This year the Bahamas Sloop Association, spearheaded by Eleazor Johnson, again invited the Bahamas National Sailing School’s junior sailors to join them in their Valentine’s Day Regatta that took place last weekend, February 15. It was a great opportunity for them to be with the “big boys” to show off their sailing skills. Our juniors are kids ages 8 to 16 who come from a variety of social backgrounds with just one thing in mind – SAILING.
The youngsters raced around a very short but fun course close to the Montagu Beach shore. As one of the spectators commented, “It is amazing to see such young sailors handling these boats so well“ and for many who don’t know about the junior sailing program, this would be a surprise.
As Coach Dunkley put it, “The Bahamas Sailing Association through its Bahamas National Sailing School has been teaching kids throughout the community to sail since 2004.” In fact, over 200 kids per year, many in the government schools as well as private schools, go through the program. They have had many students graduate from high school and then seek work in the maritime industry due to their love for the water and the skills they have developed, the kinds of skills companies in that industry are looking for. Alternatively, for those whose passion is racing, there is the opportunity for them to represent The Bahamas at major international events in different parts of the world. This is a program that truly helps young Bahamians with their personal development and provides them with opportunities they normally wouldn’t have.
Twenty sailors this year competing in the event, racing in Optimists, Sunfish and Lasers. The winners were: Spencer Cartwright in the Optimist Class, Nathaniel Burnside in the Laser Class and Daisy Tinkler in the Sunfish Class.Congratulations to all and a big thank you to Eleazor (Barber) Johnson and the Sloop Association for hosting this event and presenting the juniors with trophies and medallions.