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Bermuda's 2017 June History and Newspaper Reports

Events that made newspaper headlines in the sixth month of this calendar year

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online

Bermuda news this month

Benefits of website linkage to Bermuda Online

Admiral Sir George Somers, Bermuda 1609 Artists who painted Bermuda Bermuda, Britain & Commonwealth
Bermuda & Canada Bermuda & France Bermuda & USA
Bermuda's postage stamps Historic Houses History 1500 to 1699
History 1700 to 1799 History 1800 to 1899 History 1900 to 1939 pre-war
History 1939 to 1951 History 1952 to 1999 History  2000 to 2005
History 2006 Part 1 History 2006 Part 2 History 2007 Jan and Feb
History 2007 March History 2007 April History 2007 May
History 2007 June 1-15th History 2007 June 16 to 30th History 2007 July 1-15
History 2007 July 16th to 31st History 2007 August 1 to 7 History 2007 August 8 to 14
History 2007 August 15 to 21 History 2007 August 22-31 History 2007 September 1 to 10
History 2007 September 11 to December 31 History 2008 to 2010 History 2011 through 2012
History 2013 History 2014 part 1 History 2014 part 2
History 2015 January History 2015 February History 2015 March
History 2015 April History 2015 May History 2015 June
History 2015 July History 2015 August History 2015 September
History 2015 October History 2015 November History 2015 December
History 2016 January History 2016 February History 2016 March
History 2016 April History 2016 May History 2016 June
History 2016 July History 2016 August History 2016 September
History 2016 October History 2016 November History 2016 December
History 2017 January History 2017 February History 2017 March
History 2017 April History 2017 May History 2017 June
History 2017 July History 2017 August  

Bermuda's Royal Gazette newspaper is not published on Sundays or Public Holidays.

June 30. Bermuda’s hopes of hosting an event during the build up to the 36th America’s Cup appear to have been scuttled. Matteo de Nora, the Emirates Team New Zealand principal, has confirmed that the next instalment of the “Auld Mug” will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, and that a series of lead-up events will be hosted “by those countries that participate in the Cup”. Bermuda hosted the 35th America’s Cup on the Great Sound and a leg of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in 2015. There had been optimism that Bermuda may get another opportunity to host an event on a par with the World Series after Team New Zealand defeated Oracle Team USA, the two-times defending champions, 7-1 in the America’s Cup Match this week. But that seems to have been dashed in the wake of De Nora’s announcement in an interview with Italian paper La Stampa in which he also emphasized increased nationality rules for participating teams and a move to have the America’s Cup return to free-to-air television. Italian syndicate Luna Rossa has been confirmed as the challenger of record for the 36th America’s Cup and will work out the framework for the next event with Team New Zealand. However, it remains to be seen what class racing yacht will be sailed at the next America’s Cup. When probed on the matter, De Nora said that the Cup would hold interest even if it was raced in “steam boats” and raised concerns over potential new syndicates being “scared off” because the technology race with the foiling catamarans had become so far advanced. “If catamarans remain, we should ask this question: Why a new team would join the Cup with rivals that are already five years ahead in the boat development?” De Nora said. Luna Rossa pulled out of the 35th America’s Cup, criticizing decisions by organisers as unprecedented and illegitimate after the size of the racing catamarans was reduced for the second time in less than a year. Team New Zealand also voted against the controversial proposal. The America’s Cup class rules could be changed only by unanimous consent, but Oracle led an amendment to change the class rule to a majority vote, which saw Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand overruled.

June 30. Emirates Team New Zealand paid a moving tribute to Mary Elizabeth McKee, the New Zealander who lost her life in a boat collision on the eve of the 35th America’s Cup. Mrs McKee, 62, was killed when the Zodiac she was travelling in was involved in a crash with a 17ft boat driven by a 26-year-old Bermuda resident in Hamilton Harbour on May 25. Two men also travelling in the Zodiac, including Mrs McKee’s husband Arthur, suffered serious injuries in the crash shortly before 11pm. Mr McKee and his wife were described as keen and experienced sailors and had travelled to the island to support Team New Zealand who were successful in their bid to win the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, described the tragedy as “incredibly sad” and revealed how he and his team-mates paid their respects to their late compatriot .“It was obviously incredibly sad time with the tragedy in Hamilton,” Mr Burling, the youngest helmsman to win the America’s Cup, said. “We all wore black armbands on our sleeves that day and it’s just really sad when someone’s life gets cut short like that.” According to police, the 26-year-old Bermuda resident was driving a boat from the Front Street Ferry Terminal towards White’s Island when it collided with the 9ft Zodiac. The three people travelling in the Zodiac were thrown overboard. The Bermuda resident was arrested on suspicion of impaired operation of a watercraft. He provided breath samples and passed the test, police said, and has since been released on bail “with strict conditions”. In the wake of the tragedy, Ralph Richardson, the Bermuda Water Safety Council chairman, stressed the need for boaters to exercise “extreme caution” when out at night. Challenger Team New Zealand beat defender Oracle Team USA 7-1 in the America’s Cup final, the country’s third triumph overall in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.

June 30. Acquisitions are on the agenda for American International Group under new chief executive officer Brian Duperreault. Speaking after the company’s annual shareholders meeting in New York on Wednesday, Mr Duperreault said: “I’d love to find great additions to the company. I think the important thing is that we look at companies that can make us better.” He said he might scale back share buy-backs and use excess capital for acquisitions. That would be a change of direction for the company, which last year embarked on a two-year plan to buy back $25 billion in shares by the end of 2017. The scheme, which was instigated by former CEO John Hancock, has returned $18.1 billion to date. Bermudian-born Mr Duperreault was appointed CEO of AIG in May. He previously worked for the company between 1973 and 1994, before going on to lead Ace Ltd, now Chubb. After retiring in 2006, he returned to head Marsh & McLennan Companies, the second-largest insurance broker in the world. Then in 2013, he founded Bermudian-based Hamilton Insurance Group with New York-based Two Sigma Investments. His extensive background in the sector, and his long association with AIG, made him the favourite choice to lead the giant insurance company as it continues to recover from the impact of the global financial crises of 2008.And Mr Duperreault’s popularity with shareholders was clearly indicated in the result of the shareholders’ vote for the election of directors on Wednesday. He attracted the most votes in favour, some 743 million, and the least votes against at 467,732.AIG has a global workforce of about 56,000 and a market capitalisation of $58.5 billion.

June 30. The Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities is working to secure new air routes for the island, according to the junior minister for the portfolio. Kenneth Bascome said that the ministry had been “working closely” with the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Skyport to secure new air routes, including from the United States and Europe. “These conversations are becoming easier since Bermuda is back on the map with new hotels and greater lift,” Mr Bascome said. “JetBlue’s commitment this year has played a big part.” According to a release issued by the ministry, May air arrivals jumped by close to 24 per cent in two years. The number of air vacation and leisure arrivals for the first five months of 2017 are 29 per cent higher than two years ago, the release said. “These numbers reflect the hard work of the BTA, which the OBA Government had the foresight to create,” Mr Bascome said. “These numbers show that Bermuda’s tourism product is once again becoming a major and important part of the economic contribution to Bermuda." In response, the Progressive Labour Party sent out a press release last night branding Mr Bascome’s statement as “vague” asking what new airlines he was referring to. The statement criticised the One Bermuda Alliance “lengthy record of broken promises adding: “It is difficult to take news of ‘potential’ anything seriously." At this stage, it is clear that they will say anything or do anything to erase or distract from an overall record of failure and neglect of the island’s unemployed, our youth and our seniors.”

June 30. The Customs Department has issued a warning after a number of online posts advertising the sale of goods imported free of duty. In a statement this afternoon, a spokesman for the Department said: “We would like to remind persons who have imported goods with the benefit of duty relief of their obligation to make prior application to customs to sell or donate such goods. The collector may approve sale or donation of such goods on payment of the outstanding import duty. Failure to obtain approval to divert restricted duty free goods to home use may result in a monetary penalty being imposed on the seller and seizure of the goods in question from the buyer.” Those who are interested in selling or donating duty relieved goods are encouraged to contact customs at customs@gov.bm, with the spokesman adding: “Dedicated customs officers are standing by to process diversion applications speedily.”

June 30. The One Bermuda Alliance has rolled out its final candidates ahead of next month’s General Election. Lynne Woolridge, the OBA chairwoman, will vie for Pembroke East Central; Andrea Moniz-DeSouza, the Honorary Portuguese Consul, will run in St David’s; Southampton East will be contested by hospitality worker Winfield Todd; and Ed Bailey, the lawyer and former United Bermuda Party MP, will challenge in Sandys South Central. All four will be up against incumbent Progressive Labour Party MPs who won comfortably in the 2012 election. Asked why the candidates were unveiled yesterday and not during earlier roll-outs with other parish representatives, Michael Dunkley, the Premier, said that it was just the way the party liked to “shake it up from time to time. There’s no science to roll-outs. This is the first one inside.” The team, Mr Dunkley said, reflected “the diversity of Bermuda”. He described Ms Woolridge as a “very experienced and well-regarded black professional lady”. Ms Woolridge said the importance of education was instilled in her by her parents. “Our children need a solid education foundation, which I believe is a combination of what they learn at home, as well as what they learn in school,” she said. “It’s truly a village effort with all hands on deck.” She said her experiences — including time spent working in Canada — had helped her appreciated the “value of diversity in thought and appearance”. Mr Dunkley described Ms Moniz-DeSouza as possessing a “deep-seeded passion for our community”. Ms Moniz-DeSouza said her decision to run was “less about politics, and more about giving back to the community”. “I have always had a passion for public service,” she said. Highlighting experience as a candy striper, work with charities and non-profit organisations, and work with the agricultural exhibition committee, Ms Moniz-DeSouza said she prided herself on being someone who is determined and able to get the job done." The most effective way to continue to move forward is to create a better Bermuda for all Bermudians, working together, for the common purpose,” she said. Mr Dunkley introduced Mr Todd as a man at the “forefront of being a tourism ambassador for Bermuda”. Mr Todd said he had worked in the tourism industry for the past six decades, and had done fundraising work for Hope Homes Centre, as well as the hospital. He described himself as a “community person”. “I just welcome this opportunity,” he said. Mr Bailey did not appear at today’s press event. Ms DeSouza will be against Lovitta Foggo, Ms Woolridge against Michael Weeks, Mr Todd against Zane DeSilva and Mr Bailey against Kim Wilson. Candidates for all other seats not already announced will be incumbents, a party spokesman said. They are Mr Dunkley, who will defend against Ernest Peets of the PLP in Smith’s North; Cole Simons against Rose Ann Tucker of the PLP in Smith’s South; Trevor Moniz against Vance Campbell of the PLP in Smith’s West; Patricia Gordon-Pamplin against Emilygail Dill of the PLP in Paget West; and Leah Scott against Quinton Butterfield of the PLP in Southampton East Central.

June 30. The Progressive Labour Party yesterday outlined its commitment to public education and pledged to ring-fence its education budget should it come to power. The party said any money allocated to the education department would stay in the department. The opposition party repeated its promises, including the phasing out of middle schools — a recommendation left over from the 2010 Hopkins Report — to include wi-fi and adequate technology in schools, to improve the safety and infrastructure of school buildings and to focus on academics in tandem with the trades, business, sports and the arts. Shadow education minister Diallo Rabain repeated the party’s commitment to partially fund tuition for students at Bermuda College, but said: “I am not saying that it will be free, but enrolment at the college will soon be a PLP priority.” While Mr Rabain pledged to dedicate “adequate and appropriate funding for Bermuda’s public education system,” he said he was not in a position to provide specifics on the estimated costs of such plans or where those costs would come from. When pushed, he told The Royal Gazette: “I can’t get into, at this point, all of the particulars of those things, but we can give assurances to the people of Bermuda that the PLP will do what needs to be done to ensure that our schools are adequately funded.” Mr Rabain listed well-documented criticisms about the school system under the OBA, including mould and insect infestations and crumbling infrastructure in school buildings, changes of education minister “almost annually”, teachers forking out for supplies and budget cuts. He said: “Governing is about priorities.” Asked whether the problem with school infrastructure had started under the OBA, Mr Rabain said: “The UBP, the PLP and the OBA have not done a good job in education and that also includes building infrastructure. Moving forward, we recognise this and we will put things in place to ensure that our buildings are not only safe for our students to attend, but they will be monitored on a regular basis, with reports published to say that they are safe.” And while Mr Rabain said he welcomed the School Reorganization Report into primary school infrastructure commissioned by former OBA education minister Wayne Scott, he said it “did not go far enough. It only covered primary schools. A comprehensive inspection needs to take place and a policy put in place to ensure they are inspected on an annual basis, that they are healthy and safe.” St David’s candidate, former education minister and teacher Lovitta Foggo, promised to be responsive to the needs of the community. She said: “The PLP is listening, but we will not do that without the help of parents. We will make sure that teachers are involved and we will do it in conjunction with the Bermuda Union of Teachers and all our community partners who have a vested interest in Bermuda’s society and the well-being of Bermuda.” PLP candidate Neville Tyrell made the point that children growing up in a wealthy country such as Bermuda should not be facing such issues. He said: “In a small country like Bermuda, where there is accounting, medicine, law or business, while networking may have got you the interview, it was your education that got you the job. Your performance turned that job into a career and that career gave you a rich quality of life. But in 2017, that is unsustainable because we are just 22 square miles, and if bright, committed, supported students cannot make it in this economy with the wealth and opportunity here, then where else shall they go?”

June 30. Minister of Education Cole Simons defended the OBA Government’s record on funding education, citing multiple investments included in the 2017-18 Budget. The Minister accused the Progressive Labour Party of “providing misinformation” by claiming that the OBA is not committed to the development and education of young Bermudians. Simons said: “The truth is that the Bermuda Government has made, and continues to make, great investments for the benefit of our teachers and students. Do we have it right 100 per cent of the time? No, but the investments we have made represent the optimal commitment given the fiscal pressures we face, particularly with the massive debt burden we carry, now costing more than $180 million a year in debt interest payments.” Mr Simons referred to the 2017-18 Budget estimates, which included increases in salaries and wages for substitute teachers and paraprofessionals, school maintenance and investments in several school properties, and listed the following achievements:

Mr Simons said: “As Minister of Education, I can confirm that the education of our children is fundamental to producing educated, productive and positive citizens. Education is fundamental to the future of the Island, setting the direction we want to go. The education system, therefore, must be one that ensures students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing society. Their progress in learning is strengthened when parents, teachers, principals, support staff and the broader community have a clear understanding of what must be done and what is being done to achieve Bermuda’s chosen future. Our investments this year support the Ministry of Education’s mission to provide strategic leadership, supervision and policy direction that supports effective teaching in an inclusive and progressive learning environment that improves learning and achievement for every child.”

The Royal Gazette will be checking assertions throughout the 2017 General Election campaign.

June 30. The Corporation of Hamilton has posted its 2016 Financial Statements online, showing more than $19.6 million in revenue over expenditure. The bulk of the revenue comes from the de-recognition of the $18 million loan guarantee to Mexico Infrastructure Finance for the failed Par-la-Ville Hotel project. A statement from the municipality stated: “On May 12, 2017, the Court of Appeal upheld the November 2016 Supreme Court ruling that the Corporation had no power to guarantee the loan MIF made to Par-la-Ville Hotel and Residences Ltd to build a hotel on the Par-la-Ville car park.“ The court ruled that in providing the guarantee the Corporation acted ultra vires. Therefore, the guarantee cannot be enforced against the Corporation and the Corporation is not liable for the guaranteed sum of $18 million. The Corporation has, therefore, de-recognized the liability related to the guarantee of $18 million together with previously accrued interest of $752,548.MIF has applied to appeal the ruling to the Privy Council in London, with the Corporation stating that it will fight against the appeal. Revenues for the corporation have increased by $55,000 year-on-year due to income from Goods Wharfage and Dock Charges, which increased by $267,000 and $188,000 respectively. However, those increases were countered by a steep decrease in car parking fees, which fell from $3.3 million in 2015 to $2.8 million last year. Expenses fell by $333,000, with the corporation crediting a decrease in interest and financial charges due to the reversal of accrued interest on the MIF guarantee. A decrease in street resurfacing led to $479,000 in savings.

