Hook-In-Hold-On: The Origins of our Brand
Conceived in a beach bar in St Thomas the Hook-In-Hold-Race first took place in 1979. A group of windsurfing friends thought it would be fun to sail up from St. Thomas to the British Virgin Islands. They wore backpacks with a sleeping bag and some food. The format was an instant hit and in a couple years Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey stepped in and the event mushroomed! In the 1980’s the Johnnie Walker Hook-In-Hold-On was the biggest event in the new cool sport of windsurfing. It was unique as an island-to-island race where the participants would sleep aboard a yacht which followed the fleet. All meals were provided, and there was plenty of Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey to drink. A Tortola windsurfer and our very own, Andy Morrell, raced in the event a few times, and copped a first place overall in the 1986 edition.
Johnnie Walker withdrew from the event and it lay dormant for a few years, Following a stint on the windsurfing pro-tour Andy returned as the organiser. Not much changed, except the name was shortened to HIHO, the acronym of the former Hook-In-Hold-On. Competitors lived aboard a fleet of yachts once again, there were daily windsurfing races between the islands and great nightly parties! The event boasted a cool HIHO Sun graphic T-shirt, which was sold year round in a couple stores in Tortola. Windsurfing manufacture Neil Pryde was an early supporter of the event. The company loved the fun format and that it drew international participation. Bacardi Rum took on title sponsorship in 1995 and while the racing remained serious, the parties became legendary. Bacardi brought great media coverage to the event, including television.
Alongside the burgeoning race, the cool graphic T-shirt was taking on life of its own (see above from 1993). Soon rash guards and beach bags were on offer, then surf shorts and eventually a capsule collection including women’s wear. It was the beginning of the HIHO clothing collection and slowly, as the race grew, and the rum sponsorship was ceded to Highland Spring water, the HIHO brand evolved. The owners opened a HIHO store in Tortola and by 2005 were introducing the line to stores in the USA.
Our Suntek Shirts are some of the best around with SPF 50 Protection and cool designs for the beach or boating. You will fall in love with our women's dresses including our best selling 100% Linen Rachel Dress! Shop online, at one of our many retail partners or at our very own shop in Osterville, MA!