By Liann Key Kaighin
Since 1991, The Marsh Harbour Sailing Club has been holding a regatta in memory of Mr. Homer Lowe. Mr. Lowe raced in many events over the years with the MHSC. This year marked the 25th Annual sailing of the regatta in his honour. The races took place inside the harbour, and Snappas was so generous as always, to host people onshore for skipper’s meeting and provisions. Two boat classes participated: the Sunfish, and the Optimist.
Day one of racing was Saturday, April 11. Four races were completed, and the hot news of the day was that Jimmie Lowe, son of Homer Lowe, was unbeatable. Jimmie put four bullets in the bag. This made it pretty unlikely that any other sailors in the sunfish fleet could catch him. Race day two, April 12, saw the winds a bit lighter, but still steady out of the south. Ten sunfish were on the course, and again, Lowe was unstoppable. He put another two bullets in the bag and that was all she wrote.
In the Optimist class, which is the boat of choice in The Bahamas for our juniors, five young sailors were out on the course. On Saturday, Rachel Sands of Cherokee Sound, and Micah Albury of Man-O-War Cay, were trading first and second places, and going into Sunday morning, it looked like either of them had a shot at winning the regatta. It was Rachel Sands turn to drop the hammer, bringing home two bullets on Sunday morning to clinch the overall win.
Race Committee was as always spot-on, with David and Lenore Mulock of Little Harbour handling the start/finish sequences with perfection. Two chase boats on course, manned by Barry Ainsworth and Jay Manni, and assisted by George and Sue Holloway, made things run very smoothly.
As this was the 25th Annual, it was wonderful to see the family reunion at the awards ceremony, held at Snappas at end of racing on Sunday. Mrs. Sadie Lowe, wife of Mr. Homer, was on hand to award her son Jimmie with the first place trophy in the Sunfish class. Second Place went to Andrew Wilhoyte of Hope Town, and Third place to Jim Kaighin of Marsh Harbour. Top woman went to Lori Lowe of Nassau, and top junior was Branden Sands, of Cherokee Sound, Abaco.
For the Optimist class and the junior racers, the Hugh Cottis Memorial trophy was presented to Rachel Sands by Mrs. Sylvia Cottis. Second place in Opti’s was Micah Albury, Third Place was Maison Kolpke. Fourth place was Blue Mentz, and fifth place was Ethan Lowe.
The Marsh Harbour Sailing Club has been in existence since 1973. It was founded by Robert Lucien Stratton and Stewart Stratton. The club has raced Sunfish every year since its inception.
This regatta is very close to many sailors’ hearts and they look forward to continuing the tradition for many years to come. The MHSC is very grateful to Bill Albury and Snappas for their support of the regatta and want to publicly thank Bill Albury for all that he did behind the scenes to assist. Also, a big thanks to Harbour View Marina, as well as Arawak Agency/Cherokee Air, and Mrs. Rhonda Hull, for their generous help in use of their properties.
Upcoming sailing events in Abaco are the Optimist National Championships to be held in Hope Town, Abaco, October 3-5. Come out and support our junior racers, they are the future of Bahamian sailing.
1- Jimmie Lowe 2- Andrew Wilhoyte 3- Jim Kaighin 4- Branden Sands (1st Junior) 5- Gavin McKinney
6- Joey Gale (2nd Junior) 7-Lori Lowe 8- Tim Sands 9- Jeff Gale 10- Giovanna Manni
1- Rachael Sands 2- Micah Albury 3- Maison Kolpke 4- Blue Mentz 5- Ethan Lowe