We ended up spending about two months in George Town and other than visits from family, the Family Island Regatta was definitely the highlight. It’s also one of the highlights of the year for the people of the Bahamas. Many of the Out Islands hold regattas but this is the national regatta for the big bragging rights. The sloops must be constructed of traditional materials and must be owned and skippered by Bahamians. The boats are shipped in (literally) and unloaded at the government dock. There isn’t a limit on the number of crew or the size of the sail. It’s all up to the skipper depending on the race day wind. Another very different thing is the start. The boats all anchor with their bow at the start line waiting for the start signal. When the gun fires, the crew simultaneously hauls up the anchor and raises sail.
We enjoyed three days of racing, food and drink, and hanging out with the locals. These guys speak a flavor of English all their own but when they get excited about their racing it’s taken to a whole new level. The racing took place in Elizabeth Harbour amongst all the cruising boats. The pictures were taken with my point and shoot camera so the quality is sketchy but you’ll get the idea.