Linton Rigg

Back in 1954 when the very first Out Island Regatta was organized, there were only a few people who could pull off the fantastical event.

J. Linton Rigg was one of them.

A retired yachtsman and realtor, Rigg was born in Jamaica in 1900, the son of the Anglican Bishop of that Country.

During the 1920s and 1930s when Linton Rigg was in the yacht brokerage business in New York, he acquired a reputation as a skillful skipper in offshore yacht racing, often plying the water of the Hudson River was commendable dexterity.

When he retired to Goat Cay in Exuma in the early 1950s, Elizabeth Harbor was irresistibly attractive.  He became busy as an early promoter of George Town as a tourist destination.  Many of those attracted came by yacht, and with Linton’s love of sailing he eagerly joined some of those Americans and Bahamian enthusiasts in organizing the first regatta.

Today, those remember him say that he cultivated a romance with George Town which was translated into many of the positive features of that Island Capital still in existence.

His crowning monument, however, was and remains the Out Island Regatta, which still is the sporting and cultural and social centerpiece of the Exumas.

Now named the Family Island Regatta, it still bears J, Linton Rigg’s signature insofar as rules and regulations go.

A crusty character who knew all the right people both in the Bahamas and abroad to supply the necessary financial and other support for the regatta, Linton never failed to capitalize on that capacity.

That first regatta he organized in 1954 attracted many Bahamian workboats, and had the effect of forcing Bahamian seamen to pay closer attention to their working sailing craft.

After some years on the George Town scene, however, the sea once more call to Linton Rigg.  He could not resist the briny wanderlust, and in the early 1960s he sold his home on Goat Cay and headed south towards the horizon.

He piloted his own boat extensively through the Grenadines, a group of islets north of Saint Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean and part of that country.

There he operated the Mermaid Inn and, naturally, organized the first work boat regatta in that area.

J.  Linton Rigg died in Carriacou in 1981.

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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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