Monday, 30 July 2012 02:30
By press release
Antigua St. John’s – The organisers of Antigua Sailing Week are buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from participants following Antigua Sailing Week 2012.
Because feedback is deemed crucial to the future success of the event, over the years responses have been collected via online surveys, social networks, email, and good, old fashioned word-of-mouth, all of which have become increasingly useful in providing insight into what worked and what didn’t.
“Overall, the resounding message that has been received from all feedback following Antigua Sailing Week 2012 is that it is once again the regatta on the Caribbean circuit and one not to be missed,” the Antigua Sailing Week Committee said in a release.
“With that message comes the expectation that entry numbers will continue to grow in 2013 and future years.”
Some of the key areas include the unanimous agreement that the annual regatta has improved tremendously over the past two years, and is on track for future growth;
acceptance of class divisions with virtually no negative comments; and satisfaction with the number of races and the time spent on the water.
Respondents also rated the Yachting World Round Antigua Race as an overwhelming success, and as awareness of this race spreads, considerable growth in participation is anticipated, including from boats not entered in Antigua Sailing Week.
Also, the two new Race Officers who joined the committee in 2012, along with their support teams, were complimented for doing an excellent job. It was thought that they worked very well together which led to virtually flawless on-the-water race management. The compliments came from many sailors, including professional sailors who race in regattas around the world, and it is expected that the same Race Officers and their teams will be back for Antigua Sailing Week 2013.
The new Committee Desk location at Antigua Yacht Club was very well received by both sailors and committee members. There were some space limitations which were more of an issue for the committee than for the sailors, but those limitations should be resolved in 2013 when the Yacht Club will have completed the upper level of its new building. Antigua Yacht Club was a perfect venue and clearly many sailors enjoyed seeing Antigua Sailing Week root itself in a yacht club for the first time in its history.
Among the sailors who said they miss the historic Dickenson Bay and Jolly Harbour parties, virtually all agreed that holding all aspects of the regatta in one area worked very well and was logistically much simpler.
The late afternoon/early evening social venue at Antigua Yacht Club was ideal for people who prefer smaller parties, while Nelson’s Dockyard provided a fantastic venue that worked exceptionally well for the bigger ones. The vast majority of sailors were happy with the use of the two venues for their different purposes, although some did express concerns about having limited time to move back and forth between the locations.
However, there were some negative comments about the volume of the music at Antigua Yacht Club and that is an issue that will be addressed in 2013. One of the key lessons learned is that loud music isn’t necessary at every event and it certainly doesn’t need to start early – a change of tempo and noise levels is appreciated by everyone.
“We were very pleased with the positive feedback following Antigua Sailing Week 2012, particularly in light of the many changes that were made. As a racing sailor myself, I know it is critical to deliver professionally managed, well thought out races, fair class splits and challenging courses,” Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee, Kathy Lammers said.
“There will always be room for improvement but we hope that by continuing to listen to feedback from participants, we will be able to deliver great racing year after year.”
Not content to think that Antigua Sailing Week has everything right yet, Lammers has begun a summer programme whereby she will visit a number of events in various locations including the LO300 (a 300-mile race on Lake Ontario); Cowes Week in the UK; the Antigua & Barbuda Hamptons Challenge in New York; and Sneek Week in the Netherlands and the Newport Boat Show.
She will also visit yacht clubs in Canada, the United States and Europe. This is in order to familiarise herself with new trends in race organisation and management to ensure that Antigua Sailing Week 2013 will again deliver a well organised regatta that is in keeping with modern trends.
As for the future of Antigua Sailing Week, all respondents to the online survey said that they would recommend it to their friends.
When asked what they would do to improve the event, most respondents said it needed nothing more than a few tweaks. The more humorous respondents suggested “free rum” and “more dancing girls”. Others said simply “just can’t make it better really”, “nothing comes to mind”, and “just keep doing what you’re doing”.
Online entries for 2013 are open at www.sailingweek.com so get your entry in now!