HBYC Does FIGAWI
The annual race is from Hyannis to Nantucket. HBYC assembled a band of misfit sailors to participate in the race.
We came, we saw, we got conquered! :P
Nah - we held our own in the race, but the stories surrounding... well... read on....
Thanks a ton to our seafaring crew!
Mac, Julia, Josh, Eric, 'Stacia, and James! - It was a pleasure to sail with you all!
Photos and Tales of Figawi below.
(At least the tales, that we dare tell...)
Pictured - FRONT L-R: Mac, Josh, TJ, James, Eric (Godzilla)
BACK L-R: Julia, 'Stacia, Duber
TALES FROM FIGAWI
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH
Duber, Josh, Eric, and James arrived via train in Providence, RI.
We rented a car and drove to Newport.
In Newport we checked out our boat from the charter base and then provisioned her for a weekend of sailing and racing.
Our vessel was a 42' Beneteau named "Summer Breeze" (nicknamed by us: "Summer's Eve").
Lunch was at the Marina Cafe & Pub at Goat Island.
After provisioning, we went out on the town in Newport.
Dinner was at the Brick Alley Pub.
We then traveled for drinks at the "Candy Store" at the Clarke Cooke House around the corner for obligatory drinks and "people watching".
Mac and Julia had driven in, so they met us.
The highlight of the evening came as we were in transit back to the boat to stay the night...
Mac and Julia only had room for 1 in their car, so they took Josh with them. Eric, James and I took a cab. Eric and I both hopped in the car - he in the front, passenger seat. I behind the driver.
James was just about to close the door on his side (rear, passenger side) right as an unknown hand reached inside the door-- it's owner calling out:
"Bro, bro, scoot over!"
We all did a double take to see if we knew said "bro".
Was he indeed with us?
Did we somehow forget someone?
Hmmm. Nope. Just a drunk "bro" looking for a ride.
Said bro was 1) convinced that this was the only ride in town and 2) completely out of his mind. (I get it, the dark 'n stormys are strong).
James politely said to him:
"I'm sorry, but there are plenty of other cabs."
But "Bro" wasn't going to give up that easy. Even tho there were two cabs RIGHT across the street, our "bro" was determined to come with us. Thus, in his inebriated state, he made us an offer that we just couldn't refuse...(to laugh at):
"Bro, just let me in (he replied) -- I'll give you cash... AND STOCK".
Now that's desperation. Alas, we still told "bro" that we simply weren't going to be able to accommodate his request for a carpool, and thus bid him adieu....
"Bro, you're totally screwing me right now!" was his retort.
No -- 'Screwing you' is what we were going to do if he hopped in the cab. See, I thought it would be fun to take him and put him in one of the dinghies by the dock and just untie it. The thought of the look on the poor "bro's" face in the morning adrift in the Newport Bay made me smile. But we let him be to find another ride somewhere else.
A case of affluenza? Possibly. Alas I hope whoever gave him a lift was able to cash in on the "stock".
Thursday, May 26th
Duber, Mac, Julia, Josh, Eric, James
6:03 AM we cast from off from the mooring ball in Newport. We needed to cast off early since we were facing a 60 nautical mile trip.
The morning treated us to a beautiful sunrise. The skies were pink and purple and the water was smooth and calm.
The coffee was on, and it was an excellent start to the trip.
For others: welllllll, a few crew members were suffering from some slight errr "sea-sickness?"
Now when I say "sea-sickness" -- it may have been a combination of uneasiness on the water AS WELL AS A HANGOVER.
The previous night in Newport was a festive one (see the story about the "bro" in Newport). Between the hours of 6 AM and 9:30 AM one crew member tossed his cookies overboard a minimum of three times. At around 9:44 AM he finally passed out for some much-needed rest and an overall re-set of the system. At 10:08 AM he woke up and threw up for the last time. (I think).
We were under motor only but we are making good time.
Conditions: partly sunny skies the seas were slightly rolly. The current was in our favor.
We pulled into Hyannis Harbor at around 2 PM and we were tied up to a dock at 2:30 PM. The entire trip from Newport to Hyannis was 60 nautical miles and we covered that in 8.5 hours. (An average speed of around 7 kts). Not too shabby.
