Captain Rolly Gray

Rolly B. Gray was born on Staniel Cay, Exuma, on August 2, 1922, to Richard and Blanch Gray. He was educated at The Public School at Staniel Cay. At an early age he and other little boys of Staniel Cay became involved in boat racing. If all began with The “CAMALAMI” boat which They hand carved from CAMALAMI wood and rigged with cotton line and a flour bag for a sail! While still a youngster he elevated himself To The sailing of a ‘C CLASS’ dinghy boat, which he built himself.

AT age 28 he met and married Maggie Bodie of Black Point, Exuma. To This union came forth four boys and four girls. In 1954, at age 36, he again elevated himself to the ‘A Class’ racing sleep and entered The first “Out Island Regatta” organized by Mr. Linton Rigg and some of The local seamen from The George Town, Exuma, area. As most of you knew, Rolly won that ‘A Class’  championship race and became the first and youngest captain To sail in That Regatta. This chain of championships lasted for 11 years. The first race was won in a sleep called The “Marie”. His second Championship was won in a sleep called the “Lady Muriel” and the remainder were won in the famous “Tida Wave’. For The record the following is a list of his achievements in The field of sleep racing:

In 1954 he won first place in “The Marie” in George Town. In 1959 he won first place in The Regatta in The “Lady Muriel” . In T9o9—l98o he won first place in The “Tida Wave” in George Town in Class ‘A’. In 1960. 1961, 1966, he won second place in The ‘Lady Muriel” and In 198l he also won second In The Tida Wave. In The ‘Class B” section in 1977 he wen first place in 1977 sailing The “Foxy Lady”. In “C Class” Sailing he had 7 first place finishes on The Sea Hound in George Town and 2 first place finishes in The Spray Hound .

In total Rolly reigns as champion of the Regatta for some 21 years. Who else can boast of such a record.

In 1980 Rolly won The Marlboro Championship of sailors in Montague Bay, Nassau. Bahamas. Other Awards include: The 1977 Certificate of Honour.

In 1980 he won The Ministry of Tourism’s Outstanding Achievement and Community Work Award from the Government and people of the Bahamas. In 1982 he was honored by The Staniel Cay Development Association During a banquet in his honor for his contribution to the sport of boat racing In the Bahamas. In 1983 he also received the Member of The British Empire Award From Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year’s Day Honors. These feats could not have been accomplished without the competent assistance of his reliable crew(s) and we say “Well done, Rolly, Well Done”.

 

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A Poem

The Exumas
Sail her down, sail her down,
Sail her down to George Town.
Highborne Cay the first: we see,
Yellow Bank is by the lee.
Harvey Cay is in the moon,
Farmers Gay is coming soon.
Now we come to Galliot,

Out in the ocean we must go,
Children’s Bay is passing fast,
Stocking Island came at last.
Nassau gal is all behind,
George Town gal is on my mind.
A wiggle and a giggle and a jamboree,
Great Exuma is the place for me!

Exuma Islands Poem

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