For the first time ever, Bahamians were treated to a sailing regatta in the much talked about Clifton Bay. This was historic as a sailing event had never taken place in the beautiful bay located off the southwest corner of the island across from Lyford Cay.
Fashion mogul and billionaire businessman Peter Nygard opened his doors to countless Bahamians so that they could witness history from Nygard Cay, but the scene of the regatta was Jaws Beach which is just across from Nygard Cay.
The entire sailing community was hosted to an historic Independence Day Regatta at Clifton Pier on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the Bahamas
“It’s a dream of a lifetime,” said Nygard during a press conference at his Nygard Cay home to announce the event”. “When I first came over here, Stuart Cove and I created this plan and I’ve always had dreams of having sailing here in the harbour. So when Rev Dr (Philip) McPhee suggested it to me, I said ‘Bingo.’
“I’ve been here for 40 years and this is the first time that Bahamians got a chance to come out here and enjoy the beauty of the water and the scenery. So I’m very excited”.
Sixteen boats competed in the historic event at Clifton Bay, and the winners were presented with their trophies at an Independence Party at Nygard Cay following the competition.
All the boats docked at the marina near his home and the the general public was able to view the regatta from Jaws Beach, which served as the headquarters for the regatta which, according to Nygard, is expected to
become an annual event.
Rev Dr McPhee, who headed the organising committee for the
regatta, said they held a three-race series, including the Prime Minister’s
Cup, the Minister of Sports Cup and the Nygard Cup, the latter of which took on
a unique format in that the boats participated as they do in the international competitions.
Peter Nygard sailed against King Eric Gibson and Nygard won that
event on the Asue Draw Thunderbird, which is owned by Rev. McPhee.
The regatta was only for Class C boats, as the organizers felt that the conditions were better suited for sailing in Clifton Pier.
“We’ve been living a long time and the most we’ve done is just look at Jaws Beach. On Wednesday, we will leave our footprints in the sand of time as we sail and walk the beach with our
children and look at the landmarks that have been left behind for us. So we are
thankful to Peter Nygard and we want him to know that we are going to be
standing behind him 110 per cent”, said Dr. McPhee at a press conference prior
to the event. “We will make you proud and we will make a Bahamas a much better place to live in.”
The regatta went on just as expected and it was a beautiful experience.
Stafford Armbrister, the race coordinator for the regatta, did
an excellent job and all the events took place and even the weather turned out
King Eric Gibson, who has been responsible for introducing Nygard to the Bahamian public, said he has to tip his hat off to his friend and
brother for his continued support of the Bahamian public.
“There’s a lot of people that have benefited tremendously from Peter Nygard,” Gibson said. “He gives
from his heart. He loves the Bahamian people. He loves sailing. We are so lucky to have a man like Peter Nygard. He has made history by helping us to have this regatta in Lyford Cay. Whoever would have dreamed of having a regatta in Lyford Cay?”
Gibson encouraged Bahamians to stand behind Nygard because of the tremendous contribution he has and will continue to make to the Bahamian
Nygard welcomed the Bahamian sailing community to Lyford Cay on Independence Day and he hopes that the Bahamas Government will proclaim, once and for all, sailing as the national sport of the country.
Crazy Partner skippered by Lundy Robinson won the first ever and