Summertime and sailing returns with the successful launch of Regatta in the Abacos

By Denise Maycock

Tribune Freeport Reporter


THE rebirth of the summer sailing regatta in the Abacos was a success and demonstrated “the spirit of sailing in grand style”.

The event was held June 25 to July 1, between Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay, featuring a series of sailing races.

A total of 18 vessels - ranging from the smallest, a Bahamian ‘C’ class sloop, It Ain’t Right, to the largest, an impressive McConaghy 60, Noble House - competed in the first, Regattas In The Abaco or RiTA.

The regatta kicked off on June 25 with a modified version of the infamous Marsh Harbour to Hope Town “Race around the islands”.

The conditions for sailing were ideal for participants, who experienced a light chop and a steady 8 to 12 knots of sunny breeze.

Rockstar, skippered by Tim Tucker, lived up to its reputation, claiming line honours and the win on corrected time in the performance spinnaker class.

In the non-spinnaker class, Contrails, helmed by Jim Wallace, emerged as the victor, while Catabatic, skippered by Larry Geller, triumphed in the multihull category.

Yacht clubs were also proudly represented, including St Augustine YC, Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club, Club Nautico Mar del Plata, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Southern Yacht Club, River Dunes Marina, Charleston Yacht Club, and the local Abaco Rage Sailing Syndicate.

The event was well received and held under the patronage of the Member of Parliament for South Abaco John Pinder. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Aviation, and Investments also supported the regatta.

The major sponsors were Mount Gay Rum, Sands Beer, and the Bahamian Beverage Company, Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits. Other sponsors provided in kind donations such as docking for the Race Committee boats at Abaco’s marinas, as well as donors who provided much-needed financial support.

Also among the list of sponsors were HG Christie Ltd Real Estate and The Abaco Club on Winding Bay.

The second day of racing met with a light chop and a 5 to 10 knot southeasterly trade wind. The course started off Hope Town and ended off Guana Cay, and featured a new race inspired by the downwind “sleighrides” of the 1980s.

NautOnCall secured the win in the spinnaker class, while the local wood racing sloop, The Lonesome Dove, displayed remarkable performance to claim victory in the non-spinnaker class. Catabatic once again emerged victorious in the multihull class.

Race Three, featuring a typical Round the Bouys course, solidified the positions of the leaders in each class.

Race Four introduced a completely new course, starting at Baker’s Bay, Great Guana Cay, and ending off New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay.

Sailors traversed the infamous Whale Cay Channel, a passage that has intimidated seafarers throughout history.

Race day four brought unexpected surprises and challenging weather conditions.

The Pursuit Start format, skillfully managed by co-PROs Carol Ewing and David Helmick, saw boats starting according to their rating with the hope of finishing together.

The Bahamian Sloop Lonesome Dove claimed victory with a skeleton crew, including four juniors who relished the experience. Rockstar continued its winning streak, securing line honours in this demanding distance race, and Lady Grey surprised the multi-hull fleet by claiming victory on corrected time. Skipper Barry Simmons displayed exceptional skill, navigating the inside passage and keeping full sail throughout the storms.

Race five, a classic Green Turtle Cay race, witnessed an unexpected reversal of wind conditions, transforming the upwind start into a downwind start. The light wind conditions favoured the focused captains, and two summer squalls during the race tested the crews’ abilities to optimise their sailing rigs amidst winds swinging through 180 degrees. Overall winners were Rockstar in the performance spinnaker class, The Lonesome Dove in the non-spinnaker cruising class, and Catabatic secured overall honours in the multihull class.


hrysippus 11 months, 1 week ago

Congratulations to Regatta Commodore Dwayne Wallas and all the committee members.

JackArawak 11 months, 1 week ago

A good time was had by all

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