The dockmaster in Newport gave us our slip assignment on the VHF. She announced to us that we were to have our "own private dock". Well, she sold it to us like it was a good thing... but as we pulled up, I could see why. The dock was all the way in past a long row of slips and it was parallel to the marina wall with slips in front of and behind. I knew it wouldn't be the easiest place in the world to dock, but we'd make it work. There were two very young (and inexperienced) deck hands waiting to grab our bowlines. On the first attempt to dock, the youngsters took our bowlines, but did nothing to attempt to tie us off or assist. Without bow-thrusters there was simply no way we were going to get the bow of the boat to kick over to that dock, so Mac jumped off after one aborted attempt and tied us off. Thank you Mac! As I greeted one of the deck hands he asked me (as if it was the craziest thing he'd ever seen): "what, this thing doesn't have bow thrusters?" I just shook my head. The other deck hand said "We've never put a boat HERE before". Well no sh--!
That's okay, Honey Badger don't care. All of that said, it wasn't that big of a deal. We were tied up. Our "private dock" had immediate access to shore and the rest of the facilities at the marina.
So we took a little stroll through Hyannis. Stopped for a bite to eat and then walked to the Hyannis Yacht Club to locate where the next day's festivities were to take place. That night, we had dinner at a little spot at the Marina (I believe it was Ed's). The food was good. A little nightcap, and then sleep time. We were all pretty wiped from the trip.
Friday, May 27th
It was a day to relax in Hyannis.
After breakfast, we grabbed some additional provisions.
We were to pick up the race packets at the Hyannis yacht club in the afternoon.
Mac and Julia had some family visiting, so they came by the boat and boarded for a beverage.
Anastacia got into town from Finland and greeted everyone.
I was determined to get to Hyannis Yacht Club early to grab our stuff. So Anastacia and I had lunch and walked there before 3p.
The rest of the crew met us there - they took the shuttle ferry that was running between the Hyannis Marina and the Hyannis Yacht Club.
In typical Figawi fashion, the packet-pick-up event was festive. Dark-n-stormy's galore! Everyone racing in the event was there. There was a DJ, and plenty of food and drink.
The setting of HYC was beautiful. HYC is on the beach at Hyannis. It's overlooking their dock and mooring balls.Note to self: Stay at the Hyannis Yacht Club if we do this again.As I was perusing the skipper's packet I saw Will Nugent's name listed as one of the other skippers. So I texted him to see if he was there.
It turned out to be fortuitous as he was arriving later that evening. I picked up his packet for him.
The after-party for the event--Baxter's -- a great pace for anything fried. It's a quirky nautical themed spot on the water - only 5 minutes from Hyannis Yacht Club. I'd venture to say, Baxter's is probably relatively low-key most of the time... except when they're hosting the pre-party for the first night of Figawi. Then, it becomes infested with drunken sailors, and cougars alike. All in red Mt. Gay hats from Figawi regattas past.
The "Bro Bible" lists Baxter's as a "must stop" along the way if you're going to "bro" Figawi.
Although I only tasted a small sampling of the Figawi spirit evening, there are stories (which can't be told here) that are nothing short of legend.
Saturday, May 28th
I woke up Saturday morning to a series of text messages which were vague clues to what might or might not have happened the night before.
"Oh lord", is all I could think -- I wouldn't want to be those guys headed to a full day of racing.
Here it was the day of the race! Winds were blowing a steady 22+ knots!
Partly cloudy skies.
A perfect day for sailing - an even better day for a race!
Our official race start time was at 10:33 (and some change). The change part didn't matter... this is Figawi!
Time to depart and head to the starting line.
The race consisted of a starting mark near Hyannis, a few midway marks that we would need to round, and then the finish line.
It was set-up as a pursuit race. Boats starting times are staggered based on handicap so that everyone finishes at the same time.
What could go wrong?! 200+ boats all trying to cross the finish line at the same time! Honey Badger don't care!
We took a tow off of our "private slip" since there was no way we could get out of that spot without crashing into someone. (When it's your credit card on the line, that's the one time that Honey Badger does care).
Leaving Hyannis marina, it's about 20 minutes of motoring to get out into the cape. Boats EVERYWHERE!
We even passed some poor bastard who had run aground before even leaving the channel.
So we cued up to the starting line. All of us relatively unfamiliar with this boat in racing conditions, and several crew members had never sailed before in their lives! And now it was time to get a crash course in sailing/racing... Well, maybe not exactly "crash" course. And we had strong winds to boot!
Well, our noobs were in for quite a ride!
I had a little difficulty seeing the starting line as my main focus was just not to hit any boats. So we crossed the start a little late. But hey - again - Figawi!
