FREEPORT –The Vita Malt Thunderbird (7 points), sailed to victory over Fugitive (6 points), Grand Bahama’s Lady Ruthnell (5 Points); defending ‘C’ Class champ from the last G.B. Regatta, Sacrifice (4 points); Mouth Stache (3 points); Lady Michelle (2 points), and Queen Vrigetta (1 Point) as the Grand Bahama Regatta returned to the waters off Taino Beach after a year of inactivity.
“There’s going to be war in the waters off Grand Bahama, especially in the ‘C’ Class” said organizer and Co-Chairman, Carnard Bethel who noted that there is an exciting programme ahead for the Grand Bahama Regatta 2005 under the theme: ‘Sailing on Sea, Culture on Shore’.

The official opening ceremony and Skippers’ Party took place Friday night at Tranquility Shores Restaurant on Taino Beach.
The regatta site has been described as nice and wonderful by Rev. Dr. Phillip McPhee who said that as long as the weather stays fair they would have good racing.
Dr. McPhee, who is Commodore of the Bahamas Boat Owners Sailing Association, said Grand Bahama has always been a good regatta for the association in terms of the accommodation and the administration of the regatta. And sailors were always excited to come to compete in Grand Bahama.
“Because,” stated Dr. McPhee, “we were treated top-class, and everything went very well. And one of our main reasons for coming here (to Grand Bahama) is because of the way we were treated.”
Dr. McPhee said on this occasion they have four boats in the ‘A’ Class, four in the ‘B’ Class, and seven in the ‘C’ Class.
He said in the ‘A’ Class the top boats are the New Courageous, certainly the boat to watch, along with Red Stripe, the 2004 Boat of the Year; Southern Cross is leading for Boat of The Year this year, and then you have The Lucayan Lady, which is predominantly a Grand Bahama boat.
He added, “In the B Class you have the Eudeva, Cobra, Passion, and Heath Cliff. Incidentally Heath Cliff is in second place for Boat of The Year at this present time and this regatta might put him over the top.
“The C Class will probably be the most exciting class because you have at least five of the top C Class boats in the nation here in Sacrifice, Fugitive, Vita Malt Thunderbird, a brand new boat; and Lady Ruthnell, a Grand Bahama boat owned by Oscar Porter. Then there is Lady Michelle, another Grand Bahama boat and a brand new boat; and you also have the Acklins’ Mouth Stache coming for the first time, and Queen Vrigetta. So you have at least five top boats in this fleet. And I think that is really the talk of the regatta – the C Class division – and I think they will probably showcase more talent than any other division.

Did Dr. McPhee expect a good time at the regatta?
“Oh, yes!” he responded. “Grand Bahama has always been good to us in sailing and whenever we come here we are treated as kings, we walk around as kings, and we eat and drink as kings, an this is good for us, and I made it my point to make sure that this regatta came off.
“I want you to know that it was not easy to get these boats here. But every one of these boats came because I insisted that they give Grand Bahama another opportunity. I thank all the sailors who believe in me, trusted my word, and some came just on my word alone all the way from Exuma and Long Island; believing that I would see to it that things this time around does not fall in any way to hurt regatta sailing in our country.
“So I personally want to thank all of those who believed in me and trusted me to put faith in this new committee: Mr. Canard (Bethel) and Harold (McPhee). I believe they have learned a lesson and I think from here on in Grand Bahama will get back to its rightful position in the schedule of regattas.”
Mr. Bethel said they were glad to have the barge in port with four ‘A’ Class boats, four ‘B’ class boats and seven ‘C’ class boats and they were looking for a great time as the weather promises to be good, the tide favourable, and so they are looking forward to a great time.
“So,” said Mr. Bethel, “we want everybody out here (at Taino Beach) this weekend to enjoy himself or herself and bring this regatta back full-time.”