One of the most anticipated regattas in The Bahamas, the Long Island Regatta, has been officially canceled. According to an official release from the Long Islanders Association, the regatta was canceled due to the restrictions currently in place under the emergency orders.
The 53rd edition of the regatta was set for June 3 to 6 in Salt Pond, Long Island.
“After consultation with the Long Islanders Association, its Long Island and Grand Bahama branches and the Long Island Sailing Club, the difficult decision was taken to cancel this year’s regatta, which was to be held in beautiful Salt Pond, Long Island,” the release stated.
This is the second major regatta to be canceled because of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The National Family Island Regatta, which was scheduled for April 21 to 25 in Exuma, was the first one to be canceled.
According to Henderson Burrows, a director of the Long Islanders Association and chairman for the association’s regatta committee, this is the first time in its history that the Long Island Regatta has been canceled.
“This is the first time since its inception,” Burrows said. “We have had some regattas where we had to cut them short because of wind and weather, but this is the first time that the regatta has been canceled.”
He added that it was a painstaking decision that was discussed for weeks.
“It is very disappointing. People on the island really look forward to regattas and homecomings as a way to sustain themselves. Those who have stalls at the site, it’s an economic boost for the year. There are also thousands of people who look forward to going back to the island, visiting their family and getting reacquainted with friends,” Burrows said.
The release also stated that the association is considering hosting a smaller scale boat race at the same site at a different time. This depends on when the emergency orders are lifted and if it is deemed safe to do so.
The Long Island Regatta is one of six regattas in the country that has A, B and C class races.
Last year in the A class division, the winner was Running Tide, captained by Stefan Knowles. Susan Chase V, also captained by Knowles, sailed away with first place in the B class with three points. In the C class, Xena, captained by David Knowles, was the winner with three points.
The association’s annual fundraiser for the regatta was set to take place on May 2, but that had to be rescheduled. All tickets sold will be honored when a new date is set.