The challenge has been issued and Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is preparing to defend his championship title in the 12th Annual Great Festival Sloop Shootout and Heritage Regatta set for August 1 to 4 as part of the Emancipation Festival celebrations.
Premier Smith and his team will be competing against first time challenger, His Excellency the Governor, John S. Duncan, OBE and his team in the Sloop Shootout race on Tuesday, August 4 at 11:00 a.m.
Premier Smith said, “The British Virgin Islands is well-known for our sailing waters and this friendly competition with Governor Duncan is yet another opportunity to demonstrate why we are the sailing capital of the world, and showcase our maritime legacy.”
The sloop race is organised and sponsored by the Centre for Applied Marine Studies at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and sponsored by the Loyal West End Yacht Club, the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the Virgin Islands Powerboat Association.
Race coordinator and curator of HLSCC’s Virgin Islands Maritime Museum, Mr. Geoffrey Brooks said, “At HLSCC, through the Centre for Applied Marine Studies, we are dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of maritime culture in the Virgin Islands and the importance of local boat building. This traditional sloop races is an integral part of our local education.”
Races will begin at the Road Town Jetty on Saturday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 4, at 11:00 a.m. All races will take place in the Road Town harbor and the public is invited to come out and show their support.
The Great Festival Sloop Shootout was created in 2004 as a means of reviving the traditional sloop races which occurred every August Tuesday during the emancipation celebrations.
It is a race between the Honourable Premier of the Virgin Islands and His Excellency, the Governor with the winner receiving a perpetual trophy to display in their respective offices for a year until the next race occurs.
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