2015 Water Gear, Wind & Great Times In An Island Paradise - Part I
Part I of the 2015 Pryde Group Americas Product Presentation - Bootleggers Bash, Old Bahama Bay, West End, Grand Bahama Island
Pryde Group Americas (PGA) had its annual dealer meeting and 2015 gear presentation in West End, Grand Bahama this year. These are marvelous, fun events made even better with a hands on introduction to gear for the new model year. Over 110 people came from 9 countries, representing 38 dealers to see what new gear was online for 2015.
PGA presented products from the following brands are at the event:
It all took place at Old Bahama Bay, West End, Grand Bahama. This used to be Jack Tar Village from 1960 until closed in the early 1990's. It was gradually redeveloped with Old Bahama Bay starting in 1999. Photo by Sergio Bacic as Sky King JP Robinson buzzed the beach bound for Florida.
Getting into the swing of the place on island time and looking good!
This first write up is to convey a feeling for the people, place and moment, lifestyle stuff in short. It was a marvelous event and bringing that out should be easy as well as fun. There are "secrets" from the new 2015 model year lurking in my photo archives which shouldn't see the light of day until products are rolled out sometime around August 1. So, if you see something monochromed out, shopp'd over or otherwise messed with, that is why.
Be sure to checkout all the installments on this marvelous event:
2015 Water Gear, Wind & Great Times In An Island Paradise - Part I
2015 Water Gear, Wind & Great Times In An Island Paradise - Part II
2015 Cabrinha Gear From The Bahamas - Overview, Radar, Switchblade, Drifter - I & II
2015 Cabrinha Gear From The Bahamas - Contra, Chaos & Velocity Kites - III
2015 Cabrinha Gear From The Bahamas - Kiteboards - IV
All this gear didn't magically appear on the beach. Captain Kent and Maui dog paddled a raft of boards ashore.
Home sweet home for the event with all that nice gear to try. There was a lot of brand new 2015 equipment too including:
30 windsurfing boards
60 SUP boards and a good deal more.
All this was fit into a 40 ft. and another 20 ft. shipping container for transport from Miami to Grand Bahama Island and the meeting venue.
A big part of the product presentation is to allow the dealers to take the gear out and get a feel for things. Bryan helps out landing a kite out of dozens ready to try.
West End, Grand Bahama like Nassau and parts of Florida thrived with the incredible "gold rush" that came with Prohibition under the Volstad Act (1920 to 1933). Tremendous quantities of liquor were imported and stockpiled in parts of the Bahamas, pending loading on to ships and being transported across the Straits of Florida. Off Florida, smaller fast craft or taxis when load the "hams" of burlap wrapped bottles of six for the last leg to land. More at http://www.uscg.mil/history/uscghist...hoto_Index.asp
You can read more about rum running in and around the Bahamas at:
The Brazilian partners are out in force as always. It is great to see so many familiar faces, even a gorgeous brand new one!
Present day Old Bahama Bay
The opening dinner for the meeting goes off on the beach.
Kent introduces Patrick Pender, the Managing Director of Neil Pryde, Ltd. (NPL).
Patrick Pender provides a look ahead.
Jeremy in from Jupiter
Todd and Steve wave bye bye as another kite goes to sea.
The product presentations kickoff and Kent dons his dignified Captain of Industry mien, uh sort of.
It isn't all about forbidden hooch, desperate times at sea and trying to slip contraband past the man. Those days, involving liquor anyway, are well in the past. Today, there's legal booze, even Legal Rum such as this fine tipple from Key West. Long time Cabrinha team kiteboarder, Chef and now distiller Paul Menta has thrown his hand into the concoction of drinking spirits. This is his distillery in the former Coca-Cola plant in Old Town, Cayo Hueso. His bottles induced more than a little rumbustion at this excellent island event. https://www.facebook.com/ChefDistilled
Paul cures his barrels submerged in saltwater for that special taste.
Some of Paul's finest on the diving platform of the Sleepwalker.
Lest I forget, we actually had WIND for this early June event, true story! Each day was rideable although some days were finer than others. The winds on Monday went into the mid 20's at times. An absurd quantity of spanking new gear to checkout with lots of wind to go with, excellent!
Pete Cabrinha presents his kiteboarding gear lineup for 2015.
A look back at life on the island
I was able to get out and checkout some of the adjoining islands within a few miles north of Old Bahama Bay. Here I'm blasting along the lee shore in blue water butter. Tom Dunfee had an interesting encounter with a 1000 lb. tiger shark taking out and devouring a 400 lb. turtle about a 1/4 mile west of here I learned later on this day. Well, world famous Tiger Beach isn't too far from this area. Lots of big tiburons in these waters, although I never saw any when I was out.
These guys are photographed so much at tiger beach, they actually smile now and say, "will you be my chum?" http://i.telegraph.co.uk/
A chart of Old Bahama Bay and the adjoining islands to the north. A fun kiting ground, tiger sharks like it too?
Audrey checks out a new SUP board.
Pete and Dave, epic watermen from way back complete the scene.
Dave Kalama put on superb SUP clinics each morning with paddle right after to hone the new skills. Damo LeRoy shot this excellent Quadcopter image of the folks paddling through the marina.
Windsurfing gear central, pick a rig and go!
People came to the island by different means. Naturally Dave Kalama and Adam Cumming of Imagine Paddle Surf, motivated along in the wake of Sleepwalker.
The USCG Base in my hometown of Ft. Lauderdale circa 1926 with a seized smuggler at the dock by present day Bahia Mar.
Kent shows off a local suds favorite, "Bush Crack" beer from the Sands Brewing Company. Well the name does sound funny, but what does it mean??? I called the brewery came away uncertain and proceeded to interview Bahamians all over Grand Bahama and New Providence for their take on the meaning. I came up with two variants. The first, from "Bush Crack, Mon Gone," derives from a popular 1970's Calypso song by King Eric and His Knights. I was told it describes a situation, like, some mon is having it on with some mon's wife. The mon, he come home at da door, da otter mon, he at da window. And, boom, "Bush Crack, Mon Gone!" Some on New Providence said Bush Crack merely means crazy, fooling around. The second does fit with falling under the influence of island suds. So, what does it really mean, you decide!
Maui, well drinks like a dog, naturally enough. Kent sets up to document the event, when will she take a pull?
Sometimes the rum runners were undone by the authorities, hijacking by other criminals or by the sea itself.
Damo goes over a kiting technique
Mosquito and daughter
Ok now, repeat after me ... Imagine --- Rum, repeat. Get it?
Indian Cay, the first island to the north of Old Bahama Bay
A Junkanoo troup descends on the party and get things rev'd up nicely!
Jan from Naples rips
Damo LeRoy captured a great perspective shot of all the participants and all the gear brought to this excellent event from a quadcopter.
CONTINUED in Part II at:
NB - Kent suggested I help myself to images on his Facebook page for which I am indebted having missed out on some of the more excellent party sequences. My thanks go out to those photographers who posted that content on Kent's page.
Last edited by RickI; 09-08-2014 at 01:03 PM.
Just like Christmas, the annual Pryde Group Americas dealer meeting is rolling around again with all the promise of great gear and fun times in 2016! Let's take a look back at last year's meeting at Old Bahama Bay, GBI in the northwestern Bahamas with this first installment.