The Bartica Development Business Association (BDBA), the new organiser of the Bartica Regatta, is working assiduously to ensure that this year’s event will be memorable.
Towards this end, the BDBA, which won the franchise last month, says an appearance by Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam is planned for the Miss Bartica Regatta Pageant.
The BDBA comprises prominent businessmen and women, including Ramcharran Boodhoo, who serves as the President of the group, Eon Williams, and champion racer Dave Persaud, known as Dave Scott and several of them told Stabroek News last Thursday that significant changes have been made to the regular Regatta programme in order to create an experience that all Barticians can be proud of.
The changes include the rescheduling of the pageant from Sunday to Saturday on the Easter weekend, since the closing off the beach to facilitate the pageant has proven to be counterproductive to the sales and entertainment aspect of the event.
In addition to that, international racers from Trinidad and possibly Canada and the United States are also expected to participate in this year’s Regatta. Also new to this year’s list of activities are a gymkhana event, boxing and novelty competitions, such as a roti eating and talent contests.
According to Holbert Knights, Chairman of the Regatta Committee, there are also plans to build a stage to ensure a better viewing experience for audiences of the concerts planned over the weekend.
However, it was noted that a lot of what has been planned for this year is heavily dependent on the funding received, most of which comes from sponsors of the event.
Commenting on the fact that this would be the first time the association has been selected to spearhead the activity, Williams said, “This our opportunity to put a business spin on the organising of the Regatta. We want to expand it to include new activities so as to ensure that the people who come here that they are fully entertained during that period.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor of Bartica Kamal Persaud said, “It’s a festival in Bartica where everybody is involved; Barticians living outside of Bartica come home for this, it’s more home than at Christmas time.”
“It’s that time of the year in our local calendar that Barticians are most proud of because it’s the time we really come alive and we are able to showcase what the community is made up of, which is very warm and hospitable peoples, a very safe environment and the natural scenery in and around Bartica. You are not coming for plain boat racing, you are coming for a spectacular experience,” she added.