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Sloops set sail at ‘Best of the Best’

Some of the top regatta sloops in the country are in Montagu Bay vying for a chance to be called the “best of the best” heading into 2019.

Coinciding with the Star Sailors League (SSL) Finals, the 3rd Annual ‘Best of the Best’ Regatta is ongoing as sloops try to position themselves for Sunday’s showdown.

A total of 47 boats are in action – nine in the ‘A’ Class, 10 in the ‘B’ Class, and a whopping 28 in the popular ‘C’ Class.

However, unlike regular regattas in the country throughout the course of the year, only the top boats will qualify for Sunday’s showdown where a ‘winner take all’ format will come into play. The winners of Sunday’s races will be deemed the ‘Best of the Best’ Champions for 2018.

The qualifying races are set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday – three races in each class. The top five in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ classes will move on to Sunday’s final, and the top 10 in the ‘C’ Class will qualify for the final.

Regatta Commodore Chester Fox from Long Island said that weekend extravaganza is a fitting way to bring the sailing year to end in The Bahamas.

“It’s in Nassau and it’s for bragging rights. Initially you had to qualify just to get in this regatta, but now it is open and boats are taking advantage of that. It’s a one-shot deal on Sunday – winner takes all. There will be a point series on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and then it’s a one-shot deal on Sunday. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of sailing,” said Fox.

Some of the top sloops in the ‘A’ Class that are competing this weekend are the Tida Wave, New Legend, the Running Tide, Ruff Justice, the New Courageous and Red Stripe.

In the ‘B’ Class, the Lonesome Dove is back to defend its title. Expected to challenge the Lonesome Dove this year are the Susan Chase V, the Eudeva and the Lady Sonia just to name a few.

The ‘C’ Class is predicted to be wide open. The Whitty K is the defending champion, and is expected to receive stiff competition from boats such as New Slaughter and H2O.

Ruff Justice, skippered by Josh Knowles, took the first ‘A’ Class race yesterday. The Running Tide, skippered by Stefan Knowles, finished second, and New Legend, skippered by David Knowles, came in third.

The Eudeva, with Captain Lundy Robinson at the helm, won the first series race in the ‘B’ Class yesterday. The Lady Sonia, captained by Leslie ‘Buzzy’ Rolle, came in second, and Susan Chase V with Stefan Knowles at the helm, came in third.

In the ‘C’ Class, New Slaughter crossed the finish line in the first race in the top position. H20 was second, and the Whitty K finished third.

Sailing continues at 9 a.m. today.

“There is a lot of excitement among the sailors,” said Fox. “It seems like everyone always bring out their best for the ‘best of the best’. There should be a lot of good and intense competition. Whoever wins on Sunday will have bragging rights for the whole year and sailors are definitely aiming for that. We’re looking forward to an awesome time this weekend.”

The ‘Best of the Best’ Regatta is the final regatta for the calendar year. The Bul Reg ‘C’ Class Regatta is expected to kick off the regatta season in 2019. That regatta is set for picturesque Elizabeth’s Harbour in George Town, Exuma, at the beginning of the new year.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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