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ST. THOMAS — Bragging rights was not the only reward of victory that the two Tortola boaters who participated in the 2018 boat race competition on the St. Thomas waterfront walked away with on Sunday. They also took home a $15,000 reward as part of the annual event’s first Governor’s Cup race, which included Governor Kenneth Mapp presenting winners of the race with the check.
The race has been a long-running tradition that comes as part of the Virgin Islands Carnival panoply of events, according to Bobby Thomas, the carnival committee’s vice chairman. But the Governor’s Cup was the first of its kind, and came about after the committee was approached by the boaters with the idea; the committee in turn approached the Office of the Governor with it, which in turn — in a matter of weeks, according to Mr. Thomas — made the competition possible.
“It was a complete success,” Mr. Thomas said.
Indeed it was. The waterfront was lined with vendors along with Virgin Islanders and visitors, all enjoying the hours-long family affair on Sunday. Deejays and bands kept the mood lively, and gubernatorial candidates, among them Angel Dawson and Albert Bryan, made their rounds as has been custom.
Not to be outdone, Governor Kenneth Mapp, while making the check presentation, likened the upcoming political campaigning season to the results of Sunday’s boat race competition, where competitors could not match the winners’ boat. He said his opponents had better not come into the race with engines not worthy of racing because they would be crushed.
On a more seroius note, the governor thanked members of his office, the Virgin Islands Lottery and the V.I. Carnival Committee for making the event possible.
Eventgoers lingered on the waterfront hours after the competition had concluded, dancing and interacting, with some staying in town until the Carnival Village opened.
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