Catboats add elegance to Easter racing

| 09/04/2010

(CNS): While the power boat princes tore up the wakes along Seven Mile Beach on Easter Monday, another altogether more peaceful event was also visible for the island’s most famous stretch of beach. Marked by less thunder than the Million Dollar Run, members of the Catboat club said the Catboat Race – Cayfest Kick-off – was more about graceful navigation. Sponsored by Dart Management & CaymanNational Bank, five traditional Cayman Catboats competed in a series of three races off the Public Beach. There was intense competition among the crews as they skilfully sailed their crafts around the set course with brisk winds prevailing. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr).

The man whose name is synonymous with catboating, Captain Kem Jackson, took 1st place sailing in "Captain D", with Captain Crosby Ebanks in 2nd aboard "See Her Go", and Captain Jerris Millier made 3rd in "Chisholm Cat". Captain Philip Parchment in "Brac Cat" and Capt. Romel Ebanks in "Blue Bayou" came in 4th and 5th.

The catboats, with their sails locally crafted by Monika Snow at Windward Sailing & Canvas, Spinnaker Square Red Bay, made a spectacular contrast to the modern power boats racing in the Million Dollar Run. Catboat Club members said that Monika plays a crucial part in preserving Cayman’s seafaring heritage and history.
The next Cayman Catboat Club event will be the upcoming Premiere’s Cup Race, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday, 2 May to coincide with the last day of the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament.  
“Catboat racing is back and growing ever stronger in the Cayman Islands,” the club said.
The weekend also provided an opportunity for more than two dozen students from Cayman Brac who visiting Grand Cayman to take catboat rides on Saturday, which club members said they thoroughly enjoyed despite the blustery winds. 
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  1. Bill says:

    Three plus cheers to Kem and others in the Cat Boat Club.  They are preserving an integral part of Cayman’s rich and colourful maritime history which would otherwise be lost to frivolous items such as BMW’s, electronic toys and $$$.   Caymanian youth could well benefit from an awareness  and respect of their roots.

  2. West Bayer says:

    This is so beautiful to see.

    I hope that the young people of Cayman start to get a lot more encouragement in the area of the Cayman’s history. It’s is imperative that we start not only showcase this major part of we were, but who we ARE! Simple people, who should strive to lead simple full-filling lives!

    Our fore-fathers paved a unique way that allowed us to live a secure life. And I feel it’s only fair that we re-pay their generosity by carrying on their legacy.

    Gov’t, please include this, and things like, thatching and cooking conch stew and turtle dinners a required part of OUR history lessons.


    History is not only a part of who we’re from, it’s part of who we ARE!



    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. We definately need to get back in touch with our history, especially the younger Caymanians

  3. Richard N. Parson says:

     What a beautiful picture, and so symbolic of the spirit of the Cayman Islands as we "old timers"prefer to remember.