Figawi Race Weekend is recognized as a top sailing event not only on the east coast but is known nationally as well as internationally. Traditionally held over Memorial Day Weekend, the event marks the beginning of the summer season. Entries include over 200 sailboats and three thousand sailors & visitors hailing from all over the country.
The weekend begins with a Kickoff Party at Hyannis Yacht Club on Friday. It is for competitors, friends, family, and Figawi fans. Beginning at 3 pm, there is a cash bar and buffet, coveted Figawi merchandise for sale, entertainment, and most importantly, registration for entrants.
Early Saturday morning, crews begin gathering. Skippers and boat owners prepare their boats, gather their crews, and head out to the start line. Beginning around 8 am, the parade of sailboats head out of Lewis Bay, pass by Kalmus Beach, and gather off the Hyannis Port jetty. It is a pursuit regatta (learn about that here) and the first boats begin at 10 am.
Depending on the various conditions, etc. the theory of the Pursuit Race format is all competitors should reach the Nantucket MO(A) at around the same time. They finish at the entrance of Nantucket Harbor and parade into Nantucket Boat Basin. Standing on the beach at Brant Point Light is a great spot to watch all the action.
Saturday night Figawi hosts a Competitor Party under the Tent on New Whale Street. After the day of racing, it is a great place to come and see old friends and make new ones. Dance and enjoy a great band and enjoy the products our sponsors have provided.
Sunday is a day to enjoy Nantucket Island whether visiting local shops, enjoying restaurants, or walking on the docks at Nantucket Boat Basin.
Also on Sunday, we host a regatta called the Figawi Invitational. High school sailing teams from across the Cape and Islands are brought to Nantucket by the Figawi organization to compete for the coveted Figawi Jr. Trophy. The races take place off the docks of Nantucket Boat Basin. The kids race in double handed, one design boats called 420’s. Its pure competition.
As the day winds down, we start the Prize Giving late afternoon. Trophies are awarded to the High School competitors and all the Figawi Race winners. Sponsors generously supply their coveted swag to the winners along with the beautiful trophies. There is the Howard K Penn Spirit Award awarded to the best display of “Figawi” spirit whether on the race course or on land and the Pamela Trussell Duggan Award given to the volunteer that has surpassed the rest.
After the Award Ceremony, we change gears and prep the tent for the Sunday night party. It is, well, pretty much a repeat of Saturday night. Don’t forget to check out the Figawi “tattoo” table. The very professional crew eagerly applies the coveted tattoos to willing participants with the goal of raising donations for a local Nantucket children’s charity.
Monday morning, it is time to get back to racing. The newly formatted Monday Race dubbed “Redux” has been changed to encourage as many entrants as possible. The race now ends in a neutral location allowing skippers to head north or south towards home. The gathering at HYC in the later afternoon includes entertainment and one last time to enjoy the Figawi camaraderie until next year.
Come check it out! There is something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you.