November 13, 2014, Vacations with more room.


Long Island came out proud once again after wins at the First Annual Cecil Cooke Memorial Sailing Championship held at Montagu Bay, Nassau, Bahamas  over the memorial weekend holiday, November 1st -2nd. The event was brought together by Ms.Sandra Cooke, in memory of her father, the late Cecil Cooke and also Mr. Jimmy Lowe one of the organizers for this sailing event.

History was made back in 1964 when Cecil Cooke and skipper Sir Durward ‘Sea Wolf’ Knowles, won the Star Class at the Olympic Games held in Enoshima, Japan.

The Cecil Cooke Regatta event was sponsored by major food chain, Subway, with 6 classes including 38 sailors from around the islands, Long Island, New Providence, Harbour Island, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama.

Results: Long Island won the Sunfish Class, Paloma Cartwright came in 1st, Jessica Cartwright 2nd and 3rd Place when to Thomas Treco, from New Providence of Long Island Descent.

Optimist Gold Fleet Class-  Derbyshire 1st place, Cochise Burrows 2nd place, and Tristan Eldon 3rd place all from New Providence.

Optimist Silver Fleet- Long Island carried this division as well. Luke Knowles 1st place, Don Knowles Jr. 2nd place, 3rd place went to Matteo Alliata of New Providence.

Optimist Green Fleet- 1st place went to Eleuthera's, Noah Simmons. New Providence's, Margan Grammatico 2nd place and Landon Johnson 3rd Place. 

Laser 4.7 Class- ,1st place went to Connor Pinder and Daisy Tinkler, 2nd place. Both representing New Providence.

Top Junior Sailors- Paul de Souza 1st, Spencer Cartwright 2nd, Tyler Cartwright out of Long Island 3rd.

Sands Sculling- Long Island once again won this catergory. In the Female division Dian Knowles came in 1st place and in the Men's Division Dennis Fox took 1st place.

Mr. Lowe said, “All of the kids had a great time. There were lots of stories to tell because of the heavy breeze. Everybody had a little bit of experience one way or the other. But it was a huge success. It was the second biggest junior regatta that the Bahamas Sailing Association hosted this year, next to the nationals." He also went on to say "Through the efforts of Sandra Cooke, they intend to continue to host the regatta on an annual basis as they keep the memory of the late Cecil Cooke alive."

Pictures Courtesy: Dian Knowles

JULY 13, 2014


The Independence Mini Regatta hosted by the Long Island Sailing Club took place over the weekend at Clarence Town Dock Harbour. 

The race results of the Class “C” boat races are as follows, coming in 5th place XENA, 4th place The Lady Diane, 3rd Place It Ain’t Rite, 2nd Place, Whitty K and coming in 1st place Sacrifice.

The  winners of the Junior Opti race are, coming in 1st place Don Knowles Junior, and 2nd place Enrique Wells.

Pictured below are, Don Knowles Junior with, Jr. Opti Co-ordinator Zoe Cartwright and Enrique Wells.

Mini Regatta Photo Courtesy: Diane Knowles/Island Breeze106 Network

47th Annual Long Island REGATTA 2014 - OFFICIAL RACE RESULTS


Long Island Regatta 2014

The intoxication, fever, of regatta reaches an all time high, the sounds of cheering, music, laughter, the atmosphere just bursting with excitement and exhilaration! The gun was sounded and there began the official start of the races. Pull the anchors, raise the sails and tack the buoys! The excitement of regatta spills over on the shores to the crowds of people cheering on their favorite sloop and crew.

First place winners, Class A – Rupert’s Legend, Class B- Lady Sonia, Class C – Whitty K, Class E- Bluebird, and Class G – Young Dreamer. Congratulations to all the boats, skippers and crew for a spectacular show of sportsmanship.


Until next regatta 2015... HAPPY SAILS!




The biggest party and sailing event of the year! All the action takes place in Salt Pond, Long Island Bahamas for the 47th Annual Long Island Regatta, June 4th - 7th.

Are you gonna be there? Click the event button to join in the fun, mark your spot at Long Island Regatta 2014!



REGATTA FLASHBACK! Rupert Knowles and the "TIDA WAVE"

A look back at the birth of Long Island Regatta:-

Hugh Cottis - “Educator, Founding Father, Sailing Enthusiast, Promoter and First Commander of the First Long Island Regatta”

By: BIANCA MAJOR - The Long Island Runner News (2014)
Island Times News-ITNN(2008)
Long Island Regatta Booklet (2008)

Raised during the years of World War II, Hugh Cottis was born on the 15th October, 1930 in the small village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy in Essex, England. His father was a farmer and his mo...ther was a homemaker who always steadfastly encouraged him to persevere in his academics.

