By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE fifth Best of the Best Regatta returned to Montagu for the first time in two years featuring the top sloop sailors in the island nation.
In Class A, the Running Tide was the overall champion, followed by the New Legend and Ed Sky finished third.
In Class B, the Susan Chase V won the title followed by Ants Nest and Ole Boy.
Sassie Sue was the Class C champion, finishing ahead of Bul Reg and H2O.
Captain Peg won the Class E championship with Lady Kayla in second place and Miss Agnes in third.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting commended the fleet of over 60 sloops that participated.
“The races over the last four days have seen exhilarating races from A, B, C, and E classes. I am particularly proud of the E-Class that consists of young people between the ages of 12-15 years. It demonstrates that the level of participation in regattas will only grow.
“You are the future of this magnificent sport and I know you will make us proud,” he said.
“And for our veteran classes, it is fantastic to see that the pandemic did not deter your passion for this sport and that many of you saw it as an opportunity to improve your boats and some even began building new ones. We know that because of this, the Best of the Best will only get better.”
At the event, Coca-Cola launched the first race and opportunity to earn points in the inaugural Bahamas Goombay Punch Cup.
The winner will be announced upon the completion of the Long Island Regatta in June 2023 and will receive a $5,000 cash prize. An $8,000 stipend will be presented to assist the sport for their island’s junior sailing club, and exclusive congratulatory Goombay cans from September 2023 until January 2024. In conjunction with the Bahamas’ 50th Independence celebrations, the Bahamas Goombay Punch, considered by Coca-Cola as the official soft drink of the Bahamas, has placed six sailing sloops - Tida Wave, New Courageous, Running Tide, New Legend, Southern Cross and San Sally - as the showpieces on the drinks from 2019.
Speaking to the sailors at the awards ceremony, Sweeting highlighted their contribution to the growth of the sport through this event and others. “You have courageously battled winds, waves and challenging conditions to be fittingly called the Best of the Best. I am sure that all the sailors in every class have enjoyed their experiences. “For me, an important component of regattas is also to strengthen the bonds that already exist in the Bahamian sailing community as well as the people who enjoy the cultural atmosphere.
“You have displayed outstanding skills during the past four days but above all a true love for the sport of sailing,” Sweeting said.
“During its short existence, the Best of the Best regatta has made a significant contribution to the development of sailing.
Bahamians and visitors from all walks of life enjoy this event through the entertainment, food and fun it provides.
Event sponsors included BTC, Caribbean Bottling, Bahamas E-Vac, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in addition to the Department of Local Government.
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