Amazingly, it is now nineteen years since the first festival to promote and encourage the traditional TCI hand carved model sailboats was held. Back in 1999, on the remote island of Middle Caicos those who knew how to carve the toys and those who thought this carving was a treasure and those who figured they could sort out some promotion all sat down and hatched a simple plan….let’s get this traditional sport going again! And so Daniel O Forbes, proprietor of the Middle Caicos Co-op, ordered the first ten boats of the fleet from well-known local sloop builders Headley Forbes, Marcus Forbes and Carlin Forbes. In the days before electricity, radio, TV and computers, children learned from their fathers and uncles how to carve and sail these boats on the shores and ponds of each island in TCI. Indeed, the boats built in Grand Turk (where there are no gum-elemi trees) are very different in style and shape. The boats are hand carved from sections of the gum-elemi tree.
This year in 2022 there are four race classes, The race day event now includes the Ladies’ Open race, the Men’s Open race, the Class B Small boats race and the Premiers Cup! Everyone is encouraged to sign up and try their hand at racing in any class….the boats are there to be enjoyed. Food on the beach is tempting, music lively, games and fun for all.
There is no charge to enter the races, simply choose your boat, register with the Commodore of the day, practice a bit on the shallow sands of Bambarra beach and then join your race!