By anguillian June 26, 2017 12:11



A predominant feature at any function, like “West Fest” at the scenic Meads Bay, is usually a boat race which attracts a large following, but the event there on Sunday, June 17, was more food and music than boat-racing.

“We heard about the boat-racing and came to see it,” some visitors commented – to The Anguillian – as they waited for the arrival of the boats from Sandy Ground and even as far as Island Harbour. But, as a result of an intervening squall, the majority of the sleek racing boats, only with their masts up, remained at their anchors. Only three of them ventured into Meads Bay, some two hours late for the 2.30 pm start of the race.

It was just after 5 o’clock that the shortened race – “down to the foot of the land and back” – started. In the competition were: UFO, the Island Harbour boat, which was first on the scene; Sonic of North Hill and De Wizard of West End, all with their captains, crews and fans.

“We will have a race whether it is only three or even two boats,” said Cardigan Connor, a prominent promoter of boat-racing and the Elected Representative of the West End/Long Bay constituency. “It is believed that if you have two boats going in the same direction, you have a race. For a number of years, in fact, a boat race started here in Meads Bay – a stem-stem between Mason Hodge in the Cozy and Mac Owen in the Violet.
“But I think today, obviously with the wind being a bit on the stronger side earlier in the day, a number of the other boats were put off. With three of the boats already here and De Tree, to come as well, there will be a race. It is now a quarter to five and we are hoping to get started no later than ten past five. Anytime there is talk about a boat race, there are people along the beach waiting for it to happen.”

In a few minutes the three boats took off, much to the delight of the fans on the shore but in particular the visitors who wanted to witness the event – notwithstanding the smallness of the race.

About the rest of the events on the bayside, Mr. Connor said: “When you have a function like this, it is centred on boat-racing; but if the race doesn’t take place, then you can be entertained with music and food. West Fest is not just about boat-racing. It is also about some of the national foods we have – and with the Mussington Brothers playing and Boss & the Horsepower Band coming on later, it is pretty much in keeping with our tradition.”

Other fun-related activities during the day included a bicycle race in which a number of youngsters participated and received awards.

By anguillian June 26, 2017 12:11


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