All-for-One… andone for all
The All-for-One Regatta will come to fruition, and will be the first major regatta on the 2011 sloop sailing season here in The Bahamas.
The announcement, that the regatta will happen, came days after local sailors expressed disappointment about the cancelation. Singing the praises of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard, on behalf of the various sailors and boat owners was Rev. Dr. Phillip McPhee. He thanked the minister for stepping in and ensuring that the regatta comes off. Special thanks were also given to corporate Bahamas, especially Compass Point for assisting. The All-for-One Regatta will take place next weekend at the Montagu foreshores.
McPhee said: ”We must give credit to this minister because nothing happens without the head on board. We have been hearing so much naysayers around the country and some of them have been quite open and fair in their decisions, but whenever I see a minister bite the bullet and come back to his people and say’look, let’s see how we can fix it, we want it to happen and we believe it should happen.’
“That is what this minister did. He listened, acknowledged what was going on, came back to the sailing community, open up the book to them, and said’this is what I have and this is what I can do.’He was open and fair, so we salute him for that and the power that he possess, in terms of regulating some things to make it happen. We must salute him. Today we are proud that it is happening and only happening because of him, who made it happen.
“This year we expect great things. As you know, regatta is a very expensive undertaking and for the minister to pull this off…. in fact in a couple of days, I think the entire sailing community wants to salute him and thank him for his efforts in making a drastic change and giving back to sailors and boat owners the dignity we fought so hard to get and maintain, for us to pull this off next week in grand style.”
The uncertainty of the regatta came as a result of the budget cuts to the sport. Minister Maynard explained that it was difficult to bring a balance in the sport, especially with the reductions that were seen.
“During the 2010/2011 budget debate we would have outlined that there were certain reductions in the overall ministry of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture,” said Minister Maynard.”In particular, the line item for regattas was reduced by about 25 percent, so we had to ensure that we still could support all of the major regattas in all of the Family Islands and still be able to support all of the other things that relate to sailing.
“It has been difficult to bring that balance. However through the cooperation of the sailing community, we have done well so far for this budget period and for the rest of this budget year. Launching this calendar year, I believe that we are going to have all the bases covered, even now, with all of the support for the All-for-One Regatta. We will be able to ensure that we fulfill the need of all of the Family Island regattas as well. In fact, the sailors made it very clear that they didn’t want us to have the All-for-One Regatta if it was going to be held to the detriment of the Family Island regattas. We supported that 100 percent and we were able to work out the details and be able to hold this regatta.”
With less than a week remaining before the boats set sail, there is still no exact number of participants. The number of races or which classes will sail is also unknown.
The key thing, according to McPhee, is making sure that the race happen and he is now certain that they will.
“You are well aware that if you start off wrong you will end wrong and we are starting off right,” said McPhee.”I feel that the minister and all the expertise that the ministry brings to sloop sailing, has opened the avenues so that others can inject some new ideas.”