The final race of the 2023 Superyacht Challenge Antigua was held off the South Coast of Antigua on Sunday 12 March. The weather this year was more Mediterranean than Caribbean but the spirit of regatta was unchanged. Now in its 12th edition, the Superyacht Challenge Antigua is an exciting, friendly event, designed to be solely for the pleasure of superyacht owners, their guests and crew.
The Gosnell Trophy is awarded as the overall prize. Each yacht competing yachts, and the race committee, cast one vote for the yacht that has competed in the Spirit of the Regatta, both afloat and ashore. This year’s winner was John McMonigall’s Oyster 82 Zig Zag. Racing for the seventh regatta in a row, Zig Zag has now won the Gosnell Trophy on two occasions.
“I feel quite emotional to tell you the truth,” commented Zig Zag’s John McMonigall. “I thought winning it last time was emotional and that was it, but to win again with this lovely friendly crew when we are laughing non-stop is just fantastic. I am terribly flattered that the other teams have voted for us. We may not have won a race this year but on the Antigua Carnival Night we did out-party everybody! It has been a great regatta; I just love it. Up against these huge yachts, you can feel out of place but everybody wanted us to come back and I am so glad that we did in double-spades!”
Zig Zag was a big winner on the social scene, which all counts in respect of winning the Gosnell Trophy. Loudest Caribbean Ladies shirt was won by Zig Zag Bow, Grace Murray. Emma Abreu’s Banana Fritters from the Coal Pot got a special mention at The Famous Cook Off and by far the youngest crew at the regatta, Cameron Raynes, was awarded “Best Boat Captain”, a driftwood toy boat was donated by Catalina, much to his delight of the two year-old.
Scoring two race wins after ORCsy time correction, the Regatta Series Winner was the 121ft Dykstra sloop Action. The afterguard included two of Great Britain’s most decorated sailors Ian Walker and Shirley Robertson. Action also scored well at the social evening winning the Best Team Caribbean wear on the Caribbean Night and Action’s Chef Caroline Jörgenson, won best Caribbean Dish at the Famous Cook Off.
“We are pleased with how we sailed, we are a crew that’s largely been together since 2016 so we were not starting from the very beginning each time and we felt quite quickly we were in our stride,” commented Action’s Shirley Robertson. “Ian Walker is fantastic on Action, he really brings everyone together with an intensity and a marvellous sense of humour, Ian is our secret ingredient but everybody on board has to do their job or it doesn’t work. Action is a great boat but everything has to be orchestrated, so well done to the permanent crew. The preparation and the huge amount of work to race a boat like Action takes months of work. I think we didn’t make many mistakes, so we didn’t leave much out there. It was good racing; we were all pretty close together and the results were tight in the end. We thoroughly enjoyed the regatta and we can certainly feel ready to go next week to St Barth’s Bucket Regatta.”