The Figawi: A note from Brian Shortsleeve

Cape Cod Life  /  July 2019 / , ,

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Gunkholing: A note from the publisher

The Memorial Day weekend sailing regatta, which began in 1972, was created by a couple of friends challenging each other to a sailboat race across Nantucket Sound. It’s grown into one of the largest attended and longest running regattas on the East Coast, attracting more than 200 boats each year. Funds, raised from entries and other events on Nantucket and Hyannis, and managed by Figawi Charities, Inc., benefit countless local charities.

Eric Wagner (above) is co-owner  of Dark ‘n Stormy, a 35-foot J 105 Sloop. The crew has won their racing class in 7 of the last 12 Figawi starts. Eric is married to Julie Wagner, the Editor of Cape Cod LIFE. 


Home port of the Dark ‘n Stormy is Parker’s Boat Yard in Cataumet’s Red Brook Harbor. Owners Eric Wagner, Andrew Reservitz and Ned Joyce are shown here with crew members.

Allyson Plessner has been a member of the Dark ‘n Stormy crew in the Figawi races for the last two years. Allyson is the Digital Editor & Social Media Coordinator at Cape Cod Life.

The Figawi Race stretches 26 miles from the jetty in Hyannis Port to Nantucket, and depending on the weather should take each skipper about three to six hours to complete.

Memorial Day weekend and the Figawi mark the unofficial start of summer with many festivities in Hyannis and on Nantucket. Congratulations to the entire crew aboard the Dark ‘n Stormy for races well run.

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.