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Cassius Moss inspired resurgence of sloop sailing

FRED STURRUP
Nassau Guardian Columnist & Sales Executive
sturrup1504@gmail.com

Published: Jun 18, 2013

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Edon Moss is one of those enterprising natives of Acklins. It seems many who came from out of the bosom of Acklins have been synonymous with proactivity. They are inclined to take charge of situations. There is this flourish that they exude. For some observers, the characteristic is too extravagant.

What can’t be legitimately argued against however is their ability to attract attention. In the history of the island of Acklins, none of its natives have been as flamboyant, grounded in fanfare, as Edon Moss. Of course, he is much better known as Cassius Moss. The loquacious one was a loud and excitable voice for sports during the mid to last years of the 1960s, into the advent year of Independence (1973) and well beyond into the 1980s. In this special independence sports feature, his role in the post-1973 sports era is saluted.

During much of the 10 years prior to 1973, Moss was the biggest boxing highlight figure in the nation. There were those who were better. None though, had the flair of Cassius Moss. None could put fans into the Nassau Stadium like he did. He modeled himself in the ring after the truly great one, Cassius Clay (who later became known more famously as Muhammad Ali). Moss danced around and wore the red tassels adorned on white boxing shoes just like Clay/Ali. More importantly for Moss and the boxing fan base here in The Bahamas, he was boisterous, boastful and self-promoting just like the American heavyweight champion.

The fact that Moss did not win nearly as much as Clay/Ali did, mattered not at all. The fans came to see him get “put in his place” and certainly there were those who wanted him to succeed. His boxing career basically came to an end when Moss suffered a fractured right wrist during a bout. In surgery, a steel piece was inserted.

He made one unsuccessful attempt to return to boxing, but had to give it up. Boxing’s loss was a big gain for sloop sailing. Not to be deterred by the injury that left him incapable of being a fit opponent in the ring or continuing to appropriately turn the stiff steering wheel of his truck, he opted for sloop sailing and the security business.

Needless to say, the Acklins’ business zeal enabled him to succeed in security even more so than in the trucking business. As for sports, he was to blaze a new trail in sloop sailing. After him, would come ‘King’ Eric Gibson and Eleazor Johnson (two other Acklins Islanders) to promote sloop sailing, but it was Cassius Moss who led the way. He built the ‘A’ Class Sea Plague and transferred his

loquaciousness from boxing to sloop sailing. He packed Montagu Bay whenever his boat sailed.

He inspired the influx of Johnson, Gibson and many others who felt they could do just as well in boosting the sport. There were no others like Cassius Moss however. He was unique, whether with the Sea Plague or the Flying Eagle. He made his mark and is due far more credit than he gets for cementing the resurgence of sloop sailing in the country. Some of his highlights include being honored at the 1975 Family Island regatta as the leading sailing light from Acklins as a participant of the national water sport extravaganza; and capturing the Royal Race during the visit of Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II in 1895.

In the last two decades, his presence in sloop sailing has been infrequent but what he did to make the sport easily the most popular pastime in the country was immeasurable. It is fitting to pay tribute to his contributions to sports development during the past 40 years of independence. The Bahamian sporting community is indeed indebted to one Edon ‘Cassius’ Moss.

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