Regatta Time in Abaco began with the hope of increasing our summer tourism because our summer season was very slow. In this regard, the Regatta has succeeded admirably. A secondary goal was to increase our boating visitors’ exposure to our superb cruising area. The RTIA social events have a large following of land-based visitors, probably more than actual sailors. Our restaurants, guesthouses and marinas now look forward to the Regatta and the financial benefits to the various settlements. This is a result of hundreds of visitors, both on land and sea, who come for the festivities. Summer is no longer a slow period but is now our busiest season. Regatta Time in Abaco has been a significant contributor to our vibrant summer activity.
The first race of Regatta Time in Abaco was held off Marsh Harbour in September 1976 with ten cruising boats, four fishing sloops from Nassau and one built in Man-O-War. The second year had 15 boats which included two sloops from Man-O-War with the remaining entries being cruising sailboats. By the third year, the event was held at the end of June and had expanded to three races: off Marsh Harbour, off Green Turtle Cay and off Treasure Cay. In these early years each race venue was organized by a team in that community. A Hope Town race was added in 1980 with a race off Man-O-War included in 1982. It was originally intended that participation of the native fishing sloops would increase over the years. However, it was soon realized that it would be more beneficial to Abaco’s economy to gear the races to visiting sailors. The Regatta has developed over the years with a shifting of venues to accommodate sponsorship interest. Management of the different races evolved into a single committee with responsibility for the entire nine-day event. Since 1991 the series began with its first race held off Green Turtle Cay on or close to July 4th to accommodate the majority of our boaters who come from Florida. We have been able to incorporate a mix of traditional Olympic triangular courses, the ever popular round-the-islands courses and point-to-point courses.
Regatta Time in Abaco 2017 is scheduled for June 22nd - June 30th 2017. This annual week of sailing in the Abacos of the Bahamas brings boats and crew from all over the Bahamas, the United States, Canada, England and beyond. Regatta Time in Abaco began in 1974 as a collective effort to finance and build a sloop to represent Abaco in the George Town Regatta, a sailing event exclusively for Bahamian fishing sloops. Man-O-War has subsequently built several boats for this event. The Abaco Rage, now based in Hope Town, is one of these original sloops.