History and Traditions Stay Alive at the 13th Annual Boat Races in Middle Caicos
Turks & Caicos News
Turks & Caicos News - February 2013
History and Traditions Stay Alive at the 13th Annual Boat Races in Middle CaicosThe 2013 Valentines Day Cup welcomed many fun loving residents and tourists to Middle Caicos’ Bambarra Beach for a day of history, culture and fun.
The 13th annual model sailboat race, held over the Valentines Day weekend, delighted spectators with exciting boat races, sated their appetites with a delicious cookout, and entertained with live music.
Sailors of all ages and experience captained nearly two dozen hand-carved boats from the Middle Caicos Sailing Association (MCSA) fleet as well as their own home built models. The racers chased their boats around the warm, shallow and crystal clear water to win cash prizes and bragging rights for the growing community event.
Master of Ceremonies, David Bowen, kept the crowds excitement level up all day, as well as Febb Entertainment and Sea Breeze RipSaw band pumping out festive tunes.
Not-for-profit organizations such as TCSPCA, Red Cross, Baptist Churches of Middle Caicos, Middle Caicos Church of God of Prophecy lined the beach to create awareness, recruit new members and fundraise for their groups. All profits raised from the event go directly back into the community to establish and maintain a variety of youth programs.
The nearly forgotten, cultural sport was resurrected 13 years ago by local Middle Caicos resident and proprietor Daniel Forbes. Forbes wanted to promote and encourage the traditional art of customized Turks and Caicos hand carved model sailboats and commissioned the first 10 boats to be made by well-known local sloop builders Headley Forbes, Marcus Forbes and Carlin Forbes. The typical model sailboats were hand carved from the native gum-elemi trees and rigged with hand-sewn sails.
The annual boat race continues to grow and flourish every year and event organizers are thrilled with its success. The MCSA wants to encourage the traditions to stay alive and fresh all year long and is preparing to move its fleet of model sailboats to a historic house in Conch Bar this year so that boat builders and carvers can share their skills, experience and traditions while tourists and residents can pop in for a visit.
A special thank you to Fortis TCI, T&C Tourist Board, Caribbean Cruisin’, Big Blue, TC Culture & Arts Commission, Middle Caicos Co- op, The Steeles, Dr. Sam, Blue Horizon Resort, Marsha Pardee, Mike Robertson, T&C Reservations, Randy Hall, Daniel’s Café, PTV, 92.5’s Kenny the Hitman, Lizzie & Tom, Ralph and Malfred, all the MCSA boat owners and volunteers.
2013 Race Results:
CLASS A - Boats over 40 inches
1st : Romano Ingham/ T-Boy – Tanned Toucan
2nd : M Burchell /J Shearer -Islandcom
3rd : Mike Robertson - The Banana
CLASS B – Boats 24 to 36 inches
1st: Beth Atkins/Savanna/Sally Peterson - Red Arrow
2nd: Devin & Somerville - MSOS Victory
3rd: Alexandra & Alice Boswell – Osprey
CLASS C – Boats up to 24 inches
1st : Brentania Smith - Miss Val
2nd : Javed Shearer - Love Doctor
3rd :Zoe Diotte –Jolly - Blue Horizon Resort
LADIES OPEN CHALLENGE
1st: Alice & Avril - Osprey
2nd: Camille & Jared - NHIP
3rd: Thumbellina & T Boy – Tanned Toucan
OLDEST CAPTAIN: Carlin Forbes (86 yrs old)
YOUNGEST CAPTAIN: Hanna Chaplin (6 yrs old)
Written by Turks & Caicos Free Press Newspaper, February 23, 2013.