Knowles brothers in lead after day 1 of Sir Durward Knowles National Junior Sailing Championships

IN a tribute to their late great-grandfather, Exuma’s brothers Emit and Joss Knowles put on a show as they led the pack after day one of the Sir Durward Knowles National Junior Sailing Championships.

In the signature event of the three-days of sailing in Montagu Bay, Joss Knowles leads with three points on Mako after the first two of six races in the E-Class series, followed by Joss Knowles on the Lady Kayla with four.

Meanwhile, Norman Cartwright from New Providence turned in a pair of victories in the Laser class to snatch the early lead and in the Sunfish class, Aidan Sumner, also from New Providence, got a victory and second for three points to lead that field.

The first day of competition concluded with the opening ceremonies in which the British High Commissioner to the Bahamas Thomas Harley unveiled the naming of the new E-class boat that was built by Long Island’s Mark Knowles.

Hartley presented the red and blue boat called The Independence with the No.50 placed on it to the young sailors of the Bahamas to learn to sail in to become the next Olympic champions of the Bahamas.

Clay Sweeting, the Minister of Works and Family Island Affairs, in declaring the championships open, said after a two-year hiatus and with sailing now being named the national sport of the Bahamas, it was only fitting that they bring back the championships.

“I’m honoured to be a part of this event, not only to showcase the incredible talent of our young people, but this youth regatta also underscores the importance of unity, the importance of teamwork and the rich maritime legacy that defines our nation.”

Also in attendance at the opening was Governor General Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt.

Charlotte Albury, daughter of Sir Durward Knowles, said her mother, Lady Holly, and the rest of their family, are appreciative of the government for keeping Sir Durward Knowles’ name and his legacy alive.

She noted that he put the Bahamas on the map in sailing in Melbourne, Australia in 1956 at the Summer Olympics with Sloane Farrington as crew and then bringing the gold home in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan with Cecil Cooke as crew. But she said that in 1988, her father was the oldest sailor at the age of 71.

On his 100th birthday, he was the oldest Olympian alive.

And February 24 would make six years since he died, so the timing of the regatta was on the right weekend.

“We know he’s looking down with a big smile and saying ‘they still remember me.”

As for the competition, Emit said he’s doing this one for the late Sir Durward Knowles.

“Everyone is sailing very fast, so I had to push a little harder,” said Emit, who noted that he was pleased to be ahead of his older brother. “I know it’s going to be stiff competition the rest of the way, so I just have to be ready.”

In response, 16-year-old Joss Knowles said the competition was good but, at the same time, it was very tricky with the wind going up and down.

“It just motivates everyone to come back and have a better day.”

Said Joss of his brother Emit: “He had a lot of speed with his crew, so they are always going to be a treat, no matter how far I am in front or behind them.”

Day two of the racing in Montagu will continue at 9am and the championships will wrap up on Saturday with the crowning of the champions in all classes.


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