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Monday 18th December 2017

Antigua Pro Racing, with the proud support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, The Inn at English Harbour and Caribbean Alliance Insurance, hosted its fourth Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge where eleven (11) races took place over the weekend on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th December, 2017 in the Falmouth Harbour on identical Petticrow Dragons.

This year's event consisted of 6 teams, each representing a different yacht club from around the world, sailing in a friendly competition to determine the overall champion. The winning yacht club will earn itself paid entry and accommodation at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort to defend its title in December 2018.

The main focus of this year’s event was to raise money to assist (ABSAR) Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue, for all the hard work that they have provided to Antigua and Barbuda over the years, and especially with their quick response to the Barbuda relief and rescue back in September 2017.

The prize giving event was held on Saturday 16th December, 2017 in the evening at the Inn Restaurant in English Harbour, where prizes were awarded.

In third place was Shannon Falcone representing the Antigua Yacht Club with a total of 29.1 points.

Second place went to Adam Bateman representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with a total of 26 points.

Skippers and their crew

The winner and also the defender was Mike Toppa representing the Lauderdale Yacht Club with an astounding 13.5 point, giving him bragging rights for another year and also free entry and accommodations for the 2018 event.

The biggest moment of the night was the handing over of cheque for $16,000 to Jonathan Cornelius of ABSAR by Mr. Carlo Falcone, the owner of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina & Resort and also the Event Creator.

Left -Right: Jonathan Cornelius of ABSAR and Carlo Falcone

A brief history of the six skippers who participated in this year's Dragon Challenge.

Adam Bateman – Yacht Club Costa Smeralda – Started sailing Optimist in the RYA Youth Squad, moved into the Super Yacht world at the age of 19 & has been captain for the past 18 years.

Shannon Falcone – Antigua Yacht Club - In February 2010, Shannon Falcone became the first Antiguan to win the America’s Cup as part of Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing, and successfully defended it in San Francisco in 2013 as part of Oracle Team USA. Shannon has also competed with PUMA Ocean Racing in the two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race and holds the Transatlantic Monohull record with the super-maxi Comanche.

Mike Toppa – Lauderdale YC - American Mike Toppa has competed in seven America’s Cup campaigns as sailor and designer, winning the Auld Mug on two separate occasions. Mike sails all sorts of different boats, from one design to Super Yachts, and has won World Championships in the 12m, Swan and Maxi classes.

Jeremy Thorp – Royal Southern YC – Jeremy started competitive sailing in 2013 competing in the Etchells class. With his team, Stuart Childerley - two times Etchells World champion and Antigua Sailing Week race officer, the PHAN team won the 2014 Etchells European championship and they were 4th in the Etchells Worlds in 2015. Jeremy now competes in the J70 class recently coming 16th in the Worlds in Puerto Cervo in September out of a fleet of 188 boats. Next is racing the GP 42 in the Sailing week in May.

Martin Beck – Salcombe YC – Has sailed since he was a child in Salcombe, a beautiful tidal estuary in Southern England, the local class is a Salcombe Yawl, an 18 ft Mahogany clinker classic dinghy. He is a passionate one design sailor and is trying hard to build a class of Rs Elites here in Antigua, owning two here and one at home!

Carlo Falcone – Monaco YC- Carlo Falcone represented Antigua & Barbuda in the Star Class at the Barcelona Olympics  and this inaugural event. Carlo has been a regular competitor at Antigua Sailing Week with the s/y Caccia lla Volpe and Antigua Classics with s/y Mariella for decades and has won both events.

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