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Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2018

Antigua classic regatta logo2

Only two months remain before the 31st Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Running from the 18th to the 24th April this year, the reagatta is a special event in the yachting calendar where serious sailing, laid back socialising and Caribbean camaraderie are the name of the game. Above all, however, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is set apart by its appreciation of the aesthetics and power of classic yacht design.

Kenny Coombs, Chairman Emeritus of the organising committee emphasised the passion uniting all participants at the regatta: “Everyone here is on the same level, whether you come in flip flops or private jet. We’re here for the sailing.”

Antigua Classic 2017 Cory Silken

Photo credit: Cory Silken, 2017 

A relaxed schedule of one race a day encourages visitors to luxuriate in the beautiful location and excellent conditions where the 1960s classic racers, highly polished vintage yachts and Carriacou sloops are set off to perfection.

Rodney Williams the Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda voiced the opinion of many when he said, “The parade of the impressive number of vintage and classic yachts from across the globe is a testament to the magical and memorable experience which each mariner has when he or she anchors in our world-renowned historic English Harbour or sails in our azure, crystal clear waters.”

Antigua Classic schooner start 2017 byTimWright

Schooner start 2017. Photo credit: Tim Wright

It is interesting to note that the organising committee defines a classic yacht as a boat with the following characteristics: 

  • Full keel

  • Moderate to heavy displacement

  • Built in wood or steel

  • Traditional rig and appearance

  • An old craft restored with new materials (e.g. epoxy and glass sheathing)

  • New craft built to a classic design  

  • Vessels of ferro cement may be accepted if they have a gaff or traditional schooner rig

  • Fibreglass yachts must have a long keel with a keel-hung rudder and be a descendant of a wooden hull design

Therefore, new and old yachts have the thrill of competing side by side, and with wind in their sails they all appear timeless. 

Exceptional modern sailing yachts, that do not fulfil the above requirements, are invited to join the Spirit of Tradition Class. This class is native to Antigua, invented in 1996 to showcase modern high-spec yachts that honour the beautiful lines and style of the classic tradition. Outstanding examples of this class are Alejandra, Rebecca, Marie and Athos.

Antigua Classic Mary Rose by Tobias Stoerkle

Mary Rose. Photo credit: Tobias Stoerkle

Dates for the Diary:

Tuesday 17 – Registration and opening ceremony
Wednesday 18 – Welcome Party at Antigua Yacht Club on the lawn 
Thursday 19 – Concours d'élégance. Classic single-handed race.
Sunday 22 – Parade of classics in English Harbour. Classic Vehicle Parade, Nelson's Dockyard 
Monday 23 – Race 4 – Prize giving ceremony at Nelson's Dockyard
Tuesday 24 – Gig Racing & Cream Tea Party, Admiral’s Inn, Nelson’s Dockyard


Not long to go now! If you haven’t signed up already, please do so here

 Antigua Classic Nelsons dockyard Ted Martin

Photo credit: Ted Martin


Many dedicated sponsors enable Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta to be the fantastic event it is every year. Leading sponsors this year are Lyman-Morse, the Maine shipyard that runs the Camden Classics Cup; the Mill Reef Yacht Club is sponsoring the event's t-shirts, caps and bags; Wadadli beer will help everyone kick back and relax after a hard day's racing, whilst Friends of the Regatta is a new association gathering the power of fans and patrons. 

If any yacht, shore-side business  or individual is interested in becoming a Friend of the Regatta, please contact Co-Chair Jane Coombs at jccomfortzone@gmail.com for further information.  

Rex Halcyon Hotel in the stunning Dickenson Bay is offering special crew rates 17-27 April. Dickenson Bay is a 40 minute drive to English Harbour but just ten minute's from the airport. Contact Kimberly King at salescaribbean@rexresorts.com.

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