If ever an event deserved to be revived, it was Nassau Speed Weeks – originally held 1954 - 1966 with names like Hill, McLaren, Penske and, of course, Moss featuring on the trophies. A high-octane end of season ‘play-off’ in the sun between the Americans and Europeans who met for some serious racing and even more serious partying! And so, a full two years after the Bahamas Speed Week Revival was conceived, ‘battle’ recommenced – although this time the race was on as much to see who could have the best time as well as record it! At the forefront of this mission was Speed Week Patron Sir Stirling Moss who maintained “In my day I went to race and the others to party – I think in 2011 it may be the other way around”!
When the Governor General flagged the cars away on the opening day, the enthusiasm of the Entrants was plain to see as they ‘ganged up’ on the lead camera car on the circuit running through the Arawak Cay Heritage Village so it wasn’t long before their laps were completed and they were enjoying a traditional Fish Fry Cook-Out whilst demonstrating some flamboyant moves in ‘harmony’ in with the Junkanoo celebration – fuelled by local tipple ‘Sky Juice’.
At that evening’s Welcome Reception the Entrants enjoyed the hospitality of Patrons Sir Arthur and Lady Foulkes at the beautiful colonial-style Government House, former home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor following his abdication as King Edwards VIII. A wonderful setting to round off Speed Week’s opening day and whet the appetite for the days to follow.
Thursday provided the opportunity for some high-speed sightseeing en-route to Lyford Cay (home to Sir Sean Connery) which provided a fabulous backdrop to the Concours followed by a superb lunch. Top honours went to Walmart boss Rob Walton’s gorgeous, original Speed Week, Maserati 450S. One of the joys of Speed Week is the opportunity to drive race cars on the road and the police outriders saw to it that no junction, traffic light, one-way system or speed limit impeded the convoy on its equally-scenic cross-island return to the paddock.
The day finished with the Garzaroli family throwing open the doors of the renowned Graycliff, boasting the world’s third best wine-cellar, for yet more imbibing.On Friday evening and after more road closures, an appreciative audience greeted the cars in downtown ‘colonial’ Nassau with its high-end retailers. With more hospitality and late-night opening, Entrants and credit cards alike felt a little ‘fragile’ the next day.
Saturday appealed to the competitive nature of the Entrants with the scenic but challenging Fort Charlotte Hillclimb and stories abounded over the dinner table at that evening’s Charity Gala Ball at which nearly $50,000 was raised for local charities by an Auction of Promises.
With adrenalin overcoming hangover on Sunday many went back into ‘battle’, this time on the full circuit, whilst some opted for swift ‘Sunday passenger rides’ without pressure from a stopwatch. Both camps having as many runs and as much fun as they could handle.
The success of the inaugural Speed Week Revival has spawned a repeat, scheduled for 28th November – 2nd December 2012. As well as a number of original Entrants pledging to return, most of the 2011 Partners have already committed to 2012, some even negotiating multi-year deals.
If your interest has been sparked too, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7710 877770 to learn more and to get your name on a list that will ultimately be limited to 60.