Day one of racing Antigua Sailing Week saw perfect sailing but also a broken boom for ICAP leopard which has forced her to abandon sailing for the week

Day one of the Antigua’s 42nd Sailing Week racing saw Caribbean conditions at their best – sunshine and 20 refreshing knots of trade wind to greet the enthusiastic international crews. Whilst the out-and-out racers in division A took part in windward / leeward races, the seven cruising and performance cruising classes in Division B had a 3-4 hour south coast race.
But the shock of the day and a real blow to the week, was ICAP Leopard breaking her boom before the start, which has resulted in Mike Slade and his 25 strong crew having to retire for the week. One of the week’s star billings and having won the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race yesterday, Leopard was an odds on favourite to take Yachting World’s Round the Island Race tomorrow (Sunday) and the triple bill Ocean Series – a regatta within the regatta comprising three offshore races. Instead Tony Bullimore will surely be licking his lips for line honours tomorrow, having just pulled into port in his 102ft catamaran re-branded Spirit of Antigua. Coincidentally there was another broken boom incident elsewhere – on a Hunter 49 called Veritas – who have luckily since been able to repair the fitting in time for tomorrows racing.
With Leopard out, Charles Dunstone’s TP52 Rio was able to romp home over three minutes of corrected time ahead of Yeoman XXXII and Windemere III in Racing Division 1 (all three shown crossing the startline in the picture).
Despite missing Stanford as the title sponsor, the 141 strong entry list is only 34 down on last year. And it promises to be an eventful week, with an extra day of racing (ASW traditionally started on the Sunday), and no lay day, but certainly enough shore events to keep even the hardiest party animals happy.