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95th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta

Sports95th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 11, 2024

In keeping the annual tradition alive, lovers of sailboats are anxiously waiting for the 95th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta, to be held this year in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City on Sunday, March 10.

The almost century-old tradition of the 9th of March Baron Bliss Day has its origins back in 1926, when the Jewel’s greatest benefactor, the late Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, who was struck with paralysis at the age of 42 and spent his final years on his yacht “Sea King”, fell in love with the fishing and camaraderie of fishermen on the coastal waters of Belize, where he remained until his death on March 9 at the age of 57. Before his death, he bequeathed his fortune to Belize, and thus, the birth of the Harbour Regatta the following year, in 1927, and every year since.

The Harbour Regatta Committee annually invites persons to register in the racing events which are free of cost, with the usual racing rules applying, as placed.

Roberto Pott, Secretary of the Baron Bliss Habour Regatta Committee, told Amandala that in this year’s Regatta four classes of boats will be out for the day, with three of the classes competing for prizes and the fourth for exhibition.

“The hallmark of the race, I would call it, is the traditional sailing dories; and then we’ll also have a boating class operated by the Belize Sea Scouts,” he said. “We’ve gone through several evolutions. Belize City was the hub of sailing, so there is a lot of sailing in the Belize harbor, sailing to every destination, north and south,” Pott added.

Pott noted that this year, awards will be given to persons who are stalwarts in keeping the tradition and history alive. In previous years, three awards were distributed, but an additional two may be added.

“The whole idea of the event is for unification, because we’ve gone through an evolution where it was so competitive [that] it divided us. So, the idea is that if we come out and participate, that is a success for us; win or lose, we encourage everyone to come together, and that’s the whole philosophy of the event,” Pott said.

For more information, participants and interested parties can contact Harbour Regatta Chair – Collet Maheia, cell 615-3478, email: [email protected]; and for Registration – Roberto Pott, cell 602-4390, email: [email protected].

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