PHOTOS: National Family Island Regatta 2015

PHOTOS: National Family Island Regatta 2015

Published on April 28th, 2015

15_04_25 Bahamian National Regatta B Class 0715
The 62nd National Family Island Regatta of the Bahamas on April 22-25, 2015, with racing at Elizabeth Harbor off George Town in Exuma.

Today’s Bahamian Sloops are souped-up versions of the original Bahamian working sloops, and many of today’s sailors have descended from the original families. Sloops must be Bahamian designed, built, owned and skippered. They must be constructed of wood, and sails must be canvas.

The largest class of Bahamian sloops in regattas today is Class-A. These 28-foot-long boats look larger than they actually are because only the boat’s length is restricted. Mast height, boom length, number of crew, amount of sail area and lead ballast are not.

By the final leg on the last day of the regatta, in Class-A, old rivals Tida Wave (Staniel Cay), Red Stripe (Black Point), Running Tide (Long Island) and Rupert’s Legend (Long Island) were separated by only a few points in the 11 boat Class-A fleet. In front of land-based spectators watching from the George Town seawall and mostly-American cruisers watching from their anchored yachts and dinghies, the score was settled. Tida Wave defended her championship by one slim point.

Sloop sailing is alive and well in the Bahamas. The 2015 regatta was the biggest ever, with hundreds of sailors on-the-water each day. In addition to the 11-boat Class-A fleet, 14 boats competed in Class-B (21 feet long), 32 boats in the most popular class, Class-C (17 feet long), and 10 boats in the youth class, Class-E (12 feet long).

For more information about the National Family Island Regatta of the Bahamas: www.nationalfamilyislandregatta.com

Report and photos by Jan Pehrson.

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