September 24, 2012

Wild ending for Tridecagon-athlon at Regatta Vava'u

VAVA'U, KINGDOM OF TONGA - The big Monday event in the Regatta Vava'u was the tridecagon-athlon, a 13-event mashup that anyone who ever spent time in a scout camp, pledged a fraternity or, well, attended a cruiser's regatta like this would recognize.

The three-legged race was actually a centipede race with seven or so members all bound together. Then there was the hip bounce, where a huge boat fender gets pushed about using just the hips. It's get wilder as the game goes on and you are allowed to use your knees, too.

The whole day was punctuated with stops for cold beer (we are talking cruisers here) and some delicious food provided by both the Poolside Cafe and the Marina Wine Bar.

The master of ceremonies was a fellow named Billy - about whom I will be writing a lot more, here and other places. He has a background in the circus and comes from a show business family.

To quote that great sailing philosopher Captain Ron: "It shows."

For part of the festivities, I climbed a wall and perched up high, operating what we called the Regatta Vava'u Skycam. I suffered my only injury of the day climbing up - there was barbed wire wrapped through the chain link.

Tomorrow is the first actual sailing race in the regatta. Winds have been pretty light, but the sailors might need a less-that-chaotic sail given how sore their muscles likely are. Some will be recovering from the pie-eating contest that turned into a pie-throwing contest, the last event that left everyone (except for the two journalist/photographers) slimed by gooey, yellow pie.

We are talking about cruisers here.

Below is a group shot of the entire crowd from today's event sponsored by a locally owned company called Tropical Tease. Tropical Tease is a T-shirt and custom shirt shop right on the main street that has some of best quality shirts and coolest artwork I have seen in either hemisphere.

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