Officials Say Event To Be ‘Bigger and Better’
With a successful inaugural Best of the Best regatta now history, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Tourism are already getting plans underway for the Best of the Best Regatta 2017.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism teamed up with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources and the Stars Sailors League (SSL) to put on the event held at Fort Montague Bay on December 1-4.
One hundred and fifty Bahamian Sailors competed in 18 traditional sloops –A, B and C classes, and 50-world class and Olympian star sailors also competed.
The winners of the competition in the A,B, C classes were Bahamian sloops Tida Wave, Susan Chase and Whitty K respectively.
Placing second in the respective categories were Lady Muriel, Ants Nest and Sacrifice.
Additionally, sailors from 24 countries who are a part of the SSL also participated in the organization’s final showdown in which Team United States won.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Gray said the event was more than a regatta.
“It was the greatest socio and economic event held in recent times. It was also historic because it brought together the best Bahamian sloops and sailors and the best of the best international sailors. I would like to thank everyone who made this event so successful,” he said at a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources Rena Glinton indicated that some of the plans to improve Best of the Best regatta include more inventory.
“We are definitely looking forward to adding more skyboxes and looking for more sponsorships from corporate Bahamas. We are definitely going to make sure that we have a bigger and better event,” she said.
Director of Events in the Ministry of Tourism Charity Armbrister said tourism officials are pleased to be a part of the event.
“Tourism played a huge role in the Best of The Best Regatta/Star Sailing League. Having the wealth of knowledge and experience in planning events of this magnitude, we were delighted to partner and work alongside the team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources to ensure the success of the event,” she said.
“It went off without a hitch and The Bahamas stands to benefit tremendously from the international coverage. The event was broadcast in several languages all over the world. Not only was Nassau captured but the advance crew also travelled to Exuma and Eleuthera to capture what we have to offer on the other islands. We are very pleased to see that sloop sailing is finally taking its rightful place in The Bahamas.”
The aim of the event is to introduce international sailors to Bahamian sloop sailing and advance The Bahamas’ sports tourism market.
Director of Sports Marketing in the Ministry of Tourism Virginia Kelly said the Ministry of Tourism will assist by getting an early start on marketing.
“It was a major boost to our tourism calendar. There were at least 200 sailors here for the Best of the Best not to mention the family members that came along. We also saw domestic tourism on full display because another 150 persons came from other islands,” she said.
“In the future, the plan is to start early. So we know it is going to be in the first week in December so our marketing is going to start from January.”
Consultant for Regattas in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources Reverend Dr. Philip McPhee spoke about the international impact of the inaugural event.
“We got tremendous exposure to the entire world. People all over the world were able to see the tranquility of The Bahamas especially our waters, climate, people and sporting capabilities and the ability to mesh with everybody from every walk of life and to come together in the spirit of unity in a very positive way,” he said.
“All of the rooms in Paradise Island and eastern hotels over the weekend were filled. This gives us an indication of the power of sloop sailing by the number of guests who came on ships who made their way to Montague Beach and enjoyed the hospitality of Bahamians.”
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