Plans on stream for Bartica Regatta By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
March 28, 2004

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Plans are well on stream for the staging of the 2004 Bartica Easter Regatta and Miss Bartica Beauty Pageant, billed for April 10 to 12.

Speaking to Stabroek Sport yesterday, Regional Chairman Region Seven Gordon Bradford said a new committee comprising United States-based and local Barticians has been put in place to organise this year's activity, which attracts thousands of visitors to the `gateway to the hinterland'.

The annual regatta will get underway on Saturday, April 10 with the football finals at the Bartica Community Centre ground.

A Street Jam and Glow Fete are also planned for Saturday night and everyone attending is asked to wear white clothing.

The river swim from Kaow Island to the Regatta Pavilion is billed for 6 am on Sunday, April 11, while a road race is planned for 7 am around the Bartica community.

At 8 pm also on Sunday, the Miss Bartica Regatta Beauty Pageant will be staged at the Bartica Community Centre ground. On Easter Monday, April 12, there will be a Bartica Reunion Soak Fete at the Regatta Pavilion and persons wishing to attend this activity are being warned that they will be soaked with water from the Mazaruni River.

According to Bradford, over 100 overseas-based Barticians are expected home for the Easter weekend activity and 60 have already confirmed their visit, having already purchased their airline tickets.

Bradford said over the years, the activity has been successful in terms of content and not profit, "because sponsorship for all the events were lacking, so when it is over, monies had to be paid out for expenses incurred and as such, a profit was not made. However, this year, we have received sponsorship for almost all the events, so there is every possibility that we'll see a profit."

The chairman was quick to add that "though the committee does not show a financial profit, if one should do a survey with the business community in Bartica they will see everyone makes a profit, the hotels, bars, buses, speedboats etc. So when one looks at this aspect you see the benefit regatta brings to the community."

According to Bradford, sponsorship has already been acquired for most of the ten boat races as well as most of the delegates for the pageant. "We hope by weekend to acquire all the sponsorship we need to make the activity a success."

US-based Bartician Elton Washington who heads the US committee is currently in the process of getting some decorations and other things that are needed for the activity cleared from a city wharf.

With regard to persons travelling to Bartica for the activity, Bradford has assured that the Transport and Harbours Department will put on a special steamer to transport passengers to and from Bartica.

"As for persons wishing to travel by speed boat, we had several meetings with the speed boat owners and they have all agreed to keep their price minimal [$1500]. The boats' pilots will be decked out with special T-shirts marked 2K4, compliments of the US group, so persons using this service can look out for them.

They are the official boats and we hope this will bring some semblance of order to the transportation problem," Bradford stated. "It has been kind of embarrassing to the Bartica community and the region as a whole over the years when boat owners increase their prices."

Bradford assured persons wishing to travel to Bartica overland that they can do so, but he advises that they travel in 4X4 vehicles "They can come in cars but I'm not advising that since the road between Bartica and Sherima is very rough and persons might experience difficulties."

In terms of accommodation, Bradford said all the hotels are completely booked so persons who did not make bookings will have to stay at friends or families.