Turks & Caicos Islands : Valentine’s Day Cup Model Sailboat Races Great Success

By Ollie on 17th February, 2014

The island of Middle Caicos is the cultural heart of the Turks & Caicos Islands, and this annual Valentines Day Cup festival on Bambarra beach proudly shows it off! A fleet of 40 colourful hand carved model sailboats line the shore ready to race….

Model sailboat races in Turks & Caicos Islands
Model sailboat races in Turks & Caicos Islands

PRLog (Press Release) – Feb. 17, 2014 – TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS, Turks & Caicos Islands —VALENTINES DAY CUP MODEL SAILBOAT RACES,
MIDDLE CAICOS, Turks & Caicos Islands.

Bambarra beach, Middle Caicos in the Turks & Caicos Islands was the place to be this Saturday February 15th, 2014 for the fourteenth annual Valentines Day Cup Model Sailboat Races.  Begun as a milennium project in 2000 to revive the traditional hand carved model sailboats – a beloved toy in bygone years –  this wonderful event is now a major feature on the TCI calendar each year with over 50 model sailboats boats participating in four race classes. And new for 2014, the Premiers Cup race for the large (over 40” ) boats was officially initiated as the Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing, Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, took  to the water! Participation across the board was very keen with over a dozen captains in the water racing boats in each class, with an enthusiastic crowd on the beach cheering everyone round the course!!

The official committee members worked hard : Oneika Simons of the TCI Tourist Board, John Lawson of Caribbean Cruisin’/TCI Ferry, Mark Parrish of Big Blue Unlimited, David Bowen of the Culture Department, Sara Kaufman of the Middle Caicos Co-op and Middle Caicos Sailing Association founder Daniel O. Forbes of Daniel’s Café!  Each of these businesses has been a solid major event sponsor for many years, steering the event and the day ever forward. Additional sponsorship was warmly welcomed from the Premiers Office, Liquors Plus in North Caicos, Forbes, Forbes & Forbes Ltd. realty brokerage, Ephraim Ltd. construction, and Fortis TCI. Generous personal donations were received from Sarah Kellett, Lindsey Menson & Matt Emory, and Dan Steele – with boat launch fees provided by the owners of The Banana, T&C Reservations, MSOS Victory, and Seawings. Nominal race entry fees paid and cash prizes donated back added to the fund raising!  The day was perfect with a light breeze to send the boats around the course, great live music on tap with Full Force Rip Saw Band from Grand Turk, , local food tempting all and the bar happily tended by the national Turks & Caicos Islands Sailing Association members from the Provo Sailing Club. Master of Ceremonies David Bowen kept it all flowing, Commodore John Lawson organized each race while  Race Referee Mark Parrish kept order around the course…and a grand day was celebrated on Bambarra beach!

Proceeds from the Valentines Day Cup Model Sailboat Race event promote both sailing and local culture in several ways : 1) Turks & Caicos Island Sailing Association programs, 2) ”Sailboat House” on Middle Caicos with boats on exhibit, demonstrations and information about this traditional toy and 3) primary school program to introduce model sailboat racing to local North and Middle Caicos children. Donations, sponsorships and launch fees all help support this event  – please get in touch to order your model sailboat boat or to participate in any way  visit us at http://www.middlecaicos.biz  , or email us anytime at middlecaicos.tci@gmail.com

This event is focused on the sparking shallow water, encouraging family fun as the model sailboat races run throughout the day with friendly competition among the captains. Awards include cash prizes, trophies and signature hats for all boat captains, with the new Premiers Cup a permanent display trophy inscribed each year with the winner name.

The results for the Valentines Day Cup Model Sailboat Races 2014 follow with boat/captain:
Class “C” – boats under 30” length  : 1st  place Phoebe Twigg / Jupiter2nd Place  Camille Slattery /The Love Doctor,   3rd Place Ciara Dempsey / Green Hornet II

Class “B” – boats 30-40” length : 1st place David Mead / Blue Bird I,    2nd Place Alex Cox / Red Arrow I3rd place Marie Wenzel / Osprey

Ladies Open Challenge – all sizes : 1st place Charlotte Hunt & Celia Keeping / SeaWings,  2nd PlaceHeather Urfey / Sea Ya3rd place Brentina Smith / NHIP

Premiers Cup  – boats over 40“ : 1st Place Buzz Lawson & Alex Cox  of the  TCI Sailing Association racing Islandcom2nd place T-Boy Robinson / The Ida Flame3rd place Howard Gibbs / Madison Mackenzie

Oldest Captain : Ashton Harvey (75),  Youngest Captain : Brentinia Smith (9)

CONGRATULATIONS to all on a very successful day!! Please email middlecaicos.tci@gmail.com with questions, to sign up as a volunteer or coach,  to order your own model sailboat or to make donations. And plan to be there next year – Saturday February 14th, 2015!!!

Sara & Daniel Forbes