31st 'Catch Me If You Can' Regatta in Montagu Bay this weekend

By BRENT STUBBS

Senior Sports Reporter

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

THE stage is set for the biggest local regatta to take place on New Providence as the 31st Catch Me If You Can St Valentine's Day Massacre is staged in Montagu Bay this weekend.

"I thank God for allowing me to see another year, 2018, to host the St Valentine's Day Regatta again," said Eleazor 'the Sailing Barber' Johnson as he prepares for the sloop sailing extravaganza.

"I started it in 1987 and I come this far without any interruption. I thank God that I've never had to put the regatta off because of bad weather or the lack of funding."

Johnson, the owner of the B Class Lady in Red, Lady Nathalie boat, also expressed his gratitude to all those persons who would have assisted him from the first year to now.

"I was sailing from I was a boy, not for money, because of the competition. I just wanted to beat you," Johnson said. "That is in my blood and that will continue until I die. I was there when we didn't have any motors in the boats to sail. That is how we started competing.

"But I hope that someone else will take a stand and put on more regattas like this because it is needed to make sailing much better. I don't want to see anybody fussing, rowing or arguing over regattas."

Johnson said while he's doing his path by putting on the regatta in New Providence, he would like to see more money pumped into the regattas staged around the Family Islands with every major island putting on a regatta for the public to enjoy.

Starting on Saturday and completing on Sunday, Johnson said the regatta will take place in Montagu with competition being staged in the A Class. He noted that there are at least 6-7 boats expected to compete in a series of races on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, Johnson said his Lady in Natalie will get his customary head start on an 8-10 mile course ahead of the A Class boats and they will have a chance to catch his boat, which is expected to be skippered by Clyde Rolle.

Among the boats scheduled to participate in the regatta are the Red Stripe, Southern Cross, Ed Sky, Good News and the Running Tide.

Johnson thanked Burns House and Campari, Coca-Cola, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Asa H Pritchard and d'Albenas Agency for their support in the past and even this year. He said that they are still open to any other corporate sponsors who would like to assist.

Anyone interested can contact Stafford Armbrister at 422-4811 or Clyde Rolle at 557-0053.

Music for the weekend will be provided by Rev DJ and Johnson said the theme song will be "I thank Heaven" composed and sung by Wendal Stuart as he thanks God for bringing him this far with the staging of the regatta.