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Tuesday 18th December 2012

Rebecca racing in the Antigua Super Yacht Challenge 2012.  Photo by Kathy Lammers

The entry list for the 2012 Nelson’s Pursuit Race is shaping up nicely and the first couple of entries are in - and they’re not just any entries!  They are none other than the 139-foot classic ketch Rebecca, a regular participant and record-holder in the Nelson’s Pursuit Race, and 100-foot Farr designed Leopard 3 which has been chartered by guests from the exclusive Jumby Bay Resort off the north coast of Antigua.

Clearly there is already excellent competition in the classic and big boat racing categories which will surely encourage other boats in those classes to enter this not-to-be-missed race.  But in keeping with tradition, there will be an excellent fleet of yachts of all sizes – which in the past have included boats of less than 20 feet, Carriacou sloops and a wide range of both racing and cruising yachts.  This is an all-comers event and provides an afternoon of fun and excitement for everyone!

The race was conceived as a re-enactment of Lord Nelson’s pursuit of the French fleet.  The slowest boat to enter the race starts first and carries the French flag, with the remainder of the fleet representing the British in hot pursuit attempting to capture the French flag and claim victory for the Brits.  Effectively, all boats are assigned a start time based on the size of the boat and its anticipated speed around the course.  The first boat to cross the finish line is declared the winner!

The race is held on New Year’s Eve day and with the first start between 11:00 am and noon below Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour.  A skippers’ briefing will be held at Antigua Yacht Club on Saturday, December 29 at 6:00 pm and it is important that all entrants attend the briefing at which time they will be assigned their start time and provided with a detailed explanation of the course.  In order for the committee to allocate accurate start times, it is essential that you get your entry in early.

All proceeds from this race are donated to a very worthwhile charity – the St. John Hospice which provides palliative care for the terminally ill in Antigua.  In addition to the usual entry fee, the organisers this year will be asking for a donation of EC $20 per crew member to really boost the total funds raised for the charitable organisation which relies entirely on donations to continue to provide essential services.

If you’re going to be in Antigua around New Year’s Eve this year, don’t miss this gentleman’s race which will assure you an exciting start to your New Year’s Eve celebrations.  The race will be followed by the prize giving ceremony at 5:00 pm on the steps of the Officer’s quarters in Nelson’s Dockyard and will include copious quantities of Chippy’s famous rum punch.  The overall winner of the race will receive a commemorative scrimshaw engraving and all entries will receive a bottle of rum!

We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water!

For further information or to enter, contact Nesie at Antigua Yacht Club (+1 268 460 1799), Tom Paterson (+1 268 464 3424) or Stan Pearson (+1 268 464 2388).

To read the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, click here.

To print a copy of the entry form, click here.

Article by Kathy Lammers, Editor of Antigua’s Yachting Insider

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