COVID-19 continues to disrupt life, and for the second consecutive year, the annual National Family Island Regatta will not be held. The decision was made as a result of the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
National Family Island Regatta Committee Chairman Danny Strachan made the announcement in a statement. “I am saddened to confirm that the 2021 version of the National Family Island Regatta is canceled,” he said. “As with our consideration during early March 2020, during the very early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Family Island Regatta Committee met and reviewed available options, including postponement.
“Once again, members concluded that this was in the best interest of our national requirement to comply with the government’s advice to curtail large social gatherings.
“All past regattas have brought together many thousands of persons in George Town, Exuma, onshore and on boats in the harbor in extremely close gatherings.
“We cannot invite such a gathering with present circumstances. We have met with the minister responsible for regattas, Hon. Michael Pintard, and the Regatta Desk in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, to offer the assurance of our commitment to the national fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. He supports our position for cancellation.”
The annual regatta is when the best sailors converged in Exuma for four days. The first race was held in 1954 and has grown each year. Last year marked the first time the annual event was canceled.
The Bahamas continues to remain in a state of emergency, with government-imposed restrictions in place such as curfews, social distancing, mask use, and more to prevent the spread of the virus. In the past few days, there has been an uptick in daily cases, so the move to cancel the large event was likely a smart one, even if it is sad to have to miss out on this tradition once again.