Born as so many great ideas are, over beers in a bar, the BassAckwards Race started as the “what if” of a handful of local sailors who were looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon. “What if” they could put together a just-for-fun race down the bay that could be enjoyed by serious racers and casual sailors alike? “What if” they could involve the whole local boating community – not just the sailors – in a day full of fun on the water? Maybe some music. And “what if” they could pull this all together without going broke?
Fifteen years have passed, and the BassAckwards Race has grown into a Buzzards Bay tradition. Held every year on the last Saturday in July, some 300 participants man a fleet of 50 or so boats to compete for the trophies, the chair, and bragging rights as the team that somehow managed to get to Cleveland Ledge Light and back faster than anyone else without loss of life, limb or dignity.
2009 began a new era for BassAckwards. Production of the race passed from the founders to Kingman Yacht Club, introducing a greater organizational capability and renewed energy. The beloved “fun race” is still central to the weekend, and the "pursuit" race format provides a challenge for racers of all experience levels and abilities all around the Bay. Captains and crew are entertained and properly lubricated at Friday night’s party. After the race on Saturday, participants gather for tall tales, sympathy and awards under the tent at Kingman Yacht Club.
2012 saw the introduction of the BassAckwards Poker Run, bringing power boaters back into the festivities. The response and feedback from participants was tremendous, ensuring that the Poker Run will be part of the fun for years to come!
As the race weekend has grown and morphed over the years, BassAckwards has retained the spirit of a “pirate race.” For real … but not really. For some it’s the racing, for many it is the parties, and for everyone it’s a weekend of fun and foolery.