Despite a dip in terms of sponsorship for the event, the Grand Bahama Homecoming and Regatta is expected to continue to make waves.
Slated for July 20 - 22 at Taino Beach under the theme, “Build your dream … Sail the Sea,” the yearly cultural tradition aims to please local residents with a weekend filled with onshore and offshore activities.
Each year, the GB Homecoming and Regatta Committee selects an honoree to acknowledge, for his or her selfless support to the regatta and sailing in general. This year, the committee chose to honor long-time Committee Member, Janice Elizabeth Grant.
Grant spoke in brief about the recognition and expressed her gratitude for the selection.
“First of all, I say to God be the glory and I thank Him for the honor,” said Grant. “Also, I’d like to thank Chervita Campbell (Committee Chairman) and the Grand Bahama Regatta Committee for giving me the opportunity to be the honoree for this year.”
Grant was invited to join the Regatta Committee over 20 years ago and since then, she’s had no regrets in rendering her services.
“I started over 20 years ago by invitation from Mr. Carnard Bethel and I haven’t regretted a day. I’m happy, and it’s good working with Chervita and all the other Committee Members.”
This year’s regatta will feature 10 E-Class Sloops from throughout the Family Islands. They include defending champion, Sacrifice out of Long Island, Dream Girl (Exuma), Uncle John (Acklins), Crazy Partner (Black Point, Exuma), H2O (Black Point, Exuma), Revelation 3:19 (Black Point, Exuma), Golden Girl (Stuart Manor, Exuma), Sweet Island Gal (Stuart Manor, Exuma), Jacob’s Ladder (Mayguana) and Termite (Exuma).
The Committee Chairman explained that this year’s regatta had to be “down scaled” due to the lack of funding; however, she outlined the contingency plan to keep the event as lively as possible for residents.
“Due to lack of funding we have down scaled our regatta, a bit. We will host, again, one of the best sailing events in our culture,” she stated. “Over the years we have had a lack of public support, but nonetheless, we pressed in hosting this cultural event.
“This year we have engaged several other partners in kind and in services. Overall, our budget has been reduced due to funding. However, we have out-sourced some of our events.”
On Friday, July 20 the Regatta’s Official Opening and Skipper’s Party will take place at Out Da Sea at 7:00 p.m. “Rock The Bahamas” will be Saturday night’s live entertainment and Sunday night will feature the “Intoxicated Rum Fest In Da Sand” at Pirate’s Cove.
The Ministry of Tourism will continue to lend its support to the island’s cultural race and festival. Manager of Niche Markets, Nuvolari Chotoosingh expressed the ministry’s enthusiasm as a continued sponsor.
“The Ministry of Tourism is certainly pleased to be able to support and assist the Regatta Committee. As Campbell stated these are trying times and the committee has done its best to try and pull this event off once again this year.
“Domestic Tourism is always good as well as our visitors who would come out and see, for the first-time perhaps, this fantastic event at Taino Beach. And we look forward to the general public being a part of it once again.”
On-shore activities will include Beach Volleyball, Sack Races, Watermelon Eating Contests, “Float your Boat,” Regatta Tuggin’ and a Regatta Scavenger Hunt.