A week ago, Belize Sailing Association Secretary Alan Usher forwarded to us an e-mail he received from a fellow sailing enthusiast, Eddie Bouloy, which contained a copy of an article which we thought our readers would find interesting. A retired civil servant, Mr. Longsworth presently resides in Belmopan, and we take the liberty of sharing his memoir below:

A bit of sailing history

The Belize Yacht Club had a pavilion built on the sea bed about half a mile in front of, and to right of the now Princess Hotel. It was about forty or more feet square and had two stories. The posts were “botan,” with wooden flooring and zinc roof. It had two bridges, and of course there was a private toilet straight to the Caribbean.

The upper flat was for the officials. My grand uncle and Godfather Alfred Owen Longsworth, Registrar of the Supreme Court, was the official time keeper for over fifty years.

Ernest Bradley, Alan’s father in-law, and brother Gilly of 1st Belize lemonade fame were among the ardent supporters, with others like Hugh Mapp (Mi Dandy), the Eyles brothers, Robbie and Charlie, Abner Westby, Foreman brothers, Arden and ?, Howell Longsworth in Splash 21 ft. V bottom, and my father, Edward Charles Durant Longsworth in Sylvia 18 ft. with centre keel and Macaroni rig, and others who I do not recall. I could sail, and I believe some traits of the ocean life are still a part of me.

There was a race every Sunday. All of them were brilliant skippers.

I cannot recall ever hearing a violent disagreement, although the rivalry was ever present.

I recall swimming to the pavilion often times to be amongst those seafaring sports fans in a sport that was truly “Belizean” led and supported by and large by Creoles in the time of Colonialism.

Baron Bliss Day.

My Father Edward (Togo) set the course for over fifty consecutive years.

I do not remember well, but I think the course for the Sunday races was fixed?