Sloop sailing in the Bahamas was originally the principal means of transportation between the 700 islands that are spread out over 100,000 square miles of beautiful waters in every color of blue that you can imagine. The sloops were originally used by the fishing industry as well as for the transportation of passengers and cargo between the islands.
The sloops are all built in the unique Bahamian tradition. I never could find the exact specifications but the boats are beautiful and the amount of canvas that they fly is amazing compared to the size of the boat. The boom hangs out over the stern of the boat by about half the length of the entire boom. The races start by lining all the boats up in an anchored position. At the cannon blast the crew must weigh anchor and hoist the sails starting the race on a starboard tack, with the exception of the first boat, chosen by lottery. That boat may start the race on either a starboard or port tack. It is so much fun to watch this type of sail boat racing, as opposed to the typical race with each boat assigned ratings, it’s kind of like “what you see is what you get” and you can actually tell by watching who is winning the race. We took our dinghy out into the bay (along with almost every other cruiser and Bahamian with a power boat) and took lots of great photos of the races. It was difficult and exciting to get the shots and still pay attention to the racers and the other dinghies, power boats, kayaks, etc.
Since the boats are all built by the same specs it makes for some beautiful sailing and great pictures. I took so many that I had a really hard time deciding which ones to post.
|Race Start (from an anchored position)|
|Sailing downwind - they look like butterflies|
|Hiked out on the PRY - one of our favorites - Anna Nicole!|
|Our favorite boat - Red Stripe (they took 3rd overall)|
|Red Stripe rounding the mark!|
|The regatta grounds were filled with these temporary booths selling food and drinks|
|Check out the length of the booms|
|Gigantamous speakers so everyone could enjoy the Rake N Scrape music|
|The cannon used for race starts - surprisingly loud|
|Race boats catching a ride back home|
|Christie and Matt are Running Tide fans|
|Matt, Troy, Christie, Deana and Rusty enjoying the race on Sea Yawl Later|