June 30. The East End now has a newspaper to promote its attractions, shops and heritage to visitors and locals. And the first edition of The St George’s Crown, a free publication, has proved to be popular, with many visitors taking copies back home as a vacation keepsake. The full colour newspaper is a collection of articles about points of interest in the East End, with a focus on stores, activities and the history of the area. Jarae Thompson, 26, is the man behind the publication. He studied graphic design and digital media at the University of Greenwich and London Metropolitan University in England. After completing his degree course, he spent a further year working in London before returning to Bermuda. In order to keep his résumé current while looking for a career opportunity, he embarked on the newspaper project. The idea for such a publication had been floating around among retailers and businesses in St George, among them his mother Kelli Thompson, who owns Saltwater Jewellery Design on Water Street. She said: “Some of the businesses came together because we felt we needed something like this. We all admired Dockyard, with its Dockyard Times, and we said why don’t we do something similar.” Mr Thompson had the skills and the time to make it happen. A number of writers, including Berkeley Institute’s Kaila Harvey, and Suzanne Holshouser, supplied articles. The paper was edited by Emma Ingram, while Mr Thompson designed and laid out the publication’s 16 pages and also took many of the photographs. “It took two weeks to put it together. I used Adobe InDesign software, and I looked at The Royal Gazette and a few other newspapers online to see what they did,” he said. With articles highlighting stores, restaurants and other businesses in the town and surrounding area, The St George’s Crown aims to encouraging visitors and locals to check out what the East End has to offer. Some 3,000 copies were printed in San Francisco and shipped back to Bermuda to be distributed at locations across the island, including shops, hotels and guesthouses. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with many guesthouses calling up for more supplies as visitors have found the publication useful and something they want to keep. Ms Thompson said people have been coming by the shop and saying the newspaper was the most informative and easiest to read of free, visitor-focused publications available on the island. “It has been a fantastic start. So many people are happy that St George’s is coming back.” He said the newspaper puts St George’s on a par with Dockyard. The frequency of the publication is still to be determined. It may be twice-yearly, although Mr Thompson hopes it can be a quarterly newspaper, tying in with the seasons. Much will depend on the level of sponsorship and advertising it can attract. Mr Thompson also does web design, animation, illustration and photography through his business Jarae Thompson Design. 

June 30. A revolutionary amphibious boat has made its debut in Bermuda — thanks to the America’s Cup. And the Sealegs boat — fitted with wheels to allow it to drive in and out of the water and used by emergency services around the world — has already attracted attention from police and the parks department. William Mayhew, who owns Carolina Sealegs in North Carolina, visited the island for AC35 and shipped a Sealegs craft to the island for the event. Mr Mayhew said: “That’s my personal boat, but I am a distributor in the US.” He added a YouTube video of the boat entering and leaving the water at the America’s Cup village attracted more around 1,000 views on the first day it was posted. Mr Mayhew said: “To say it got attention would be an understatement. ”Now he is in talks with a potential local partner to market Sealegs boats for use by the emergency services, Government departments, for private use as leisure craft and commercial use. Mr Mayhew, who returns to the US today, said: “I wanted to bring it down and have my own boat and use — but I haven’t booked a return for it at this point. I thought it would be silly to send it home immediately.” Mr Mayhew’s 22-foot rigid inflatable boat is powered by a 150-horsepower outboard on the water and a 22-horsepower engine using its wheels. Advantages include being able to run it off a ramp or a beach on wheels straight into the water, where the wheels are retracted, allowing it to perform like any other high-speed RIB. Sealegs technology, developed by a New Zealand company 12 years ago, is used by emergency services in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. Mr Mayhew said he had circumnavigated Bermuda in just one hour, 48 minutes and used 39 liters of fuel. He added that one Australian fire service which uses the boat for rescue work estimated they could be on the water 15 minutes faster than using a conventional trailered craft. “In Malaysia, they have started an entire programme using them. People can use them during floods, hurricanes and one of the prime uses is surf rescue. Twenty-three more boats have been ordered in Malaysia, where they’re used in flooding rescue and as patrol boats.” He explained the boats, which have conventional decks, were a better option than jet skis for beach rescue, as people could be treated on board and several people could be carried. “There is enough room to rescue a person, perform CPR and carry multiple people — and with Sealegs you can launch that boat very quickly.” He added: “One of the benefits of these boats is they have to be so strong to drive on land, so once the legs are folded up, they are very strong.” Sealegs operates from its factory and offices in Albany, Auckland. The company makes both amphibious craft and amphibious enablement kits, which boat builders have used with specially adapted hulls to make their boats amphibious. Sealegs has built a total of 1,250 amphibious craft which operate in more than 55 countries around the world.

June 30. The charred remains of the yacht Sum Girl were fished out of Spanish Point yesterday afternoon. Contractors removed what was left of the 51ft hull after it caught fire and sank on Tuesday. Nine fire service vehicles worked for hours to tackle the blaze and smoke from the fire could be seen from both ends of the island. Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources brought nets, skimmers, and absorbent pads to contain and clean the oil spill from the boat. Royal Bermuda Regiment Colour Sergeant Leslie Spanswick said the cause of the fire was being investigated but that it was probably an accident. No one was on board when the yacht caught fire and surrounding boats were moved to prevent them being damaged. However, parts of the dock, as well as a dinghy and nearby tree, were blackened by the blaze. Marine Imports, the Ministry of Public Works and a contractor employed by the boat’s owner all helped clean up the harbour. The pollution was less than expected, but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources stayed focused on “preparing for the worst”, a spokesman said. The department deployed two booms, a skimmer and other equipment to absorb diesel that leaked from the boat. Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service will assess the boat to try and find out what caused the fire. It will then probably be salvaged for parts and disposed of at the waste management facility by the airport. A spokesman advised boat owners to purchase absorbent pads and attach them to the bilges of their vessels because boat fires are often caused by the ignition of fumes from the gas tank. The pads can soak up fumes. Removing what was left of Sum Girl took more than two hours. Although divers secured the wreckage with straps, she collapsed under her own weight when being pulled out of the water. Burnt fibreglass could be seen peeling from her frame. The owner of the boat was not available for comment.

June 29. Another phase of the new airport began this week with construction workers taking on the task of pile driving. Because the noise levels are lower than expected, the work will now also take place on Sundays, according to a press release. "The process involves hammering steel piles into the ground at a depth of 115 feet within the footprint of the new terminal and passenger bridges and is essential for supporting the structure of the terminal,” said a statement from Skyport, who are responsible for construction. “The work has been taking place between the hours of 7am and 10pm every Monday through Saturday. But due to lower than anticipated noise levels and in an effort to shorten the overall steel piling time, piling will now occur on Sundays between 7am and 6pm. This schedule is designed to ensure that the piling work is completed in as short of a time as possible whilst still minimizing the impact on area residents and businesses. To date, 23 per cent of the steel piles have been driven. The steel piles will be installed with two rigs, both using the hammer method. There will be a significant noise and vibration impact on the surrounding area, with this expected to be the loudest phase of construction. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and thank the public for their patience as we build this important project.” For further information, call Skyport on 293-2470 or e-mail info@Skyport.bm. To learn more about the new terminal, visit www.skyport.bm.

June 29. An associate underwriter with a passion for the island’s environment and heritage has been elected as the new president of the Bermuda National Trust. Alana Anderson, who has been a member of the Council of the National Trust since 2008 and vice-president since 2015, was elected at the Trust’s AGM on June 22. “The Bermuda National Trust has always held a special place in my heart,” she said. “It is a great honour to be elected as its president. I am both excited and eager to continue on the legacy of ‘for everyone for ever’.” Mrs Anderson works at Sompo International as an assistant vice-president and associate underwriter, She succeeds Lieutenant-Colonel William White as president, who served in the position from 2010 to 2015. Mr White, who stepped back into the role in March 2015 until June 2017, was honored with the Trust’s top award — the Palmetto Award — at the annual awards ceremony that preceded the AGM. Chartered surveyor Mark Orchard, who has served on the council since 2013, was elected as the Trust’s new vice-president. Mr Orchard said: “Since joining the Trust in 2013 I have been astounded by the breadth of responsibilities that this organisation conducts throughout the island; overseeing many of our country’s most important cultural assets including historic homes, museums and open spaces, as well as irreplaceable icons, including a vast collection of artwork, archival books, ancient silverware and priceless cedar furniture. “Ensuring that our island’s unique legacy of traditions and treasured assets is maintained and made more accessible to the public will be key to ensuring the financial well-being of this important charity. I look forward to playing an active role in enhancing this legacy.” Mr White congratulated Mrs Anderson and Mr Orchard on their new appointments saying the Trust was in “good hands”. He added: “I am also deeply appreciative for being selected as recipient of the Palmetto Award.” Robert Masters will take on the role of chairman of the Preservation Committee from Paul Leseur, while Robin Mayor will continue as the chairperson of the Development Committee and Stephen Kuzyk will remain as the Trust treasurer. The other members of the National Trust Council are: Karen Border, Hugh Davidson, Kevin Gunther, Jan Macdonald, Tim Rogers and Mariette Savoie.

June 29. Sir Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, believes the America’s Cup should stick largely to its present format, including the foiling multihull catamarans. Ainslie said it would be a return to the “Dark Ages” if Emirates Team New Zealand, who snatched the Cup from Oracle Team USA with a 7-1 rout, switch to monohull boats at the next event. The BAR principle signed up to the framework agreement before the 35th America’s Cup — the Kiwis were the only team not to do so — and feels it would be a mistake to completely rip it up." I don’t have the fears that suddenly we’ll go to New Zealand ... and it’ll take the Cup back to the Dark Ages,” Ainslie told Reuters. As the official challenger of record for the 36th America’s Cup, Italian syndicate Luna Rossa will now work with the Kiwis to plan the next event, which will likely be held in 2021.In his column in the Telegraph newspaper, Ainslie wrote: “There are a lot of rumours flying around that the Italians are keen on monohulls. I think going back now would be a mistake given where we have got to in these foiling multihulls. No one wants to rip up all the good work which has been done and I would be surprised if [Team New Zealand] went completely back to the drawing board. They are a commercially-driven team, too. They know the importance of giving value to sponsors and partners. They want a decent number of teams to enter." The Kiwis are likely to bring in a rule about nationality quotas — seven of the nine Oracle crew hold Australian passports — with Ainslie agreeing that the syndicates should reflect the country they represent. He also believes it would be unwise not to preserve and expand the World Series, an event BAR won in the lead-up to Bermuda. “We know New Zealand have strong views about nationality quotas in terms of the crew and we support them on that,” Ainslie added. “I know New Zealand have voiced concerns about the expanded World Series set out in the framework agreement but there needs to be some level of activation. I would hope and expect to see that. But now we need more details: what type of boat they envisage, when it is going to be, whether or not there will be some form of World Series between now and then.” Ainslie, whose team reached the challenger playoff semi-finals at their first tilt at the America’s Cup, has called for a quick decision on the format to keep the momentum from Bermuda. “Clearly everyone is on tenterhooks to find out what New Zealand have planned,” wrote Ainslie, whose team are already committed to the next event. “I cannot really say anything as I have not yet spoken to Grant [Dalton, the Team Zealand chief executive] or any of their senior management beyond offering my congratulations. “I am sure we will all sit down over the next few days — before everyone goes their separate ways — and try to understand where they intend to go from here.”

June 29. Bermuda-based investment fund Thema is to fork out $130 million to repay victims of US fraudster Bernie Madoff. Thema was among many feeder funds that directed cash to Madoff’s New York-based investment advisory business, often without their clients’ knowledge. Thousands of investors lost around $17.5 billion in principal after the 2008 collapse of the Ponzi scheme run by Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009. Thema itself lost around $1 billion. Details of the settlement, announced yesterday by Securities Investment Protection Act trustee Irving Picard, were filed in a US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Stephen Harbeck, CEO of the industry-financed Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which hired Mr Ricard, said the Thema settlement, together with a $240 million settlement by Lagoon Investment, based in the British Virgin Islands, were “significant accomplishments” given the difficulty of recovering funds from offshore accounts. He added: “Recovering funds from offshore defendants is always challenging. The settlements announced today represent significant accomplishments by the SIPA trustee and his legal team.” Oren Warshavsky, a partner in law firm BakerHostetler, which worked with Mr Picard, added: “Settlements like these are highly beneficial to Madoff’s victims. Not only do we resolve all claims, but we also avoid litigation, which can delay additional restitutions to Madoff’s victims. Together, the settlements represent slightly more than a one per cent increase in recovery for future distributions to customers with allowed claims.” Under the agreement, Thema and Lagoon will turn over all the money they withdrew from their accounts in the six-year period before Madoff’s arrest. The settlement clears the way for the funds to get approved claims in the bankruptcy case, meaning they will get a share in Mr Picard’s recoveries and distribute the money to their own customers. The case involved Thema Fund Ltd and Thema Wise Investments, with the Thema funds based in the British Virgin Islands. Thema and Lagoon were among a dozen funds that used HSBC Holdings as a custodian. Mr Picard sued the London-based bank for $9 billion in 2010 for allegedly aiding Madoff’s fraud through the network of feeder funds, but lost the case, as well as cases against other banks with Madoff connections, on the grounds that trustees can only collect money owed to the estate, not sums owed to creditors. The deals with Thema and Lagoon were announced only a day after the estates of Madoff’s dead sons, Andrew and Mark, agreed to pay a total of $23 million to settle lawsuits by Mr Picard which accused them of profiting from their father’s fraud for years. Mr Picard has so far raised more than $11.6 billion for victims through hundreds of lawsuits against funds and customers who profited from the Madoff scam.

