Saturday, May 7, 2016

63rd National Family Island Regatta Georgetown, Exuma

Every year Bahamians come from all reaches of the islands to enjoy five days of food, drink, music and traditional Bahamian wooden sloop racing. The National Family Island Regatta is the largest regatta in the country.  There are five classes of Bahamian sloops, A class – E class. "A" class being the largest boats, and E class the smallest. There are three races each day of the festival. C, D, and E classes race against each other in the morning, B class races around noon, then A class in the late afternoon.

There are many vantage points from which to view the races. The best views are no doubt had by those following the action up close in a dinghy or motor boat.

Raceboats fill the anchorages of Georgetown, where you can see the teams prepare their boats and head to the start line.

Starting line for a B class race.

E and D class

Downtown Georgetown Straw Market.

Along the waterfront temporary plywood shacks serve food and drink all day and keep the party going into the night. Cracked conch, cracked lobster, conch fritters, steamed mutton, fish stew, souse, pan fried snapper, grouper, BBQ ribs, and fried chicken are among menu items filling the streets with hunger-inducing aromas.

The winner for best drink stand name goes to:

On the last day of the regatta crowds of people lined the street to see the snazzy Police Marching Band play jazzy tunes.

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