Today it was good to have big grinders on your Les Voiles de St. Barth sailing team, but it wasn’t because the wind was overpowering. It was officially Lay Day – a day to take a break and have some fun midway between the four days of racing – and many of the 70 teams competing in the regatta decided to join in organized water games at the famously spirited Nikki Beach.
Even without hundreds of energetic sailors around, it’s hard to hang out at the sand-floored Nikki Beach Restaurant without consuming massive amounts of sushi (served family-style but in an oh-so elegant St. Barth way), enjoying a glass of rose (mostly poured from jeroboam bottles), or dancing (on the tables). But today there was all of that to enjoy plus the additional attractions of Paddle Board Jousting, Water Polo, and even an Underwater Treasure Hunt…for what else, but caviar.
Five Roman Kaviroff Caviar tins, each with a white pearl inside, were hidden in the reef off Eden Rock, and swimsuit-clad teams from Intuition, Hamachi, Triple Lindy, Otra Vez, Toccato, Spirit of Nereus and Pocket Rocket donned snorkels and dive masks to find them. If Hamachi was the winner for finding three of the tins, then it wasn’t so bad to be the loser, finding fewer tins or no tins at all, since all contestants got to eat their fill of the ‘black gold’ back at the beach.
Turning it right around to enter the water polo tournament, Team Otra Vez was the perfect example of a team that came here to fully participate in outstanding racing, as well as anything organizers had up their sleeves for making this regatta truly unforgettable. After cheering from the beach when his team’s biggest, strongest sailors helped put away their first match, skipper William Coates said with a sly grin, “Our motto, always, is ‘Have fun, look good, and place well.’”
Certainly there is no lack of fun and entertainment at this regatta, with bands and dancing every night on the Quay General de Gaulle and special events such as last night’s party on Shell Beach, which hosted over 800 guests and astounded all with acrobatic pole dancing and fire ball twirling. Tomorrow, however, it’s back to the business of winning sailboat races. With two races down, and two to go, winners in the ten classes will be awarded their prizes on Saturday, thus concluding a sixth edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth.