Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

This race began in the 1960’s as a result of English Harbor charter yacht captains and crews racing each other down to Guadaloupe at the end of the charter season. It is now a regular event, drawing attention from around the world. Racing occurs off the South coast of Antigua and there are several classes today, but the old classics can be seen in all their restored glory.

Antigua Sailing Week

Sailing Week began in 1968 when a group of hoteliers and others decided to create an event that would entice visitors to remain in Antigua after the winter season had ended. The first Antigua Sailing Week was as the name suggested, a week-long event, with boats from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean participating. Sailing Week has now been run every year since and is one of the highlights of the sailing world.

America ’s Cup

The America’s Cup race began its history when the yacht America sailed across the Atlantic ocean to challenge the best the British fleet had to offer to a race. The cup is held by the winning team until the next America’s Cup race. Competition for this much-coveted cup is fierce, and brings the world’s best sailors from around the globe together to compete for it. The America’s Cup race is one of the toughest to win. The race is run when the winning team is challenged for the Cup and the team holding the cup decides the venue for the race.

Chicago to Mackinac

At 333 miles the Chicago to Mackinac is the world’s longest annual freshwater sailing race and began in 1898 with only 5 yachts. Through the early part of the 20th century the race was not held annually, but now is staged annually without fail. Although the race is undertaken in fresh water the unpredictable winds and weather on Lake Michigan make it every bit of a challenge as a sea-going race. Today the race attracts sailors from all corners of the globe.

Cowes Week

Cowes Week has been an annual event in the UK since 1826, with the exception of the years of World Wars I and II. The prize for the first race ever run was a £100 Gold Cup and was competed for by seven yachts from the Royal Yacht Club. Today between 800 and 1200 boats compete over 8 days, with 8000 world and Olympic class sailors as well as weekend sailing enthusiasts taking part in a wide variety of class races, and the event attracts over 100,000 spectators.

Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race

Started in 1977, the first race held saw 104 boats cross the finishing line. The race begins in Marion, Massachusetts and ends off St. David’s Head, Bermuda. The race is an opportunity for cruising yachts and amateur sailors to undertake an ocean race, meeting in Bermuda for some after-race camaraderie. While fun and the enjoyment of sailing are at the forefront of this race there are prizes awarded for the winners of each class.

Newport Bermuda Race

Competitors in this biennial yacht race cover 635 miles of ocean in 3 to 6 days, much of it out of sight of land. This race is one of the oldest regularly scheduled races and one of the few international distance races. It began in 1906 and its 50th event was held in 2016. The race attracts sailors from around the world and between 160 and 200 boats put to sea to compete. The race begins in Newport, Rhode Island and is completed when the boat arrives offshore from St. David’s Lighthouse, Bermuda. It is not a race for novices and typically teams consist of at least 8 men and women.
Quantum Key West Race – Racing is held in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key West, and is run by the Storm Trysail Club. It began in 1987 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017.

Rolex Fastnet

The Rolex Fastnet race began in 1925 and has evolved over the years into one of the world’s greatest ocean races. Competitors travel over 600 miles and take 5 days to travel around the Fastnet Rock on the Southern tip of Ireland, battling harsh winds, uncertain tides and unpredictable weather, making it an extremely challenging but satisfying race to complete.

Vendee Globe

The Vendee Globe is held every four years and entails sailing non-stop around the world single handedly, without any outside assistance. Philipe Jeantot founded the race in 1989. The race begins and ends in France, and is considered to be the most extreme test of endurance while experiencing the ultimate in ocean racing. The race is open to monohull yachts that conform to the criteria of the Open 60 class. While competitors are allowed to stop at anchor they are not to pull up quayside or alongside another vessel and cannot receive assistance of any kind, not even weather or route information.
Volvo Ocean Race – Previously known as The Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, the Volvo Ocean Race covers 46,000 nautical miles around the world. Some say the Volvo Ocean Race is the toughest and longest professional sporting event in the world, and it certainly is challenging team races, giving it one of the spots in the Big Three events in sailing, alongside the America’s Cup and the Olympics.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The race has been run for 72 years and has become one of the highlights of the Australian summer sport season and is now as iconic as Melbourne Cup Day. The race is one of the biggest media sporting events in the world. As the name suggests the race is sailed over the waters between Sydney Harbor and Hobart, Tasmania and covers approximately 630 nautical miles, and is held annually.