‘Purrfect’ is the only way to describe the sailing at the 15th Annual Foxy’s Cat Fight Regatta, held every year on the Saturday coinciding with Halloween; this year October 29 2011 at Jost Van Dyke, BVI. Two glorious races, sailed in 15 to 20 knot winds with flat seas and clear skies, began at 11am with the last boat finishing around four in the afternoon.
Each race started in front of Great Harbour. The first race took the yachts to the east with the fleet rounding Sandy Cay to port before heading back to the finish. The second race left Sandy Cay and Great Thatch Island to starboard and then rounded an upwind yellow buoy to port, before concluding with the same downwind finish. The staggered starts, held one minute apart, help prevent collisions among the 14 multihulls and one mono hull (yes, ‘dogs’ are now invited), ranging in size from 31 to 46ft in six classes.
The regatta’s attitude is to be found in the race instructions, which declares: This is an F class race, F as in FUN! They also warn that all protests must be accompanied by a $100 fee, to be used to purchase drinks while the combatants come to a satisfactory conclusion.
The fun started the evening before the race as over 30 friends from the travel blog, Travel Talk On Line (TTOL), boarded the M/V Catittude for the Second Annual Painkiller Contest. Prizes were given based on two categories: Taste and Presentation. For the second year in a row, Capt. Jim of the Privilege 45 Blue Moon won for Taste; but the big surprise was the erotic ‘Painkiller Sandwich’ performed by two female crew from Capt. Mark’s Island Spirit 37 catamaran Sanctuary. Combined with a second in the Taste category, Capt. Mark won Best Painkiller Overall. Free dockage at Leverick Bay, Julian Putley’s Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI, and a bottle of rum were his rewards.
Host Foxy Caldwell was at his finest; singing and playing guitar all afternoon on Friday and dancing and hanging out with patrons Friday night; a rare but welcome nighttime appearance for one of the BVI’s legendary characters.
Foxy and Dave Cooper conceived the catamaran regatta idea when cats became the bareboat of choice in the mid 1990s.
After the race, awards were presented: Natural Mystic, a Moorings 4600 with Josh Mazur driving, took first in the over 45ft class; captured the coveted ‘Baddest Cat’ award and received a case of rum for their efforts. Other class winners included Catatonic (Dirk Delo) in the 40-45ft class, Free Spirit II (Mike Kneafsey) in the under 40ft class, with Happy Hour (Spencer) and Far Cry (Kyle Koopmans) winning the single entrant ‘Day Cat’ and newly ordained ‘One Legged Cat’ classes.
The $40 entry fee benefits The Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society and almost every boat received a prize, mostly meals for four at local restaurants including Gertrudes, Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s. The case of rum was donated by long time sponsor, The Catamaran Company.
After a tasty BBQ dinner, the always wild and entertaining Foxy’s Masquerade Ball ensued. Great costumes and some not-so-great dancing packed the ballroom to the sounds of Shango, Foxy’s son Dean’s house band. Raffle prizes, organized by TTOL members and the BVI fanatic Mark ‘Saildoggie’ Paulson benefited VISAR. Costume prizes for Group, Scariest, Sexiest, and Child, were also awarded.
The race committee, led by Martin Van Houten, has set Saturday November 3 2012 for the 16th Annual Cat Fight. Register the night before or the morning of the race at Foxy’s. For details, email: email@example.com
Captain Mark Denebeim offers charters and is writing articles and his memoirs aboard Sanctuary while sailing throughout the Caribbean. For more information visit www.oceanbreezetours.com and www.islandpartyspots.com