NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Skippers that competed in the 2019 St. Valentine Regatta last weekend received their awards today at a special ceremony at the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the ministry responsible for regattas.
This year’s event was hosted in honour of its founder Eleazor “Barber J” Johnson, who passed away last month. Johnson’s boat, the Lady Nathalie, sailed to victory, being skippered by his close friend captain Clyde Rolle.
“On behalf of the Johnson family, I want to thank all of the fans, kipper s and boats that participated in the regatta,” Rolle said. “I’m glad the family elected to keep the tradition going by hosting the event. I think they really did a good job pulling this one off, and we hope to see an even bigger turnout next year.”
The A-Class boats gave the Lady Nathalie a 10-minute head start on an eight-mile course. Southern Cross was second overall and was skippered by Derrick Miller, while the Red Stripe, skippered by Lundy Robinson, rounded out the top three.
“Barber J really had his win on the weekend,” said Johnson’s son Trevor Johnson. “His beloved Lady Nathalie was able to get the victory and his dear friend Clyde was the one that skippered it to victory. We are thankful to everyone that helped to make this a reality. We look forward to continuing his legacy when we host the 33rd St. Valentine Regatta in 2020.”
Minister of Mariner Resources and Agriculture Michael Pintard was on hand to present the skippers with their awards.
“It is an honour on behalf of the government of the Bahamas to join with the Johnson family in supporting this event that has been a part of the regatta calendar for a long time,” Pintard said. “Johnson was an outstanding icon in the community where I grew up. He was an important entrepreneur for young black kids that had aspirations to do something different. His promotion of the sport catapulted him into the conversation of being one of the greats. thought it fitting that we increased our contribution to the purse and keeping his legacy alive.
“We look forward to more corporate sponsors coming on board and joining those that helped make this event possible.”
Sponsors for this year’s event included the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Caribbean Bottling, Commonwealth Brewery, Kalik, Johnson’s Trucking Services and Johnson’s Barber Shops.