The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources’ second annual Best-of-the-Best Regatta concluded December 10 in Montagu Bay in Nassau with three new champions crowned, two of which were the Abaco Rage Sailing Syndicate (ARSS).
“It Ain’t Right” (C Class) and “Lonesome Dove” (B Class) Skippered by Jeff Gale along with his crew of Andrew Wilhoyte, Duncan Love, Dwayne Wallas, Eric Patterson, Jason Robertson, John Pinder and Stafford “Captain Plug” Patterson captured first prize after several days of competitive sailing.
In the C Class, “It Ain’t Right”, a 17’ sloop with four to five crew competed against 27 boats, capturing two second place finishes and a third place which qualified them as number one for the finals, which they won.
In the B Class, “Lonesome Dove,” a 21’ seven to nine-man crew sloop fought against eight boats, where they placed first, third and fourth, qualifying them for a third place spot in the final which they also won.
Last year qualifying for the Best of the Best (BOTB) event was done differently; you had to have won a Regatta during the year in 2016 to qualify for BOTB.
The ARSS sailed two Regattas in 2016 but didn’t win so they were not allowed to be a part of the event.
This year the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources gave a general call for all sailing sloops and clubs to participate in the event.
After three days of racing the field was cut down and the finalists sailed a one race shootout, with the winner being dubbed as the “Best of the Best.”
ARSS has not sailed in the A Class nationally since 2013 as the Abaco Rage is no longer competitive. The Abaco Rage still does sail in the Hope Town Sailing Club events and the Annual Regatta Time in Abaco event.
When asked “How did you do it?”, Captain Plug said “Good, consistent sailing throughout the Regatta, great teamwork, excellent tactical calls and a little luck on the day of the finals!”