During the war, the skies would persistently hold Hugh’s attention as he had a fascination with aircrafts and could depict any model plane from the skies. By the end of the war, he had secured a job as an apprentice at a local blacksmith shop and as a Relief Postman before being mandated by the National Service.

His love of aircrafts prompted him to join the Royal Navy where he trained to become a pilot but narrowingly missed his placement by four positions. Only the top ten in the class were chosen to become pilots. This was later considered by Hugh to be a blessing as two of his friends who had made it, were killed in action.

After completing his Tour of Duty, He then decided to further his education at Shoreditch College-University of London where he became a teacher. It was during this time he met and fell in love with Sylvia. Being the adventurers that they were, they toured Britain in a camper van. Hugh, with Sylvia at his side as first mate, began racing dinghy boats and sailing the Blackwater Estuary. They were married on the 1st January, 1955. Later, in 1968 their union would be blessed with Gregory, their only child.

Mr. Cottis, at this time was successfully working as a Personal Assistant when one day he came across a posting for teachers in “The Times” London newspaper. After contemplating the dreary English weather he thought that perhaps the weather must be better in The Bahamas and he could fulfill his dream of traveling the world. It was then he and Sylvia packed their bags and headed to Nassau arriving by Ocean-liner in January of 1960.

After their arrival in Nassau, they awaited The Ministry of Education’s placement results; little did they know they were going to Long Island! Roses in fact. Mr. Cottis was assigned as Principal to Roses School. They left Nassau on the “M/V Air Pheasant” arriving in Clarence Town Harbour. Hugh fondly reflected on the time he arrived on the island only to be greeted by the chorus of locals saying “Teacher reach”!

Arriving in Long Island was a bit of a culture shock seeing that there were no paved roads, no running water or electricity back then. Mr.Cottis thereafter coined the phrase “Ain No Roses in Roses”. He took on the task of Headmaster at Roses All Age School ruling it with an iron fist. He was a stern disciplinarian and encouraged his students to excel, inspiring many of them to further their education, some becoming teachers and lecturers, political and religious leaders. He was very fond and proud of his former students and enjoyed reconnecting with them when ever he could.

Whilst on Long Island, Hugh played an instrumental role in the development of the island. He was Chairman of the Committee that constructed the Health Clinic at Mangrove Bush named in Memory of Dr. David Simms and he assisted another dear friend of his; Dr. Hal Leyland, with moving his dental equipment to Long Island to provide the people with proper oral health care.

Sailing was one of Mr. Cottis’ great passions and he demonstrated that actively during his time spent on Long Island. He commissioned his own Bahamian sloop named “Cat & Fiddle” after a popular night spot in Nassau during the time. In his spare time, especially on Sunday’s, he and Sylvia would sail their boats the “Cat & Fiddle” and the “Not Guilty”, against his good friend Laurin Knowles down at Thompson Bay. After this event was such a success seeing the 2 boats competing, it was not long after more folks wanted to participate.

Hugh saw the potential for Long Island after traveling to Exuma’s annual regatta to compete along with other Long Island skippers. He saw where the leisurely activity provided so much wholesome fun for family and friends and also a clear financial benefit for Long Island that he organized the first official Long Island Regatta in 1967. The event was a success as it brought families and friends together to participate in enjoyable activities and it brought a spirit of pride throughout the island.

In May of 1968, another regatta was held in which 28 sail boats, representing four classes participated. After the continued success of the regatta it became quite clear that this was to become an annual event from then on and in 1970, the 4th Annual Long Island Regatta was born. The Annual Long Island Regatta gave birth to organizations such as The Long Island Sailing Club founded in 1971 and The Long Islander’s Association founded thereafter. In May of 1971 Mr. Cottis was transferred to Georgetown, Exuma to oversea the construction of the high school. He followed his passion for sailing while in Exuma by being on the Georgetown Regatta’s committee.

The number of entries for the races in 1968 started with 28 boats representing 4 classes. This number has tripled over the years and the spectators alone are well in the thousands. During the early races of the regatta prizes ranged from a 9 horsepower outboard engine, safety cushions, anchors and ropes. Today most prizes are cash and trophies.

Mr. Cottis took pleasure in sharing the joy of sailing with friends, The Salt Pond Crew; Roy and Harry Harding, Laurin and Evvy Knowles, Don Heber and all the Mangrove Bush Boys. He never forgot Earl and Rupert Knowles, by which he felt enough praise could never be to given to the likes of these men. They built the most beautiful, traditional Bahamian sloops that were the fastest, usually bringing home the cup at many Regattas on Long Island waters and other islands. The boat building skills have now been passed down to the next generation of the Mangrove Bush Boys.

