In Antigua, the beautiful turquoise waters of the southern and western coastlines, along with the constant tradewinds, make this an island synonymous with sailing. The Stanford Antigua Sailing Week attracts top racing boats from around the world to the Caribbean to compete for the prestigious Lord Nelson's Trophy. From 2009, the race format has been improved and expanded to appeal to all competitors from the bareboat charterer to the maxi yacht skipper. Now racing 6 days rather than the previous 5 days, the regatta comprises a combination of short inshore and longer offshore races, whilst reintroducing the 'Round Redonda Race' for which, along with two other distance races, special prizes will be awarded. Famous Antiguan hospitality makes this a regatta not to miss.
Later in the year, the Antigua Tennis Week invites you to spend a fantastically fun and educational tennis holiday in the perfect surroundings of Curtain Bluff Resort, where a team of former professionals including 'Fiery' Fred Stolle greets you in this Caribbean paradise to spend eight days improving your stroke and strategy amid VIP service. Part of the excellent package alongside professional instruction and tennis tournaments are opportunities to enjoy the numerous activities available on the island including snorkeling, golf and sightseeing. While local musicians provide entertainment, enjoy dinner and cocktails each evening. The resort features an old stone sugar mill-style building with a thatched roof to house its wonderful restaurant, with a 25,000 bottle wine cellar.
The Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Association hold a wonderful fishing tournament which includes a marlin division and prizes for successful landings of tuna, wahoo, dolphin and king fish. Often a heady day's sport fishing on the open waves is followed by a 'lime': this year the party was accompanied by a 'Seafood Festival', where the feasting went on till late and the chefs produced an incredible spread with nigri sushi prepared fresh at the stall, conch fritters, seafood chowder, seafood paella and fried and grilled fish. Along with live music and kids' entertainment throughout the afternoon, the tournament becomes a fun day out for all the family.
Come July, it's Antigua's turn to stage the most colourful and spectacular event of the year: the Carnival. Featuring the island's best musicians and performers, the Recreation Ground becomes the hub of all events, such as the Parade of Costumed Bands, the Miss Antigua Pageant and the Caribbean Queen Competition, while the streets are filled with people just celebrating one big party. The roots of the festivities are the celebrations which ensued when emancipation of slaves took place, and this event is still commemorated in the many concerts, food fairs and cultural shows which spring up in many of the island communities. Locals crack open the Cavalier and English Harbour Rum and become at one with the Carnival spirit.
The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival held in November is a celebration of literary arts held over 3 days. The programme includes workshops, author readings, book signings and special events in a beautiful tropical setting: the Jolly Beach Resort. The event brings together writers, editors and publicists from the Caribbean and around the world.