Competitors sailing in the 9th annual Cat Fight Regatta found fresh 15 to 20 knot breezes for the one day event October 28th. Registration the night before had five cats sign up at the pre-race party at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke followed up with Foxy’s famous barbeque and live music.
The five boat fleet was divided into two classes, over 40 feet and under 40 feet. Unbeknown to the racers that were started by the sponsoring Loyal West End Yacht Club, using the inverted start system according to handicap, was that there was not going to be an overall winner of the races, only class winners.
The boats fought their way around the two race course with Rainbow Rider, skippered by Mike Fallis of Bear Cat Charters at the helm, crossing the finish line first in each race. As it turned out, Rainbow Rider was the only cat in their class but they raced hard as if they were going for the gold! The first race was started just outside Great Harbour and the racers sailed a triangular course upwind to a buoy set to the south of Sandy Cay then a tight reach around Sandy Cay to port, with a down wind run to the finish.
The race committee sent the cats on a longer second race taking Sandy Cay to starboard, turning down to the cut at Sopers Hole on Tortola, rounding Great Thatch and back upwind to the set mark and then to the finish. The set mark had a problem holding air and was found to be barely above water as the racers made their rounding, making for an interesting navigational issue.
The awards party was in the usual W.E.Y.C. tradition where every boat is a winner with gift certificates given out to each cat. A special "Baddest Cat" award was given to the yacht Sanctuary in the way of a case of Pusser’s Rum. After the Cat Fight Regatta, the evening brought on the Halloween Ball at Foxy’s, with crews dressed up in some very unique costumes. Dancing to the live band went into the wee hours of the spooky night where all had a great time.
Even though the turnout for the regatta was a little light this year the Halloween Ball was jam-packed with crews and onlookers.
Over 40′ Class
1st place Rainbow Rider
Under 40′ Class
1st place Scubadu
2nd place Aristocat II
3rd place Tabascocat
4th place Sanctuary