Over 18 sloops are expected to take part in the 26th Annual All Andros and Berry Islands Regatta, which is a little over a month away in Morgan’s Bluff, North Andros.
With its central location and assortment of delicacies, particularly those of the crab flavor, the All Andros regatta has rapidly become one of the more popular in the country. Hundreds of locals flock to North Andros on a yearly basis for the cultural and sports phenomenon. This year is expected to be no different when the regatta rolls around in July. The regatta, the fifth major one in the country for the year, is set for July 5-7 in the waters of Morgan’s Bluff, North Andros.
Already, 18 sloops from around the country have confirmed participation – three in the ‘A’ Class, five ‘B’ Class boats and 10 in the ‘C’ Class.
Co-Chairman of the regatta committee Ricardo Wilson said they are anticipating an exciting event with sailors competing for bragging rights, and added that the entertainment will feature the best in Bahamian music, a beer fest, a beach party, and even a wet T-shirt contest.
“There will be native dishes with over 15 vendors to choose from. We are inviting regatta fans from all over the country to attend this very exciting event,” said Wilson. “Our sailing budget, along with the entertainment, is nearly $105,000. At the moment, we are only 50 percent there thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Kalik and Caribbean Bottling.
“The committee is appealing to Corporate Bahamas, especially those who benefit directly from our community, to support this event by partnering with us or by advertising in this year’s commemorative booklet. The committee would like to say thank you to the sailing committee for their support over the years, as we understand that no regatta could happen without their full support.”
A number of sloops have already confirmed participation in the three-day regatta. In the ‘A’ Class, defending champions Ed Sky will be joined by the Southern Cross and the Good News. In the popular ‘C’ Class, defending champions Sweet Island Gal and the WG Thunderbird are among the sloops that will take part. Sacrifice out of Mangrove Bush, Long Island, tied the Sweet Island Gal for the top spot in the ‘C’ Class last year. Eudeva and the Lady Nathalie are among the sloops that will compete in the ‘B’ Class.
There will be three series races in each class from Friday to Sunday, starting at 9:30 a.m. each day. Race Coordinator Stafford Armbrister said they are inviting people from all over The Bahamas to come to Andros to enjoy the sailing and festivities surrounding the All Andros and Berry Islands Regatta.
“The excitement of the All Andros and Berry Islands Regatta continues – from 26 years ago to now. The sailors are ready. They are all anxious to go to Andros – the Long Island boats will be there, there is expected to be boats out of Exuma, and of course boats out of Nassau. We’re just inviting all to come to Andros to enjoy this great sports and cultural event,” he said.
Marketing Manager at Caribbean Bottling Co. Nikia Wells said it is their pleasure to give back to sailing and sporting community in this tangible way.
“We are very proud to support the Andros Regatta. When you think of the Bahamian culture, you think of regattas. You think of that celebration of Bahamian pride and we are ecstatic to keep the sailors refreshed, hydrated and energized through our products,” she said. “We are just happy to be on board with this ultimate expression of our Bahamian pride.”
The regatta committee is organizing an All Andros and Berry Islands Crab Day, set for this Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at Montagu Bay. There will be a variety of crab, fish and chicken dinners on sale. Also on sale will be wild hog dishes. More of the same will be available during the regatta in Morgan’s Bluff, North Andros.
“We just want to invite all Androsians who are living elsewhere to come home and enjoy everything that this this regatta festival has to offer,” said Co-Chairman of the regatta committee Floyd Newton. “We are preparing for about 10,000 people to come into Andros, so we are inviting those who plan on coming to book their rooms and cars as early as possible because Andros is going to be booked out. Every year people are looking for new and exciting things, and I believe there will be a lot of new and exciting things this year. One of those things is a stall contest. There will be a prize awarded for the most decorated stall – just keep it all Bahamian. Also, we will cater to the kids, particularly during the day. We want to channel whatever energy comes out of the regatta.”
Newton said they anticipate more corporate sponsors coming on board as the date for the regatta draws near. Businesses and individuals are asked to contact Co-Chairman Wilson at telephone number (242) 565-2858, Jackie Newton at telephone number (242) 826-7135 or L. Andrew Consultants at telephone number (242) 376-1677 for sponsorship and advertising opportunities.