by Brendan McLaughlin
Sitting in front of a keyboard is only part of the CaribCat staff’s life. If we can’t be out on a “hog” tearing up the mountainside, our other favorite past time is racing our J-29 sailboat named (you guessed it) “CaribCat.”
This past Wednesday night was our first entry into a series of weekly early evening races. They are put together by local sailing fans and sponsored by Heineken Beer and DonQ Rum. The races are meant to fill the gap during the summer months between the big regattas of the spring and fall. Mostly they give young and old salts something to do during the doldrum winds of the summer.
Our crew had been meaning to enter one of these events for the past few weeks. But organizing a bunch of people (who, for the most part, are devoted to their day jobs) to come out on a hump day can be rather tricky. We managed to pull it off this week though, and it was definitely to our advantage. For the first time in the CaribCat racing history, we were able to take first place! I could go on and brag about how skilled and proficient the crew was, and how our sailing talents surpass all the other boats in the race; but the fact of the matter is that we had one of the fastest boats in the fleet and we had pumped ourselves up with Vitamin H. All this led to a fairly easy victory due to the fact that we had little serious competition.
The course itself is pretty short. Once around the bay and back to the starting line. Getting a set of eye glasses made at a Lens Crafters takes longer since we managed to run it in under an hour. This is my kind of race! Long enough to drink a six pack and short enough not to run out of beer!
Finishing first doesn’t necessarily mean getting to the bar first. Since we were racing on the other side of St. Thomas, we had to borrow a mooring from a boat that was out of town for the summer. This meant that the committee boat acted as our water taxi, so we had to wait for the last boat to finish before we could get back to shore. By this time all the beer was gone and those custom made frames and lenses I had ordered had gone out of style.
Turns out we weren’t the only ones stranded, and by the time we got to shore the party was just getting underway. After filling up on pizza it was time for the awards ceremony. The third place winner scored a “Wednesday Night Race” tee shirt, Second went to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a J-24, and “CaribCat” took first, winning a case of Heineken Beer! The taste of victory is sweet!!!
Look out for us next week! We plan on remaining stiff competition and this time if we get stranded we’ll be drinking our victory prize!
Man! What a place to live!