June 29. Tucked away on one of the most stunning stretches of South Shore is a beach hangout with a difference. And although there has been no great fanfare surrounding its arrival, its presence in Bermuda is significant. The island’s hosting of the 35th America’s Cup was key to the pop-up campus coming to the island. The campus is expected to attract innovators and influencers who control about $5 billion of investable assets. And Stan Stalnaker, the man behind the venture, believes the America’s Cup has given Bermuda immense visibility, and this summer will be looked back on as a pivotal moment for the island. The staging of a Hub Culture innovation campus at Ariel Sands places Bermuda on an enviable list that includes some of the world’s best known, signature gatherings. Hub Culture has featured at The World Economic Forum in Davos, the Cannes Film Festival, South by Southwest, United Nations general assembly, and New York fashion weeks. “We create these moments where influencers gather,” said Mr Stalnaker, founder of Hub Culture. That is why the online social network, which has 45,000 members around the world and also manages the Ven digital currency, decided to bring a pavilion-style event to the island this summer. Until the end of August, the innovation campus is hosting leading minds from a variety of fields, including artificial intelligence, digital currencies, architecture, sustainable development and the healing arts. The Hub Culture Innovation Campus and Beach Club is a mobile set-up with meeting place cabanas, a bar, kitchen, lounges and beach hammocks. It is equipped with fibre-optic internet. “The hubs are essentially spaces for collaboration and co-working. It’s a little bit of an incubator, a meeting point and a place for business, but in inspiring settings,” said Mr Stalnaker. “We do these hubs mostly as pop-ups. People come for a temporary period of time, generally around important moments in the world. We gather our community at those spaces. We have been at the World Economic Forum in Davos for the last 10 years, and we are a media partner for the Forum. We are the only place outside the congress centre that the Forum holds official events.” He described the Hub Culture network as being like a prototype for a virtual country, a community with its own meeting spaces, digital currency, digital identity resource, and an artificial intelligence platform called Zeke. Sean Moran, head of business development at the Bermuda Business Development Agency, said of the Hub Culture concept: “I’ve seen their events in Hong Kong and New York, and they’re always thought-provoking, but the installation at Ariel Sands is unique: where else can you meet experts in blockchain, artificial intelligence and digital currencies, then walk 50 yards into the ocean for a swim?” The BDA assisted the Hub Culture team with introductions and arrangements that made the pop-up campus in Bermuda possible. Mr Moran added: “One of the BDA’s goals is to help develop new business opportunities and local jobs around the fast-evolving fintech space, so it’s important that Hub Culture is showcasing global developments through guest speakers and topical programmes. The schedule of events over the next two months promises to be stimulating.” Bermudian and international members, who are flying in from around the world to enjoying the relaxing setting of the campus, will mingle, connect and network. Some will come specifically to attend a themed week that interests them. “We have guests flying in from Beijing, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York, London, Geneva, Miami, and Sao Paulo to see this.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the education partner of Hub Culture, and it is due to bring some of its senior people involved in digital currency and digital banking. Elsewhere, a week themed on computer coding will be attended by developers from around the world, and there will be a week focused on Ethereum blockchain technology. Sustainability and the environment are also spotlighted. An event supporting Bermuda’s Greenrock charity has been held. There will be a week looking at UN sustainable development goals, and another focused on the need to protect the world’s oceans and reefs. Hub Culture’s campus at Ariel Sands features a collection of cabanas fashioned from shipping containers. They are examples of mobile architecture and sustainability, made of fully recycled materials and reformatted. One is a creative studio, which includes a virtual reality version of the campus, allowing members to experience the beauty of the South Shore setting using VR technology wherever they happen to be in the world. Hub Culture takes its name from the title of a 2003 book written by Mr Stalnaker. “It looked at the social side of globalization. The thesis was that there is an international group of people who move between the world’s ‘hubs’ — which could be big cities like New York and Tokyo, or micro-hubs like Bermuda, Aspen or Cape Town. They all had connections between each other and a post-national culture.” The book led to a website that became one of the world’s first social hubs. “We were always focused on experience and creating moments of the community. It was a kind of friends of friends of friends thing, and it was great to collect people and create experiences and moments for them.” Hub Culture was formed as a company in 2006 and chose Bermuda as its headquarters, having looked for the best location to structure a digital asset. The following year it launched Ven, the world’s first digital currency and the first traded on regulated foreign exchange markets. Ven is used by Hub Culture members to buy, share and trade knowledge, goods and services. The campus on South Shore is an example of Ven in action as the digital currency is the only one used for transactions at the site. There is an unusual story behind how Hub Culture got the opportunity to base its summer campus at Ariel Sands, the site of Michael Douglas’s former resort. With the America’s Cup on the world calendar, Hub Culture looked for a suitable location in Bermuda for one of its pavilion-style events. “We came to look at it, and it was so breathtaking. We set up a call with the Ariel Sands Development Corporation, who wanted to create a hospitality story for Bermuda that was new and exciting,” said Mr Stalnaker. The Ariel Sands team was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos to see Hub Culture in operation. “Michael Douglas came. He had a great time. He sat in on all our sessions about AI and digital currency. He was meeting with these CEOs. We got along so well and he said ‘OK, let’s bring Davos to Bermuda for the summer — that spirit’. We leased the property for the summer. He said create what you can and let’s bring Ariel Sands back to life for this important summer in Bermuda. It has been a great collaboration and we are excited to be working with him and his team in Bermuda.” Mr Stalnaker believes Ven, fintech and the America’s Cup can all be springboards for the island. “Ven has the potential to catapult Bermuda forward. Bermuda is an ideal location to lead the global trillion-dollar market for digital currency. Bermuda has a chance to be 100 times bigger than it is, financially. The problem is that Luxembourg and Singapore and Moscow and Panama City all realize this too. So there is a race on to see which jurisdictions will dominate the largest new asset class in a generation.” And regarding the focus placed on the island by the America’s Cup, Mr Stalnaker said: “Bermuda has never had the exposure that it is getting right now and it stands to gain a lot. The most important thing for Bermuda will be the next two or three years and how it capitalizes on what it has built. Bermuda has been handed this amazing gift with the Cup. That helped to bring us here, and we are then bringing a whole range of people. I imagine there are billions of dollars of investable capital that has come to the island and seen it for the first time this summer. We ourselves are bringing in at least $5 billion of investible capital — people who control that amount of money. Some of those people may decide to set up a business here or be more aware of Bermuda’s advantages as a place with good rule of law, stable government, a link to the US dollar and British heritage — those are long-term dividends that will come. This will be seen as a pivotal summer for Bermuda.” Hub Culture has a website at hubculture.com.  

June 29. Hardware store Gorham’s will today launch a new internet express order service. And the company said that ordering online with goods shipped in using Gorham’s cargo containers was cheaper than air freight. Rod Farrington, a senior manager at Gorham’s, said: “We do not add mark-up fees for the goods ordered. The only fees collected by Gorham’s is for the freight, duty, insurance and a handling fee for large shipments — and because it’s coming in by ocean cargo rather than air, it’s significantly cheaper.” He added: “We look at this as a great way to get customers into the store and if we don’t have what they’re looking for we can help them find it online.” Mr Farrington said that the Pembroke store had been “testing the waters” for the new service for two years, with selected customers allowed to ship items in through Gorham’s, which allowed the company to monitor the results and refine the process. He added: “There has been a long trend in Bermuda with shoppers looking for more variety who go online and order their goods. When you talk to any retailer today about internet buying, 99 per cent of the time they want to run in the other direction, but we decided two years ago we wouldn’t stick our heads in the sand about this and instead embrace it by offering shipping services for items clients couldn’t find in Bermuda.” Mr Farrington said that online shoppers usually found what they wanted on a store’s website, bought it themselves and shipped it to an overseas address. Using one of the four Express Order Centre terminals, customers can now order at Gorham’s and have the shipping handled by the company. Mr Farrington said: “We bring in whatever they order on our containers and by law we have to be the ones who finalise the order. Most people come in with a clear idea of what they already want, be it from Amazon.com or Wayfair, they print out the items, bring it to us and we will help them order it. Others can take their time and browse on one of our computers to find the best deal. They pay for the items as usual, but the benefit is we are able to go to another screen which calculates the freight, duty and insurance up front so there are no additional costs or hidden surprises to deal with later.” Mr Farrington added that the average time for an order to arrive was three weeks, with the firm calling the customer to arrange collection. And he said: “The Express Order Centre is especially useful for the inexperienced internet customers who aren’t comfortable buying online. They come in and sit down with our staff and leave feeling satisfied with their purchase. When they walk out, the product is 100 per cent paid for and all they have to do is collect it once it arrives. We’ve seen people order everything from furniture to baby supplies and clothes as well. We don’t restrict it as long as it abides by the laws of Bermuda.” Orders have a minimum charge of four cubic feet and orders more than 20 cubic feet get a discounted freight cost. For more information, visit Gorham’s order specialist Wanda Brown at the store or log on to gorhams-ltd.com. 

June 28. OBA and PLP Candidates after your vote, by constituency.  #1 St George’s North: OBA: Kenneth Bascome; PLP: Renée Ming. #2 St George’s West, OBA: Nandi Outerbridge; PLP: Kim Swan. #3 St David’s OBA: to be announced; PLP: Lovitta Foggo. #4, St George’s South: OBA: Suzann Roberts-Holshouser; PLP: Tineé Furbert. #5 Hamilton East, OBA: Peter Barrett; PLP: Derrick Burgess. #6 Hamilton West, OBA: Simone Barton; PLP: Wayne Furbert; Ind: Thaddeus Hollis. #7 Hamilton South, OBA: Sylvan Richards; PLP: Anthony Richardson. #8 Smith’s South OBA: [Cole Simons]*; PLP: Rose Ann Tucker. #9 Smith’s West, OBA, Trevor Moniz; PLP: Vance Campbell. #10 Smith’s North OBA, Michael Dunkley; PLP: Ernest Peets. #11. Devonshire East OBA: Bob Richards; PLP: Christopher Famous. #12 Devonshire South Central, OBA: Craig Cannonier; PLP: George Scott. #13 Devonshire North Central, OBA: Fabian Minors; PLP: Diallo Rabain. #14 Devonshire North West, OBA: Glen Smith; PLP: Wayne Caines. #15 Pembroke East OBA: Scott Stewart; PLP: Walter Roban#16 Pembroke East Central, OBA: to be announced; PLP: Michael Weeks. #17 Pembroke Central OBA: Andrew Simons; PLP: Walton Brown. #18 Pembroke West Central OBA: Nick Kempe; PLP: David Burt. #19 Pembroke West OBA: Jeanne Atherden; PLP: Jason Hayward. #20 Pembroke South West OBA: Susan Jackson; PLP: Graham Maule. #21 Pembroke South East OBA: Rodney Smith; PLP: Rolfe Commissiong. #22 Paget East OBA: Grant Gibbons; PLP: Curtis Richardson.#23 Paget West OBA: Patricia Gordon-Pamplin; PLP: Emilygail Dill. #24 Warwick South East OBA: Nalton Brangman; PLP: Lawrence Scott. #25 Warwick North East, OBA: Jeff Baron; PLP: Kathy Simmons. #26 Warwick South Central, OBA: Robyn Swan; PLP: Neville Tyrrell. #27 Warwick North Central OBA: Sheila Gomez; PLP: David Burch. #28 Warwick West OBA: Jeff Sousa; PLP: Dennis Lister III. #29 Southampton East OBA: to be announced; PLP: Zane DeSilva. #30 Southampton East Central, OBA: Leah Scott; PLP: Quinton Butterfield. #31 Southampton West Central OBA: Ben Smith; PLP: Crystal Caesar. #32 Southampton West OBA: Charlie Swan; PLP: Scott Simmons. #33 Sandys South OBA: Georgia Marshall; PLP: Jamahl Simmons. #34 Sandys South Central OBA: to be announced; PLP: Kim Wilson. #35 Sandys North Central OBA: Michael Swan; PLP: Dennis Lister. #36 Sandys North OBA: Ray Charlton; PLP: Michael Scott.

June 28. Paula Cox, the former premier, has quit the Progressive Labour Party to run as an independent candidate at the General Election. Ms Cox, who has represented the PLP as a candidate, parliamentarian, minister and leader since 1985, confirmed her resignation in a letter to chairman Scott Simmons on Tuesday. “It is with a heavy heart that I do this but I am compelled to cancel my membership on a point of principle,” she wrote .It follows her bitter disappointment at being rejected as a candidate for Devonshire North West in favour of Wayne Caines, despite being approved as the branch selection for the seat. Many within the PLP believe the move will take votes away from Mr Caines as the party aims to recapture the constituency surprisingly won by Glen Smith of the One Bermuda Alliance in 2012.Ms Cox, who was premier from 2010 to 2012, wrote to Mr Simmons: “This letter constitutes my official notice of withdrawal of my membership from the party, since I have decided to run as an independent candidate, for the upcoming General Election. To continue to retain membership given my stated intentions would be inappropriate. “This, given the recent events and circumstances that constituted a miscarriage of justice by the violation of the party’s processes, protocols and constitutional integrity regarding the C14 candidate selection and the proper consultation with the constituency branch. “You are aware that my candidacy was also supported by polling data, indicating a high favourability rating, for me to win. The party has been an excellent platform for me to serve the good people of Bermuda. Much work remains to be done to advance the people’s interests and hopefully this will continue. I wish the party all the best in its future endeavors.” Ms Cox declined to comment when contacted by The Royal Gazette last night, saying she was dedicating her evening to her son on his graduation day. Mr Simmons said in his response to Ms Cox: “I cannot express how disappointed I am on receiving this correspondence. I am aware of the circumstances that have led to this unfortunate impasse and I had hoped a more amicable solution could have been found. On behalf of the executive committee and the Bermuda Progressive [Labour] Party, I thank you for your sterling service to us at every level of the organisation inclusive of your years as our devoted party leader and to the people of Bermuda as Premier. I wish you well in all your future endeavors and once this matter has reached its conclusion with the passing of this election, it is my hope that the party executive can meet with you and discuss a way forward that sees your return to the party I know you love and cherish.” The PLP broke the news in a press release yesterday afternoon, with a spokeswoman saying: “This decision by Ms Cox is disappointing but clearly Ms Cox feels it necessary to follow her dreams and take this stance. We thank Ms Cox for her decades of service to the party in numerous capacities, and wish her well going forward.” Earlier this month, Devonshire North West secretary Nadine Henry wrote to Mr Burt and other party officers to confirm that the branch had an “unwavering support” for Ms Cox. However, senior party officials overruled the branch by opting for Mr Caines as its candidate. Ms Cox then wrote a scathing e-mail to Mr Burt, describing herself as a diehard PLP supporter, but warning him: “If the party continues to ignore the PLP C14 branch’s stated decision, I am prepared to let the voters of C14 decide the outcome.” Before the last General Election, the PLP put rules in place so that all candidates would be selected by a branch vote, with the intention of encouraging new talent into the political arena. Challenged by the media, Opposition leader David Burt explained that the candidate selection processes had been modified and ratified by the central committee in 2014. In her e-mail to Mr Burt, Ms Cox claimed party leaders had acted as if they had a “back room agenda” to tarnish her reputation. She said the branch executive was told that she “could be a liability” to the PLP if she were to run. Ms Cox has told The Royal Gazette she was planning to work with Constituency 14 residents to “earn their trust and confidence”; since then she has targeted constituents with a YouTube page called “PC Elect”. Mr Caines and Mr Smith have both been officially unveiled as election candidates for Devonshire North West.

June 28. Bermuda is at the forefront of a groundbreaking project to create 3D digital models of underwater shipwrecks with an unprecedented level of detail. Many of the island’s historic shipwrecks will now be immortalized in digital form, allowing viewers to swim “virtually” around them thanks to a partnership between the University of California San Diego, Bermuda’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and LookBermuda. The Bermuda 100 Challenge pushes the frontiers of engineering technology and the first four of the 100, 3D-scanned wrecks — the Montana, the Blanche King, the Manila and the Mary Celestia — can be viewed on www.bermuda100.com. Visitors to the America’s Cup Village will already have seen a portion of the project at the educational zone, where LookBermuda founder and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Rouja was giving demonstrations on two 3D digital displays. The films allow viewers around the world with an internet connection to “virtually” dive below Bermuda’s ocean and swim among the ships with all their coral reef systems in place. The goal is to map the wrecks and sites of natural beauty and ecological importance allowing marine scientists, historians, students, archaeologists and conservationists to monitor the wrecks and reefs over time. Mr Rouja, who initiated the Bermuda 100 project, said: “This is a perfect example of our ongoing efforts to combine high-quality media with the latest disruptive technologies for cultural preservation, conservation, exploration and education, while partnering with experts in their respective fields. This project allows scientists, students and the public at large to view, interact with and ultimately better appreciate these otherwise hard-to-access resources.” According to UC San Diego computer scientist and structural engineer Falko Kuester, the Bermuda 100 Challenge could become the foundation for a global atlas of shipwreck sites and coral reefs. Dr Kuester said: “It would allow scientists, stakeholders and the public alike to explore and better understand these unique ecosystems and contribute towards their preservation. This project pushes the envelope of science, technology and engineering in the context of robotic sensor platforms, imaging systems, 3D modelling, visualization and interactive data exploration.” For Bermuda’s Custodian of Historic Wrecks, Philippe Rouja, the site could generate new enthusiasts. Dr Rouja explained: “Without the limits of a mask, tank and fins, we can share an image of an underwater aircraft engine with plane enthusiasts and engineers and generate interest from sectors far beyond the diving fraternity. We have plans to create models of some of the more unique elements of our wreck sites — sites that are not open to the public — so the online community can give us the benefit of professional insights. For those who cannot travel or cannot dive, the 3D virtual experience is of particular value. Bermuda has been at the centre of Atlantic commerce for over 400 years. Dr Rouja added: “The richer the stories we can tell and the more engaging and interconnected we can make our heritage, the easier it will be to preserve and manage it for future generations." So far, more than four billion data points have been seamlessly stitched together using the latest technology to make a complete “virtual reality” experience. The points must be rendered and displayed 30 times every second, which means processing 133 billion data points per second. If 3D goggles are involved and data for the left and right eyes are rendered separately, the total data points double to 266 billion. Robert Steinhoff, chairman of the Historic Wrecks Authority, said: “Strong international partnerships in marine heritage and marine science have resulted in our small community taking bold and important, internationally recognized conservation steps. Shipwrecks in Bermuda continue to have an important role to play in marine conservation — not least in attracting people into the ocean space. “Bermuda’s exciting shipwrecks invite the world diving community to visit Bermuda and experience it in person, while the partnership with UC San Diego will be a test bed for advanced virtual imaging technology that allows us to share our underwater museum with the world — and hopefully inspire a new generation of cultural and natural conservationists.

