Updated 25 July 2023
In 2017, Antigua celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of its most famous annual events. Known as Antigua Sailing Week on the island, and throughout the sailing world, this week-long event is based at historic and scenic Nelson’s Dockyard on Antigua. As one of the island’s most famous and popular annual events it is also one of the most popular regattas throughout the entire world. Typically, more than five thousand visitors descend on the island by air or sea to watch roughly 200 yachts compete. More than twenty different countries have yachts competing, and an enormous range of sailors arrive, too.
With more than one thousand sailors in the competition, and five different races, it is a fantastic event for fans of sailing, yachts or the sea. It is, of course, also a great time for anyone to visit the island and meet a unique and dynamic group of people. After all, the week-long event is also packed with onshore activities, mostly in the form of enormous parties and special events. As Sailing Week reports, “All of the action will be located in and around Nelson’s Dockyard and the adjoining English Harbour… there will be daily prizes at which skippers and crews from all over the world meet for a post-race debate over a cold one in the Beer Garden at Antigua Yacht Club. The now legendary ‘Reggae in the Park’, is the Big Party Night in Nelson’s Dockyard with live music from local artists and the main international act, yet to be announced! Following the Big Party Night is the Lay Day Beach Party, featuring the invitational Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge.”
Noted for the remarkable trade winds and the gorgeous seascapes, Antigua consistently proves itself to be a perfect choice for sailing competitions. Few other yacht racing venues can offer what is necessary for attracting such exclusive and discerning competitors. In fact, the Antigua Regattas have only grown in esteem over the decades with many skilled sailors viewing it as the last great sea battle of the annual sailing season.
The Antigua Regattas
The various Antigua Regattas are slated to run from November to May annually and include the following events :
~ Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta @ Jolly Harbour Yacht Club (12 > 14 February)
~ Antigua 360 RTI Race @ Antigua Yacht Club (February)
~ RORC Caribbean 600 @ Antigua Yacht Club (February)
~ Superyacht Challenge Antigua @ Antigua Yacht Club ( March)
~ Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta @ Antigua Yacht Club (March - April)
~ Peters & May Round Antigua Race @ Antigua Yacht Club (April)
~ Antigua Sailing Week @ Antigua Yacht Club (April)
~ Antigua to Bermuda Race (May)
~ Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta (19 November)
~ Nelson’s Pursuit Race @ Antigua Yacht Club (31 December)
If you are contemplating a visit to Antigua, you will certainly want to consider visiting during this wonderful event. Not only do you get to witness world champion sailors competing in some of the finest yachts in the world, but the entire week is full of unique events and activities that only occur during the Antigua Regattas each year.