for super racers with names such as the famed Trimaran Phaedo³ as well as Rambler 100, Proteus and Bella Mente expected for the February event.
Antigua and Barbuda’s robust sailing calendar will further be extended with the 2017 introduction of the well-received Antigua Bermuda Race, which takes place a week after Antigua Sailing Week.
The Antigua and Barbuda ministry of tourism partnering with organizers of the sailing regattas will invest heavily into the hosting of the events, to attract more visitors to the destination.
“The yachting and marine industry has already seen many favorable gains in the past two years as a direct result of improvements made to our yachting product and investments in supporting marine services”, says Antigua and Barbuda minister of tourism, Asot Michael.
“In 2016, the ministry of tourism initiated a series of infrastructural developments, to include the APUA installation of an osmosis plant specifically for the marina and the surrounding areas, which has vastly improved the water supply in and around the Dockyard; while the introduction of low sulfur fuel from the West Indies Oil Company has allowed the marinas to compete and adhere to environmental standards that the yachting industry requires.
“We were instrumental in ensuring that Peters & May, a global leader in the yachting transportation service, began operations from Antigua, which ensures that we can attract more yachts to participate in our Regattas,” the tourism minister said.
Ministry of tourism officials, along with the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, continue to work closely in rolling out new initiatives, to ensure the further success of the industry and cementing Antigua and Barbuda’s position as the Mecca of Caribbean sailing.