Superyacht Cup Antigua (December 12 – 15, 2007)


Superyacht CupThe second annual Superyacht Cup Antigua is just around the corner, beginning December 12, 2007. After hosting the successful event last season, the Antigua and Barbuda National Parks Authority is ready to go again. All in all, 15 entires are expected for the race.

Immediately following the Antigua Yacht Charter Show, The Superyacht Cup affords the new owners and guests their first opportunity to use their boats in the winter season. In addition, the Cup gives the crews an excuse to throw down and par-tay before the busy Christmas charter period.

The event follows the same format as the Superyacht Cup in Palma – three days of pursuit racing and a specially developed ‘superyacht performance assessment’ to provide exciting, competitive sailing for everyone. Each evening the social program will present the best of Caribbean hospitality at the famous Superyacht Cup social functions.

Antigua is considered a hot spot for cruising yachts, with its stellar facilities, services, and accommodations. Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour sets the stage for the event. I’ve not had the chance to visit, but the website promises this to be a a natural, beautiful and protected harbour with hundreds of years of seafaring history.

Off of the harbour, The sailing is held in “ideal trade wind conditions and crystal blue waters.” The races take the fleet out to sea, along the coast to Curtain Bluff and back to the finish off the cliffs at the entrance to the harbour. The average 22 nautical mile courses bring all the yachts back in to the harbour in time for sundowner cocktails and the evening entertainment. That’s the important part. The final night Superyacht Cup Prize Giving Ball will be held in The Copper & Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson’s Dockyard.

The Boats

Who can you expect to see at the event? Sojana, Rebecca, Tenacious, Timoneer, Yanneke Too, Patient Falcon, Virago and Carl Linn. Those are the boats, not the people :). This is why I can’t be a boat owner – I could never come up with a respectable name for my ship.

How Does it Work?

Apparently, it’s not a good idea to start a race for that many superyachts from the same start line. Those are some large vessles. So the brains behind the Superyacht Cup have developed a set of rules based on the priciples of “Pursuit Racing.”

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The Pursuit system is based on an elapsed time and points system calculated over three days. The Superyacht Cup operates a ‘low points win’ system. By adjusting the start times of each yacht per day based on the previous days performance, the system allows for the yachts to be rated as fairly as possible, and ensure a close finish to the event by Day 3.

Sounds complicated, but it’s not too bad. Start times are staggered, with the slower yachts beginning first. The objective is to pass the boat(s) in front of you. Your points are determined by your finishing position. Day 2 and 3 add points on to that total, using a formula that I just don’t want to replicate here.

Schedule

Wednesday December 12 – Registration Day

10.00 to 14.00: Registration at the event office in Nelson’s Dockyard
16.00: Sponsor Meeting at The Copper & Lumber Hotel
18.00 to 21.00: Welcome Reception Drinks and canapés. (Dress is smart-casual)

Thursday December 13

10.00: Captain’s briefing at Nelson’s Dockyard
13.00: (TBC) 1st Start, Camper & Nicholsons International, Rally 1
18.00 to 21.00: “Carribean Night” Party and BBQ at Nelson’s Dockyard

Friday December 14

10.00: Captain’s briefing, Nelson’s Dockyard
13.00: (TBC) 1st Start, Rally 2
18.00 to 20.00: “Pantaenius Happy Hour” at Nelson’s Dockyard

Saturday December 15

10.00: Captain’s briefing, at Nelson’s Dockyard
13.00: (TBC) 1st Start, Rally 3
20.00: Awards Dinner at the Copper & Lumber Store with champagne reception and live entertainment. (Dress is loud shirt/Caribbean style)

There’s still time to register for the event!