Goombay Punch Cup makes major waves in sailing

CARIBBEAN Bottling Company (CBC), local producers of Coca-Cola and Dasani products, is involved in many community service initiatives throughout various sectors of The Bahamas. One being sailing, which they promote through their annual Goombay Punch Cup competition.

The Goombay Punch Cup, which was launched in 2022, measures the performance of various sailing sloops across the Best of the Best Regatta, National Family Island Regatta and the Long Island Regatta.

During the Long Island regatta, the team with the most points across the three events is crowned the winner.

Aside from bragging rights, the winning sloop is awarded $5,000.00, and a custom congratulations Goombay Punch 12 oz can.

Each year, The Bahamas’ Goombay Punch Cup is announced and celebrated with limited edition commemorative 12 oz cans that are only available in the country.

The 2023/2024 season cans include: Ants Nest, Barbarian, Cobra, Eudeva, Susan Chase and Lonesome Dove.

Before sailing was crowned the national sport of The Bahamas, CBC understood the beauty and cultural significance of the sport. This understanding inspired the creation of the Goombay Punch Cup.

“Regattas are a major cultural event in the country. So, we thought it would be great to further amplify this aspect of our culture and to give Bahamians more reasons to visit the Family Islands,” said Karla Wells-Lisgaris, director of CBC.

Keith Carrol and Emile Knowles, co-captains of New Legend in the Class A and first-time winners of the Goombay Punch Cup during the 2022/2023 season, said they were overwhelmed with joy when they were announced as the winners.

“Winning the Goombay Punch Cup was like winning a NASCAR race to me and the crew,” Carrol said.

“Winning made me feel really proud. I hope this is a feeling that all the Classes A, B and C can experience, being acknowledged for your work,” Knowles stated.

The Long Islanders have been sailing for over 40 years and said they were introduced to sailing from their elders, which reiterates the value of sailing to Bahamians.

Knowles, a third-generation sailor, touches on how he began sailing and what it means to him.

“I was introduced to sailing by my grandfather, father and cousins. To me sailing is my hobby, it is my favourite thing to do, but I know it’s also something I must do. Yes, it’s my responsibility to pass it down to the next generation.” Knowles said.

CBC knows the importance of passing along cultural practices and traditions.

In addition to the winners receiving prize money, the junior sailing club of the winning sloops’ island is awarded an $8,000.00 stipend.

“Bahamian culture is very important to us and regattas are a big part of who we are. For us we wanted to have a financial aspect of the campaign to allow Bahamian children to push the sport of sailing forward,” Wells-Lisgaris said.

Sandra Cooke, president of Long Island’s Mack Knowles Jr. Sailing Club, was in disbelief when she learned they would be awarded a generous stipend.

“I was in complete and utter shock. We had no idea what was going on. We were on the stage and then they announced us, and I was just completely speechless,” Cooke said.

“That moment felt like we won the lottery, I’m getting excited from just talking about it again. We are truly grateful to Caribbean Bottling Company. Sailing is expensive and you cannot even begin to imagine what this has meant for our junior sailors,” Cooke explained.

Cooke along with coaches Dian Knowles and Cameron Knowles used their stipend to purchase boat parts such as sails and dollies and took their club to various junior regattas around the country.

Regattas such as this February’s Sir Durward Knowles National Junior Sailing Championships where they took home first place for a Greet Fleet won by Eulano Knowles.

Drake Knowles, a member of the Mack Knowles Junior Sailing Club, speaks to the impact the Goombay Punch Cup has had on his sailing career.

“All of my team members finally have boats that are up to sailing standards now. That means everyone can look forward to Long Island junior sailors winning more championships at regattas.” Knowles said.

As summer approaches and sailors around the country are logging in hours practicing with their sloops and maintaining their boats, Caribbean Bottling Company looks forward to announcing the 2023/2024 season Goombay Punch Cup winner.

With the completion of the National Family Island Regatta in Georgetown, Exuma the sloop leading the scoreboard is non other than Susan Chase, led by Stefan Knowles.

The highly anticipated announcement of the next Goombay Punch Cup winner will be made in June during the Long Island Regatta. Until then, to keep up with Goombay Punch Cup participants and to learn more about the competition, visit

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