The Royal Bahamas Defence Force hosted a spectacular 3 -day, history-making Commander Defence Force Challenge Cup Regatta in grand style this past weekend.
During the closing ceremony, another history-making moment occurred when Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. V. Alfred Gray, whose Ministry has responsibility for Regatta development proclaimed the Regatra’s host, Captain Tellis Bethel, Commander Defence Force (Acting) as the first ‘Honorary’ Commodore of all Government sponsored regattas in The Bahamas.
Minister Gray, explained that it just made sense for this to happen, as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is not only responsible for securing our borders, but is also responsible for providing safety and protection for Regatta skippers and their sailors during Regatta races. Captain Bethel said it was a pleasant surprise and once again thankful for the hard work and support of his Committee members as well as the wider Defence Force.
Hailed as the Regatta with the largest attendance at the Montagu foreshore, this most recent Commander Defence Force Challenge Cup Regatta was the 5th Regatta hosted by the Defence Force after an 8-year break. It was the first time Laser Class races were held, and the first time an international contingent from the region participated in the event. It was also the first time a Defence Force Regatta was hosted as a tribute to a retired veteran, the late Chief Petty Officer Vincent Wright, who was also a skipper of the C Class native sloop, the Lady Eunice. The Lady Eunice won the Lucayan Race for Peace, which was the first race of the weekend–a fitting tribute to his legacy.
Thirteen C-class vessels and 14 laser class vessels participated, with the King and Knights winning overall in the C-class and Spencer Cartwright winning overall in the Laser category.
RBDF photo from left: Reverend Dr. Philip McPhee, Consultant, Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resource and Local Government, the Honourable Dr. Bernard Nottage, Minister of National Security, Captain Tellis Bethel, Commander Defence Force (Acting) and the Honourable V. Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government.
(RBDF Photo by Marine Seaman Stefan McDonald)