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Antigua Sailing Week: Serious fun

Published 1103 GMT (1903 HKT) April 27, 2018
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The world famous Antigua Sailing Week welcomes more than 100 boats and 1,000 sailors for a spectacular mix of competitive racing and partying. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
The prestigious event began in 1968, growing out of informal races between friends in the 1950s from Antigua to nearby Guadeloupe. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
The huge 115ft ketch Sojana, owned by British businessman Sir Peter Harrison, will be one of the big stars of this year's regatta. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week is based out of English Harbour on the south coast of the island and will feature daily races plus a Round Antigua race. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
English Harbour features the historic Nelson's Dockyard, named after the Royal Navy's Admiral Horatio Nelson, who lived here in the 1780s. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua, in the central Caribbean, is blessed with warm trade winds and stunning scenery. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
The shore-based activities are as important for some as the racing. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Sojana might exude luxury but she is fast too, having crossed the Atlantic in nine days and 10 hours. She can reach speeds of 20 knots downwind. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week's "absolute DNA is fantastic racing," mixed with a lively, relaxed social scene, says commercial director Alison Sly-Adams. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
About 40% of entries are local boats chartered by visitors, with 30% of boats coming from abroad and the rest owned by Caribbean sailors. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Crews come mainly from the UK, Germany, US and the Caribbean. Sleeper X (pictured) is a British-registered Swan 48. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua sailor Sir Hugh Bailey's Team Rebel is a past winner of the Lord Nelson Trophy. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Entries range from Sojana down to 20ft keelboats. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
English Harbour buzzes with sailors from 30 nations during the week. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
"We've got this weird balance because in the Caribbean the whole perception is it will be very relaxed, which it is once you're off the water. When you're on the water, it's really serious and very well run," says Sly-Adams. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua escaped the ravages of Hurricane Irma and enters its 51st year "on an upward curve," says Sly-Adams. Paul Wyeth/Antigua Sailing Week