By Gemma Handy
As the countdown to this year’s hotly anticipated Antigua Sailing Week continues, organisers have confirmed the return of its signature social event.
Many of the decades-old regatta’s shoreside activities had looked set to be curtailed due to fears of Covid contagion.
But with principle safety protocols now lifted, the stage is set for Reggae in the Park to once again delight music lovers.
The concert will take place on May 3 – albeit with some changes to the traditional format.
Usually held in the Antigua Naval Dockyard, Reggae in the Park has seen a slew of international headline acts over the years including Tarrus Riley, Damian Marley and Christopher Martin.
This year’s location and performers are still yet to be confirmed, Antigua Sailing Week’s President Alison Sly-Adams told Observer.
“I can tell you it won’t be international acts; it will be local acts. And it will be in a great venue but it definitely won’t be the dockyard.
“Because of the importance of retaining the dockyard’s UNESCO status, it’s agreed it’s not the ideal location going forward,” she explained.
“We are looking at a few alternative venues but where we decide to go will still fit a substantial crowd in there.”
Sailing Week has long been a highlight of the country’s sporting and social calendar.
Founded in 1967, it is cited as one of the world’s top regattas attracting thousands of sailors and spectators from across the world.
The Covid pandemic saw it placed on ice for the last two years, heightening interest in the 2022 edition; already almost 100 boats from 18 countries have signed up to take part.
“We’re super excited that we can make Reggae in the Park happen this year. And we’re really delighted that we are going to be inviting Antiguan artists to be on the stage,” Sly-Adams said.
“It’s been a tough two years for them as much as everyone, so I think it’s great we can all work together to make it happen this year,” she added.
The 53rd edition of Antigua Sailing Week kicks off on April 30 with the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race, followed by five days of high-energy competitive racing.