Halloween ball and sailboat race in the BVI
You trim your main sail to take maximum advantage of the fourteen knot wind, but you don’t bust your ass on the winch because you don’t want to get tired. You are keeping a keen eye on the sailboat close on your port beam, not to track the competition but to check out the hot chick in the tiny bikini rubbing sun screen all over herself. You could have raced the long course but opted for the short course so you wouldn’t loose serious drinking time at Foxy’s later. In short, you are the average avid sailor competing in Foxy’s Annual Cat Fight Regatta in Jost van Dyke, the BVI.
Last weekend, as is the tradition, The West End Yacht Club with their “Come One, Come All” attitude towards racing organized yet another Foxy’s Cat Fight. The regatta is held the last weekend of every October to coincide with the beginning of the new season and Halloween. This year the new category of “One Legged Cats” or monohulls were included. Awards are given for over 40 and under 40 feet. The best part of the race is the handicapping process. The slowest boats are allowed to start first with the fastest leaving last. This allows for a high energy photo finish with all boats theoretically coming across the finish line at the same time. The reality is a bit different.
I’m not saying that there is not pride or professionalism involved in the race. Safety and rules of the road are paramount. However, emphasis is placed more on camaraderie and a good time over the actual awards.
As most cruisers are still not in attendance due to the closing weeks of hurricane season, the majroity of the boats raced are from the large charter fleets who make their home in the USVI and BVI. The charter companies are happy to have the race to bring customers down just for this weekend.
Foxy knows how to market himself and definitely knows how to throw a party. There is a Skippers meeting and welcome party on Friday. The race starts at 11 sharp. Unless not everyone is ready and then it tends to start when people are finally ready. (Island time). After the race there is a huge masquerade ball and famous barb-b-que. All of this followed by copious amount of Foxy’s famous Firewater Rum.
Foxy’s is one of my favorite island bars in the Caribbean because it is real. Foxy still sits outside during the day (It’s actually Sir Foxy now) and talks to whomever cares to listen. The drinks are reasonable, the rum local and the bartenders friendly. There are no walls, the wind blows through naturally and coconuts drop onto the tin roof still causing the uninitiated to duck. This is a place you can loose yourself in for days at a time.