CAPE COD - The Figawi sailing regatta is held every Memorial Day Weekend. The schedule begins on Friday, May 24 at 3 p.m. in Hyannis with the Kickoff Summer Party that includes registration for the race and merchandise sales. Saturday morning, according to the Sailing Instructions and PHRF start times, we are off to Nantucket usually arriving late afternoon. Sunday is a lay day to enjoy the various events in the Figawi tents, walking the docks of Nantucket Boat Basin to take in all the activity, joining the spectators at the parade honoring fallen soldiers, and the infamous party in the big tent to close out the night. Monday we all depart and say goodbye to old friends and new, until next year.
Figawi originated in 1972 as an informal race between friends that quickly organized into an annual event. The 1978 addition of a lay day and race back to Hyannis turned the race into a three-day event. By the 1980s, Figawi was drawing entrants from throughout the New England region. In 1987, Figawi organizers established a black-tie charity ball to raise money for local charities.
The race annually expects over 240 boats and 3,000 participants in 13 classes. The race begins on Saturday in Hyannisport, and the use of the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet system staggers starting times between 10 a.m. and noon. The race ends at the entrance to Nantucket Harbor and proceeds as a parade into Nantucket Boat Basin. The race totals approximately 25 miles.