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Middle Caicos, Bambarra beach, February 14th 2009.

February 16 2009 :

Valentines Day 2009 was celebrated in grand cultural style on beautiful, Bambarra Beach, Middle Caicos. Over 150 locals, residents and visitors from near and far attended the Ninth Annual Valentines Day Cup Model Sailboat Races – an event conceived by Daniel O. Forbes and Sara Kaufman of the Middle Caicos Co-op. With Daniel as Founder, and Brodie Forbes as Co-ordinator, the Middle Caicos Sailing Association has been keeping this traditional TCI sport alive, and encouraging model boats to be built and raced!

The day was perfect, the wind was right and the shallow waters inviting. The Saturday morning sun found the clear turquoise ocean dotted with the hand carved gum-elemi model sailboats of various sizes as boat captains young and old tightened lines, hoisted sails, adjusted rudders and shifted weather boards during pre race preparations.

The first race got under way around midday. Commodore John Lawson with his trusty bullhorn briefed the contestants on the rules then called them all to the starting line. Captains ranging in age from 12 years old to as young as 4 years old took to the water in a flurry of excitement and chaos as the small boats, tipped over, collided and darted off in all directions. In the end, “Green Hornet”, Captained by 11-year-old JJ Affleck claimed first place.

The Class B boats captained by the adults took to the water soon after. These slightly larger boats, from 30 inches to 40 inches, cut through the water as smooth as hot knives through butter. From the onset a sleek all white boat named “Shimmer” captained by Marsha Pardee took the lea and kept it all the way to the finish line, leaving the closest boat a good 45 seconds behind. Shimmer is jointly owned by Marsha and Pamela Leach and was built by master boat builder and Middle Caicos resident, Mr. Headley Forbes.

The main race of the day got underway in a flurry of excitement as the captains of Class A boats (over 40’’ in length) made their way to the starting line. A newly built boat, owned by Dolphus Arthur built by renowned boat builder, Pastor Gold Williams of North Caicos, was keen to finally unseat the “Red Rocket”, owned by Daniel O. Forbes, the undisputed champion of the big boat class. Captained by Timothy “T-Boy” Robertson “No Name” took an early lead as it headed straight towards the halfway buoy and there was no one close as it cruised to the finish line to take the first place honors and bragging rights for the next year!

For the ninth year running, The Valentine’s Day Cup Model Sailboat Races have been sponsored by Forbes, Forbes & Forbes Ltd., a realty broker on Middle Caicos. All funds needed are generously covered by this firm each year. The Middle Caicos Co-op again donated all the administration, organization and promotion. Middle Caicos Sailboat Association Founder, Daniel O. Forbes, (also owner of Forbes, Forbes and Forbes Ltd.) stated, “It’s getting better & better every year”. This event has a very special place in the hearts of Daniel and his partner Sara. They have ensured its growing success with steadfast personal and corporate support from the beginning when they commissioned the first fleet of seven model sailboats. Daniel went on to say that he and Sara would like to encourage more co-sponsors to assist with trophies, flyers, caps, t- shirts, cash and prizes, food and beverage supplies, promotion and advertising, and transport for local villagers to attend. Additionally, companies and individuals can purchase a boat, choose their colours and name, and donate it to the MCCo-op Fleet for the event and for use by the ongoing childrens sailboat club.

This year, a new sponsor came forward and the TCI Bank Limited, North Caicos donated funds toward the cash prizes, including a $100 TCI Bank Savings Account for the Youngest and Oldest Captain Award. “Since there isn’t any bank in Middle Caicos and TCI Bank is the only bank in North Caicos, it makes perfect sense for us to integrate into the community and be apart of the Valentine’s Day Annual Sailing Cup in Middle Caicos” states TCI Bank’s Marketing Consultant, Mai Moore. TCI Bank’s North Caicos Branch Supervisor, Narine Lewis, gave out the TCI Bank Limited $100 Savings Accounts. The winners were Youngest Captain, Leshawn Forbes (five years old) and Oldest Captain, Carlin Forbes (eighty-two years old)

Special thanks goes out to Mr. John Lawson , Providenciales Rotary president, who took on the position of Beach Commodore for the races, and cheerfully managed to organize a full set of races for the day! The Middle Caicos Church of God of Prophecy provided local cuisine and refreshments, both sustaining all the event attendees with wonderful food, and raising funds for their local programs. Liquors Plus of North Caicos providing discount soft drinks and free ice, while Radio 92.5 FM provided free advertisements for the event. The Grand- Land Band, local Middle Caicos musicians Lucky Forbes, Danley Forbes and Kit Seymour, provided great live musical entertainment. The Cultural & Arts Commission, in collaboration with Videographer, Mr. Decosta Griffiths, provided media coverage- both still shots and video footage are available.

Race Results:

Class A Boat Captain / Owner
1st Place No-Name Captain Timothy “T-Boy” Robertson / Dolphus Arthur
2nd. Place Red Rocket Captain Brodie Forbes / Daniel O.Forbes
3rd. Place Sea Train Captain Albert Higgs / Carlin Forbes
Class B      
1st. Place Shimmer Captain Marsha Pardee /Pardee-Leach
2nd. Place Sea Plane Captain Carlin Forbes / Carlin Forbes
3rd. Place Brenda-Sue Captain Ralph Wilke / Pickering-Wilke
Kids Club      
1st. Place   Captain JJ Affleck  
2nd. Place   Captain Buzzy Lawson  
3rd. Place   Captain Sean Forbes  

Winners in Classes A & B received trophies and cash prizes of 1st place $100, 2nd place $75 and 3rd place $50. Winners of the 1st and 3rd place in Class B kindly donated their prizes to the festival costs!

For further information anytime, or to get involved as a sponsor, please email middlecaicos@tciway.tc or call Daniel O. Forbes on 1-649-232-6132.

Mark your calendars now for Saturday February 13th 2010, for the 10th annual
Valentine’s Day Cup Model Sailboat Races on Bambarra beach, Middle Caicos!

More info: +1 (649) 946-6132 and +1 (649) 231-4884 or Email : middlecaicos.tci@gmail.com

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