Mike Sanderson and team off to a good start at Antigua Sailing Week 29/4/07

TheYachting World Trophyfor the fastest elapsed time around the island of Antigua kicked off Antigua Sailing Week for the big boat Division A racing classes this morning.

With a 15-20kt easterly breeze pushing in from the Atlantic the scene was set for fine blast round to Dickenson Bay for the first leg of the race. The second leg – from Dickinson Bay back to English Harbour – takes place tomorrow.

The squally conditions just as some of the early starters headed across the line looked threatening but although the wind held up the squalls passed through leaving a clear, typically windy Antiguan conditions for the 0950 big boat racing start.

Volvo Ocean Race winner ABN AMRO One with Mike ‘Moose’ Sanderson at the helm had an interesting start mixing it with the likes of Tom Hill’s 75ft maxi Titan 12 but within 10 minutes of the start had pulled through most of the fleets. A few tacks inshore just off the start she gained enough height to settle down on starboard tack and after rounding the point at Shirley Heights, was fully powered up ready for her 35-mile sprint to Dickinson Bay – in the lead.

The course, which is actually a distance of 35.4 miles, has a number of waypoints enroute with the finish line set off the beach at Dickenson Bay. Here the boats will anchor off the beach and enjoy one of the first major parties of the week – the famous Dickinson Bay Beach Bash.

The Division B yachts which includes all the cruising classes and bareboat charter fleets are currently racing in a westerly direction on a 24-mile course round the coast, north to Dickinson Bay. In theory all yachts should arrive together.
More news later.