June 28. A police investigation launched in the wake of the Jetgate scandal remains active after three years, The Royal Gazette can reveal. Detectives from Bermuda Police Service’s financial crime unit began their investigation into a bank account set up by a group linked to the One Bermuda Alliance in the summer of 2014.A BPS spokesman told this newspaper: “The inquiry is still ongoing.” He gave no further details. The bank account, in the name of Bermuda Political Action Club, was reported to have been set up by OBA advisor Derrick Green and party supporter Steven DeCosta to fund a grass-roots campaign in the run-up to the 2012 General Election. The existence of the account came to public notice the following year after a trip to Washington DC by then premier Craig Cannonier, Cabinet ministers Mark Pettingill and Shawn Crockwell and Mr DeCosta erupted into the Jetgate controversy. The elected officials and Mr DeCosta were travelling on the private jet of American businessman Nathan Landow to discuss the issue of potential hotel development on the island. Mr Landow later told the Bermuda Sun that he and associates made a donation of some $300,000 to the BPAC to help the OBA’s 2012 election campaign. The revelation led to Mr Cannonier’s resignation as premier in May 2014 and the launch of an internal OBA inquiry by party chairman Thaddeus Hollis. Mr Hollis quit as chairman in July 2014, four days after releasing his report into the affair. He is now running as an independent election candidate in Hamilton West and told The Royal Gazette last week that Jetgate was a “tempest in a teacup”. He said: “I understand the police are still doing an investigation into it. I did my bit and moved on. ”The fraud squad inquiry was first reported in this newspaper on July 24, 2014, when a police spokesman said: “The Bermuda Police Service financial crime unit has commenced inquiries to determine if any criminal offences have been committed in relation to the financial transactions associated with the Bermuda Political Action Club account.” OBA chairman Lynne Woolridge, responding to questions from this newspaper, said the ongoing police inquiry into the BPAC meant “it would not be appropriate” for her to “comment on funds raised outside our party”. She said: “I can confirm that, some three years ago, members of the OBA willingly assisted the police with their investigations into BPAC and we have heard nothing further since that time. I am not aware of whether BPAC continues to exist, as it was not, and is not, part of the OBA. I can only assume that this is being addressed by the BPS.”

June 28. Opponents of same-sex marriage have filed an application to appeal against the landmark Supreme Court ruling which allowed gay couples to wed in Bermuda. The request for permission to appeal the May 5 judgment is understood to have been made to the Registrar of the Supreme Court “out of time” ie after the six-week window during which appeals usually have to be lodged. Preserve Marriage are behind the application, which features the names of thousands of people who signed a petition against same-sex marriage in the past week. Those listed describe themselves as an “aggrieved party” in the matter. Among them is former politician Maxwell Burgess, who is named on the notice of appeal as a spokesman for the petition signatories. In a press release yesterday, Mr Burgess said he felt “obligated to lead the charge for the community to appeal” the ruling by Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons. He said the “agenda of a few” was overriding the “will of the country as a whole” and claimed 8,000 people had signed the petition in the space of 48 hours. The Registrar will decide whether the application can proceed at this stage, before a judge determines whether to give leave to appeal the matter to the Court of Appeal. The applicants may have to provide security of costs for the appeal to go ahead and legal sources speculated yesterday that it could prove costly, with as much as $300,000 having to be placed in an escrow account. The original Supreme Court proceedings were brought against the Government by Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé Greg DeRoche after the Registrar-General refused to post their wedding banns. After hearing the case, in which Preserve Marriage intervened, Mrs Justice Simmons agreed with the couple that their human rights had been breached and issued an order, the wording of which is still to be finalized, declaring that same-sex marriage was legal on the island. At least one gay couple has since tied the knot and Government has said it will not appeal the ruling. Mark Pettingill, representing Mr Godwin and Mr DeRoche, said yesterday: “We are aware of their [Preserve Marriage’s] attempts to file an appeal. There are significant consequences when cases are appealed by aggrieved parties." He added: “Any lawyer would advise that the basis for an appeal is non-existent.” Rod Attride-Stirling, who represented the Human Rights Commission, another intervener in the Godwin and DeRoche case, has previously said: “The judgment is sound and the legal issues that are the basis of the judgment are all correct." It wasn’t possible to reach Mr Burgess yesterday. Lawyer Rick Woolridge, who is representing the applicants seeking to appeal, said he would take instruction from his clients before commenting. Mr Burgess’s press release did not refer specifically to the application filed with the court but invited those who signed the petition to attend one of two meetings last night at the Heritage Worship Centre in Hamilton. The sessions were open only to petition signatories who brought ID along to verify who they were." I want to thank the 8,000 who came out to sign and, since we have closed stations, we have been inundated with requests from others who want to sign and be included,” said Mr Burgess. “As a result, due to public demand, stations will reopen this week to allow more members of the community to sign the appeal." The petition can be signed today and Friday from 8am to 8pm and on Saturday from 9am to 4pm at Calvary Gospel Chapel, 18 Middle Road, Southampton; Sound View First Church of God, 75 Sound View Road, Sandys; Heritage Worship Centre, Hamilton; the Evangelical Church, 1 Mission Road, Paget; and the “Old” St George’s Youth Centre, 23 Water Street. It can also be signed at the First Church of God, on North Shore Road, Pembroke, from 9am to 7.30pm today and Friday. Mr Burgess said the Government should have lodged an appeal against the judgment and should pay costs in the case. He claimed Preserve Marriage could be left “bankrupt” if it was ordered to pay costs to Mr Godwin and Mr DeRoche and the Human Rights Commission.

June 28. Neill Currie has been appointed executive chairman of Bermuda-based Ascot Group Limited. He was previously CEO of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd, which he cofounded in 1993, and led from 2005 until his retirement in 2013. Ascot Group holds Ascot Underwriting Ltd, a leading global specialty insurance underwriter, which manages Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd’s, and Ascot Underwriting Bermuda Limited, a managing general agency. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which acquired these operations in 2016, will invest and build a global property and casualty insurance and reinsurance platform through AGL. “The opportunity to work with AGL’s management team and CPPIB to build a dynamic and global P&C company is uniquely compelling,” said Mr Currie. “I am looking forward to working with the many people associated with AGL to build a company that will provide its clients with an array of best-in-class insurance and reinsurance solutions.” In a statement, Ascot said Mr Currie had, during his time as CEO of RenRe, “successfully stewarded the company through its growth and evolution to become one of the pre-eminent providers of reinsurance and insurance globally”. It noted that under his leadership the company’s success was “driven by its creative and unique insurance products for clients, leading-edge underwriting expertise and support for ground-breaking catastrophe research and mitigation activities”. Andrew Brooks, chief executive officer of AGL, said: “We are thrilled to have an individual of Neill’s calibre join as the executive chairman. “His deep expertise, excellent reputation and proven track record as a visionary in the insurance and reinsurance industry will position AGL well as it looks to build a leading global P&C insurance platform.” In his new role Mr Currie will work with AGL’s management and board of directors to grow its operations and capabilities through a variety of strategic initiatives including organic growth programmes, joint ventures, strategic investments and acquisitions.

June 28. The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art will host a Canadian-themed cocktail party on July 1 to mark the island’s links with Canada. The celebration will take place from 6pm to 8pm and will also feature a small open house of Canadian works on display at the museum including the portraits of photographer Yousuf Karsh. The reception takes place as Masterworks celebrates its 30th anniversary. “The connection between Bermuda and Canada is very strong,” Tom Butterfield, Masterworks founder and creative director said. “There is no end of talent to note between Bermuda and Canada and it fits in well with our view of reaching beyond our reef line.” To attend the Canada Day event contact 236-2950 or mworks@logic.bm.

June 28. Lion II Re has listed securities valued at 200 million euros ($227 million) on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. The principal at-risk variable rate notes will become due in July 2021.The catastrophe bond is said to be sponsored by Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali, and provides the company with reinsurance protection against windstorms and flooding in Europe, and earthquakes in Italy.

June 28. Peter Burling is looking forward to “a pretty cool few weeks” sharing his America’s Cup win with the rest of New Zealand after celebrating the conclusion of a grueling campaign with his opponent Jimmy Spithill in Bermuda. The 26-year-old calmly steered his way into yachting history on Monday, demolishing Spithill’s Oracle Team USA to win the trophy which is a national obsession in New Zealand and in the process become the youngest sailor to do so." It was our goal and dream to come here and win the America’s Cup and to have it sitting there and have it in the morning meeting when we all got together after a bit of recovery from last night, we’re just blown away,” Burling said yesterday. Burling, an Olympic gold and silver medal-winner, was helmsman on Emirates Team New Zealand and the face of the crew during the campaign to wrest the “Auld Mug” from its American holders. The celebrations after the win in the New Zealand team’s “shed” where they have kept their space-age 50ft catamaran and wing sail were “pretty low key”, with the crew only realizing how drained they were once the adrenalin wore off." We finally realized how tired we were and how most of us didn’t really have that much energy to carry on,” Burling said yesterday at his headquarters in Royal Naval Dockyard. Burling said the losing American team led by his “good friend” Spithill, who until the Kiwi victory had been the youngest helmsman to win the oldest trophy in international sport, had joined the New Zealanders in their celebration." They came over and said congrats last night and we invited them in,” Burling said. “It was pretty cool to be able to share it with them." And any antagonism between the two during the competition on the Great Sound was “a bit of friendly banter". A beaming Burling, with the normally closely-guarded silver trophy standing behind him, said it was “impossible to compare” the victory with the gold medal he and fellow crew member Blair Tuke won in Rio de Janeiro last year in the 49er skiff class." To be able to lift that and bring it home to New Zealand, it’s going to be a pretty cool few weeks sharing it with all our fans and friends and family back home,” Burling said, adding he had received a lot of messages from supporters at home." We definitely had a bit of a bumpy road at times, we faced a bit of adversity at times,” Burling said, adding that the spectacular capsize which nearly ended the Kiwi campaign during the semi-final did not haunt him “at all"." These boats are incredibly complicated and fast and incredibly technical. The harder you push it the more likely you are to have a crash. We’re really proud of what we have managed to achieve as a group." Burling added that his message to the next generation of America’s Cup sailors was to get out and “have fun” as he and his team had done.

June 28. Bermuda’s largest supplier of concrete was yesterday celebrating after winning one of its biggest ever contracts for work on the new airport. And Bill Morrison, CEO of SAL Trading, said the news would lead to extra jobs at the firm — while Canadian developer Aecon said a total of 64 jobs would be created as a result of 12 new contracts just awarded. .Mr Morrison added: “We are looking to get some extra staff — we’re doing the sums now." Once we finish negotiations, we will be in a better position to answer questions about numbers." SAL, a major supplier of construction supplies, was responsible for the island’s biggest one-day concrete pour in 2011 at the redevelopment of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The company used 110 loads to pour 14,850 cubic feet of concrete for the foundations of the new hospital building. Mr Morrison said: “This is not as big as the hospital in terms of concrete, but it’s a very large contract." It's one of the largest contracts we have ever had — and after seven years of recession, it’s very welcome." The Devonshire-based firm took part in an open tendering process for the contract, which will involve concrete work across the redevelopment site. Other major contracts awarded by Aecon went to D&J Construction, which will work on formwork, reinforcing steel placement, concrete placing and taxi work, while Horsfield Landscaping and Design will install security fencing..Correia Construction will work with Benson Steel, a Canadian specialist in structural steel, as a subcontractor working on unloading, trucking and steel erection. Kevin Horsfield, of Horsfield Landscaping and Design, said some of the fencing his firm would install would be temporary, while other sections would be permanent. He added that, while the company’s existing staff of ten could handle the work, other contracts meant more employees would need to be hired. Mr Horsfield said: “It’s a very welcome contract and I can see an increase in business over the past year." I would certainly say the economy has improved — economically, the island is on a bit of a rebound." He added: “We will be able to handle the airport work in-house at the moment, but there is other work out there, not just the airport and we are interested in hiring." Finding suitable applicants is what I’m looking at and we’re going through the process at the moment." A further eight smaller contracts were also announced by Aecon. Air-Pro will work on air conditioning, Eminence Contractors will provide flooring, Bermuda Security Services will act as locksmith and electrical service work will go to P&M Electric. In addition, Kaissa has won a roofing contract, Bermuda Elevators will install elevators, while scaffolding will be provided by Leggo Ltd and Greymane will install drywalls. Frank Ross, executive director of infrastructure for Aecon, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be working with these local companies in the construction of Bermuda’s new airport terminal." These contracts will create 64 new jobs." He added the island companies’ “local knowledge and connections are a tremendous asset to the project and we look forward to working with them”.

June 28. A report designed to help professionals protect themselves from cyber-attacks, and deal with the aftermath of data breaches, has been released by the Risk and Insurance Management Society. A cyber-attack hit companies and organisations in more than 64 countries this week. The attack particularly affected Ukraine, but also caused disruption in countries as far apart as Russia, Netherlands, US and Australia. Rims has released its professional report Cyber Protection: what to do before and after a cyber incident, which points to the critical need for strong partnerships between IT, legal, risk management and public relations to create an effective cybersecurity program. The report guides risk professionals through precautionary steps and post-incident responses critical to effectively managing a data breach. It highlights the importance of understanding business strategy and susceptible assets, employee training, cyber insurance and developing collaborative relationships with internal stakeholders and external partners. “The difference between successfully navigating a cyber incident and falling victim to one is preparation,” said Teri Cotton Santos, senior vice-president, chief compliance and risk officer at The Warranty Group and a Rims’ Cyber Security Task Force member. “Risk professionals are in a unique position and are often called upon to foster collaboration between business area leaders. As cyber concerns continue to mount, greater expectations will be placed on practitioners and the invaluable role they must play to manage this evolving risk.” The report is available in Rims Risk Knowledge library at www.RIMS.org/RiskKnowledge.

June 27. Grant Dalton said Emirates Team New Zealand had to outthink Oracle Team USA because they knew they could not match their financial might. The Kiwis chief executive credits his team’s revival to a “pretty brutal” post mortem after their painful collapse against Oracle in San Francisco four years ago. Dalton said they drew up a 20-point road map, with a heavy emphasis on investing in technology, despite their limited budget compared with Oracle, who are bankrolled by the deep pockets of owner Larry Ellison. “One of the things we took out of San Francisco was that we were out-designed,” said Dalton, whose team reclaimed the America’s Cup yesterday. “We had a pretty brutal debrief after San Fran — the aftermath of that was pretty obvious in the press in New Zealand. We came up with 20 points and one of those was investing in technology on a pretty limited budget, and investing in people who could handle that technology. We knew we couldn’t outspend [Oracle]. If they wanted to outspend us seven to one, they would ... we had to outthink them.” Replacing Dean Barker, the helmsman in 2013, with Peter Burling — who won the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup with NZL Sailing Team that same year — was among the bold moves made by the syndicate. “We had to get our arms around this new generation of yachtsmen coming through,” Dalton said. “I’d been talking to Pete pretty early on. We met at my house away from the base and I remember Pete telling me, ‘I want to be the helmsman’. I said, ‘We’ve got a bit to go under the bridge here, mate, but we’ll see where we get to.” Dalton, who was charged with restructuring and revitalizing Team New Zealand after their loss to Alinghi in 2003, believes their advances in design and technology have moved the sport forward. “We said, ‘Let’s throw the ball out as far as we can and see if we can get to it'." We had no restrictions on design, and that was really the catch-cry within the organisation. “We’ve achieved some amazing things that have been quite revolutionary in the sport.” The 59-year-old also praised skipper Glenn Ashby for his “outside-the-box thinking”. We were looking at pedaling and I was concerned we hadn’t employed any grinders. But Glenn wouldn’t let us. I remember him saying, ‘If we do that now, we will set up a pattern that will influence the final decision’. As the defenders, the Kiwis will now be able to draw up the rules for the next competition. Dalton said there would be some tough decisions made about the future of the event in the coming weeks. “We need to make it affordable, but we also need to remember that it’s the America’s Cup and not a beach regatta. Just because we didn’t sign the framework agreement doesn’t mean there weren’t elements that we didn’t agree with. We just didn’t agree with the two-year cycle, for example. To me, it’s a privilege to hold the America’s Cup, not a right. We won’t try and impose our will on it to make sure we hold on to it at all costs.”

