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Cannonier joins the festivities at Non-Mariners race

An improvised flotilla took over Mangrove Bay as the 41st annual Non-Mariners Race brought the Cup Match holiday to a colourful close.

Premier Craig Cannonier showed he could take a joke at his own expense, by joining the crew of a winning float poking fun at him.

In keeping with tradition, yesterday's non-race began a little later than the official time of 1.07pm and 33 seconds — and entrants opted for a special brand of political satire.

“Let's just hope it floats,” a member of the Mariners Rugby Club told The Royal Gazette, as the aeroplane-shaped ‘Cannonair' — lambasting Mr Cannonier's ‘Jetgate' quandary was assembled on the beach, complete with propeller and wings.

Nearby, Jade Ingham and Kelly Winfield were hard at work on their makeshift fast ferry.

“The engine alone cost us $45,000,” Ms Winfield said, dubbing the boat of pallets and empty bottles ‘De Quacken Ferry'.

Added Ms Ingham: “It's got two flippers, and one paddle. We used only the best parts.”

First-time non-mariner Captain Ray-Ray surveyed a tribute to Progressive Labour Party MP David Burt's recent BurtBliss Swizzle embarrassment: the HMS Bootlegger's Bliss, built of pallets, Tupperware and inflatable bottles of rum.

“This was kind of a this-morning thing,” the non-Captain admitted, hoisting a spray-painted Jolly Roger flag.

Tradition dictates that the vessels must be assembled at the shoreline — and non-judges of the event are more concerned with how well the vessel sinks than its actual performance.

With this in mind, a contestant calling himself Withnail Punch assembled a small craft, the ‘Game of Floats', that was purposely upside-down.

“If it's already capsized, you can't capsize again,” he said.

A group called the March on Non-Mariners prepared to demand the resignation of the event's non-committee.

“We're here to protest for cheaper fish sandwiches,” one said. “We'll also be accusing the judges of corruption, after we bribe them.

“We've been competing since 2005, and have been involved in such rafts as the Transparent Government, which was opaque, and the Spouse of Bermudians Riff-Raft, which had foreign brides on board with their Bermudian husbands.”

Officially, the Non-Penguin Fly Past signalled the start of the race, watched by hundreds gathered on boats and along the shoreline.

Wearing a helmet made from a watermelon, Mr Cannonier made an appearance on board the ‘Cannonair' to spin its propeller.

In the end, the vessel — captained by Tony Ward — took first place in the non-race.

Coming second was the ‘Lion Fish' — followed by the HMS Bootlegger's Bliss.

Premier Craig Cannonier shows he can take a joke at the annual Non-Mariners Race at Mangrove Bay, yesterday when he put on a watermelon as a helmet and pretended to turn the propellers to the float “Cannonair”. Mariners Rugby Club satirised the “Jetgate” controversy of Premier Cannonier and Attorney General Mark Pettingill. For more pictures of the Non-Mariners Race click here

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Published August 05, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 06, 2013 at 11:48 am)

Cannonier joins the festivities at Non-Mariners race

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