Hugh often referred to himself as “a sheep runner at heart”. He often reflected on his leisure times like learning how to bonefish with Mr. Gerald Carroll and torching for crawfish over north side with Evvy Knowles. He described he and Sylvia’s days on Long Island as being “among our happiest and most satisfying. Many of these fond memories stem from the affection shown to us by the people and which we tried to return in good measure.”

Long Island Regata Top Left: Knowles, Top Right: The Mangrove Bush Boys crew and Rupert Legend's crew sailing, Bottom Left: Rupert's Legend, Bottom center: young Lauryn Knowles at Exuma awarded by late Jessica Tandy, Right:David Knowles, Center: Lauryn & Mark Knowles
Much excitement about Long Island Regatta, time to take a look back on the growth of Long Island Regatta.

Published: May- June 2008
By: Bianca Major
- Island Times News (2008)
-Annual Long Island Regatta Booklet (2008)
-The Long Island Runner News (5/2014)

“The Journey of Long Island Regatta with Hugh Cottis & The Mangrove Bush Boys”

This year calls to mind, a time of reflection on how far we have come as a people and an island. In the midst of all the changes throughout the world, during times of turmoil and hardships, we have still managed to find a little bit of peace and happiness right here on Long Island. We should take the time bask in the beauty and tranquility of our jewel of an island, enjoying all the things that make us unique.

June marks the occasion for the 41st Annual Long Island Regatta. This year, we celebrate our history with events such as the return of the ancient Lucayan Duho Replica Artifacts to the museum here at Buckley’s and we pay homage to our founding fathers of the Long Island Regatta.

Mr. Hugh Cottis was a dynamic individual who inspired many persons to persevere towards their goals. He was a man of great stature and his value for family and friends were immeasurable.

When Mr. Cottis first arrived to Long Island, it would be by boat ironically, but it was the only transportation to Long Island at the time. He was appointed the Headmaster at Roses All Age School during his stay here on Long Island.

In his leisure time on Sundays, he and his wife Sylvia and friends, enjoyed sailing against each other just for fun down at Thompson Bay. Just having a good time and sailing boats turned into a weekly sailing competition between himself and his buddies. The spectators and participants couldn’t get enough of this excitement and needless to say, Mr. Cottis, being the leader he was, came up with the idea of a Regatta.

Exuma’s Regatta was already in place and even though the Long Islanders participated in the Exuma races it did not prove feasible to them.

Mr. Cottis thought it would be an excellent idea to form our own regatta, whereas the boats would sail in their home waters, and it would be a great, prosperous, fun filled event to share with friends and family.

This brought about the birth of The “First” Long Island Regatta, in May of 1967. Cottis enjoyed sailing with and against his good friends, Lauryn and Evvy Knowles, Roy and Harry Harding, Don Heber, Earl and Rupert Knowles – the “Mangrove Bush Boys”.

By the time 1970 had rolled around, Salt Pond, Long Island was officially the home of the 4th Annual Long Island Regatta.

In the following years of 1971 the Long Islanders Association and the Long Island Sailing Club was formed. These two organizations are responsible for the overall success of the regattas along with numerous sponsors.

The success of our annual regatta, the building and upkeep of the regatta site grounds depends on the comradery of our fellow Long Islanders those residing here and throughout the world.

The heart and soul of Long Island Regatta resides in Mangrove Bush with the “Mangrove Bush Boys”, who live and breathe the art of boat building and sailing. The “Legend” lives on in the future generations of the “Mangrove Bush Boys”. Until next year enjoy pleasant sails and the cool Long Island Breezes!

 Exuma Regatta 2014

The team of the WHITTY K  "Class C" Champs, are pictured above. Ceasar Turnquest, Stephan Knowles, Jason Knowles and Cameron Knowles.

The action went down in Georgetown Exuma, April 22nd through 26th when sloops converged on the seas for the sailing showdown.


Congratulations to all the champions and participants for a job well done! Especially the junior sailors, for showcasing their love of sailing that makes sailing seem like an art form rather than a sport. We know the tradition of sailing that has been carried out through-out the islands over the past 40 years will remain in the hearts of these young men and women.


You can view the official results and Exuma Regatta highlights in the photo gallery below.

See you in Salt Pond, Long Island Bahamas for the 47th Annual Long Island Regatta, June 4th - 7th.

Are you gonna be there? Click the event button to join in the fun, mark your spot at Long Island Regatta 2014!

Special thanks to the Figdore's, "Doc Fig" for the beautiful pictures.