June 27. There was no shortage of flags for both the United States and New Zealand yesterday, fluttering all over the West End for the close of the America’s Cup. Flags and flag bunting started before Somerset Bridge and lined the roads leading to the America’s Cup Village, where the crowds were clothed in patriotic colours. But some in the Kiwi press have cried foul at the allegation that New Zealand flags had been “removed from streets in Bermuda in the dead of the night”. New Zealand supporters were understandably nervous at yesterday’s moment of truth — in which their home team surged to victory in the final race. That excitement was shared back home, according to Grant Dalton, the New Zealand CEO, who said there had been 4am traffic jams on the motorways with “people trying to get to work to watch the racing”. However, according to New Zealand’s Stuff website, Kiwi flags in Bermuda were spotted being taken down by supporters of Oracle Team USA on Saturday night. At a glance on The Royal Gazette’s way to Dockyard, the Stars and Stripes may have held the advantage of numbers, and “USA” had been chalked at intervals onto the road — but the New Zealand flag enjoyed a respectable presence, alongside the occasional poster for the island’s July 18 General Election. In the end there was just one flag ecstatically waved, and high, as the thrilled Kiwi supporters took to their feet to celebrate their team’s triumph.

June 27. Bermuda has shown its worth with the hosting of the America’s Cup, Premier Michael Dunkley told The Royal Gazette after racing came to its historic close. “Bermuda shines brightly on the world stage,” the Premier said. “I don’t think we could be more pleased. The team members for the 35th America’s Cup raved about Bermuda and the sailing conditions”, Mr Dunkley said, while the racing and onshore experience “shows we can do it when we pull together — the chance is now ours to do something with it. It's up to us to marshall our resources and continue the progress. We have proven it. We can keep doing it. I’m so proud of all of Bermuda and the way we came together. We should be very comforted by what we have done; it puts us in a great position, tomorrow and beyond.” The Premier thanked Oracle Team USA for their confidence in the island, adding: “You have made great friends in Bermuda, and will always have your friends here.” Oracle were gracious in defeat — but the final day belonged to Emirates Team New Zealand and their overjoyed supporters. Taking the stage with Mr Dunkley at the presentation of the coveted trophy, Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, called the experience “tremendous. There is no second place in the America’s Cup, but what’s very clear is that Bermuda came out the winner. “Sir Russell Coutts said that "Bermuda has delivered, and for me the most exciting part is just to see how well Bermuda has performed.” Euphoria and anxiety hung over the America’s Cup Village in equal measures as a sea of American and New Zealand flags flourished in anticipation of the series clincher. Racing got under way shortly after 2pm, with Emirates Team New Zealand taking the lead to the jubilation of supporters — and Oracle Team USA throwing themselves furiously into the last maneuvers. A rush of spectators surged to the waterside to watch the finish as elated Kiwis cheered their team. Vessels flocked to the New Zealanders on the Great Sound, while flags and Kiwi regalia, including a supporter in a full kiwi costume, swarmed around the Louis Vuitton stage where the victors officially received the “Auld Mug”. The trophy was hoisted high in sprays of champagne, before the New Zealanders headed back to their base with the Cup. Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby gave heartfelt thanks to the people of Bermuda, telling the crowd: “We’ve met some fantastic people along the way here — thank you so much for having us.” The Great Sound proved “an amazing venue for a sailing event — we’ve absolutely loved this place and would like to come back and visit.” Grant Dalton, the New Zealand CEO, called Bermuda “fantastic” as a venue, thanking the ACBDA for “an outstanding job” and saying the team would “certainly like to talk to them about the opportunity of coming back”. The team will likely head home on Sunday, he added. Dr Gibbons said there would be details given later this week on further events emerging from the America’s Cup, but took Mr Dalton’s remarks to be “very positive”. What this has demonstrated is that Bermudians working together can manage an international event of this calibre, which puts us in a very good position for future events.” Asked if hosting the America’s Cup had paid off for Bermuda, Dr Gibbons gave “a resounding yes”. Many Bermudians had rooted for the Oracle team in the hope of securing more America’s Cup events, he conceded — and also “because of the time they’ve been here and the way they’ve been involved in our community. But it’s a race. We knew one or the other would have to win.”

June 27. ILS (Bermuda) Ltd, organisers of Bermuda Convergence 2017 today announced the event’s first keynote speaker, author, journalist and consultant Dan Gardner. He co-authored his latest bestseller, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, where he makes the case that pundits are notoriously inaccurate at predicting the future, and that ordinary people make better prognostications with wide-ranging information gathering, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course. More than 300 delegates are expected to attend this year’s event on October 18 and 19. Last year delegates came from 13 different countries attended the annual Bermuda Convergence event — a networking event covering the alternative reinsurance, insurance linked securities and collateralised reinsurance landscape Super-forecasting was chosen as one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist, Bloomberg, and Amazon. He first explored these findings in his book, Future Babble, which was termed “required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and anyone who listens to them”, by Harvard’s experimental psychologist, Steven Pinker. Mr Gardner is also well known for his book on risk perception, Risk: The Science of Fear, where he examined fear of what might happen in the future, and its influence on behaviour. In 2016, Gardner became an adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada. Previously, he spent 17 years in newspaper journalism, where his work won every major award, including the National Newspaper Award, the Michener Award, and the Canadian Association of Journalists Award. Gardner has lectured widely on forecasting and risk for governments and businesses such as Google and Siemens, insurance companies and venture capital firms. He holds degrees in law and history. Greg Wojciechowski, CEO, Bermuda Stock Exchange, and ILS Bermuda chairman said Mr Gardner’s “research and work will be interesting and valuable to our event attendees who enjoy the topic of risk and science of prediction”. Bermuda is the world leader for the issuance of ILS catastrophe bonds, collateralised reinsurance and alternative risk transfer. ILS issuance volume was the largest ever in the first quarter of 2017, reaching $27.19 billion outstanding showing record-breaking growth. The Bermuda Stock Exchange listed 185 ILS vehicles with a market cap of $22.2 billion, over 80 per cent market share, during the same period. New risk capital is coming to market in record volume as investors continue to find ILS an attractive and diversifying asset class. Tim Tetlow, partner and chief operating officer at Hudson Capital Management, a member of the ILS Bermuda Thought Leadership and Education Work Stream said: “Dan lectures around the world on forecasting, risk and decision-making. The ILS convergence space will be intrigued by his framework for the analysis of risk, complex information and prediction in real-world situations where traditional actuarial approaches might be less useful. “As the ILS looks to new and innovative areas of risk, Dan’s insights can help in how we form models of what will happen in the future and how to think in terms of probabilities while also recognizing that everything is uncertain.”

June 27. Bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd’s operating units have had their AA rating affirmed by Standard & Poor’s — even though the credit ratings agency expects to see some losses from bonds issued by debt-saddled Puerto Rico. S&P Global Ratings cited the Bermuda-based firm’s very strong capital adequacy, market leadership in risk-based pricing, its diversified underwriting strategy and record of credit discipline. S&P stated: “Although much of Assured’s business has been in the US public finance market, it has the most diverse underwriting strategy of any bond insurer, also conducting business in the global structured finance and international public finance markets. “Although some segments of these other markets have been risky in the past, we believe management’s current approach to writing business in them is well thought-out and measured.” S&P cautioned that Assured’s “exposure to issuers in Puerto Rico may pressure its capital position as losses begin to materialize". Dominic Frederico, Assured’s chief executive officer, said: “Once again, S&P reaffirmed Assured Guaranty’s AA stable rating. The affirmation validates not only our financial strength but also our proven business model, profitable financial results and the success of our strategic choices. “Our size and experience allow us to lead the US municipal bond market by participating broadly, regularly insuring large municipal transactions, including public-private partnerships, as well as small and mid-size transactions, while achieving favorable average premium rates. “Additionally, our international infrastructure and structured finance businesses further diversify our insured portfolio while providing a competitive advantage through the flexibility to capitalize on growth trends and pricing opportunities when they are better in one sector than in others.“ While low interest rates limited new business opportunities over recent years, we were able to produce good economic results through effective loss mitigation, re-assumptions of ceded business, and acquisitions. “Our insured portfolio has amortized significantly in recent years while our claims-paying resources have remained substantially the same at approximately $12 billion, significantly reducing our leverage ratios. “As a result, based on our understanding of S&P’s capital adequacy model, we estimate that Assured Guaranty had $2.8 billion of capital in excess of S&P’s AAA requirement at year-end 2016.”

June 27. Upmarket hotel company Ritz-Carlton is to launch a luxury yacht and cruise line targeted on smaller ports and glamour destinations. But the firm, which is due to open a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property at Caroline Bay next year, yesterday declined to say whether Bermuda would figure in its cruise plans. A spokeswoman said: “The exact routes and itineraries are being developed as we speak and we are working with the best team of seasoned cruise professionals to create unique and highly curated itineraries." But she added the ships would cover “a wide variety of compelling locations” worldwide. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will feature three luxury cruising yachts, with the first going into service in the last quarter of 2019.The company said: “Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days." Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at unique locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St Barths and the old town of Cartagena.”The vessels, created by Ritz-Carlton and marine experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, working with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, will be run under a long-term operating agreement. The first ship will measure 190 metres and carry up to 248 passengers in 149 suites, each with a private balcony, as well as two 138 square metre penthouse suites. Mr Prothero, managing director of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, said: “The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards.”Mr Clasen, joint managing director of the yachting venture, added: “We are delighted to collaborate with the Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel." All three yachts will have restaurants by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, Ritz-Carlton’s three Michelin-starred restaurant in Wolfsburg, Germany, a Ritz-Carlton spa and a panorama lounge and wine bar with a wide range of entertainment. The yachts will also offer “curated destination journeys” through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, “allowing guests to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both on-board and ashore." Reservations are due to open in May next year.

June 27. The Progressive Labour Party today rolled out its final 18 General Election candidates, including 16 of its sitting MPs. Opposition leader David Burt, who will be up against Nick Kempe of the One Bermuda Alliance in Pembroke West Central, was joined by fellow Shadow Cabinet members and other candidates at a press conference at Alaska Hall. Walton Brown will once again take on Andrew Simons of the OBA, who he beat by six votes in Pembroke Central at the 2012 election. Michael Scott will go head-to-head with Ray Charlton of the OBA, who he beat by eight votes in Sandys North five years ago. Others to be unveiled in strong PLP areas were Derrick Burgess, who will face Peter Barrett of the OBA in Hamilton East; and Wayne Furbert, who will be against Simone Barton of the OBA and independent candidate Thad Hollis in Hamilton West. Rolfe Commissiong will take on Rodney Smith of the OBA in Pembroke South East; Walter Roban will be against Scott Stewart of the OBA in Pembroke East; and Diallo Rabain will defend Devonshire North Central against Fabian Minors of the OBA. Neville Tyrrell will fight against Robyn Swan of the OBA in Warwick South Central; Lawrence Scott will be against Nalton Brangman of the OBA in Warwick South East; Dennis Lister will face Michael Swan of the OBA in Sandys North Central; and Jamahl Simmons will be against Georgia Marshall of the OBA in Sandys South.Lovitta Foggo (St David’s), Kim Wilson (Sandys South Central), Zane DeSilva (Southampton East) and Michael Weeks (Pembroke East Central) will all run in constituencies where the OBA has not yet unveiled a candidate. Former public safety minister David Burch and former backbencher George Scott were also named as candidates. Mr Burch, who was absent from the press conference, will take on Sheila Gomez of the OBA in Warwick North Central, the seat he lost by ten votes to Wayne Scott in 2012.George Scott will challenge Craig Cannonier of the OBA in Devonshire South Central. Speaking after the roll-out, Mr Burt said: “In 1998, we set out to build a new Bermuda, but in 2017 we want to build a better Bermuda. We will do that by putting Bermudians first and providing them with the tools and the opportunities that they need to succeed.” He said the party are “proud and humbled” noting the PLP’s defeat in the last General Election, saying that the party has listened and learnt.“ In 2012, you the voters sent us a clear message. That message was ‘not good enough’. We were not worthy of your vote back then, and you let us know,” he said .“As a result we regrouped, we retooled, and we are humbly coming back to you asking for your support and to assure you that we will not let you down. We remain humble because during the last four plus years, we didn’t get it right all the time and if we messed up, you let us know. The fact that you even cared enough to tell us off humbles us.” Mr Burt challenged the OBA’s record since the election, saying the party doesn’t have the right priorities and has expanded the divide between the “two Bermudas”. “We are here because we are a team that will build a bridge of opportunity between the two Bermuda’s and close the gap between the haves and the have-nots, building a more fair economy by reducing the cost of living that is crushing so many families. We are a team that will repair the social fabric that has been ripped apart by a callous government decision to cut social services and after school programmes, investments in our youth and our seniors while lavishly spending on their own vanity projects, at the same time robbing future generations of wealth by privatizing our public assents. And we are a team that will provide Bermudians with the tools and the opportunities to make Bermuda a better place for all of us.”

June 27. Financial services investment company Somers Ltd yesterday announced a net loss of $6.6 million for the six months to the end of March. However, the parent company of Bermuda Commercial Bank and part owner of several businesses in Britain and Australia, was still able to raise its dividend by more than 10 per cent, reflecting its board’s confidence in its investee firms’ performance. A major reason behind the net loss was investment losses of $4.1 million in the year to date, compared to around half that figure — $2.2 million — in the same six-month period the previous year. The six-month report said: “Investment gains and losses result from changes in the valuation of the company’s investments and the year-to-date loss was due to reductions in the value of our holding in Ascot Lloyd following a reduction in the company’s maintainable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.” Somers’ total assets stood at $337.3 million at the end of the first quarter, down from $346.9 million at the end of September 2016. Somers owns Bermuda Commercial Bank and has a 59 per cent stake in Australian firm Homeloans Ltd, and a 62.5 per cent holding in the UK’s Waverton Investment Management. Other investments include 51 per cent of Ascot Lloyd Holdings in the UK, a 57 per cent share of Bermudian property management and investment company West Hamilton Holdings, a 23 per cent investment in Ireland’s Merrion Capital Holdings and a 75 per stake in Britain’s Stockdale Securities Ltd. Warren McLeland, chairman of Somers, said: “The investee companies continue to perform strongly with excellent financial results, in particular at Homeloans and Waverton. During the quarter, the company invested a further $2.3 million in Ascot Lloyd to fund a portion of the deferred consideration owed by Ascot Lloyd on one of its recent acquisitions.” Mr McLeland added that both the UK pound and Australian dollar had increased against the US dollar in the first quarter of 2017, which had improved Somers’ overall valuation as 59 per cent of its holdings are in pounds or Australian dollars. He said: “The board of directors is pleased to recommend an interim dividend of 20 cents per share, a small increase on last year’s interim dividend. This reflects the performance of the underlying investee companies and the company’s future prospects. We were pleased to recently announce the company’s bonus warrant issue, the proceeds of which will enable the company to materially reduce its debt. We therefore look forward to the rest of the year with cautious optimism.”

June 27. Thick smoke blanketed a Pembroke neighborhood yesterday as huge flames erupted from a motor yacht. While it is understood no one was on the 51ft Bertram, Sum Girl, the blaze caused extensive damage to the boat and a towering pillar of smoke visible from both ends of the island. The owner of the boat was contacted, but declined to comment about the fire. According to a representative for the Bermuda Police Service, emergency services received a call about a suspected boat fire shortly after 3pm, with marine police arriving on the scene shortly after. A Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman, Acting Lieutenant Russann Francis, said in a statement at about 4.30pm: “On our arrival, the incident commander reported the boat to have visible smoke and flames issuing." The Fire Service responded to the incident with nine vehicles and 13 personnel. A preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire has commenced. ”Boats moored alongside the vessel were moved to help prevent damage as firefighters worked for hours to extinguish the flames. Access to Mariners Lane was limited for much of the afternoon to allow a succession of fire-trucks to bring water to combat the blaze. Despite their best efforts, the fire continued to burn into the evening, with firefighters still on the scene after 8pm. However, some members of the public expressed concerns that efforts were being hindered by the narrow and winding roads leading to the moored vessel. “Even if they could get the trucks all the way down here, there’s no way they could turn them around, so they have to run a hose halfway down the hill,” said one area woman, who asked not to be named. “You would think there would be some sort of boat they could use." None of the local residents who spoke with The Royal Gazette saw how the fire began. They said they were drawn out of their homes by the smoke and the sound of fire-trucks. “I heard the truck coming around a little after 3pm,” one Mariners Lane resident. “The first thing I saw when I looked out was the smoke. It was everywhere. Thankfully it’s not my boat, and it doesn’t look like the fire is going to spread.” Meanwhile Jasmin Smith said: “I could smell it as soon as I got off the bus. There is just so much smoke everywhere. I’m glad no one was hurt.” A Crescent Hill resident said last night he had heard about the fire on Facebook and was relieved to return home to find everything intact. “My first thought was I hoped it wasn’t my house, but I called a friend and they said it was a boat on the dock,” he said. “I was a bit worried that I had left my windows open and all of the smoke would get in, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I was locked up tight. Now I just have to hope I didn’t get anything in my tank.”

