Official Start of the New England Season

Published on April 28th, 2016

The start of summer in Cape Cod and Nantucket happens with the 45th Annual Figawi Race Weekend from Hyannis to Nantucket and the ‘Flip-Flop’ return race. To be held May 28-30, the event is known worldwide with 240+ boats (including 30 power boats) and over 3,000 sailors and visitors, as well as locals, attending the event.

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, at around 8 am, the parade of sailboats head out of Lewis Bay, pass by Kalmus Beach, and gather off Hyannis Port. The first boat officially begins at 10 am off the Hyannis Port Jetty, with starts under the Pursuit Race format continuing until approximately noon, depending on their handicapped start time.

Depending on the various conditions, etc. the theory of the format is all competitors should reach the Nantucket 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. Sponsors supporting the 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, the Figawi Invitational is held for high school sailing teams from across the Cape and Islands to compete for the coveted Figawi Jr. Trophy. The races in Club 420s take place off the docks of Nantucket Boat Basin.

The Prize Giving starts late Sunday afternoon with 97+ trophies awarded to the high school and Figawi Race winners. There is also 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, the Sunday night party picks up where Saturday night left off. 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.

For more information please reference the links

Fun fact: “Figawi” was named after drunken sailors with a Boston accent landed in Nantucket and asked, “Where the f*ck are we?” – where the figawi?

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