Inaugural Summer Festival Power Boat Race a success

SKATING AWAY— Team Wasted Talent skated away with first place in the A-Class Division of the 2018 Summer Festival Power Boat Race this past Friday, June 1 at Taino Beach. Captained by Ellie Hepburn and American hip-hop artist Jim Jones, the Skater Catamaran, pictured above, blew out the competition during the Labour Day holiday held event. Apple-converted-space (PHOTO: SHAYNE STUBBS)

Prodigy Group Entertainment (PGE) made good on their promise to deliver big on a race that was the first of its kind here on Grand Bahama.

The first annual 2018 Summer Festival: Power Boat Race featured some of the fastest boats out of Florida and various parts of The Bahamas this past Friday, June 1.

In the end, two winners were decided over the course of the five-lap race course staged on the waters of Taino Beach this past Labour Day holiday. The winners of the A-Class Division was Wasted Talent, headed by Bahamian Ellie Hepburn and American hip-hop artist Jim Jones. Jason Hanna and the Power Play secured top place in the B-Class Division.

PGE was formed earlier this year with the aim of attracting nearshore talent to create entertainment opportunities for the island. In this way, they would connect with high net worth individuals who would partner with them to bring others interested in investing in Grand Bahama.

With the overall success and draw the event had, PGE member Wenito Bootle noted that this event is just the first of many and Grand Bahamians can look forward to even bigger things from the entertainment brand.

“This was the very first of many,” Bootle stated, “We tested it and it worked. We had a lot of odds against us but we made it work.
“We had a lot of people that came and partnered with us, help us make this event a success. As you could see you have plenty boats anchored out there. The race itself was nice.

“It (Power Boat Race) will grow next year and actually have more boats involved.”

Bootle disclosed that the race did include boats out of Abaco, New Providence, two boats from the United States and boats out of Grand Bahama.

“We had a nice arrangement of different boats and our goal was to spark some life back into Grand Bahama and I think we met that goal.”

Members of the media caught up with both winners moments after the conclusion of the race. Hepburn stated joining the race was a no-brainer and added that power boat racing is a sport he just simply enjoys.

“I love boats and I love boat racing,” Hepburn expressed, “I wanted to support, I wanted to bring some hype and some energy to the island. Everybody is just out here having a good time. It’s a beautiful thing.

“Next year we will definitely be competing and we want anyone from anywhere to come and beat us and challenge us.”

The vessel of choice Hepburn and Jones won first place in is known as a Skater Catamaran and was candidly described as one of the fastest boats there is.

For Jones, the “We Fly High” rapper added that this was not the first time he competed in a boat race here in Grand Bahama and his return for the inaugural boat race was well worth the trip.

“It was a fun experience and something new for me. This was my second boat race in The Bahamas. We did a poker run a couple years ago.

“It was a great thing for all the people to come out and enjoy, have something to do and participate in. We look forward to next year.” The B-Class Division winner was thrilled about the victory and expressed he is hopeful that the race can become a continued tradition.

“It was a good turnout and a lot of people participated. There was supposed to be more people from the out islands but they couldn’t make it. Hopefully more boats will show up next year and make things a lot more interesting.”

Prodigy Group partners also included Chris Williams and Jamal Sweeting. The 2018 Summer Festival climaxed later that evening with a concert headlined by well-known soca artist “The Queen of Bachanal” Destra and Bahamian artist the “Rake and Scrape General” Stileet and Julian Believe. Jones was also accompanied by his wife and reality television star ‘Chrissy.’ Bootle, on behalf of PGE also issued a heartfelt thank you to all the major sponsors that came on board to make the event a huge success.

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