Million dollar party: A tale of two vessels

Two very different boat races took
place off Seven Mile Beach
on Easter Monday with a large turnout enjoying the festivities.

The Ugland Offshore Racing Million
Dollar Run was a colourful, high-octane experience.

The course this year began with a
rolling start at Marriott Beach Resort and made a circuit to Northwest Point
and Thompson Mooring. This meant that the boats were constantly in view for
spectators for the first time.

From the Royal Palms up and down Seven Mile
Beach, the crowds were
out in force as the teams lined-up in the blazing heat of the day. With a
thumping soundtrack and an excited crowd, the start/finish line was the perfect
place for an Easter Monday day out and tourists mingled with locals to create
an impressive turnout, particularly considering the CARIFTA Games was in full
swing.

Excitement

Interested observers sipped cooling
drinks in the 90-degree heat, lounged on the sands or perched atop their moored
boats as the excitement ramped up for the occasion.

Team captains drew two playing
cards each prior to the races themselves. Following the races, more cards were drawn
and the team with the best poker hand won a prize.

The party atmosphere was further
boosted by the appearance of the strikingly-clad Powerplay Girls, supporting
their boat by donning matching sailor’s suits, although the less said about
their dancing onstage the better.

The competing boats reached speeds in
excess of 100 miles per hour or more as the serious business took place and it
was as competitive as ever.

The circuit class race was won by
Wayne Kirkconnell in Way To Go. Pablo Rousseau and Team Powerplay won the outlaw
class for boats under 500cc plus, unsurprisingly, picking up the award for best
crew.

The offshore race was won by Dale
Crighton in Heavy Metal, with Michael Ryan’s The Punisher in second and Andreas
Ugland Senior in Ugland Offshore Racing in third place.

Dale Crighton and Heavy Metal won
best craft and best poker hand went to Bob Watler and Team Happy Ours II.

Catboat regatta

Further up Seven
Mile Beach,
Public Beach hosted the annual Catboat Regatta.
Part of Cayfest 2010, the sailboats may have only had the wind to power them
but the skill required to negotiate the course was impressive to a soundtrack
of the waspish razz of the powerboats in the background.

Musical entertainment was provided
by Freddy and the Hornets and Northside Kitchen Band playing traditional Cayman
Music; Damion Thaxter, Randy Chollette & Eden played the drums and then the
George Town Primary School dancers strutted their stuff.  Children also enjoyed washpan races nearer
the beach.

Kem Jackson won the first race in
Captain D, with Crosby Ebanks second in See Her Go. Third place was taken by
Jerris Miller in Chisholm Cat.

Jackson also won
the second race with Miller and Ebanks in second and third, respectively.
Crosby Ebanks won the final race with Jerris Miller in second position and Kem
Jackson in third.

Overall first place was taken by
Kem Jackson, who won $2,000. Second place and $1,500 went to Crosby Ebanks and
Jerris Miller won $1,000 for finishing third. Phillip Parchment’s fourth place
earned $500 in Brac Cat and Romel Ebanks in Blue Bayou finished fifth, winning
$250.

The Catboat Club of Cayman Islands
also presented the Cayman Islands Yacht Club with $500 towards their youth programme.

Loxley Banks commentated on the
event for an interested crowd and said that it had been a great day out.

“Lots of people came out; it was a
beautiful day with sunshine, breezes and great smooth water for racing.

“Catboats are a great
part of our history – anywhere you start digging into the past you can find
boats on Cayman,” he said.

LOCALmdrSTORY

The start was like something out of a Bond movie.
Photo: David Goddard Photography
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