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They Came, They Built, They Sunk

On Friday, February 11th,
twenty-four teams competed in the second annual BYOB Competition at The
Catamaran Marina. Sponsored by The Wobbly Club (so named for the wobbly table
the group sat around), the Build Your Own Boat contest is quickly becoming a
favorite with everyone!

For a $100 EC entry fee, each team is given four hours, 40 square feet of
plywood, 32 feet of 1 x 1, ½ lb of nails, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 package of
garbage bags, 10 yards of rope and surprise supplies not known until the day of
the event (this year, there was water soluble glue) from which to build their
vessel. Power tools, sails and life jackets are supplied by each team and let
me tell you, life jackets are a must!

When I arrived at the marina, construction
had been underway for about three hours. I parked at Antigua Rigging and it was
the sound that first drew my attention. No teams were to be seen but the sound
of pounding nails was deafening! Following my way about to the marina proper, I
was taken aback by the creativity and activity I encountered. Teams were
feverishly putting the final details in to their vessels. There were boats of
sophisticated design and other still that “made you go….hmmmmm.” There were
multi-hulls and dinghies, oarlocks and sails and one vessel that looked
remarkably like a church pew! Some boats were painted and others yet, merely
covered in black garbage bags. As race time drew near…yes, these vessels were
then going to race…the frenzy grew. Spectators had become abundant and there
was such an air of good fun it was difficult not to get sucked in to the frenzy
yourself.

At 5:00, Commodore Helen Bailey
made a brief speech, handed everyone a Carib beer and saw the vessels off to
the starting line at Bailey’s Boat Yard. The course was set from the boat yard,
around the Cat Club dock to the finish at Jimmy’s Bar & Restaurant. For the
second time that afternoon, I could not see the teams but as the race started
there were cheers, a burst of wind and rain. Yes, rain! As if these vessels
weren’t having enough trouble staying afloat! Approximately nine safety boats
followed the race for towing, saving and encouragement. What a hoot! Honestly,
I cannot recall watching a more fun race in my life. Vessels disintegrated,
others sunk and all the while the teams kept going…powered by oars, fins and
sheer will power. Forty-five minutes later, the final boat had crossed the line
in a glamorous sunset finish.

When all was said and done, the
following prizes were awarded while sponsors AS Brydens (Carib) and Premiere
Beverages (English Harbour Rum) kept the teams from having to BYOB
(natch)!

Best Design: t/t Merde

Last to Finish: Tenacious II

Love Boat (most condoms used): Hard-on

Least Dressed: Kate & Shipwrights from Woodstock

Most Inventive Mast: Lost Boys

Best Dressed: “Pointless” Queens of the Caribbean

Most Professional: Rum Squall “Is a Rose”

Best Headwear: Mistress QQ

Most Patriotic: Pheasant Plucker

Best Padded Seat: Messinka

Best Burial at Sea: Coffin Racin’ Jimmy

Best Beggars: Tenacious “Wonder Bird”

2nd Best Beggars: Dev “I did a rod” Sled

Most International Crew: Exhibit A
– Fleurtje

Best Multi-Hull: Miles & Metal Men

Most Absent Crew: Mike & the Mechanics

Most Dramatic Sinking: Chester Yacht Club

Most Innovative: Kumonawannalaya

Most in Need of Rescue: Team OECS

Most Enthusiastic: Ripple

Most Original: Miss Secretary

3rd Place: Stealth – Chippy

2nd Place: Hardwood – Woodstock Caulkers

1st Over Line: “Too Smart for own Good” Felicita
West A & B

Overall Winner: Woodstock Caulkers – Hardwood

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