Bahamian Brewery and Sands Beer began their Sands Man in the Boat Sculling Championship with a Sculling Boat Motorcade that led to the Treasure Cay Public Beach on the weekend of July 19 to 20.
With the Junior Sailing set for 9 a.m. that Saturday, followed by the E-Class sailing and the sculling championship that afternoon, clear skies and a brisk breeze greeted its participants. As organizers waited for races to begin, small children took advantage of the beach – diving and frolicking in the translucent, cool waters. Food vendors served delicious dinners of chicken, pork chops, ribs and fish with side orders of crab n’ rice, peas n’ rice, macaroni and cole slaw. Freshly made conch salad was made on location as well as conch fritters. Mixed drinks and soft drinks were affordably sold at the bar.
Overlooking the race, Lynden Johnson, sales and marketing manager was excited to see the launch of their first Abaco event. Also in attendance was James “Jimmy” Sands, CEO; Everette Sands, director; Berkley Williamson, general manager; Garrad Sawyer; and Gary Sands.
“The response from North Abaco is overwhelming, and I know that this event will be the highlight of the day,” Johnson assured. “We are 100 percent Bahamian, and we are glad to be here today and be a part of this community.”
He explained that a portion of the proceeds raised from the sculling championship would go toward the Cooper’s Town Public Library. There was also exciting news for the winner, who would represent Abaco in the National Sculling Competition at the Grand Bahama Regatta on an all-expense paid trip courtesy of Bahamian Brewery and compete against winners from other islands.
Besides the Junior sailors, all competitors received a case of Sands beer, while the first-place winners collected 10 cases of Sands beer and a trophy. Second-place winner were awarded eight cases of beer and a trophy, while third place holders walked away with six cases and a trophy.
The Sands Man in the Boat Sculling Championships began in 2012. Sheldon Gibson, a teacher at CV Bethel, was commissioned to build four 10-foot dinghy boats named after the Bahamian Brewery products – Sands, Sands Light, High Rock and Strong Back. The dinghies are used for the championships, and also sail in the E-Class competition at the regattas and homecomings.
In the Junior Sailing Triple Race category, Thomas Treco, the skipper for Vasyli Donzzy out of Nassau, placed first. Bessie from Hope Town placed second on the Sands Beer dinghy, while Jeremy and Melissa came third on Strong Back. The second and third-place winners represented Hope Town.
In the E-Class sailing, race winners were Stafford Patterson of Abaco in first aboard Vasyli Q; second place to Keith Brown of Nassau on Lucayan Tropical dinghy, and Steven Rolle also from Nassau in third place on Vasyli Donzzy. Finally, in the Sands Man in the Boat Sculling Race, Finley Cox secured first place in the Sands Boat. Cox earned his 10 cases of beer along with a trophy, and will travel to Grand Bahama later this summer for nationals. Willis Lavarity claimed second, while Wellington was awarded third place.
Trophies were presented to them by Mallory Sands of Bahamian Brewery.
At the end of the successful event, Gary Sands stated: “We had a wonderful time interacting with the locals; we truly enjoyed the day. It was good to see Abaconians from throughout Abaco enjoying the day, and indeed enjoying a great Bahamian event.”
He extended special thanks to the North Abaco District including local law enforcement officers.