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Old 02-09-2013, 07:35 AM
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Default Kite Racing While Cruising The British Virgin Islands - 2013 HiHo

June 28 through July 6, 2013 in the British Virgin Islands

The HiHo ("Hook In, Hang On"), has a decades long tradition among the high islands and well blown passages of the British Virgin Islands. It has included windsurfing, standup paddle surfing and now kitesurfing as racers shred along the brilliant blue waters driven by the trades. I did the HiHo twice back in the day and it was an amazing, highly memorable experience.

The HiHo provides an opportunity for passionate watermen and waterwomen from around the world to immerse themselves in their sport amidst astounding changing scenery as they cruise the islands of the BVI. They live aboard catamaran sailboats joined at the Moorings in Roadtown, Tortola which follow the racers as they chase from island to island. Each night is a new anchorage of a new island with a marvelous dinner with friends followed by a party. It goes on this way night after night with incredible times on the water day after day.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

The sailing grounds
Heritage Charts

A view of Roadtown from the top of Tortola. You will meet fellow passengers on your boat and other racers who will share the week of fun with you on your first day in Roadtown and at the welcome party that night. I think that is the Moorings on the lower left, where you pickup your boat for the week. The Moorings yachts come with a captain and the event is all inclusive as described on the website. More including pricing at:
Photo: Wikipedia

Long term relationships will likely grow out of the event among fellow passengers. Jim Bendon, a passenger on my boat in 1998 got me into kitesurfing. It was just starting to take off on his home island of Maui at the time. People who have hooked up on prior events meet again over the years at this and at other venues.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

I took this shot of Jim kiting off his home launch of Sprecklesville, Maui in 1999 with a 3 m Wipika Classic.

A view from the ridge line of Tortola
Photo: Wikipedia

This is what the HiHo website,, has to say about kitesurfing to be introduced for the first time at this year's event:

"New for the 2013 event, kitesurfing will involve a limited number of inter-island races. The kite racing class will be limited to 15-racers. All inter-island kite races must be aboard raceboards. We will not permit twin tip and low-volume boards for the inter-island races. You may use any board when you ride recreationally. Prizes will be awarded to the top kiters following the race series we outline for the week."

I took two kites both AR5's, the first four line LEI kites and directional boards with me on my second HiHo in 2000! What an incredible venue for kiting, particularly Anegada.

A look eastward across Anegada. The trades blow over the calm lee of the island nicely setting up some good calm water kiting inside the reef. A good deal of the kiting goes off from that sandy beach on the lower right.
Photo: Wikipedia

Racing scenes like this are typical in the HiHo, now imagine a pack of kiters ripping along in this setting.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Anegada is a low island to the north of Virgin Gorda. One of the highpoints of the event will be kiting in the lee of the island and then racing south over open ocean to finish in the area of Virgin Gorda.
Photo: Wikipedia

Kiting in the lee of Anegada

Great sunny conditions, white sand beaches, blue water and great company abound in the BVI.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

The Bitter End Yacht Club at the east end of Virgin Gorda.
Photo: Barbara Sage

Lunch and dinner are great events throughout the HiHo in scenic settings throughout the islands.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Looking westward along Virgin Gorda, you'll spend a good deal of time on and around this long island.
Photo: Wikipedia

There is an epic downwind sailboat race to the Baths. These cats are amazing fast too, it is a great time.
Photo: Wikipedia

The fleet anchored off the Baths following the race.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Piles of smooth volcanic volcanic boulders litter the Baths making for excellent exploring, snorkeling and photography. Piles of the boulders comprise Seal Dog Rocks and other features in the BVI creating a marvelous dive spot in the clear blue water.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Some races will be run off of and in the area of Eustatia Island.
Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Here is the itinerary for the 2013 event:

Highland Spring HIHO 2013

Friday, June 28
Container open - competitors can collect equipment

Sunday, June 30
Registration at The Moorings - Board yachts - Afternoon departure for North Sound, Virgin Gorda

Monday, July 1
Racing in Eustatia Sound - Dinner in the North Sound

Tuesday, July 2
Anegada race - Dinner and dancing at Anegada Reef Hotel

Wednesday, July 3
Morning racing & kitesurfing - Afternoon yachts race to The Baths - Dinner at CocoMaya

Thursday, July 4
Race to Beef Island - Pirate party at The Last Resort

Friday, July 5
Painkiller Cup - lunch at Soggy Dollar Bar - Dinner and dancing on Jost Van Dyke

Saturday, July 6 Racing at Little Thatch - Awards ceremony at The Moorings Sunday, July 7

Note: Itinerary above is more of a guide and is designed to get you so excited about the event that you will quickly register. There will be changes for logistics reasons, and perhaps due to weather conditions."

A chart to help connect the dots of the itinerary
Photo: Wikipedia

Here is a video from last year's HiHo including scenes from the 16 mile downwind Painkiller Cup relay SUP race from Virgin Gorda to Jost Van Dyke. The Painkiller is a signature Pussers rum drink served at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke.

More photos and info at:

You can see photos and videos from many past HiHo races at:

The fleet anchored off Jost Van Dyke after the running of the Pain Killer Cup last year.

An aerial shot of the 2012 Painkiller Cup
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

World famous Jost Van Dyke, downwind from Tortola and Sandy Cay and just north of the USVI island of St. Johns. No trip to the BVI would be complete without a party stop here.
Photo: Wikipedia

Little Thatch Island just downwind of Sopers Hole on Tortola the USVI is just across Drakes Channel to the right or south.
Photo: Wikipedia

The HiHo fleet off Sandy Cay
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

The HiHo is run by Andy Morrell, born and raised in the BVI. You can see Andy tearing it up here in the 1986 HiHo.
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

Andy, his son Sam and Packet Casey of Zulu Race Boards

More information about the 2013 HiHo at:

Sunset at Anegada
Photo: Andy Morrell/HiHo

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transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by ricki; 02-09-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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