June 27. Three Bermudians have graduated from Albert College in Belleville, Ontario — the same college that former MP John Barritt attended. And as of September, Mr Barritt will be taking on the role of Chair of the Board. A total of 38 students from a ten countries graduated, including Sasha Griffin, Sergio Griffin Jr and Tauriko Gibson, all of whom are from Pembroke. Mr Barritt, a lawyer and former journalist, graduated in 1968 and has since has volunteered his time to the college. He recently received the Alumni Volunteer Award at the Convocation ceremony for the time and dedication he gave to Albert College. Since 2009, he has served as a committee member on the Board of Governors “providing great insight,” said a college press release. “He is also a longstanding member of the Frederick Sydney Smith ’31 Scholarship Committee in Bermuda and was one of its first committee members. This scholarship has supported a number of Bermudian students at Albert College over the years.” Mr Barritt spoke at the ceremony, saying: “I am very pleased to be here today, not to make a fashion statement in my pink Bermuda shorts, but to represent with the three Bermudian graduates. We agreed back in February that I would wear my shorts if they wore theirs today — and they have! Like them, I too am a very proud graduate of Albert College, which has a rich history with Bermuda and Bermudian students doing what it does best — and that is bringing out the best in us.” Mr Griffin was the recipient of the Howard Purchase Memorial Award for positive contribution to residence life as well as a subject award in Data Management. He graduated with distinction and as an Ontario Scholar, having achieved an average of 80 per cent or higher and excelling in Albert College’s 5 ‘A’s (Academics, Athletics, Arts, Active Citizenship and Adventure). Next year, he will be attending Hult International Business University in San Francisco, pursuing, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. His twin sister, Sasha, has attended Albert College for three years. Next year, she will be attending Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, pursuing a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care degree. Mr Gibson attended Albert College for two years. He will attend Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario next year, pursuing a Bachelor of Communication and Media studies degree. “One hundred per cent of the graduating class at Albert College will be pursuing postsecondary education next year,” added the release. “Ninety-two per cent of the graduating class received Ontario Scholar status, having achieved an average of 80 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 subjects. Seventeen graduates were also Albert College Scholars, having achieved an average of 90 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 subjects. In addition, 18 students graduated with distinction, having achieved an average of 80 per cent or more and excelling in Albert College’s 5 ‘A’s (Academics, Athletics, Arts, Active Citizenship and Adventure). The most popular Canadian university destinations include Ryerson University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University, Western University and Dalhousie University. In addition, international postsecondary locations include schools in the United States and the Netherlands. Founded in 1857, Albert College is Canada’s oldest coeducational boarding and day high school. For more information, visit albertcollege.ca.

June 27. Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda has released its 2017 Racial Justice Platform, urging political candidates to take action which will bring about “greater racial justice and economic equity” in Bermuda. In a statement released this afternoon, CURB outlined the importance of racial justice and asked political parties, their candidates and all independents, to respond to their 27-point platform. “In November 2012 CURB released its first ever Racial Justice Platform prior to the December 17, 2012 election,” said the statement. “We knew that race would come up in the 2012 election, as it continues to do in the 2017 election, and CURB was seeking to direct the discussion in a more constructive and proactive way. We hoped that the concrete actions outlined in the 2012 Platform would allow political parties and their candidates the ability to consider, comment and endorse the 15-point plan and more importantly take actions on the 2012 recommendations and move the discussion forward to create greater equity and justice. Unfortunately only one recommendation was fully achieved, the decriminalization of marijuana. In May 2017 legislation was finally passed with bipartisan support. “A few other recommendations have been driven by community-led initiatives such as support for a reconciliation process. Failing any concrete political action, CURB moved to a community process and began the Truth and Reconciliation Community Conversations in January 2017.” The statement continues: “Movement towards a greater use of restorative practices in our criminal justice system has occurred with support from Chief Justice Ian Kawaley and Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe, as well as restorative justice processes in the Corrections Department. However, the choice of a methodology, process and timeline has yet to be publicly put in place for the entire criminal justice system. We hope the introduction of equality impact assessments might become a reality and receive bipartisan support as there has been a commitment by the Progressive Labour Party to introduce legislation. Many of the other 2012 recommendations were critically important to bringing about racial justice and equity, i.e. a Workforce Equity Bill; scholarships for Bermudian students to study overseas after completing Bermuda College; mandatory reporting of wealth; a capital gains tax; repeal of Section 315F of the Criminal Code stop and search legislation; and a racial equity index to ensure progress is occurring.“ CURB believes that if more of the 2012 recommendations had been implemented it would have gone some way to staunch the exodus of so many Bermudians, and mitigate the distrust, economic disparity and social unrest that has been increasing in our community over the last several years. "If Bermuda is to become truly united, there must be healing, equal opportunity, educational advancement, economic equity and the ability to measure progress. We urge the politicians and candidates to study and consider the 2017 recommendations and we encourage the people of Bermuda to ask the candidates questions about their commitment to racial justice and equity in our society. We hope that both political parties and the candidates will study the 2017 Racial Justice Platform and publicly provide comment and support so that Bermudians understand their position on these matters that are of great importance to anyone who cares for equality and the future stability of our society.”

June 27. A cybersecurity advisory was issued this afternoon by the Bermuda Government over a surge in online attacks around the world. A statement follows: "The Ministry of National Security is advising that a new variant of Petya ransomware, also known as Petwrap, is spreading rapidly due to the same Windows SMBv1 vulnerability that the WannaCry ransomware abused. The Bermuda Government’s Cybersecurity Working Group has been monitoring the concerns, and has been made aware of large scale system affections in the US and Europe. Reports of systems affected include: harbour terminals, airports, electricity grids, banks, factories, offices, insurance, and military. The public is advised that Petya works very differently from other ransomware malware. For example, Petya does not encrypt files on a targeted system one by one. Instead, it reboots victims computers and encrypts the hard drive’s master file table (MFT) and renders the master boot record (MBR) inoperable. This restricts access to the full system by seizing information about file names, sizes, and location on the physical disk.Petya replaces the computer’s MBR with its own malicious code that displays the ransom note and leaves computers unable to boot. Cyber-security experts note that Petya uses the Eternalblue NSA exploit, SMB share and lateral movement using WMIC similar to Wannacry but also spreading with a client-side attack using CVE-2017-0199.Unlike the 2015/2016 Petya ransomware decryption keys are unavailable. The Bermuda Government’s Cybersecurity Working Group urging the following precautions be taken:• Patch your systems for MS17-010, block SMB sharing at the firewall and disable WMIC if possible and have offline back-ups. If possible, block RTF (rich text) files at your e-mail gateway. To safeguard against any ransomware infection, you should always be suspicious of unwanted files and documents sent over an e-mail and should never click on links inside them unless you have verified the source. Keep a good back-up routine in place that makes their copies to an external storage device that isn’t always connected to your PC. Small businesses and home users should consider using cloud services to back up their important files. Many service providers (for example, e-mail providers) offer a small amount of cloud storage space for free.•Run an antivirus security suite on your system regularly, and keep it up-to-date. Home users should turn on Windows Updates and run it. Always browse the internet safely. The public will recall that last month (May), the Ministry of National Security encouraged public vigilance following a large scale cyber-attack which infecting more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries."

June 27. Almost 50 turtles caught in the Great Sound during the America’s Cup have been released after being temporarily held in Harrington Sound. In May, the Ministry of the Environment announced it would be relocating turtles to prevent the animals from being struck by boats during the course of racing. According to a spokeswoman, a total of 38 green turtles have been placed back in Western waters, while eight green turtles and three hawksbill turtles were released in the East End in mid-June and are expected to be making their way west. “When the sea turtles were collected in late May, they were measured, weighed, photographed, microchipped and numbers were painted on their shells,” the spokeswoman said. “It is estimated that the turtles ate 50 or more heads of lettuce per day while enclosed near the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. They were fed at the deepest point of the enclosure by submerging trays of lettuce arranged to mimic sea grass beds. In this way, human interaction was minimized to prevent habituation, Ian Walker, the principal curator and veterinarian at BAMZ, said: “While protection of the turtles from heightened marine traffic was the principal aim, we were able to closely monitor this group of green sea turtles. That has added information to our database that some turtles are dealing with very high parasite burdens. BAMZ keeps detailed records of all turtles that pass through our hands, whether this group or the turtles brought to us by members of the public for treatment or necropsy. Based on all our data, we think that disease resulting from high parasite burdens is becoming increasingly common. As high parasite burdens, often related to malnutrition, is now one of the leading causes of turtle morbidity and mortality in Bermuda, BAMZ is actively pursuing research to better understand and deal with this issue. Before release, the turtles were weighed and had flipper tags attached. A very small DNA sample was taken from each individual turtle before groups of turtles were taken by boat to the area where they were first collected in the Great Sound. This is so that these individual turtles can be readily identified if they are returned to BAMZ." The spokeswoman said the turtles were transported on their backs on beds made from swimming noodles to keep them from moving, and were kept cool and hydrated in transit. “Now that they are back in the Great Sound, their purpose-built, temporary enclosure will be dismantled,” the spokeswoman added.

June 26. There was an air of inevitability as Emirates Team New Zealand put the finishing touches to their triumphant America’s Cup campaign. Starting the day on match point, the Kiwis secured the “Auld Mug” in the first race of the day, coming from behind to win and clinch the series 7-1. Once they seized control by the third mark, the race felt more like a victory parade for Team New Zealand, who have well and truly exorcised the ghosts from their previous challenge four years ago. It was a gut-wrenching collapse in San Francisco, the Kiwis surrendering an 8-1 lead to Oracle Team USA, although there was never even a whiff of a comeback this time around. Oracle’s spirit had already been broken after back-to-back losses on Sunday, when any realistic chance they had of forcing their way back into the match evaporated, along with the fire in Jimmy Spithill’s fighting talk. The foundations of Team New Zealand’s conquest were laid long before they even arrived in Bermuda — the last of the six teams do so — opting to stay in Auckland during their testing and development period. Make no mistake, this was as much a victory for innovation as it was for seamanship. Take nothing away from Peter Burling and his crew, though, who applied the technology and threw the flying machine they were built around the Great Sound with skill and precision. At 26, Burling is now the youngest helmsman to hoist the oldest trophy in international sport — a distinction previously held by opposite number Spithill, who won the cup in 2010 aged 30.“We are on top of the world!” Burling said. “This is exactly what we intended to do." It's been three years of hard work and this is exactly what we came here for. We are ecstatic about what we have managed to achieve here.” Burling and skipper Glenn Ashby, the lone survivor from the 2013 horror show, were doused in champagne by their team-mates as the pair jointly lifted the trophy. Ashby admitted that the Kiwis made some risky technical decisions, such as the radical move to pedal-power grinding stations, but hailed the team’s commitment to “thinking outside the square"." We were open-minded all of the way through to make those hard decisions and take the path we did,” said Ashby, who was instrumental in the switch to cyclors.“ As we saw today, we got most of them right! The foresight we had to be aggressive and bold in our design philosophy has ultimately provided us with the victory." For the 39-year-old Australian, the win was all the sweeter, as it signalled a remarkable turnaround since San Francisco. “It was absolutely brutal for the team in San Francisco and it was a hard pill to swallow,” Ashby said. “It’s a great redemption and just a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign. “To be able to come to Bermuda quite late with a fairly aggressively designed package, against all odds really, and pull off this victory is an immensely proud moment. ”Spithill hoped to steer Oracle — bankrolled by American billionaire Larry Ellison — to a third successive title and said the defeat will take time to digest. “We haven’t talked about that, we just focused on winning this race,” Spithill said. “Larry said, ‘You can get this done’, and he believed. But we haven’t spoken at all about the team and what the future holds. “Even when you win, you think about what you did wrong. Now that we’ve lost, the list is long. In the reflection period, it’s important to think it through and try and learn the lessons.” Grant Dalton, the Team New Zealand chief executive, said that the plans for the next edition will “play out in the next few weeks”. But he did reveal that Italy’s Luna Rossa has been chosen as the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup. “The 36th America’s Cup will be open to further challengers from any organised yacht club of a foreign country under conditions to be announced in due course,” Dalton added.

June 26, earlier. Emirates Team New Zealand reached match point in the 35th America’s Cup after back-to-back wins against Oracle Team USA. The Kiwis moved to 6-1 in the first-to-seven series and look immune to the kind of heartbreaking collapse that denied them winning the “Auld Mug” four years ago. One victory from the maximum three scheduled races today would make Peter Burling the youngest helmsman to hoist the oldest trophy in international sport. The 26-year-old once again dominated Jimmy Spithill and gave the Oracle skipper a cheeky wave as the Kiwis flew past the defenders at the beginning of race eight. The starting box was cause for concern for the Kiwis during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers round robin and Challenger Play-offs, with many expecting Burling to be eaten alive by the more experienced Spithill. It has been quite the opposite, however, with Spithill winning only one pre-start and allowing Burling to put clear air between the two boats on both occasions yesterday. Spithill, who joined Sir Russell Coutts on 14 for the most wins in the finals, admits he may now hand over the helm to tactician Tom Slingsby. “I’ll do whatever is good for the team,” the two-times America’s Cup winner from Australia said. “If we think the team’s got a better chance with me on the wheel, clearly I’ll go on the wheel. If we think the team’s got a better chance with me off the wheel, no problem. “Our attitude’s always been from Day 1 that you put the team before yourself. The team we roll out tomorrow that will be the team we think will give ourselves the best chance of winning.” Oracle seemed to have found significant boat speed on Saturday, when they won their first race of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, after making several technical changes, including the removal of their lone pedal-grinding mechanism. Any hopes of gaining further ground on the challengers were quashed yesterday, however, with Team New Zealand now on the brink of claiming the title for the first time since 2000.“Despite the lead, we won’t get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and it’s still an incredibly tough ask,” Burling said. “A lot has been said about what happened four years ago, but I love the pressure. “If you want to come all the way to Bermuda and win the America’s Cup, then you have to deal with immense pressure. “As a group we feel the pressure is bringing the best out of us and we’ve more than answered those questions. ”The Kiwis were simply better than Oracle in every facet of racing. An unnecessary tack in the pre-start of race seven gave Team New Zealand an early advantage and all but ended Oracle’s chances of a second victory. “Those guys just got off the line better than us,” said Spithill, sporting a wrist bandage for the second successive day after an injury in practice. “We did one little turn up that we didn’t need to do there. ”The Kiwis also won the crucial start in the eighth race to open a 13-second lead before Spithill had even crossed the line. “We just couldn’t get the hook-up after we turned up there at the start and unfortunately allowed them the hook. From then on, it was very, very difficult to catch up once they got their nose free,” Spithill added. “It was clearly an error. We thought we would have been able to hook-up and get going and be OK.” Oracle hardly helped themselves by making numerous unforced errors and picking up a penalty on leg four by sailing outside the boundary to compound their woes on a miserable and damaging day. In stark contrast, Burling and his crew sailed a near-perfect race, emphasizing their superiority by keeping their catamaran on the foils all the way around the course.

