Rob Roden worked tirelessly to bring what he loved about the Caribbean together with things that were special to him on the East End, including Sag Harbor and its community of sailors.
The Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge, which awards its winner with the largest amateur sailing prize on the East Coast, will move forward in the waters off Sag Harbor this Saturday despite the loss of Roden, who passed away on August 11 after a sudden battle with cancer.
Roden, who for the last 20 years published Captain’s Guide Magazine, lived his life on the water and loved every minute of it, spending many of his winter days with his wife, Theresa, and their daughter, Abby, boating and sailing in the Caribbean. His summers were spent on the East End, organizing a sailing regatta that became known for its big prize and lively after party at Havens Beach.
“Someone asked me if we were going to cancel, that everyone would understand, and I said, ‘Of course not!’ It would haunt me forever if I cancelled it,” said Theresa Roden, Rob’s wife, whose i-tri organization has benefited from the event in past years.
“He lived his life to be on the water, that was the impetus for doing the Captain’s Guideand this event,” she added. “The Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands and Antigua became second homes to us. This event for him was bringing the best of what we have up here with sailing to the premier sailing event in the Caribbean. He worked tirelessly to make this happen. Everyone who knows and loves him, including the ministers from Antigua, are committed to making this a great event.”
The winning captain and crew of Saturday’ regatta, which is organized by the Peconic Bay Sailing Association, will win an all-expenses paid trip to compete in Antigua Sailing Week in 2019, including round-trip airfare, lodging, a charter boat and registration fees for a captain and crew of five. In attendance on Saturday will be Antigua’s minister of tourism and economic development, the Honorable Charles Henry Fernandez, with additional support from Colin C. James, the chief executive officer of the Antigua Tourism Authority.
“In true Rob Roden style, the event will still go off as planned,” organizers wrote. “All are invited to join in a celebration of his life at the awards party following the regatta on Saturday, August 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Havens Beach in Sag Harbor. Just say you knew Rob, and make a donation at the door.”
For more information or to purchase tickets to Saturday’s party at Havens Beach visit antiguabarbudahamptonschallenge.com.