In the year 1954, Excellent Exuma welcomed its pretty initially Regatta. Though the race’s initial individuals appeared to be amateurs, the policies have been set up, and the competitors proved their worthiness. Given that then, the Regatta has come to be an once-a-year celebration, and one of the island’s most preferred activities. It is now identified as The Nationwide Family members Island Regatta.
The following 3 article content have been composed by Robert Keir who attended the onset of Fantastic Exuma’s initially Regatta. His account of the island’s first organized boating level of competition is specific, and very well-describes the weather conditions disorders, the fascinating ambiance of that weekend, as perfectly as the race, its participants and its winners. He feedback on how this reasonably tiny party has performed an critical role in placing Excellent Exuma on the world’s record of sun and pleasurable places. These days, the Regatta–open up only to sailboats that are “intended, constructed, owned, skippered and crewed by Bahamians”–has progressed into just one of The Bahamas’ renowned points of interest.
March 26, 1954
George City, Exuma – A snappy southeast wind at 15 miles, merged with a very clear blue sky and a warm solar to make circumstances inside Exuma Harbour excellent for the initial Out Island Regatta which got beneath way here Friday afternoon.
Nevertheless, the temperature outdoors the harbour was not as favourable and experienced not been so for the earlier several days. In quite a few cases indigenous work boats and viewing yachts alike had been pressured to take shelter in the various inlets of the Exuma Cays.
Because early in the 7 days, boats have been arriving at George Town. By midday, Friday, it was approximated there were being amongst 80 and 100 boats of every description anchored in the harbour.
The initial entry listing confirmed that 67 boats had registered but, before noon, 4 additional have been included. Stories in this article that several other individuals ended up en route but had been held up by hefty seas.
J. Linton Rigg, originator of the race and chairman of the committee, created the late announcement that the starting off time experienced been extended an hour and the initial race would be started off at two o’clock. Regardless of this, some ships did not arrive in time to participate in the race.
A quick time later, the committee improved the race study course and the run was held inside of the harbour as a substitute of all around Stocking Island as originally planned. This held the lesser craft out of the rough waters of the open up ocean.
At noon, a distinctive conference was held in the parade grounds wherever the race committee established forth the rules and the revised class. There was some dissension amongst the skippers above the procedures. In mild of this, it was made the decision to handicap the boats on the basis of eight seconds per mile, for each keel footage.
The to start with race, around a four-mile triangular course, mixed huge and intermediate-course work boats. It commenced at 2 p.m., followed 10 minutes later by the dinghy boat race. The latter course was a three-mile run inside of the harbour. Saturday, the very same classes had been run twice yet again.
The winner in each individual party will be picked on a position method with 10 for 1st, 6 for 2nd, four for 3rd and two for fourth.
Initial prize in each individual class is 100 lbs . with 50 kilos for next, 25 kilos for 3rd and 10 lbs for fourth. In addition, unique prizes will be awarded in a variety of dinghy races.
March 27, 1954
George Town, Exuma – 1 of the very last and most picturesque sailing fleets in the globe today carried its competitors from the fishing grounds to the race system in the very first Out Island Regatta, held listed here about the weekend.
Most of the boats under no circumstances right before raced and confusion reigned supreme in all quarters as the first aspect of the race acquired off to a gradual start Friday afternoon. The scramble of sloops, smacks and a person patchwork-sailed schooner ultimately unwound and continued its vibrant system in excess of the 14-mile operate.
Although the bigger craft, divided into two lessons, lumbered off into Exuma harbour. 30 smaller sized and speedier dinghies shaped a spectacular sight as they started off their 3-mile jaunt.
The shores and the Government Dock have been lined with crowds of enthusiastic spectators. Out in the harbour, both subsequent the fleet or anchored in whole see of the races, have been near to 40 going to yachts.
Lots of of the viewing yachtsmen ended up astounded by the agility with which the natives handled their craft. Though typical policies of racing were being mysterious, numerous contestants ran the program like seasoned veterans.
Copping to start with put in the much larger course was the 22-foot sloop Marie, owned and sailed by Nathaniel Cooper from Staniel Cay, Exuma. Harley L. Fox’s Edna K. from Salt Pond, Prolonged Island, finished next, though third location went to Swan, owned by Nathan Bethel, of Williamstown, Minor Exuma. Finishing fourth was Gold River, sailed by Sherwin Gray, also of Williamstown.
Warn, owned by I.D. McPhee. of Mangrove Bay. Andros, put 2nd in the general race, but took initial spot in the intermediate team. She was followed by Ego, Hegron Moxey, Ragged Island Kathrine L., Eustace Jacak Longley, Mangrove, and Airenas, Clarence Sands, Staniard Creek, Andros.
Next the initial operate Friday, the race committee labored properly into the evening to determine the winners. The handicaps for the substantial class were worked out by R.H. Symonette, M.H.A,, member of the committee. Others on the committee were J. Linton Rigg, chairman Commissioner D.H. Burrows, Campen Heilner, Donald MacKinney, M.H.A., Ward Wheekock and Bud Mulloy.
March 27, 1954
George City, Exuma – This tiny settlement of 330 has far more than doubled its populace over the weekend as yachtsmen and racing fanatics continued to get there by air and sea for the initial Out Island Regatta.
As the regatta got into full swing in Exuma Harbour, the townspeople created ready for the first stop by His the Governor, the Earl of Ranfurly built here. The Governor and his social gathering arrived Saturday morning aboard H.M.S. Cygnet soon after a tour of the southern Bahamas.
Lord Ranfurly was specified a regal reception as he stepped ashore at Authorities Dock at midday. An inspection of the settlement followed following which the Governor watched the past main races in the regatta. In the evening, he manufactured shows to the regatta victors.
Prior to the ceremonies, the captains and their crews have been addressed to a absolutely free picnic supper in the parade grounds. Pursuing the presentations, the gala festivities began with a big celebration and dance. A native calypso band which was to get there from Bimini was unable to be current.
Among individuals who fulfilled the Governor had been Donald McKinney, M.H.A., and R.H. Symonette, M.H.A.,Users for Exuma, J.Linton Rigg, chairman of the race committee, Commissioner D.H. Burrows of Exuma, and Bahamas Police Commissioner R.J. Verrall.
Special church companies ended up held for all in attendance on Sunday early morning.
Robert Keir– “This assignment was a spotlight of a fascinating six-thirty day period stint in the Bahamas in 1954. Lots of, lots of memories continue to be with me, between them my brief check out to Exuma, a definitely lovely position on this planet.”