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23rd Angostura Tobago Sailing Week

With just days to go until the start of the 23rd Angostura Tobago Sailing Week (May 8 to 13), the 2005 Caribbean racing season prepares to sign off with one of its most popular regattas. Last year, competitors battled it out in five classes – Comfort Cruising, Charter, Cruising, Cruiser-Racer and Racing, with entrants drawn from T&T, the Caribbean, US and UK, with Les Crouch’s Reichel Pugh ‘Storm’ taking the Racing Class ahead of Guardian Star and Legacy, whose skipper - the late Dougie Myers - will be conspicuously absent, and much missed this year.

The first Tobago Race Week was held in 1982, thanks to the efforts of five Trinidad sailors: Rawle Barrow, Kevin Kenny, John and Sydney Knox and Michael Rostant. Local supporter Angostura became the title sponsor in 1988, at a time when the regatta was mainly restricted to T&T and visiting boats from fierce rivals Barbados.

The introduction of a PHRF handicap system caused entry numbers to dwindle, and by 1993 the number of competitors reached its nadir. It took the efforts of Yachting World Editor Andrew Bray to help resurrect the regatta, bringing the event to the attention of international sailors through promotion in the magazine. As a result, 1994 was the comeback year – 51 visiting yachts and a whole lot more coming to watch the action.

The addition of a Live-Aboard Class at the same time attracted entrants from far-travelled cruisers in the area – the first winner being a crew from Switzerland out of a field that included British, American, South African and Australian boats.

Nowadays, the Tobago House of Assembly is one of the Regatta’s main supporters, as well as the Department of Tourism. Other sponsors include Pepsi, who sponsor the popular Wednesday Lay Day on Bon Accord Lagoon, DHL and Lucozade.

Those wishing to make a last-minute entry should contact regattapromotersltd@tstt.net.tt or fill the form out online at www.sailweek.com.

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