The 45th Annual Figawi Race Weekend is recognized as a top sailing event not only on the east coast but is known nationally as well as internationally. Figawi Race Weekend kicks off the the Cape Cod and Nantucket summer season. Entries include over 200 sailboats ranging from families promoting the sport of sailing to competitive sailors alike, bringing three thousand sailors & visitors hailing from all over the country including the Carribean, as well as locals.
The weekend begins with a Kickoff Party at Hyannis Yacht Club on Friday, May 27th, 2016. It is for competitors, friends, family, and Figawi fans. Beginning at 3 pm, there is a cash bar, 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. The first boat officially begins at 10 am off the Hyannis Port Jetty. But beginning around 8 am, the parade of sailboats head out of Lewis Bay, pass by Kalmus Beach, and gather off Hyannis Port. The boats start from 10 am until approximately noon, depending on their handicapped start time. Around 200 plus sailboats in 13 divisions compete across Nantucket Sound, in various courses, to be the first one to reach Nantucket.
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 Event Tent on New Whale Street. Our sponsors that provide product for festivities include Mt. Gay Rum, Budweiser, Cisco Brewer of Nantucket, Coca Cola, Boisset Family Estates (wine), Samuel Adams, and Jim Beam. After the day of racing, it is a great place to come and see old friends and make new ones.
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. There, 97 plus trophies are awarded to the High School competitors and all the Figawi Race winners. Sponsors of Figawi like Vineyard Vines generously supply their coveted swag to the winners along with the beautiful trophies Figawi awards. 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.