For a special 30th year celebration, the 2017 Antigua Yacht Club is proud to partner with the National Parks Authority to host the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in Nelson’s Dockyard, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is the first event in the annual Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge taking place this year from 19-25 April.
This brings history full circle as traditional yachting returns to the spot where Caribbean chartering began in the 1960‘s under the direction of the Nicholson family, giving a nod to the importance of heritage and tradition.
The event began as an informal challenge between captains and crew to race from Antigua to Guadeloupe at the end of the charter season. In 1967 this evolved into the Antigua Sailing Week for classic yachts. Over the ensuing 24 years, the classics were slowly outnumbered by faster, modern racing yachts and the few classics still racing by 1987 were grouped with cruising Class 3, which was less than favourable for these hard to manoeuvre full-keeled vessels.
Finally captains Uli Pruesse and Kenny Coombs rallied with other classic skippers and in 1988 the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta was formally established.
This popular regatta has continued to evolve, with the introduction of the Concours d’Elégance in the early 1990s followed by the Spirit of Tradition Class in 1996, giving newer classics the chance to race alongside predecessors built decades earlier. In 1999 the J Class yachts also had their first race in 60 years.