April in Antigua is action-packed with surf and turf.

April in Antigua is action-packed with surf and turf.

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The crowd cheers when the trophy was awarded at the 2014 Antigua Sailing Week. Photo: Antigua Sailing Week.

Antigua Sailing Week
Take a few days to visit Antigua’s restaurants, resorts and recreational facilities on land and sea. Then from April 25 to May 1 watch the legendary “grandaddy” of Caribbean yacht regattas, Antigua Sailing Week, which features a 100-plus strong fleet. On the sea, organizers are adding more courses with a greater number of reaching legs. These reaching legs will be especially fun for the growing number of gunboats and other high-performance cruising catamarans. Spectators can keep an eye on the action from atop Fort Charlotte and Shirley Heights. In addition, “We will be launching our Antigua Sailing Week APP available to Android and IOS users from their APP stores. This will ensure that visitors can be constantly up-to-date with what is happening out on the water, plus we will have lots of competitions available only to people who download the APP,” says organizer, Alison Sly-Adams. sailingweek.com

World-Class Cricket Match
Watch world-class cricket when England squares off against the West Indies in a three-series test tour in the Caribbean this month. The action starts April 13-17 in Antigua at the famous 10,000-seat Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound built in 2007 for the World Cup. This host opportunity is a feather in the cap of the St. John’s, Antigua-headquartered West Indies Cricket Board, which embarked on a highly competitive venue bidding process and won against other first-rate facilities around the world. The second test match takes place April 21-25 at the Grenada National Stadium and the third is set for May 1-5 at the Kensington Oval, Barbados. Test cricket, as the name implies, tests the strength and ability of the best cricketing teams in the world. The two first-class teams play a gruelling four-inning match that lasts up to five full days. windiescricket.com

Classic Yacht Racing
Head south from the cricket stadium to the Antigua Yacht Club in English Harbour just in time for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta April 17-20. More than 50 classic ketches, sloops, schooners, yawls, and traditional island-built craft will take to the seas for some highly competitive and stunningly beautiful racing. “Having all of the classic yachts together on one dock is a very special sight and it creates great camaraderie among the crew,” says press officer Ginny Field. All racing happens off the south coast of Antigua. There are shoreside parties and nightly music at the Antigua Yacht Club and in the English Harbour area. One of the most spectacular feats for spectators is the Parade of Classics, which is held at Nelson’s Dockyard, starting at 1:30PM on April 19th. It’s a chance to see some of the most impressively well-kept classics in this part of the world. New this year, a slightly shortened program calls for only one day of registration, and the Awards Ceremony immediately follows the last race to award the many prizes. “Aside from the racing, the Concours d’Elégance competition is taken very seriously for there is a huge sense of achievement to win a prize for the maintenance and magnificent look of a classic yacht,” Field explains. antiguaclassics.com

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating April 2015