Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, the Hon. Clay Sweeting congratulated the sailors and other participants of the fifth ‘Best of the Best Regatta’ during a Closing Out and Trophy Presentation ceremony held on Sunday, 4th December 2022.
The Regatta was held at Montagu Bay November 30 – December 4. The Closing Out and Trophy Presentation on Sunday evening was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper.
“The fifth ‘Best of the Best Regatta’ — the regatta of champions is now over; like they say all good things must come to an end!” said Mr. Sweeting.
“Over the last four days, you have courageously battled winds, waves and challenging conditions to be fittingly called the ‘Best of the Best.’ I am sure that all the sailors in every class have enjoyed their experiences. For me, an important component of regattas is [strengthening] of bonds that already exist in the Bahamian sailing community as well as the people who enjoy the cultural atmosphere. I have experienced firsthand by sailing with many of you throughout the year and at this event the camaraderie and passion for the sport. You have displayed outstanding skills during the past four days but above all, a true love for the sport of sailing.”
He said that although the event has only been staged a few times, it as made a ‘significant’ contribution to the development of sailing. “Bahamians and visitors from all walks of life enjoy this event through the entertainment, food and fun it provides. This is made possible by teamwork led by Barry Wilmott at the (Ministry’s) Regatta Desk, the Best of the Best Committee, and the staff at the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, who worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure a successful event. As Minister, I am so proud of my team and you all should be proud of the work you’ve done in maintaining the standard of excellence of this event, especially after a two-year hiatus.”
He also thanked the announcers – Commodore Danny Strachan, Dwight Hart and Reverend Philip McPhee for their participation as they were featured in the broadcast seen by local and international viewers.
He said the four days featured ‘exhilarating’ races from A, B, C, and E classes. “I am particularly proud of the E-Class that consists of young people between the ages of 12 – 15 years. It demonstrates that the level of participation in regattas will only grow. You are the future of this magnificent sport and I know you will make us proud. And for our veteran classes, it is fantastic to see that the pandemic did not deter your passion for this sport and that many of you saw it as an opportunity to improve your boats — some even began building new ones. We know that because of this, the Best of the Best will only get better.”
He wrapped up by thanking the sponsors. “We also want to thank our sponsors, BTC, Caribbean Bottling, Bahamas E-Vac, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) and the Department of Local Government, who helped to make this event a success. Congratulations to all of you and I look forward to next year’s Best of the Best Regatta!”
By BETTY VEDRINE/Bahamas Information Services
More photo highlights below: