Major activities planned for Bartica Regatta

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The Bartica Easter Regatta billed for March 31 to April 2, 2018, is expected to be a blast of fun with a number of new activities in the lineup to complement the traditional events which make the Jamboree one of the most anticipated in Guyana.

With new organizers, the town’s annual premier event will feature the Easter Sunday Street Jam, the F1 Power Boat Racing, the Miss Bartica Regatta Pageant and the Regatta Washdown featuring an international artiste.

According to a press release from the new management, the Bartica Development Business Association (BDBA), the pageant will comprise several components including the Top Model Segment at the Aruwai Resort, the Sashing Ceremony and Carnival at the West Indian Park, the Intelligence and Platform Presentation which will be aired live on local television and the actual pageant which will take place at the Bartica Community Centre Ground.

The BDBA is an assembly of most of the major business owners of Bartica, for the purpose of spearheading the various developmental drives within the town. The Bartica Easter Regatta 2018 will be its first major project.

For the first time, the Bartica Regatta will feature an event called the Gymkhana which will be a presentation by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Regatta Talent Fest Competition which will showcase local talent across all interests.

There will also be the traditional Gospel Concert along with competitions in the various sports disciplines including swimming, football, volleyball, basketball, dirt bike racing, boxing and dominoes.

The Bartica Easter Regatta has been around for more than 60 years. Initially starting off as a wager between two captains on what was then ‘grant boats’ to see whose engine was the fastest, it has grown over the years from solely boat racing, to a multi-entertainment extravaganza.

After the initial foray in its earliest stages in the early 50s, the Regatta basically consisted of the Power Boat Events and the Miss Regatta Pageant. Back then, the boat races, even into the early 70’s, featured the then ‘grant boats’ with inbuilt Perkins engines and two large paddles on the stern that were used for steering when navigating the dangerous rapids along the Essequibo, Mazaruni and Cuyuni Rivers.

Along with these boats, there were usually some canoe races and swimming, mainly from Kaow Island to Bartica. In the late 50s going on to the early 60s, the Regatta was run by private businesses of Bartica; persons such as Oscar Smart, Godfrey De Freitas (Snr), Baldeo Singh and John Willems, among others.

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