5 of the Best Silly Regatta Names
There are serious sailors, then there are silly sailors. And what to silly sailors do when they get together? Well, race of course. And then they have a beer or two. And then they talk about silly things, then they make up regattas with silly names. And finally, they entice serious sailors to do those silly regattas.
Renegade Sailing decided to get the 411 for some of the best names via crowdsourcing. We start with five favs. Thank you to all who threw us a line; several folks shared suggestions so more posts are forthcoming. Do you know about other silly regattas? Mention them below in a comment, or email us. Believe it or not, there are more silly regatta names. Read part 2 silly regatta names here.
Figawi, Hyannis to Nantucket
Who doesn’t know about the Figawi? In the U.S., it’s probably one of the best recognized, not only for its snarky wordplay but for its longevity and the fact that their marketing team is on it (track down their Instagram account for lessons on how to promote a sailing event). The Figawi was created in 1972 by four sailors who decided to stage a friendly race against one another from Baxter’s Boathouse in Hyannis to Nantucket. That first sprint has become a Cape Cod tradition, plus a major fundraiser event.
The 46th annual event is happening this weekend, May 26-29. Organizers report that thousands of sailors convene for the Northeast’s first major regatta and kick-off for summer sailing. On Saturday, look for 200+ boats in a pursuit style race on the water between Hyannis and Nantucket. This is complemented by a weekend of partying on the island, then come Monday there’s a race head home that originates from the Nantucket jetty. From this event and a charity ball, Figawi Charities, Inc. generates nearly $200,000 each year and has provided over $2.2 million in support to local organizations. In 2013, Figawi Charities, Inc. (a 501c3) and the Figawi Race, Inc. merged to become one 501c3. The mission is to continue to raise money for Cape Cod and the Islands charities through fun events. www.figawi.com
GAS Calves Week, Ireland
You thinking baby cows or meaty gastrocnemius? Say the latter and you’re probably not alone. Hardcore sailors do tend to have toned calves ‘cause they’re constantly flexing to keep balanced while on a heeling boat.
Oops, got that wrong. Since 1984, the Irish have been talking about this four day coastal racing event in August hosted by Schull Harbour Sailing Club (SHSC) of Schull, Co. Cork. Register and nightly entertainment plus views of the Fastnet Rock can be yours. Thanks go to Sean Norris for sharing this one. www.shsc.ie/calves_week.html
Frigid Digit, Seattle
Then on the northwestern side of the U.S. there’s Seattle’s Frigid Digit happening in early February over a Saturday and Sunday. Suit up for the freeze: this one’s for Optimist, Laser, RS Aero, Tasar and 29er vessels. Organizers try to get in at least four, and up to six, races each day. A typical race runs 20 to 60 minutes in or near the Shilshole Bay within Puget Sound. Thanks to Seattle Laser Fleet sponsorship, there’s half-price registration for junior sailors, free registration for out-of-staters and dinner is gratis for racers on Saturday night.
While researching this event some of the local racers provided loads of cool background details. Thank you Mike Johnson, Mark Brink, Dick Rose, Carl Buchan, Martin A. Seelig, Kurt Hoehne, Randy Shuman, Mark Ross (have I missed anyone?). Your story is worthy of a full post, so stay tuned for that. The event is hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. *Note, a Google search did yield some similarly named so there may be other Frigid Digits regatta-like events. www.cycseattle.org/event/frigiddigit_2017/
Silly String Regatta,Texas
Contestants are not tying one on at this regatta, but you might wonder if they try to trip up each other on the course. Gotta love Texas, particularly the Texas Sailing Association (TSA) ‘cause they take care of the kids. The TSA hosts numerous programs for youths with skills levels that range from novice to advanced, aged seven and higher. Of note are the TSA Youth Circuit and Key Regattas, special events, plus after school and weekend classes.
The 2017 regatta for girls was hosted by the Rush Creek Yacht Club of Heath, Texas, and ran May 20-21. Up next is Chocopalooza, June 3 and 4. www.rcyc.org/2016/2017_spring_youth_program/
Wobbly Race, Antigua
Since I was recently in Antigua, I’ll share a little promo for a local event in early February. It’s more of a B.Y.O.B. (build your own boat) fundraiser than regatta. Rumor has it that for this DIY event all are encouraged to make shortcuts and cheater-builds. Participants work under cover of costume so it’s a clandestine affair.
The Newport Shipyard (Newport, R.I.) has been a sponsor for the last five years and sends a team to organize and host. Also supporting the event is the Association of Yacht Support Services (AYSS). Attend and you may rub elbows with boatbuilding superyacht captains and their crews. The 2017 event grossed EC $17,000 (US $6,300) for the Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR). The Wobbly fundraiser has been going strong since 1968. www.newportshipyard.com/events/wobbly-club-2017