By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
OVER the past three decades, Eleanor ‘the Sailing Barber’ Johnson said his annual St Valentine’s ‘Catch Me If You Can’ Massacre has benefitted tremendously from philanthropist Sir Durward ‘Sea Wolf’ Knowles.
With the local sailing community coming together next week to compete in the 100 Regatta in Montagu Bay, Johnson said he would like for his Lady In Red, Lady Nathalie to secure the win to show their gratitude to Knowles.
“Sir Durward has been there with me from day one,” said Johnson of hosting his February sailing extravaganza in Montagu Bay.
“Every year, including this year, he’s made a contribution to the regatta. With this being the regatta of this kind being held in his honour, we would like to be able to win the regatta for Sir Durward Knowles. I think that would be a fitting tribute for the contribution that he has made to us.”
Knowles, who will celebrate his 100th birthday on November 2, will be honoured next weekend when the local workboats as well as the Olympic-style sailing boats come together in a massive regatta in Montagu Bay.
The National Family Island Regatta, the Bahamas Sailing Association and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources with responsibility for regattas will stage the blockbuster event.
When: October 17-19 in Montagu Bay.
More than 100 boats from the sloop sailing and Olympic-style competition are expected to compete in the free-for-all regatta as they give back and say thank you to the legendary Knowles, the oldest living Olympic sailing champion in the world.
Johnson, who boasts of hosting the biggest regatta in Montagu Bay, said he feels that Knowles deserves all of the accolades he will get from the sailors because of the contribution that he has made to the sport over the years.
The Bahamas’ Olympic gold and bronze medallist in the Sunfish class has financially supported just about every regatta held in the country. All of the boat owners, skippers and sailors will be coming together to compete in a free-for-all regatta for the Bahamian centenarian. “I think it’s good that they are honouring Sir Durward,” Johnson said. “I like what they are doing because he deserves to be recognised for his contribution.”
Johnson said Knowles has made a contribution to the St Valentine’s Massacre every year and they have been grateful for the support because it has helped to make the event a success.
“I am very thankful to Sir Durward Knowles,” Johnson said. “Every year that I approach him, he has supported me. I don’t think I could do it without his support.”