The Annual Long Island Regatta


Long Island Regatta is the second largest regatta in The Bahamas next to The Annual National Family Island Regatta in Exuma. These two islands have been the leaders in sailing regatta for almost half a century. But ask any Bahamian, particularly Long Islanders and they will say Long Island is the best!

The Annual Long Island Regatta is the biggest sailing event held on the island which provides a substantial econmic boost to the quaint island. People and sailors from all over the world, travel to this picture perfect island, down in the southern Bahamas to participate and watch this spectacular sailing event. A true party, island style!

Skippers compete for cash prizes, bragging rights and trophies for Class Races. This sailing tradition was born out of the belly and hearts of Long Islanders, straight out of Mangrove Bush, Long Island. Most of the boats sailing in the regattas are built by the Knowles Family or “The Mangrove Bush Boys”.


“The Legend”, "New Chase",  “Susan Chase” are just a few of the legendary sloops handcrafted by the Knowles boys, Laurin Knowles, in particular is truly a legend and keeps the tradition alive, ensuring its longevity by passing it on to future generations.


Regatta time is considered the ultimate party! Sailing takes place in the settlement of Salt Pond at the Regatta Site, which has been recently reconstructed and beautified. During "Regatta Time" family and friends galore unite in a homecoming celebration. The regatta site is outfitted with a state of the art deck, cabanas, stalls that sell food and drinks. Games and Rides for the kids. Live entertainment with local bands, celebrities sometimes pop up along with local and government dignitaries come to join in the fun. 

Long Island Regata The Legend
Long Island Regata Traditional Sailing Sloop
Long Island Regata Laurin Knowles and sloop "New Chase"
Long Island Regata Sloop Building/ Photo Credit: Arlette Figdore


Class A

1. Red Stripe, L. Robinson 22 points
2. Good News, L. Armbrister 20 points
3. Running Tide, R. Fox 19 points
4. Ruff Justice, J. Knowles 18 points
5. Ed Sky, J. Mc.Phee 9 points
6. New Courageous, E. Munroe 7 points
7. Southern Cross, M. Knowles 7 points
8. Abaco Rage, S. Patterson 6 points
9. Rupert's Legend, D. Knowles 3 points

Class B

1. Lady Sonia, L. Rolle 24 points
2. New Susan Chase, M. Knowles, 23 points
3. Eudeva, L. Robinson 18 points
4. Lonesome Dove, A. Wilhoyte 15 points
5. Ants Nest, L. Armbrister 13 points
6. Cobra, D. Higgins 10 points
7. Queen Drucilla, S. Kemp 9 points
8. Passion, R. Knowles 2 points
9. Hummingbird, M. Fox --points 

Class C

1. It Ain't Right, D. Knowles 46 points
2. Crazy Partner, L. Robinson 42 points
3. Bul Reg, B. Rolle 36 points
4. Beerly Legal, M. Fox 31 points
5. Whitty K, S. Knowles 30 points
6. Sweet Island Gal, K. Brown 29 points
7. Lady Dian, D. Knowles 25 points
8. Sacrifice, C. Cartwright 25 points
9. Double B, M. Knowles 23 points
10. Two Friends, P. Robinson 22 points
11. Barbarian, D. Gibson 21 points
12. San Sally, R. Ross 13 points
13. Surprise, J. Knowles 13 points
14. Unca John, A. Gibson 11 points
15. Irene Good Night, J. Wallace 9 points
16. Jacob's Ladder, Mr. Higgins 4 points

Class E

1. Sands, S. Gibson 20 points
2. High Rock, T. Gibson 18 points
3. Sands Light, D. Davis 16 points
4. Bahamas Hot Mix, Lightbourne 15 points
5. Strong Back, S. Rolle 14 points
6. Q, K. Darville 8 points
7. Old Faithful, R. Knowles 7 points
8. Lucayan Tropical, J. Miller 8 points

Class G

1. Island Boy, T. Treco 15 points
2. Bandit, G. Knowles 15 points
3. Sunfish 22, S. Patterson 13 points
4. C.M., M. Knowles 11 points
5. Flying Fish, I. Fox 5 points
6. Rip Tide, D. Fox 3 points
7. Scalawag, L. Knowles 2 points
8. Midnight Run, B. Cartwright ---


High Rock, T. Knowles 12 points
Sands Light, C. Cartwright 7 points
Sands, E. Wells 6 points
Strong Back, D. Fox 1 point

Photo Credits: Arlette Figdore, Philip Figdore, Barbara Jesubathem

Long Island Regata Running Tide/Photo Credit:Philip Figdore
Long Island Regata "The Originals"- Bahamian Band Performing Live at Regatta, Salt Pond/Photo Credit:ArletteFigdore
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