June 26. Home-grown Bank of Butterfield has outstripped global giant HSBC to become Bermuda’s biggest bank. Butterfield was listed as having assets of $11.1 billion last year, compared to $8.7 billion for HSBC Bermuda, overtaking its rival by a sizeable margin. A KPMG report into the state of the island’s banking industry said: “The change in position arose as Butterfield completed their acquisition of HSBC’s private banking operations in April 2016.” But the banking sector as a whole in Bermuda shrunk by around $1.49 billion last year, a 6 per cent drop. Clarien Bank had more than $1.1 billion in assets in the same period, while Bermuda Commercial Bank’s assets totaled a little over $649 million. Net profits across the industry went up by $26 million, some 15 per cent compared to 2015.The details were revealed in the latest Bermuda Banking survey carried out for KPMG’s Insights magazine. Craig Bridgewater, head of banking at KPMG in Bermuda, said: “Six per cent is not a big number and what’s happened is there have been some movements in the industry.“ HSBC sold its private banking to Butterfield and Butterfield is restructuring its business." He added: “From time to time, customers may move funds around in the nature of their business — large reinsurance claims could see funds leave banks. ”Mr Bridgewater said that since the Insights survey was first produced six years ago, regulation of the sector had increased. He said that the impact of stricter regulation had been a major topic in the Insights round table featuring the heads of the four island banks. “Customer experience remains of paramount importance and investment in technology enablement has the potential to benefit the business, employees and customers.” According to the survey, despite the drop in assets the banking sector remained stable. "The cost-to-income ratio, a key performance indicator for the productivity and efficiency of banks, has remained in line with the five-year average." Mr Bridgewater said: “Clearly, there is the regulatory environment and that continuously becomes more of a challenge. I don’t see any weakness in there so far — they have been able to absorb these challenges.” He added: “It has been an eventful year for Bermuda’s banking sector. Butterfield listed on the New York Stock Exchange, HSBC sold their private banking operations, BCB moved into its new premises and Clarien received a significant capital injection.” HSBC reported $117 million in profits for 2016, up $34 million, or 34 per cent, compared to the previous year. Butterfield made $116 million profits over the same period up $37.8 million, or 48 per cent, compared to 2015.Clarien Bank ended the year with $1.2 million in net profits, more than double the 2015 figure, while BCB had a net loss $6.63 million, put down to poor performance of investments, as well as currency depreciations as result of the fall in sterling after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

June 26. The Department of Marine and Ports Services is reminding boaters to monitor VHF channel 16 while out on the water. It comes after an all stations broadcast by Bermuda Radio asking for assistance for a disabled vessel yesterday went unanswered. “Bermuda Radio was contacted by PC Millie Won reporting that vessel was disabled in the south channel, with one person on-board and in need of assistance,” the incident report stated. “Marine police offered to provide a tow to the closest dock, but this offer was declined as owner only wanted to go to Burchall Cove, and was happy to drift in that direction.” But the statement added that an “all stations broadcast by Bermuda Radio went unanswered despite the presence of numerous boaters in the area”. PC Millie Won managed to secure a tow from a passing friend, who towed the vessel safely into Burchall Cove. “As always, mariners are encouraged to monitor VHF Channel 16 once on the water to allow them and fellow boaters to call for assistance.” In a separate matter, Bermuda Radio received a call on VHF Ch16 from MY Rena, north of Hawkins Island, reporting a medical emergency on board. “Bermuda Radio contacted marine police who attended the vessel along with America’s Cup medical staff,” the incident report said. “The patient was transferred to the MY Musashi’s tender also in attendance and transported to an awaiting ambulance at Barr’s Bay.”

June 26. Members of the public are again being warned to keep an eye out for fake bills after reports of counterfeit Bermuda $100 notes. A police spokesman called on businesses and staff to “remain vigilant”, noting a series of security features on normal bills including a translucent flower, a hibiscus watermark with a sailboat highlight and a hidden butterfly image visible only under ultraviolet light. “Employees are once again advised that if counterfeit cash is detected during a transaction, the member of staff receiving the fake money should hold on to it, note the description of the individual who tendered it and contact police immediately,” the spokesman said. “Similarly, members of the public should take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive by performing the ‘look, feel, tilt, check’ test, especially on the larger denominations. The four-part test advises to: Look — for the oval window in the note in the area of the wide metallic security thread. This window is present in each denomination. Feel — the unique banknote paper which is crisp and contains raised printing in bold colours. The colours are different on each denomination.  Tilt — the fronts of the Bermuda $20, $50 & $100 banknotes and find the iridescent band, which is a gold stripe across the note with the denominational numeral visible in repeated images within the stripe. Check — that you can see the map of Bermuda and the letters BMA in the wide metallic security thread when the note is held up to the light. This is the same for each denomination. “Persons who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency are encouraged to contact the nearest police station at the earliest opportunity to report the matter,” the spokesman continued. “As a reminder it is a criminal offence to pass to another, possess, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency; punishable by up to five years in prison — and those caught committing such offences can expect to be prosecuted.” Any suspected counterfeit currency or related suspicious circumstances should be reported to the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.

June 26. The Progressive Labour Party has unveiled three General Election candidates to go up against three of the One Bermuda Alliance’s key players. Architect Curtis Richardson will take on Grant Gibbons in Paget East, barrister Kathy Simmons will challenge senator Jeff Baron in Warwick North East and political commentator Chris Famous will fight against Bob Richards in Devonshire East. The OBA won all those seats comfortably at the 2012 election, and its three candidates are the economic development minister, national security minister and finance minister respectively. However, the race may not be clear-cut in Warwick North East, where incumbent Mark Pettingill, formerly of the OBA, has said he could run as an independent candidate. PLP veteran Dale Butler, who had previously voiced an interest in running for the Warwick North East seat again, was present yesterday. Speaking after the announcement, he said: “I am 100 per cent supportive of the newly selected PLP candidate Kathy Simmons, who will provide the leadership people want in this constituency. We need more women in Parliament, and constituents are excited about her selection.” Speaking at Alaska Hall, Mrs Simmons said parliamentarians needed to focus on the interests of the public and that a PLP government would put Bermudians first. She said; “Under a PLP government, the public narrative will change from one purposely designed to demean and dehumanize Bermudians to one that celebrates the social and economic advancement that Bermudians will achieve when our education system is properly funded, when cost-effective options are provided for our seniors to enable them to live with dignity and when policies which promote economic empowerment and independence are implemented. People seem ready for change. As a wife and mother of three young sons, I have a vested interest in the success of Bermuda, and I will work tirelessly to ensure my sons have the same opportunities for success as others." Speaking to her constituents, she said the cost of senior care and the general economy was a major concern. Mr Richardson was proud to be selected as a candidate. He said: “I look forward to being part of the solution to lifting the stigma that has been cast upon the PLP. We have collectively listened, we have learnt.” He said more must be done to ensure there are opportunities for Bermudians as even those with a college education have a hard time finding work. Richardson said: “There was once a day when the most prominent goal was to travel abroad to get a degree in any chosen field and one just could not wait until graduation to return to Bermuda to give back to their beloved country and serve its people,” he said. “This was the most popular goal of my generation of education seekers. “However, in the current environment, too many are returning home and having to settle for jobs in other fields or having to search for months or even years to acquire a job. This must change.” He said that speaking to the people in the constituency, the overriding concern from the public is the condition of the island’s economy. Mr Famous said he was more than proud to be running in Devonshire East and he attacked the record of One Bermuda Alliance. “Bermuda needs new energy and new blood in our politics,” he said. “The government we currently have is not performing satisfactorily or in the best interest of all Bermudians. The OBA government has disrespected our people continually for the past 4½ years. This disrespect is not simply due to disagreements over policy, but it has been through their words and deeds. Seniors have been told money doesn’t grow on trees, yet we have seen money allocated to America’s Cup at the expense of seniors’ pensions, school maintenance, and technology improvements.” He said residents in the constituency have a range of concerns but said that “The overall concern is that of representation, the representation they have had for the last ten years. That’s the biggest concern”.

June 26. Former MP John Barritt has just over a week from today to decide whether to declare his candidacy in the upcoming General Election. Admitting he had to be “realistic” with July 18 looming, Mr Barritt said last night that he remained undecided, but would run as an independent if he chose. “Prior to the election being called, I spent weeks going around visiting people I know well and who know me well from the 20 years that I represented them.” Mr Barritt declared much the same in an interview last week for Bernews.com, but has until nomination day on July 4 to throw his hat in the ring. “Widespread support” runs throughout the island for independent candidates being able to break through “partisan, party politics”, he said. At present, Devonshire South Central is held by Craig Cannonier of the One Bermuda Alliance. Mr Barritt retired from politics in November 2011 to make way for Mr Cannonier — and for an OBA founder to run independently in the constituency would represent a momentous decision. “Time is really against me,” he said, conceding he had expected the election to fall towards the end of this year or even early in 2018.But the Bermudian public had also been taken off guard, Mr Barritt noted. “The problem with these sorts of elections, when they are not fixed term, is they don’t give voters an opportunity to properly organise themselves. There has not been one primary, for example. I consider that to be a retrograde step. ”The legislature ought to be able to organise itself better, to show the community that people with strongly differing opinions can still work together. With the OBA, we said we would create a network of committees to tackle major problems, to give all the people on the back bench the ability to get involved. As far as I can tell that never materialized — very sadly. ”However, Mr Barritt remained optimistic on the ability of public bodies to sway the political discourse from outside. “Technology today makes it possible for people to share their thoughts with the House or with Government, and there’s nothing wrong with groups coming to the table to share what they think. Everybody has to have the feeling that they are having a fair say. Collaboration was not something graciously granted, but should in fact be the first requirement”.

June 26. Former premier Ewart Brown has called for a Commission of Inquiry to look into the conduct of the police and the Attorney-General’s Department relating to the “endless investigation” into him. Dr Brown, through his legal team, has written to Governor John Rankin branding the six-year inquiry as a targeted campaign against him and his businesses, questioning whether it was a “persecution rather than a prosecution”. His lawyer Jerome Lynch, QC, told the media the commission could be a one-person panel — unlike the recent four-strong Commission of Inquiry tasked to investigate financial irregularities highlighted in Auditor-General reports — and suggested that Sir John Swan, the former premier, could be a suitable candidate. Dr Brown’s letter states: “It is our view that the endless investigation into Dr Brown is an abuse of executive power subjecting him to intolerable strain and inflicting a degree of suffering that no citizen in a civilized country should have to endure. It seems to us the only way to discover the answers to those questions is to invite Your Excellency to instigate a Commission of Inquiry under the powers granted to you by Section 1 of the Commission of Inquiry Act 1935 to look into the conduct of the Bermuda Police Service and the Attorney-General’s department for the benefit of the public welfare again within the meaning of the Act.” The letter accuses the authorities of systematically harassing Dr Brown’s colleagues and friends and cites a string of incidents including the arrest of physician Mahesh Reddy, recent searches of Dr Brown’s businesses; Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic, and the Government’s lawsuit against the Lahey Clinic as evidence of the “protracted and relentless” campaign against him. Dr Brown also takes aim at the Bermuda Health Council for slashing the fees payable for MRI and CT scans “without merit”. The letter goes on to state: “There can be no doubt that the Bermudian state has now spent millions of dollars investigating everything that Dr Brown has done over the past 20 years and come up with nothing after six years. The time has come to find out if this investigation is in fact a persecution rather than a prosecution, whether it is borne of personal animus rather than a genuine inquiry into suspected criminal conduct, whether this is politically driven rather than independently investigated. Dr Brown’s call for a Commission of Inquiry was announced by Mr Lynch at a press conference at the Hamilton office of Trott & Duncan yesterday morning. Dr Brown was not present. Mr Lynch said that the police investigation smacked of some sort of animus”. The call comes three days after the Supreme Court quashed the arrest of Dr Reddy, ruling that the summary arrest by the Bermuda Police Service was unlawful. In a hearing last Friday, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley made a further declaration that the subsequent search of Dr Reddy’s home was unlawful, ordering that any items seized be returned to him. Mr Lynch added: “The judgment in the Reddy case is just one small strand of the campaign against Dr Brown.”

June 26. Opinion, by Christina Storey, PhD, founder of Eureka! Academic Services, a guest lecturer and curator for the Bermuda National Gallery, and an intern at Canterbury Law. "Is this the season for an independent MPs movement? This seems to be a question widely circulating in these weeks coming up to July 18, and clearly there is a diversity of opinion about whether this is the time, or not, and whether, or not, it would be a good or productive thing to see more independent candidates run and be elected. On a purely practical note, it is remarkably easy to register to be an independent candidate on the ballot for any given constituency. One needs to have proposer and seconder from the constituency supporting the candidate, a deposit of $250 and the ability to deliver it and the paperwork at the correct time and correct place on July 4. Details are on the parliamentary website. If a candidate captures a minimum of one eighth of the votes cast, the $250 is returned. If not, it’s lost. Simple. Less simple is the answer to the question: have we moved far enough away in time and culture from the pre-1960s era that the idea, symbolism and reality of independent MPs are enough emptied of historical baggage as to be ready to retool for a properly post-colonial purpose? Could the return of independent MPs signal a perhaps long-overdue move away from the zero-sum structure of a two-party Westminster model, where there is always a rancorous losing side? (Alongside an often gloating victorious one?) Could, in fact, a cluster of independent MPs guarantee that the country and her various fractured communities graduate from some wholesale imitation of a system designed for the “Mother Country” to one that is non-zero-sum and by definition requires dynamic coalitions and consensus to be built within the House, and thus within the civic society at large? There is not space here to go into the reasons why a system, both evolved and designed, to administer and govern a country the size and complexity of Britain should be appropriate or most beneficial to a microscopic-sized country such as Bermuda in any real depth. It is sufficient to point out that Bermuda’s size and population density amplify divisions and discord, and that harmony — economic and social — is and always has been better produced through consensus and neighborly compromise, whether in daily life or civic life. It is worth remembering at this point that compromise is only that, a compromise, if all parties feel a little discomfort. Beyond the potential positive impact that independent MPs may have on the functioning of the House, and thus government as it may be formed, in terms of forcing greater cross-party co-operation, there are a couple of other advantages that non-party MPs may offer. A primary advantage is that an independent can offer their loyalty to the constituents, rather than to a party or a particular platform; or, indeed, some politicized “historical” narrative or rhetorical identity. Why might this be an advantage? One core function of an MP in a representational democracy is to know the views and concerns of all of the constituents — not simply the ones that voted in favour of the MP — and in turn to explain and discuss the legislative and budgetary decision processes. To do this the MP must interact with the bulk of their constituents on a regular basis, in a continuing two-way flow of information, discussion and analysis. In the absence of an already worked-out programme that a party MP takes as fully endorsed, if elected, and thus can feel justified in disappearing off to Parliament not to be seen again until the next election, an independent MP must remain in conversation with constituents as laws are developed and budgets constructed. Without a party or predetermined platform, an independent can consider legislation Act by Act and budgetary priorities year by year, and in continuous consultation with their constituents. By not signing off and staying submissive to a predetermined plan, an independent MP can offer to constituents the capacity to evolve with both them and the ever-changing future contexts for any given issue or spending. A second great advantage to constituents therefore flows from what may be seen at first pass as a weakness: the lack of a fixed platform and fully worked-out manifesto. The absence of party affiliation or a fully articulated platform does not have to mean that an independent MP lacks core and guiding values. Rather, an independent MP can offer a commitment to a consistent set of values, such as transparency, sustainability, equality and a deliverable promise to consistently consider any given element of the business of good representational government within a framework of such values. Of course, any independent MP can choose framing value for their own selves. One advantage of committing to a framework of sustainability and equality is that we may be able to recast conversations, or shouting matches, that we have at present regarding race, class and nationality, in the equally robust but more productive language of sustainability and equality. Our society, and our politics, let alone our social and economic futures, depend on finding more productive ways to frame our debates and a greater capacity to find grounds of compromise and agreement. Without this, we will continue to drift, do little but complain and truly be at the passive mercy of outside fates.

June 25. The 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton is turning into a rout. Another dominant display from challenger Emirates Team New Zealand on the Great Sound today saw the Kiwis extend their lead to 6-1 in the best-of-13 series and move to the brink of winning the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. The Kiwis were clearly a cut above Oracle in every facet in both races, contested in light and shifty southwesterly breezes. Peter Burling and Co bossed the starts and were just as clinical connecting the dots and avoiding the minefields around the race track en route to a clean sweep of the day’s honours. “Full credit to the guys for holding it tight and not giving many chances for them [Oracle] to get back in the race,” Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “I think we showed today that we are a pretty tough bunch. We got asked some questions yesterday and I feel we answered them with our performance on the water. I’m really happy with the way the boys just kept chipping away. It was pretty impressive. We are really excited about going out there tomorrow and putting it all on the line again.” In stark contrast, Oracle found the going tough and costly unforced errors did not help their cause. An extra and unnecessary tack in the pre-start of race seven gave the Kiwis the early advantage and all but ended the race. “Those guys just got off the line better than us,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said. “We did one little turn up that we didn’t need to do there.” The aggressive Kiwis also won the crucial start in the eighth race to again take early control. “We just couldn’t get the hook up after we turned up there at the start and unfortunately allowed them the hook and from then on it was very, very difficult to catch up once they got their nose free,” Spithill said. “It was clearly an error. We thought we would have been able to hook up and get going and be OK.” Oracle’s frustration was perhaps best summed up in the eighth race after they sailed across the boundary on the first beat and picked up a penalty, which enabled the Kiwis to stretch their advantage. “You’ve got to take your hats off to those guys,” Spithill said. “They sailed very clean, very smart and they deserved to win two races.”

