The event’s continued success was great news for those who regularly attend the Cheeseburger in Paradise Party that was held on July 3, incorporating the American and Bahamian Independence Days into the nine-day event for the 38th Regatta Time in Abaco. This great day signals the start of the Regatta where sail boats traverse triangular or around-the-island courses in the hopes of capturing a win and a bronze sculpture made by Johnston Studios in Little Harbour.
Dr. Ron Hucke from St. Augustine, Fla. was enjoying the beach activities that day, and was also looking forward to participating in the races aboard his vessel: Erinsong. After 23 years of travelling to The Bahamas, he keeps coming back.
And he’s not alone.
“There’s not a single boat slip available, the marinas are full, there’s not a single hotel room available, and in fact,” Hucke paused, “in fact, you almost can’t find a place to anchor anymore.
“This is the most fun regatta in the world, I think.”
After assisting the crew of Lazarus who were visiting for the first time with a photo to post to their favourite social network, Captain John Zinskey explained that they were “here to win the races, tear down The Bahamas, and keep it real.”
Crew members Dan and James were not to be left out.
“We’re on Lazarus getting hazardous, and we’re going to win these races. That’s all we do is win,” James affirmed. They dodged my question on how they had heard about the race, supplying a question and answer of their own.
“Who hasn’t heard about it,” James queried. “Look at all these people; the Gulfstream is like a filter of cool people. If you make it here, you’re an awesome person because this is the meeting ground of the coolest people on the planet.”
After a brief Skipper’s Meeting that afternoon, the ‘coolest people on the planet’ began their first race on July 4 at Green Turtle Cay. An all-out American Independence Celebration and Awards Party took place at The Bluff House’s Tranquil Turtle. MP for North Abaco Mr. Renardo Curry was in attendance as well as Administrators Neil Campbell and Stephen Wilson, and Mr. Craig Flowers.
In the Multihull Division, ‘Catabelle’ placed first; ‘Cool Cat 1’, second; and ‘Fringe Element’, third. PHRF first, second and third place winners were: Cool Change, Abaco Glow and ‘Sempre Amantes’, respectively. The top three RTIA winners were: ‘Balamena II’, ‘Susimi’ and ‘Living the Dream’. The Mother Tub Division was separated into a Class C and a Class D. In Mother Tub C, ‘Spongecake’ finished first, ‘CAVU’ came second, and ‘Restless’ secured third place. Finally in the Mother Tub D Class, ‘Erinsong’ came first, ‘Trust Me’ took second place; and ‘Tenacious’ settled into third.
July 5 was designated a Lay Day, and the fleet moved on to Treasure Cay for a party at Treasure Cay Resort and Marina and Coco Beach Bar. Race 2 took place from Treasure Cay to Guana Cay the following day.
In the Multihull category, ‘Cool Cat 1’ placed first, ‘Catabelle’, second; and ‘Fringe Element’, third. In the PHRF division, ‘Sempre Amantes’ moved up to first place; and ‘Abaco Glow’ came second with ‘Cool Change’ closely behind in third. ‘Living the Dream’ topped the RTIA division, while ‘Tanglefoot’ and ‘Susimi’ placed second and third, respectively. The Mother Tub C competitors: ‘Spongecake’, then ‘CAVU’ and ‘Cheval’ took the top three spots. Finally, the Mother Tub D Class was dominated by ‘Dreamy Daze’ in first; ‘Sailbatical’, second; and ‘Tenacious’, third.
On July 8, sailors made their way from Guana Cay to Marsh Harbour for Race 3. A Party and Awards Ceremony took place at the Crossing Beach, and locals joined visitors for a time of live entertainment and Junkanoo as food vendors served native delicacies.
On July 9, Race 4 was scheduled from Marsh Harbour to Hope Town. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Chantal created adverse weather conditions, which discouraged boaters and organizers from attempting that race. A decision was made to cancel the July 9 Race.
Nevertheless, those who attended the Regatta so far have enjoyed the events. Although there are many reasons why people attend the Regatta, no one can dispute that it brings people together for a great time of sailing, it promotes camaraderie among visitors and residents, and it is the meeting place for a grand celebration.
Check back next issue for all the final results.