British shine with three overall wins in Division A at Stanford Antigua Sailing Week 2/5/08

Panthera, Benny Kelly’s TP52 skippered by British sailor Andy Beadsworth, saw off tough competition including the likes of Mike Slade’s 100ft supermaxi ICAP Leopard and the custom-built 90ft Rambler to take an overall win in Racing I class. Kelly and team who came straight to Antigua from their recent overall win at Heineken Regatta sailed exceptionally well and celebrated in fine style in Nelson’s Dockyard after the final race.

Other British class wins include Yani in Racing III a Marten 49 sailed by Robert Swan and team, but in today’s race they were beaten by Barry Sampson and team, also from the UK, on a brand-new Club Swan 42. Sampson and team have only sailed one regatta in this sparkling new boat but are exceptionally pleased with her performance.

Chatting about the new boat, Sampson commented: “Basically I wanted a boat that was small enough for us old fools on board to handle and which didn’t overpower us, plus I really enjoy one-design racing. We have no kites, no poles just an asymmetric gennaker, swept-back spreaders and no running backstay. Antigua’s a great week and I’m sure we’ll be back. We had some good results despite a bit of a problem with our steering cable on the second day.”

Richard Matthews’ new racing boat Oystercatcher XXVI was designed by Tom Humphreys, son of yacht designer Rob Humphreys. She’s had an amazing week in the generally consistent breeze and finished second overall. This new 36ft carbonfibre flyer also finished second overall in the recent BVI Spring Regatta in Racing Class A and is certainly one to watch out for in future regattas.

There was more British success in Racing Class II with Stuart Robinson’s Swan 70 – Stay Calm – notching up a string of firsts to take an overall class win(pictured left). Robinson, sailing with his all-star crew including Neal and Lisa McDonald, and Russell Peters managed to hold off their nearest rivals on the Swan 68 Chippewa sailed by Clayton Deutsch from the USA. Peters commenting about the conditions said: “The wind was very light to start off with then kicked in a bit. We did really well off the start line, we got a good lead and kept and managed to keep our closest rivals, Chippawa, behind us.”

Calvin Reed’s Beneteau First 40.7 – Elandra of Hamble – tied for first in class but took second on tie break, and Pocket Rocket the J/109 from Ireland won Performance Cruiser Class III just beating Alliance, the ageing Sigma 38 owned and helmed by John Brantley.

In the Dragon fleet racing was so close there was a tie between the two Russian entries – Murka Dragon and Half Moon – for first place. Murka Dragon, sailed by Olga White, finished the week with identical scores to Sasha Eskov on Half Moon – 1,3,3,2,1. In third place overall, also with 10 points but counting less first places, was Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen and team on Compass Point.

The Bareboat Racing Class had their final showdown today in gold and silver fleets with Beluga V sailed by Ludger Hanneken and Matthias Maus from Germany cleaning up in the gold fleet aboard a Sun Odyssey 49. In the Bareboat Silver fleet there was no surprises to see frequent bareboat winner here in Antigua- Jan Soderberg and team from Sweden – take yet another overall win.

The overall prizegiving will take place at the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week ball at Nelson’s Dockyard tomorrow night.

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