The 18th Annual New Year’s Day Bul Reg ‘C’ Class Regatta was held at the Navy Base Fish Fry in George Town, Exuma.
This year, the committee honored four notable persons, namely Rev. Reginald McKenzie, Edison Smith, Will Parotti and Chris Rolle, for their contribution to the Bul Reg Regatta and toward sloop sailing in the country.
Senior Administrator Ivan Ferguson commented on the exceptional talent of young skipper Chris Rolle, and commended the committee members for their planning and the success of the regatta.
Member of Parliament for the Exumas and Ragged Island Chester Cooper said that in 2020, Exuma should become the sailing capital of The Bahamas.
“I will second a bill in parliament that states sailing is the national sport of The Bahamas. Bul Reg is an icon and Buzzy (Rolle) is a living legend. He is a boat builder, sailor and organizer of this regatta. I commend the committee for hosting such a successful event,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard said that it has been a wonderful honor to follow many ministers, namely Algernon Allen, Renward Wells and V. Alfred Gray, who have placed great emphasis on regattas in the country.
“We are stronger when we work beyond political divide seeing only the colors of the Bahamian flag,” said the minister. “The government is playing an important role in regattas and in addition, we must commend the planners and organizers. Leslie ‘Buzzy’ Rolle has even produced an offspring in the person of young skipper Chris Rolle. Chris Rolle and Will Parotti, you both represent the hopes of our forefathers for sailing and should be participating in international competitive sailing.
“Exuma, you are doing incredible things and your economy is advancing. The talent involved in regattas have not seen its best days. There is an industry of boat building waiting on us to produce it. Secondly, each community boat can become a franchise. Barry Wilmott has been commissioned to meet with each commodore with a view of planning a conclave for regattas.”
The minister concluded by congratulating the organizers of the regatta.
Leslie “Buzzy” Rolle thanked everyone for participating and acknowledged his committee members Cecil Smith, Kendal “Iceman” McPhee, Don Rolle, Audrin Pennerman, Jeffrey McKenzie, Harcourt Rolle and Rev. Reginald McKenzie.
Ms. Rowie, a ‘C’ Class boat, skippered by Captain Leslie “Buzzy” Rolle and out of Mt. Thompson, Exuma, was the overall winner of the regatta. Termite, skippered by Delano Bowe, was second, and Golden Girl, skippered by Tyrone McKenzie, finished third.
In the cup race, which followed the three series races, Fugitive came out on top and was followed by Bul Reg and Bye Gully.