|12th Annual Valentine’s Day Cup approaching|
|Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:05|
Islanders and tourists are invited to Middle Caicos on Feb. 11 to join the Middle Caicos Sailing Association in celebrating their annual Model Sailboat Race.
The cultural event promises to entertain spectators with more music, more prizes and more fun than previous years.
The Valentines Day Cup originated 12 years ago with local residents to help promote and encourage the traditional Turks and Caicos Islands hand carved model sailboats. In 1999 the cultural sport was resurrected when local proprietor, Daniel Forbes, ordered the first 10 boats to be made by well-known local sloop builders Headley Forbes, Marcus Forbes and Carlin Forbes.
The typical model sailboats were hand carved from the native gum-elemi trees and rigged with hand-sewn sails. Boats built in Grand Turk (where there are no gum-elemi trees) are very different in shape and style then elsewhere in the islands.
Today the co-op maintains a fleet of approximately 30 boats for teaching, demonstrations and for the annual festival. Many of the authentically carved model boats were sold to owners living in Providenciales, and these boats, as well as model boats built and owned in North and Middle Caicos, usually return for the annual event.
This year the organizers are focusing on refurbishing their fleet with new sails, weatherboards and rudders. Maintaining the fleet takes a lot of time energy, and members of the community are invited to help paint, sew, rig and restore these cultural treasures.
The event’s main sponsor, Islandcom, is back to lend a hand to make this year’s festival better than the rest. Make sure you stop by their table to see all their great promotions.
All profits raised from the event go directly back into the community to establish and maintain a variety of youth programs.
In addition to the exciting boat races, this year the event will host a cookout, live music and loads of prizes and giveaways. So pack that cooler, sunscreen and hop on the ferry and join your community at Bambarra for a day of history, culture and fun!
For more information, contact the Middle Caicos Sailing Association or Middle Caicos Co-op for information, getting involved as a volunteer, having the fleet for your event, or on sponsorship at
, or call Daniel Forbes at 232-6132 or Sara Kaufman at 231-4884.
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