THE NATIONAL FAMILY ISLAND REGATTA COMMITTEE PRESS STATEMENT
CHAIRMAN & COMMODORE DANNY STRACHAN
THE NATIONAL FAMILY ISLAND REGATTA COMMITTEE
I am saddened to confirm that the 2021 version of the National Family Island Regatta is CANCELLED!
As with our consideration during early March 2020, during the very early days of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the National Family Island Regatta Committee met and reviewed available options including postponement. Once again, Members concluded that this was in the best interest of our National requirement to comply with the Government’s advice to curtail large social gatherings. All past Regattas have brought together many thousands of persons in George Town, Exuma, onshore and on boats in the harbour in extremely close gatherings. We cannot invite such a gathering with present circumstances.
We have met with the Minister responsible for Regattas, Hon. Michael Pintard and the Regatta Desk in the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources, to offer the assurance of our commitment to the national fight against the COVID-19 Corona Virus. He supports our position for cancellation.
We also wish to forestall any major expenditures by sloop owners to get vessels prepared for competition only to have the event cancelled at the latest possible date.
In this crisis, our priority is the health of the public and our communities.
We are grateful to the many sponsors and advertisers who have continued to offer their support to our efforts to stage the regatta when it is safe so to do. This demonstration of support for the sailing community is truly valued and appreciated.
It is painful to look forward to the end of April without being able to anticipate this treasured event, the renewal of friendships and the general interactivity between Bahamians, residents and visitors of all strata of society in an exciting and joyous time that the Regatta has been for seven decades now. We apologise to all fans and supporters of the sport for the loss of this inclusive National Event this year.
Finally, we, once again, apologize in a heartfelt way to the many vendors, businesses and Community organisations in Exuma and from elsewhere who have come to depend on this event as an opportunity to earn much needed sales during Regatta season. We know that it hurts, but we are all reminded that “this too shall pass” and we will get through this together.
We hope that all who hold the National Regatta dear will, along with the committee, seek to reimagine options for staging a meaningful and safe Regatta when National and International circumstances will permit us to appropriately gather. Hopefully, we will stage the event next year after we all would have spent this year recovering from the Pandemic.
We will recuperate and grow from strength to strength.
Thank you. God Bless The Bahamas.