From the Desk of Tessa Callwood (the quarantine chronicles…):
Our friendship with Les Anderson, St John artist in residence, seaman and sailor, from the earliest times in the 1970’s and the humble beginning of the FOXYS WOODEN BOAT REGATTA, has been long and fruitful.
At the time when the idea of a Wooden Boat regatta to be held on Jost van Dyke was being bandied about in the early 1970’s, Les was in the process of building a beautiful little Cowhorn Schooner, which he was to name after his then muse - Penelope Poole. The fact that he had no experience in boatbuilding didn’t daunt him or a number of other young men, who also decided to build Cowhorns, spearheaded by one Augie Holland over in Coral bay on St John, while Les was building his on Hassle Island in the shadow of the famous Manfred Dietrich the Sailmaker. Dietrich lived there for many, many years, and his notoriety proceeded him coming across the Atlantic to Gibraltar on a larger Schooner the Nordlys, with Captain Bill Bodle at the helm and Foxy Callwood as his first mate.
It was then, in Gibralter that I met Foxy and this, Dear Friends, is how I first came to the BVI.
The fact that Les already had a muse did not stop him vying for the affections of another, and that that is how the Regatta first came about as a Challenge to Augie, that the two boats would race - Les’s Penelope and Augie’s Taurus, - and the winner would capture the fair nordic Princess Sylvia & take her as his prize.
As luck would have it Les lost and Augie won but it was the start of a great tradition for as long as those beautiful wooden boats could stand the rigors of our tropical climate. Les contributed with a continuous flow of artistic renderings for over 40 years. These renderings were used for our Event Posters and our t-shirts, but the one that endured the longest to become an ICONIC FOXY’S design is the one that he did of The Fox Himself lying on a beach leaning against a rum barrel in the cool of a coconut tree watching the race.
In turn when we started developing our own rum label, what better design than this. Somehow it seemed to encompass the whole notion of Life in the Caribbean.
We first started to produce our own rum in the 1990’s & Elliot Hooper, who had come from Key West and was printing designs on t-shirts for the likes of Jimmy Buffet (& other notorious Caribbean Characters) now printed t-shirts for FOXYS, most notably, the Foxy’s Firewater design.
Elliot still prints our t-shirts over in Coral Bay - on his boat - the 180’ steel hulled Silver Cloud, which is where he now has his ‘shop’ since Hurricane Irma destroyed his land base in September 2017. Hence the imperfections that sometimes occur of trying to paint t-shirts on a boat - but this dear friend, just makes them all the more special. Silver Cloud has also for many years been the imposing Committee Boat for the Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta. We hope you will love them as much as we do – it’s a GREAT design that embodies a whole lot History.