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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Antigua Sailing Week is now underway with 211 boats in 16 classes registered.

Twenty-eight yachts 60 feet plus have gathered, with the fastest monohull in the world Mari Cha IV, the superfast 140-foot schooner which recently smashed the trans-Atlantic record, leading the charge. Twenty-four countries are represented including Russia and Hungary entering for the first time. A total of 28 Swans are competing - a record for Antigua Sailing Week - and a king's ransom of international sailing talent that is hard to keep track of is scattered through the fleet.

In racing Big Boat I, Mari Cha IV is up against the two canting keel maxZ86 sleds Morning Glory and Pyewacket, Titan 12, the Reichel Pugh 75, Farr 70 Atalanta II, Bill Alcott's Andrews 70 Equation, and Volvo 60s Venom and Spirit.

Today sees the Dickenson Bay Race followed by the Great Dickenson Bay Beach Bash.
Monday, Division A yachts will race Olympic courses off Dickenson Bay and Division B will race to Jolly Harbour.
Tuesday is the Falmouth Harbour Race, which is followed by Lay-Day fun on Wednesday at Antigua Yacht Club.

Thursday, the yachts are back on the ocean with Division A racing windward/leeward courses and Division B sailing the South Coast Race.
Friday marks the last official day of racing with the Ocean Race. Saturday the prize giving is preceded with the Second Annual Bareboat Challenge Championship Race.

The Lord Nelson's Ball and prize giving wraps the event on Saturday evening. Then on Saturday 8 May Venom and Spirit will be racing back across the Atlantic in a challenge match.

The "60's Atlantic Challenge" will start in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and be non-stop to Falmouth in the UK. Organised by the World Cruising Club in conjunction with the Antigua Yacht Club and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, the crossing is expected to take between 15 and 17 days racing across the ocean at speeds in excess of 20 knots. You can keep up to date with Spirits progress with daily reports from the crew on board..







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