In 2010 the race begins again
The Superyacht Cup Antigua officially starts today (28 January 2010) with a total of six boats competing for the title of first place.
This year, the competition is sure to be full of excitement as the worldâ€™s largest single-masted yacht, the Mirabella V, will be participating. 365antigua.com was there for the official welcoming ceremony at the Admirals Inn in Nelsonâ€™s Dockyard, where the guest list included Culture Minister Eleston â€œNambaâ€ Adams. Media and Communications Officer for the Superyacht Cup Antigua, Kate Branagh, spoke with 365antigua.com stating that while all the boats competing this year were spectacular, they were particularly excited to have attracted the Mirabella V.
In a depressed economy and a slow-to-rebound tourism climate, one wonders what it is specifically that attracts these sportsmen to the shores of Antigua and Barbuda. Branagh offered up her opinion on the matter stating that Antigua has traditionally been a popular base for boats during the winter season. Boats as far away as Europe or the East Coast of the US choose Antigua because, according to Branagh, the island offers â€œexcellent facilitiesâ€, good marina services and the ability to do rigging work; traits which, Branagh stated puts Antigua ahead of a lot of other destinations. She also alluded to the sentimentality of those captains who have fallen in love with the island and who have decided to make it home for them and their families.
The turnout for this yearâ€™s race is decidedly average according to Branagh, however, she was quick to point out that quantity would have no influence on quality, noting that the six boats competing were of the six best quality boats, which will make for an interesting and unpredictable race. She also stated unequivocally that the athleticism of the race participants in the Superyacht Cup Antigua was something to be greatly admired. According to Branagh, success in the rigorous event requires not only teamwork but that each crewman be in peak physical condition.
Despite the excitement already being generated for this yearâ€™s event, Branagh expressed her concern for the future of the race if the number of boats does not increase. â€œWe have to make it grow to make it work not only for the sponsors but also for the island. Unfortunately, people measure success on how many boats take part and in order for us to confirm the longevity of the regatta, we will need bigger numbers.â€
The Superyacht Cup Antigua will continue this week and end with the third and final race on 30 January 2010.