The UK Royals sampled the Crown Jewel of Bahamian sports when they had a chance to go sloop racing during their week-long tour to the region in March, as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year. Interestingly, it was the sailors that got the best pictures of their royal crew members up close and personal.
“I’ve been photo-documenting Bahamian sloop racing for the last few years and have become great friends with many of the sailors,” says Jan Pehrson, a professional sailing photographer whose works, which include everything from youth regattas to classic yachts and Grand Prix racing, have appeared in publications worldwide. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t be in the Bahamas when Prince William and Kate were there. But, one afternoon I started getting texted photos on my phone. The sailors were so excited to sail with Wills and Kate that they sent me their selfies. The funny thing was, it was pouring rain, so the regular press was getting their cameras were getting drenched and they weren’t getting good photos. The sailors took the best photos on their phones!”
The young royals raced in two 21-foot-long B Class sloops for the Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Regatta, with courses set in Montague Habour, East Bay Street in Nassau. Prince William skippered with Bahamian National Champion, Stefan Knowles calling tactics on Susan Chase V and won, with Duchess Kate, crewing for the sloop team aboard Ants Nest II, finished fifth.
It was quite an afternoon on the water despite the rain and an event that might push long-standing efforts among many Bahamians to change the Commonwealth’s national sport from cricket officially to sloop racing!
FULL RESULTS – Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Regatta – Nassau, Bahamas:
1. Susan Chase V – Mangrove Bush, Long Island (Prince William was captain for the day)
2. Ole Boy – Salt Pond, Long Island
3. Cobra – Mayaguana
4. Barbarian I – Acklins
5. Ants Nest II – Ragged Island (Kate Middleton was captain for the day)
For more information on Bahamian sloop racing, visit Pehrson’s website at: www.janpehrson.com