This year a record number of entries is planned for the 10th anniversary of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua scheduled to be held from 11 to 15 March 2020. More than 400 sailors from all over will be part of this event with 15 superyachts showing interest already. This regatta has one goal, and that is to create an ideal event for a very well selected group of superyachts.
The Gosnell Trophy
The regatta is known for good racing and above all good companionship. A festive celebration is held ashore, and the prizes are true to Caribbean tradition, barrels of rum to the winning teams in various categories. Both competitors and the race committee are involved in the voting process for the best competitor part-taking both on the sea and ashore. The prize is the well sought-after Gosnell Trophy. The 140ft German Frers ketch, Rebecca, last year’s winner of the trophy, will be doing her sixth year to defend her title. This will be done against one of the other leading competitors in Filip Balcaen at the helm of Nilaya, the 112ft Reichel Pugh sloop, defending her 2019 class win. Another attraction and in a serious run for the trophy is the entry of four modern superyachts. The 128ft Tripp designed sloop G2, Farfalla a 104ft Southern Wind sloop as well as Firebird and Guardian Angel 2 sloops from Humphreys Yacht Design Oyster. Another first-time entry, the more traditional Bequia, a 91ft yawl. The number of entries will be determined by the confirmation from the well-known UNESCO World Heritage site, Nelson’s Dockyard, that they can ensure outstanding amenities to all participants.
For 2020 the dates have moved from the usual late January/early February to March. This seems like a big decision, judged by the response of entries. According to Stan Pearson, SYCA founder and committee member, the reaction that they have received is overwhelming. Four races are held over four days. Even though the competition is done in good sportsmanship and camaraderie, it is still highly competitive. Course marks are set for five 12 – 30-mile races, which is dependent on the condition off the coast of Antigua. A large part of the competition is centred around providing superyacht owners, their guests and their crew with both competitive racings as well as laidback social events on shore. This is a commercial endorsement free event, and therefore the objective is providing all the facilities needs to stage an event of this kind. Safety is of high concern and thus emphasized at all times.
The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is most definitely a highlight in the sailing world of the Caribbean seas as well as being ear-marked in the social calendars of superyacht owners. Truly an event of sportsmanship, competitive sailing, entertainment and vast numbers of sailing elite. The highlight of the four-day regatta is the exciting prize-giving event at the end of day four.