The Challenge is a one-day invitational one-design racing event featuring 24-foot RS Elite sailboats and offering top-quality racing for eight highly qualified skippers and their teams. Racing will take place in close proximity to Pigeon Beach inside Falmouth Harbour to provide maximum spectating opportunities from the beach as well as from the water. For those watching from the beach, Nonsuch Bay Resort will have the grill fired up in its hospitality tent with delicacies from Resort Chef Michael Husbands available for purchase.
Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner Peter Holmberg was last year’s Challenge winner and he will be returning to Antigua again this year to defend his title. “The Antigua Sailing Week organisers invited me to participate in the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge last year and I’m really pleased I accepted the invitation. They provided well organised racing close to Pigeon Beach which allowed us to really showcase our sport of sailing. Although we took the racing seriously, we had a lot of fun and it was a great way to spend Lay Day. I’ll definitely be back to defend my title this year,” said Holmberg.
Other teams signed up to participate in the Challenge this year include Team Phaedo^3 which has been breaking records around the Caribbean in its MOD 70 since its arrival in Antigua in February this year. There will be two all-women’s teams including Performance Yacht Charter with skipper Lucy Reynolds, and a KH+P yachtcharter team with Nicole Lameter at the helm. The Kick ‘Em Jenny team from St. Maarten will be participating this year as will a team from At Last . . . with skipper Pietro Corbucci. Rounding out the eight-team line up will be two teams that won a place to enter the Challenge at the Final of the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Summer Series held last December. Those teams will be led by Marc Fitzgerald of Sojana and Martin Beck who owns an RS Elite and is keenly promoting growth of the RS Elite class in Antigua.
Beach activities will get underway from 12:00 noon and racing will start promptly at 1:00 pm. There will be two qualifying series of four teams each with a maximum of three races each of approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length. The top two boats from each series will go to the final series which will also consist of a final three races.
The event came to life as a result of ideas thrown around by Mark Whinney, Marketing Director of Nonsuch Bay Resort. Mark loves the event and says: “Residents and guests at Nonsuch Bay Resort were getting so much enjoyment out of the RS Elites that we wanted to create a special event to provide greater exposure to both the RS Elite one-design fleet and of course to Nonsuch Bay Resort itself. We all agreed that there was no better time to do that than during Antigua Sailing Week. Racing in the Elites has become so popular that Nonsuch Bay has expanded its fleet over the past year and sailors have begun seeking out invitations to participate in the RS Elite Challenge on Lay Day every year.”
There will be live commentary from the beach throughout the event so spectators can easily follow the on-the-water action. A prize giving will take place at about 5:00 pm with trophies being awarded to the top three finishers with a prize for the overall winner of a week’s bed and breakfast accommodation at Nonsuch Bay Resort for two people, including use of all sailing equipment and facilities.
Simultaneously along the beach from mid-day DJs Easy P and Professor Irish will heat things up with beach games from DJ Sporty including cricket, football, a hot bikini competition, lime and spoon race, tug-o-war and more. Shuttles to the beach will run from Antigua Yacht Club all day and into the night.
A Veuve Clicquot Sunset Party will also take place from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Catherine’s Café Plage. For full details on all of this and the entire week’s schedule check out www.sailingweek.com, Facebook or download the App at the App Store or on Google Play. Search for Antigua Sailing Week or ASW 2015.
Anyone interested in finding out more about Nonsuch Bay Resort has the chance to win a weekend break including, breakfast a sailing lesson and use of other non-motorised watersports. For a chance to do so please download the Antigua Sailing Week App and follow instructions in the notification you receive from the App.
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