50 years ago: A day at the races

George-Town-50-years-finalIn the March 23, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the paper reported:

“A Day at the Races is not a term that can be used in its usual context in Cayman as we have no horse racing but we did have OUR ‘day at the races’ on Saturday last when many enjoyed participating in the Regatta organized by the C.I. Hotel Association. Others sat, watching all the boats go by.

“If things remained calm ashore in the Beach Club venue, they were certainly more turbulent at sea.

“The first race of the day, in which only sunfish boats took part, was quite exciting. The heavy breeze made the going what Eric Bergstrom, the winner, termed ‘rugged.’ He almost sank once when a wave swept across the boat and he had to start bailing madly. No doubt on this occasion Eric’s weight was an asset in keeping the boat well down in the water!

“There were two further races by these sunfish boats, the final results being Eric Bergstrom (33 points), John Edwards (32 1/2 points), Quatro Hatch (25), Neil Cruickshank (23), Bird Hatch (20), Cardinal DaCosta (16), Bill McTaggart (14), Tom Kenworthy (14), Mike Scholefield (13) and Otto Watler (12).

“The difficulties overcome in order to have a catboat race on the program were considerable. The three boats were moored in the North Sound and the weather was too rough for them to sail to the rendezvous. They therefore trucked 2 boats to West Bay and sailed them down and the third was trucked all the way to the Beach Club. As these boats are very heavy this was no mean feat.

“When it came time for this race the spectators were entertained to a literal rock ‘n roll show.

“This battle resulted in the boats being placed as follows: 1. Dallas S. Ebanks; 2. Gleeson Ebanks; 3. Sisby Barnett.

“An excellent Buffet Lunch in the Beach Club was available to those making a ‘day’ of it and in the afternoon music and calypso songs were provided by a male trio, and two small-fry amused everyone with their version of the ska.”