Experience a tradition like no other! Celebrate the end of tourist season with the locals of Oak Island at the Annual Stede Bonnet Regatta in Southport on Saturday, October 28th.
So who exactly is Stede Bonnet? Stede Bonnet, also known as the “Gentleman Pirate”, was a landowner before deciding to take up piracy and sailed for a short period of time in 1717 and 1718, even sailing with the legendary Blackbeard for a few months in late 1717. He was pardoned in 1718 and received clearance to sail as a privateer; he sailed under the name “Captain Thomas” during this brief time but couldn’t resist the call of piracy and returned to that life in the summer of 1718. By the end of August of that year, his ship was moored in the Cape Fear River for repairs, where a naval expedition authorized by the SC governor later found his ship and engaged him in battle. Overwhelmed, his crew surrendered and they were all arrested and taken into custody in Charles Town (now Charleston, SC). Bonnet escaped almost a month later at the end of October but was soon recaptured on Sullivan’s Island, SC. He was found guilty at his trial in November and executed in December.
Beware: ships sailing in the Stede Bonnet Regatta have only one rule to follow: captain and crew must dress accordingly in pirate gear.
Have ye a ship to sail? Reach out to the Provision Company to enter. Captain's meetin' begins at 10 a.m.
Sponsored by the Provision Company, the race starts at 1:00 p.m. Watch the excitement unfold and see who bests their competitors and comes out the victor! Then, join the afterparty at 5 p.m. for food, drinks, music, and fun! Arrrr you rrrready, matey?