By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE All-Andros Regatta got a new dimension when the Gladiator Championship Wrestling and Solar Verde Bahamas Limited came on board as a sponsor.
After the successful staging of the regatta in Morgan’s Bluff over the weekend, Rita Grant, chief executive officer of Solar Verde Bahamas Limited, and her officers yesterday made their cash presentation to Rev Dr Philip McPhee, one of the organisers, on behalf of the winning boats.
“We are certainly extremely grateful and thankful to Mrs Grant and company and the Gladiators for sponsoring the third race in the All-Andros Regatta,” McPhee said. “We were so proud that this race is considered now the largest cup race for a long time in the C Class.
“Last year, Rock Sound set the record in terms of the cup race money. That was so good that everybody is still talking about the Rock Sound cup race. But in Andros, Mrs Grant broke that record in terms of the financing for the boats and so it is now the largest cup race in terms of giving back to the sailors in a particular race, which was called the Gladiator Race.”
Receiving on behalf of the sailors, McPhee thanked Grant for what they are doing in the Bahamas and what they intend to do in the future.
“She started out well, in seeing the All-Andros Regatta committee, the tremendous support and helped to make it a successful regatta last week,” McPhee said.
“Then this morning, she came with the $5,000 that she had previously indicated that they will donate. She has lived up to her promise, but I’m trying to get her to do something for the Rolleville Regatta,” McPhee said.
“She has a tremendous team working with her and we’re looking forward to having her share even more with the Bahamian people so we can have a sense of pride and love for this woman, who has given so much already to the Bahamas and even more, especially South Andros.”
The winner of the C boat series was the Sweet Island Gal. The Asue Draw Thunderbird got second and the Melva B rounded out the top three in third. Grant and her team made the presentation to McPhee to the winners, but it wasn’t revealed exactly how much each of them will receive.
An excited Grant, whose company is based in South Andros, said North Andros brought a totally different environment to her and her team as well as the Gladiators, who were on hand to mix and mingle with the public.
“I don’t want to make anyone upset, but my love and focus is in South Andros and we will be doing many, many events,” she said. “We just want this to be the beginning of what is to come and we are not leaving North Andros out. We wish to participate and my whole team is looking to become a part of the fabric of the island and to contribute wherever possible and to enjoy and celebrate with all of the people of Andros.”
As an associate of Nick Cara, the president of the GCW, Grant said when she approached him and he was getting to launch an event outside of the United States, she was able to encourage him to check out the Bahamas. The two met when Cara was in New York producing a gangster movie called “The Italians.”
As a financier of movies herself, Grant said Cara brought a script for her to review and that pretty much led to one thing.
“Nick is going to be the face of the Bahamas as far as the Gladiator wrestling is concerned,” Grant said. “He will be doing everything possible to bring the television stations and the fans from the United States to the Bahamas for the event. We have six events planned for the next 12 months. So we are expecting him to be excited and his group loves the Bahamas.
“They’ve been down twice already to visit me and they love the food. I am still astonished as to just how much they eat. But they eat so much and stay trim. They are going to make this the base and build and create a championship school so that people can be trained properly for their event and they can discover talent like Anansi, whom they intend to make a superstar.”
Grant said the mega GCW event on August 29 will be televised globally. It’s the first international event to be held outside of the United States and Grant said Cara intends to bring in a lot of wrestlers and movie stars who support them and the many fans who follow them.
“It’s nice when you can make money and how fun,” Grant said. “This is fun. It will bring international exposure in a different area for the Bahamas.”
Anansi, a 21-year-old getting ready to make his professional debut at the show, has vowed to put on a show for the Bahamian people.