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The Great Yacht Race is a novel by Jamaican author Anthony Winkler, published in 1992.
The setting is the 1950s, in Montego Bay, St. James. A member of the local Blue Blood community has been murdered, throwing the city in an uproar. His murderer, Elijah Lewis, is quickly caught, but tension hangs in the air as the townspeople wonder aloud how soon he'll be executed. This happens around the same time when the annual yacht race is scheduled to take place, and a number of the participants are already gearing themselves up for the event.
The story focuses on five characters in particular: Edward "Fritzie" Fitzpatrick, a barrister, the reigning champion of the regatta and the local Jerkass; William Anwgin, the magistrate; Alexander Biddle, the court reporter; Tyrone O'Hara, a hotelier; and Father Christopher Huck, who provides counsel to his parishioners while trying to cope with his crusade to save Lewis from the gallows and control his own secret sexual fantasies.
Tropes present in The Great Yacht Race:
- Affably Evil: Fritzie.
- All Men Are Perverts: Fritzie.
- Amoral Attorney: Fritzie.
- Ax Crazy: Elijah Lewis.
- Babies Ever After: Alexander Biddle and Winnie Leewong have one. So do Iris, the Angwins’ children, and the O'Haras.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The information given to the reader about Elijah Lewis's back-story makes it seem so.
- Berserk Button: Mother Laidlaw does not take kindly to being told that African ancestry runs in her family. She WILL make you pay for it.
- Beware the Nice Ones: After campaigning to get Elijah Lewis's death penalty revoked, and failing in the process, Father Huck breaks down crying in Missus Grandison's arms...then the next Sunday he lets loose with a SAVAGE Fire and Brimstone Hell sermon that convinces hardened sinners in the congregation to change their ways, and for the rest of the novel he drops several not-so-subtle hints in his sermons that Magistrate Angwin knows are meant for him (because Angwin was the one who pronounced the death penalty in the first place).
- Big Bad: Fritzie.
- Big Eater: Father Huck, an American, has an intense craving for Jamaican food, as noted by Fritzie.
- Big Fancy House: Most of the characters possess one.
- Butt Monkey: O'Hara. His wife Roxanne, who's physically bigger than he is, frequently beats him up; he's manipulated by his maid Iris, with whom he's having an affair; and the stress of keeping said affair from his wife makes him a nervous wreck.
- Magistrate Angwin is this every year during the yacht race, always having to forfeit due to some mishap with his boat.
- Casanova: Fritzie, once more.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Father Huck.
- Covert Pervert: Both Father Huck and his maid Missus Grandison, though neither is aware of the other’s thoughts. Until the end of the story.
- Fritzie suspects his secretary, Lilly Perkins, of being this, what with her antics with him during their trysts together.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Fritzie and Alexander Biddle are this.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: The aim of all the regatta competitors is to dethrone Fritzie, the reigning champion - to the point that they don't even care who wins, as long as it's not him.
- The Determinator: O'Hara during the yacht race.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Charlene Angwin tells one of the Laidlaw brothers that he has African ancestry, due to his brown skin. When Mother Laidlaw learns of this, in revenge she spreads a malicious rumor that Charlene is having an affair with Tyrone O'Hara, a rumor that nearly destroys the Angwins' marriage. After she confesses this to Father Huck, he has to break his vow of confidentiality in order to save the Angwins from divorcing.
- Drives Like Crazy: Fritzie is notorious in town for this. He ends up dying this way.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Fritzie is randomly selected to be Elijah Lewis’s defense attorney at his trial. Fritzie, who honestly believes Lewis deserves the gallows, sees it as a hypocrisy for him to represent the murderer.
- Evil Matriarch: Mother Laidlaw.
- Foe Yay: Fritzie has this with all his rivals.
- Good People Have Good Sex: The Angwins and O'Haras do. And Father Huck and his maid later.
- Happily Married: Magistrate Angwin and his wife Charlene.
- Heel Face Turn: Alexander Biddle.
- Immodest Orgasm: Lilly Perkins, Fritzie’s secretary, has these constantly when they’re together, much to his chagrin.
- It's Personal: O'Hara's participation in the regatta becomes this when he realizes that his maid's newborn child is actually Fritzie's.
- Jerkass: Primarily Fritzie, but also Magistrate Angwin and Alexander Biddle.
- Large Ham: Fritzie, whenever he's in court.
- Manipulative Bastard: Fritzie has O'Hara pay him the standard lawyer's fee to make Iris sign an agreement that she'll leave Montego Bay and have the baby she's carrying for O'Hara. It later becomes a source of rage for O'Hara when, upon being paid a surprise visit by Iris with her newly-born child, he realizes that the baby is actually Fritzie's from an earlier fling.
- Mama Bear: Mother Laidlaw is this for her sons. Simply put: do not mention any hint of their family having African ancestry even if it's true.
- Parental Abandonment: Elijah Lewis.
- Rape Is Okay When Its Female On Male: Iris pulls it on O’Hara at one point. And Missus Grandison on Father Huck.
- Redemption Equals Death: Mother Laidlaw.
- Shrinking Violet: Winnie Leewong, at least at first.
- Stock Foreign Name: Winnie Leewong, Alexander Biddle's girlfriend.
- Tsundere: Roxanne O'Hara.
- The Vamp: Iris, the O’Haras’ maid.
- Your Cheating Heart: Fritzie and O'Hara cheat on their wives; the former with his secretary, the latter with his maid. Fritzie's wife returns the favor.