In part one of this blog of the top yachting events around the world we looked at Cowes Week and the Volvo Ocean Race. Two completely different sailing events that in their own way are as difficult as each other. The Volvo Ocean Race is an endurance race whilst Cowes Week has some serious sailors pitting themselves up against some of the fastest sailing boats around. We continue our voyage and travel first to the Caribbean and the Antigua sailing week.
Antigua Sailing Week
The Antigua Sailing Week can feature as many as two hundred yachts and as many as fifteen hundred competitors. It all started back in 1968 when a group of friends decided that Antigua was the very place to be the host for a great yacht race, and the Antigua Sailing Week was born.
Some of this group owned hotels on the island and part of the reason for holding a regatta was to extend the holiday season and keep guests on Antigua. It was actually the Antigua Hotel Association which organized and sponsored the first event which was held in June. Crews and boats came from Canada, the United States and all around the Caribbean.
The first Antigua Sailing Week received so much attention that it has been held every year since 1968 and has grown bigger and better attracting teams from not just North America and the Caribbean but from around the globe.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race signals the pinnacle of a summer of Australian summer sport, and ranks up with the traditional Boxing Day cricket match, the Melbourne Cup and the Australian Tennis Open for both spectators and world attention. Starting in iconic Sydney Harbor no yachting race has as much media coverage than this prestigious sailing event. Now sponsored by Rolex and organized by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia the event is world famous and is even getting bigger.
The race has had an important effect on ocean racing and has had a profound effect on sailing safety and communications at sea. The sailors that compete are truly international sailors and many have had success in other races around the world. Past winners of the Sydney to Hobart race have been victors in the Fastnet Race, BOC Challenge, One Ton Cup, Kenwood Cup and the Admiral’s Cup. The event is more than a simply a yacht race, and it is a massive festive occasion for the whole family. Live bands feature, with wonderful food and drinks stalls providing entertainment for the massive crowd that gathers for the event.
The Hobart Race Village also provides the best vantage point to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks and activities. And the Village is also the only outdoor festival in Hobart on the night. We conclude our long voyage to take in some of the best yachting events in the world with this great event, and like all sailing events the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is full of fun and frolics, plus of course great sailing action.