Regatta Time in Abaco, a series of sailboat races, successfully held its 42nd event from June 23 – 29, 2017. This event brings sailors as well as hundreds of land-based visitors to Abaco who enjoy the races and shore parties held nightly at various resorts in several towns. This is Abaco’s largest tourism event and takes visitors from Hope Town in the south to Green Turtle Cay in the North.
Four races and associated awards parties and social events on lay days were all part of the Regatta program.
Coordinated with the racing schedule was an initial party at Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour on June 22 and the huge Cheeseburger in Paradise beach party on Fiddle Cay on June 30. All events were open to the public.
This was the second year that Pete’s Pub joined the social parade. This party began the festivities. After the Regatta racing concluded, several thousand persons bringing hundreds of boats attended the Cheeseburger in Paradise Beach Party where 3,000 hamburgers and 1,000 hot dogs along with rum punches were all given out for free. This Fiddle Cay beach party hosts power boaters from Florida and other foreign points as well as a few from Abaco. Boats with three and four outboard engines were a common sight. This is by far the largest beach party in the country and has been said to surpass anything like it in Florida.
The Regatta brings hundreds of visitors who contribute heavily to the economy of the entire island including central Abaco businesses. While most of our entrants come from Florida and ports north as far as Charleston, N.C., many of their crew and guests arrive by plane and must then take a cab and ferry to get with their host captain. Of particular note are our liquor and grocery wholesalers who see a significant surge in sales during this event.
Regatta Time began in the mid-1970s as an enticement to Florida sailors to come to experience the great sailing, beautiful beaches and interesting settlements on Abaco. It has assisted in developing Abaco’s successful summer tourism season so that now our resorts and marinas are full, and house rentals, golf cart and boat rentals are completely booked.
Regatta and party sponsors understand the value their products receive at these sponsored social events and look forward to participating. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Mount Gay are two of the Regatta’s larger sponsors. Local sponsoring businesses supporting the Regatta include BTC, Kalik, Coca Cola, Abaco Petroleum, Abaco Groceries and The Moorings. Participating resorts and marinas give their support and welcome the business influx.