Flotilla Supporters Pack Hansen Bay Beach, Raise $12K for GBS


GBS students Khaden Daniels, Todd George and Wadari Powell, below, and GBS students and Ital Anthony, above, enjoy the sail aboard Silver Cloud.

Despite a land dispute between property owners of the beach, the 18th Annual Flotilla to support Guy Benjamin School drew a huge crowd to Hansen Bay on the island’s East End on Saturday afternoon, March 22.

Hosted by the Coral Bay Yacht Club, the Flotilla featured a day sail, DJ music and great food while raising money for the small, Coral Bay public elementary school GBS.

Students in the school get to sail to the party aboard the Coral Bay Tall Ship Silver Cloud thanks to the generous Captain Elliot Hooper. This year three GBS students even steered the 100-foot long schooner off its anchor as she made her way to the beach party. En route, Delroy “Ital” Anthony entertained the students with music and drumming.

About 20 CBYC members sailed their boats over to the beach from Coral Bay harbor, offering a great deal, $40, for residents to hop aboard with all proceeds going to the school. Other attendees were welcome to drive to the beach and pay a $20 entry fee, where a huge spread of local treats from BBQ ribs to stewed chicken and fresh grilled hamburgers and hot dogs were enticing.

Attendance tickets coupled with raffle ticket sales — for the chance to win $500 cash or a weekend stay at Estate Concordia Eco-resort — helped the event raise about $12,000 for GBS.

Enjoying the day under sunny skies, many attendees were trying not to let the obvious tension between the Hansen Bay Beach landowners put a damper on the event.

With permission from one of the two feuding property owners to host the party, CBYC officials were prepared with their own tent and benches, which were all put to use. All of the benches on the western end of the beach were tagged with “Private Property” signs which numerous people said they were asked not to use by the adjacent landowner who was also in attendance.

Seemingly oblivious to the tension on land, GBS students, family members and supporters splashed in the waves and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the beach where a DJ kept the vibe upbeat all day.

Before sailing away and driving home, CBYC official pulled the winning raffle tickets with Jim Kujawa of Kiote Sails winning the weekend at Concordia and Skinny Legs owner Doug Bean winning the cash prize.