We weaved in and out of boats tacking on our way to the first mark.
This was to be a 20 nautical mile race.
"Summer's Eve" rounded up a few times despite my best efforts at the helm. We just needed to spill some wind for more control.
Since the Beneteau has a rolling main we couldn't reef, but we could roll. We attempted to roll our sail in a bit, but to no avail. The wind was too strong and it just made our sail trim sloppy. This cost us a little speed as well as set us off course. In retrospect, we probably should have just eased the main out more but oh well - Figawi!
We tacked a few times to make our mark - and as soon as we did round the mark the wind died down. It went from heavy, to calm, to nothing in no time.
So we sat.
It was like intermission - heavy action, and then nothing.
At this point we traded up helm-time. Eric grabbed the wheel, as did Josh.
The wind eventually did build back up quite a bit and we were back on our way.
Mac took the helm for the final leg to cross the finish line.
Fin! Woo hoo!
We finished 9th out of 16.
As we motored the rest of the way into the Nantucket boat basin, we could hear cheering coming from the docks. Crowds stood on the sea wall, the docks, and the other boats to cheer for the finishers as we pulled up to the slip.
What a welcome!
We were greeted on the dock by friends of ours as well as by James' girlfriend.
Josh's parents were also in town so they came by the congratulate us.
We made it! First Figawi race down!
Now time to celebrate!
POST-RACE... THE PARTY
One guy used his fishing rod holders on the flybridge of his boat to affix two beer bongs. The tubing ran from the top deck all the way to the cockpit to create a multi-level beer bong. (Certainly a move learned in college). The power boats were there to capitalize on the fun of the Figawi festivities just as much as the sailboats who completed the race.
The Figawi program listed "free chili" post race at the Figawi tent. It was on the itinerary.
So we went in search of said chili.
We hit up both of the Figawi tents, but no one seemed to know anything about any chili.
Was the chili some sort of Figawi joke?
We're we simply being hazed as new inductees?
Like: "haha, let's see which noobs come asking for the free chili". Joke was on us I guess. And that mystery will remain unsolved for now.
Since there wasn't any chili (that we could find) our Figawi post-race celebrations began at The Lobster Box. We grubbed on lobster, scallops, and seafood of all kinds.
We even found something there for TJ to eat (even tho it wasn't chili).
We returned to the Figawi tent to check out the action.
By this time the band had started and the crowd of racers and Figawi fans were growing.
The bartenders in the tent didn't seem to care about our drink tickets. So it ended up an "all you can drink" affair as long as we were leaving tips.
The band was honestly horrible. The mix on the speakers was wayyy over modulated - but Honey Badger Don't Care! We were there to have a good time and dance - and so we did.
We ran into Rick Sans in the tent. We had spotted him on the racecourse as well.
Somewhere along the lines, Vineyard Vines started passing out giant pink foam whale hats. Shortly thereafter, the crowd was topped off in pink.
A little later that evening we swung by Will Nugent's boat to say hello.
We entertained (or frightened) their crew with the tales of what had happened the previous night.
As we disembarked and walked the docks it was impossible to not be impressed by the size of the crowd that was there.
The docks are surrounded by little grey cottages that are available to rent for the week at the marina. The lines between who was staying in the villas and who was staying on a boat were a little unclear. All doors and decks seemed open to just about anyone who was down to party.
Sunday, May 29th
Although I really wanted to spend some more time in Nantucket, it just wasn't meant to be this time around. We had to get the boat back to Newport.
I could spend a few days (or even a week) enjoying the little gray homes with white trim and nautical themed everything.
A few months earlier Anastacia and I both read "in the heart of the sea," so we were excited about old-time Nantucket history.
The last 3rd of the trip we were motoring through dense fog, but we made it back without a hitch - we returned "Summer's Eve" back to Newport.
Back to reality we went.... until the next adventure.
"Hipsters" were somehow the unofficial theme of the trip (probably because two of our crew may or may not fit into that category).
So in an effort to further understand the "hipster" ideology, I took a poll of the crew to find out the definition of a hipster. The following descriptions were given:
- "Fetishizing authenticity" - James
- "Beard on a Bike" - Eric
- "Dirty and don't shower" - Josh
I was then given the following clarification:
"It's about appropriating other people's suffering into your being, without actual suffering".
Enjoy the tales? Feel free to leave a comment...
...Or check out the stories from our other trips!