George Town Regatta – A Bahamas Tradition

George Town Cruising Regatta - Classic Bahamian Sloop

The George Town Cruising Regatta is a Bahamian event down to the bone…err, the keel. There’s a style to the Bahamas – vibrant, colorful, and full of energy – and the George Town Regatta emanated this style, and we’re glad to have been there for it.

The regatta is also known as the National Family Island Regatta – held in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown, Exuma.

George Town Cruising Regatta - Classic Bahamian Sloop
Legendary Bahamian Sloop

The first race was in the 1950s. Each year in April sailors gather to compete for the “Best of Bahamas” title. In their locally built, legendary Bahamian sloops, sailors raise the sail come rain or shine.

Preparing for the National Family Island Regatta - Sailboats in Elizabeth Harbor
Sloops in the Harbor Near George Town, Exuma
Sailboats ready to sail  Georgetown Regatta - Sailboats
Sailboats Have No Motor – Leave Harbor Under Sail
Storms Don't Delay the Georgetown Regatta
Storms Don’t Delay the Georgetown Regatta
Be prepared for full throttle if the current is pouring out of the dinghy entrance.
The Dinghy Entrance to Georgetown, Exuma, Bahamas

Fun at the George Town Regatta

When we arrived in town, the sunshine and warm air demanded a stop for a cold drink. We heeded mother natures call with a few friends.

Island Boy Cafe is right next to the dinghy dock.
Island Boy Cafe Has a Great Set of Swings While you Wait for Your Food

Island Boy Cafe is right next to the dinghy dock., and has good food at a reasonable price.

Outdoor Bars are Common in the Bahamas
It’s Rare to Sit Inside at the Bahamas
Cold Drinks at the Regatta were found at Island Boy Cafe, Georgetown Exumas
Cold Drinks, Good Food, and Good Laughs
Nancy Cooling Off - The Foster Journey in the Bahamas
Kalik is a local Bahama Beer

With fresh fuel in our bodies, we were ready to walk the town and head over toward the waterfront where the regatta could be viewed.

Georgetown, Exumas - Home of the National Family Regatta

Aren’t the colors on the buildings so happy?

We’ve heard there’s actual a color scheme – Pink = government buildings; yellow = schools. However, we can’t confirm this.

Great food at the Georgetown Regatta
Food Shacks Line the Streets

Food shacks and bars are setup just for the Regatta. We saw them creating the buildings a week before the event and were astonished to see simple plywood beginnings turn into colorful part zones!!!

The Georgetown Family Cruising Regatta is like a fair
Regatta Park - The Entrance to the Regatta Waterfront
The Entrance to the Regatta Waterfront in Georgetown

Good Food and Good Times at the Regatta

We couldn’t make it to the regatta before first finding some delicious goodies!

Coconut Pralines in the Bahamas - Matt from The Foster Journey chows down.
Coconut Pralines in the Bahamas

We found this scrumptious goody that can only be compared to pralines. But instead of pecans, the Bahamians filled the buttery brown sugar treat with toasted coconut! YUM!

And Nancy devoured two pieces of freshly carved sugar cane! Which is incredible!

Cutting Sugar Cane for Guests at the Bahamas Regatta
Raw Sugar Cane – It’s more refreshing than pure sweet.

Yes, we finally made it to the races!

Drinks, walking, and never ending foods…this event was fun. But the races were exciting even more!

Regatta Boast Under a Storm Cloud
A Rain Cloud over the Sloops in the Regatta
Bahamas Sloops Racing to the Finish Line
Which Sailboat Will Win?

We could tell each boat had it’s own fan club. The crowds cheered, jeered, and argued over who would cross the finish line first.

Crowds Cheering at the Bahamas Regatta 2022 - The Foster Journey
The Shoreline Had Towers and Grandstands for Everyone to Watch the Race
Bahamas Sloops Competing in the Annual Regatta

About the Family Island Regatta

Traditionally, the sailboats were working fishing boats. After the seeds of competition took root, Bahamians intentionally built the regatta sloops for speed.

Bahama Regatta Sloop - The Foster Journey
Traditional Regatta Sloop

The success of the event always depended on the skills and enthusiasm of the sailors and as years went by, the quality of both the boats and their drivers improved. The National Family Island Regatta is about competition and excellence. World-class sailors are pitted against one another in extreme competition that tests skill and endurance. The racing rules dictate that the sailing vessels must be designed, built and sailed by a Bahamian. There are also strict restrictions on the building materials used in order to keep these boats as closely related to their traditional origins as possible.

Folks Chilling at the Regatta
Hanging at one of the Temporary Bars

The race was full of fun and excitement. But mostly, the vibe was typical Bahamas – Chill.

Bike in Georgetown Bahamas - The Foster JOurney





One response to “George Town Regatta – A Bahamas Tradition”

  1. Claire Tracy

    Please tell me who can show me around the island. Used to sail the old legendary sleeps at Georgetown with my dad in late 50s. I am coming down DEC 19, 2022

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