June 25. America’s Cup. Race 8: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:30. Team New Zealand gave Oracle a sailing lesson today. Peter Burling and crew sailed a flawless second race to take their seventh win in Bermuda’s America’s Cup. Now it is Match Point for the Kiwi team at 6-1 after the -1 point adjustment carried in from Oracle’s Qualifying win. Oracle entered the box for the pre-start on port tack. New Zealand entered ten seconds later on starboard. Spithill entered the box at 33 knots and blasted upwind to the northwest corner of the box. Oracle looked to be the aggressor. Burling stayed in the middle and when Oracle came back he tacked in a loop around Oracle and then put the pedal down to get the hook on the Americans by ducking behind 17 and coming up just a few metres to leeward. Burling took control and drove Oracle away from the line and the Oracle were pushed upwind and stalled completely. Burling turned to the line and never looked back. New Zealand led at Mark 1 by 12 seconds. They controlled the race from start to finish. Going downwind Oracle lost 50 to 80 metres with a bad first gybe they could not afford to make. Team USA did one more gybe than New Zealand going down to Mark 2.Going upwind, Oracle were closing the gap when they made another wet gybe. Then they compounded that error by sailing beyond the boundary, taking an out-of-bounds penalty. Two more boat lengths for the Kiwis. This allowed New Zealand to extend the lead to 36 seconds. Unforced errors killed Oracle today. At the downwind mark Oracle did another really wet gybe and parked 17 again. They were 37 seconds behind the Kiwis before they stopped and then they lost more. The unforced errors were piling up for Team USA. The Kiwi boys covered and made smooth tacks upwind. New Zealand looked like they were flying on instruments, auto-pilot. New Zealand led going onto Leg 6 some 43 seconds ahead. Turning onto the final leg 31 seconds ahead, the Kiwis just cruised their way to victory by 30 seconds over Team USA. With 100 per cent fly time, New Zealand moved on to Match point. The Kiwis had started a full 40 seconds earlier than Oracle, according to Burling. He explained that they got a full foiling tack around Oracle coming back and were able to get the hook at the start. “Full credit to the guys.” Burling said. Spithill said: “We’ll take it one race at a time.” Oracle are six down and are being schooled in starting and tactics and speed in and out of the tacks and in straight line speed, too. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 5-1. 

June 25. June 25. America’s Cup. Race 7: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:12. New Zealand entered on port tack for this race with Oracle on starboard ten seconds later. The boats went into the pre-start with the defender coming in a little late. The two went for the leeward lay line and New Zealand led back to the line as leeward boat. They drove Oracle off the line then quickly headed down to the blast reach and took off to the line first, two seconds ahead. The Kiwis led the sprint to Mark 1. Downwind the Kiwis were 67 metres ahead at the boundary for the first gybe. The Kiwis came out of their final gybe a knot faster near the gate. They extended their lead in that smooth, fast turn. Going upwind, the Kiwis covered by tacking to go the same direction as Oracle. They stayed on top of Oracle to protect their lead, something they did not do in Race 6. On the next tack for Oracle, New Zealand kept going to the left and let Oracle split away. Either they saw a puff or shift on the water or were lucky. The Kiwis picked up some pressure and extended their lead to over 200 metres. They could now afford to put on a real match-race cover on Oracle to cut off any passing lanes. The Kiwis went onto Leg 4 with a 314m lead, but Oracle closed it up to 280m. Team USA were looking for a chance to get back into the race, looking for those dark patches on the water and trying to connect the wind dots to make some gains. New Zealand stretched it out again, taking the left hand mark and Oracle took the right hand side to split and look for a chance as the breeze was dying. This was the last upwind leg. The Kiwis tacked to cover and kept that loose cover going. Oracle was still in touch, but the Kiwis were protecting their position. New Zealand headed downwind at over 30 knots on to Leg 6 with a 35sec lead. At the downwind gate on to the finish legs making one of the best gybes they made in the whole race. Kiwis picked up point 5 by a 12-second margin over Oracle. New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said: “We’re happy with it. We were within a metre of the line at our start.” The Kiwi tech team have given them a great package. Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill admitted: “We pulled the trigger [on the start] a little late.” Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 6-1.

June 25. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, lost his cool over umpiring decisions that have gone against his team in this America’s Cup. The Australian decided enough was enough after his team incurred a penalty for failing to stay clear of challengers Emirates Team New Zealand during a dial-down on the first beat in race five yesterday. It was a costly call that Spithill heatedly disputed. “We had them altering the whole time, we were doing everything we can,” Spithill argued. “We had them altering and we’re frustrated with the penalty. We just feel these guys have been given a few soft penalties. We had one in the first race of the Qualifiers against us; they should have got one at the top mark and the umpires admitted that. We saw what happened in the Artemis race, they gave them one there. It’s just seems they are getting a few soft ones from the umpires.” On a much more positive note, Spithill was delighted to see his team chalk up their first point after winning an exciting sixth race, which featured multiple lead changes and more breathtaking dial-downs. “It was a well-earned win and was exactly what the boys needed,” said Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the “Auld Mug”. “That’s a big step for the team, getting a race win — and the boat is faster. Oracle started the day trailing 3-0 in the best-of-13 series and in desperate need of turning their flagging fortunes around to get their title defence back on track. It reminds me of San Francisco when, once the guys get behind and they can see the boat is faster, then you start building some momentum,” Spithill said. “So that was important to get that win today.” Oracle made changes to their AC50 foiling catamaran during a five-day layoff period to try to make it faster in the light air and the result is a boat more evenly matched with the Kiwis in these conditions. Perhaps the most noticeable changes were the removal of the hybrid pedal grinder and foil design. We made a commitment inside the team that we would use every single one of them and we wanted to make the boat faster, and we all saw today that the boat is a lot faster,” Spithill said .“It was five very long days, 24-hour shifts for the guys on the shore, and the good thing is we are now able to reward them with a win. And for the sailors they’ve now got confidence and that’s the most important thing. We are just happy with the performance of the boat today, but there is more speed left in the tank.” While encouraged with his team’s morale-boosting triumph, Spithill said there is still room for improvements on boat handling — particularly on the starts after picking up a penalty in race five for going over the line early. “We’re obviously frustrated with the first one,” he said. “On board the boat, all of our gear had us behind the line and it was wrong, so we know we got to make some improvements there." Obviously, we’re not sailing as well as we should be; that’s pretty apparent. We know we can do a better job, technique — wise, and clearly we didn’t do that in the first [race]. We had a few issues in the first race and even in the second race we had a pretty good lead and lost it again. It’s good to be able to come back from a race like that. “But the important point is the boat clearly is faster because of the changes, and it showed in the second race if the athletes on board the boat can do a good job, then the boat is even another step faster.”

June 25. Veteran soldier and longstanding political commentator Larry Burchall has died at the age of 75. According to a report on Bernews.com, operated by his daughter Patricia, Mr Burchall passed peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night. In a statement with her brother Laurion Burchall, she said: “We are devastated by the loss of our father. He was our biggest supporter in all we did, defined the term ‘leading by example’, and it was truly a privilege to have him for a father.” Added Paddy Burchall, his wife of 46 years: “Many people knew him for different reasons, but for me he was a wonderful caring husband and father.” Prior to his writing career Mr Burchall was a soldier with both the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the British Army. He originally joined the Bermuda Militia Artillery in 1961 and became the first black Bermudian Sergeant Major. He later went on to become the training officer for the Regiment, and was credited with masterminding the Regimental Honours Parade for Her Majesty the Queen, for which he received the Royal Victorian Medal as a personal award from the Queen. Mr Burchall retired from the Regiment in the 1980s and focused on his writing career, becoming a regular newspaper columnist for the Bermuda Times, the Worker’s Voice, the Bermuda Sun and Bernews. More than just write about politics, Mr Burchall became directly involved, assisting the Progressive Labour Party as a strategist and campaign co-chairman during the party’s 1998 victory and serving as the chairman of the Bermuda Housing Corporation for several years. He also used his writing skills to pen several books, including Behind the Shield, Rise of the Faceless and Fine as Wine. Long-time friend and occasional collaborator Sir John Swan said he was shocked by Mr Burchall’s passing, calling his death "a great loss for the country. He was an architect of Bermuda’s economic information who provided the public with an understanding of the issues that most definitely affected Bermuda, that helped guide the decisions and ideas that molded Bermuda. He has left his mark, no doubt about it, in a very contributing way. He was an avid researcher and gatherer of information. I worked very closely with him; we did a lot of joint work together, and I got to know him as a quiet, thoughtful individual who always wanted to make sure that things were right. There was nothing frivolous about him; he had that military background that gave him great discipline. People highly respected him from all walks of life, who called upon him when they needed to understand where Bermuda was and where it was going. I will miss him enormously — I read everything he wrote, and I have never found fault with any of it.” Fellow political commentator and former MP John Barritt said Mr Burchall will be dearly missed, saying: “He had an uncanny ability to see through to the heart of matters and express them in a way that we readily understood. That’s a gift — one that he shared with everyone. I used to bounce ideas off him on a regular basis. He understood not just local politics, but the people in local politics, and he would tell it like it is. Invariably, there was truth and accuracy in the way he said it. He did his homework. His brain was always engaged before he put the pen in motion.” Condolences were also expressed by the PLP with David Burt, party leader, describing Mr Burchall as a champion for the island and a servant of the people. “Not enough will be spoken or written about one of Bermuda’s most highly regarded sons in the coming hours and days, and for our party, now is not the time to make that valiant attempt to eulogize our lion,” Mr Burt said. “Now is the time for respectful remembrance of a soldier whose battlefield was the hearts and minds of his countrymen; and who saw victory as a united, prosperous, and empathetic Bermuda. Brother Burchall was a stalwart soldier, a disciplined and thoughtful man and a deeply sensitive Bermudian. He will be deeply bereaved by the party, and the loss of his perspective and guidance will be a colossal loss that we will endure. Whether it was his service in the Bermuda Regiment, in politics, or in the media, Larry excelled in all that he did. ”Michael Dunkley, the Premier, described Mr Burchall as “one of the most dynamic Bermudians of his time” and a man who dedicated his life to the island. As a writer, soldier, journalist, publisher and public advocate, Mr Burchall’s heart always beat for Bermuda first,” Mr Dunkley said. “Few Bermudians have been as indispensable to national discussion as Mr Burchall. His commentaries in recent years on the need for fiscal reform to restore financial health to Bermuda’s public purse was appreciated in the corridors of government and among Bermudians concerned for the future well-being of the island. It was a testament to his tenacious character that he never stopped banging the drum for better performance, greater accountability and transparency in public affairs. Mr Burchall never stopped working for a better Bermuda, and that is a legacy we can all take to heart.” Mr Burchall was also remembered by the former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, honorary Colonel Eugene Raynor, who praised him for his long and dedicated service to the island. “He is very well known by a few thousand soldiers who went through the Regiment over the period and I’m sure they will all agree he served them well and got the best performance out of them,” Col Raynor said.

June 24. America’s Cup Match, Race 5:  Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 2:04. The fifth race of the America’s Cup Match was a key race to see how changes, “upgrades”, made over the past five days worked out for each team. Oracle entered the box for the pre-start on port tack, New Zealand were allowed in ten seconds later on starboard. Oracle went deep in the west corner of the box while New Zealand went deep to the north boundary, The two came together in the middle of the box and Oracle did a wiggle to burn speed. New Zealand were pushing Oracle to windward. Shooting up to the line, Team USA were over early. Couldn’t believe that. New Zealand outpaced Oracle going two knots faster downwind. Oracle tried to set up a split at the bottom mark, but New Zealand would not fall for that. They gybed around in front of Oracle and led them to the right. New Zealand had a four-second lead. Oracle picked up pressure and a wind shift and got the lead with starboard rights on a crossing upwind. USA led for the first time on any leg in this Match. But the lead lasted only until the next crossing and it was only about seven metres anyway. Oracle didn’t keep clear when New Zealand came back on starboard and copped another penalty, and had to drop back two boat lengths. Oracle had to do an extra tack to make the upwind mark. Going on to leg four, New Zealand led by 26 seconds. Going downwind Oracle almost came to a dead stop. They ran out of juice to manage the sails and foils. Oracle continued to have problems keeping their hulls up and stuck their hulls in the waves more than once. The Kiwis led by 57 seconds at the downwind mark. Those two or three unforced errors by Oracle are the key for New Zealand. New Zealand made some very aggressive choices with this boat and they have paid off, but today Oracle seemed to have better speed than the first two races. Going on to leg six, the Kiwis had a massive lead. Leg seven was a straight shot to the finish. Oracle did not push for speed to the finish, so the Kiwis won by 2min 4sec.Peter Burling said: “The great boat we have got a little bit quicker.” He was happy with the close racing tactics that helped get the penalty on Oracle. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 4-0. 

June 24. Race 6: Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand by 0:11. Oracle’s upgrades seemed to have paid off with some additional speed in race five, the first after the five-day layoff. However, an error at the start and a “failure to keep clear” penalty made the difference. New Zealand entered on port tack for this race with Oracle on starboard ten seconds later. New Zealand headed out to the west with Oracle following. Oracle got a much better start and led away from the start. For the first time in this America’s Cup, Oracle led around the first mark. The lead was going back and forth but Oracle led at mark two, going on to leg three by six seconds. Going upwind, Oracle showed good speed and made some smooth tacks. Oracle led by 250 metres going downwind, getting the jump on New Zealand early on leg four. But going into the downwind mark, the Kiwis got a puff and a right-hand shift and retook the lead. Oracle trailed by six seconds. One gybe fewer and the Kiwis made their move. At the weather mark, Oracle made a huge gain on a wind shift and retook the lead. On leg six, they took a 120-metre and led on to leg seven by eight seconds. Oracle Team USA held on to the lead to the finish by six seconds to take their first point. Oracle’s average speed was 26.71 knots and New Zealand had 26.65. USA sailed 4,489.6 metres and New Zealand sailed 4,249 metres. New Zealand tacked and gybes fewer times, with 17 to Oracle’s 19. It will take some careful analysis for the teams to figure out why they won or lost. Perhaps it comes down to positioning on the course and match-race tactics. Spithill is thought to have the edge there. Can this be the beginning of the Oracle comeback? In AC34, it was 8-1 and now it is only 4-1.Wow, now it gets interesting. There was a completely different attitude on 17 after this race. Can Oracle Team USA do it? From on the water, Spithill said: “This is just what the boys needed, It was a good improvement in speed. We had improvement in technique as well.” Winds by the end of racing had dropped to about nine knots from about 11 at the start of the first race. Sunday winds are predicted to be a little lighter in one model and much lighter in another, even below the minimum. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 4-1.

June 24. Oracle Team USA chalked up their first race victory but challengers Emirates Team New Zealand managed to make further inroads in their quest to dethrone the America’s Cup holders during a thrilling day of racing on the Great Sound today. Victory in the day’s second race would have done Oracle’s confidence the world of good. However, the Kiwis’ win in the preceding race moved them to four points, three points closer to the magic number of seven required to win the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000.“We are really happy with how we sailed today,” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “We’re really happy to walk away with a win today.” The Kiwis led midway through the second race but were passed by Oracle, who played the shifts better on the final beat to the top gate. “We felt like we sailed really well but just missed a few shifts at the top of the beat, which is a bit disappointing,” Burling added. “But it’s something we will review and come back stronger tomorrow. “We’re both set up for a battle and we’re excited about the battle ahead.” And so is Burling’s opposite number, Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, who was understandably delighted to see his team finally put something on the board with a hard-fought victory in the sixth race of the first-to-seven series. “It was a well-earned win and was exactly what the boys needed,” Spithill said. “We fought hard and it was good to see the boys keep their composure, too.” Oracle seemed destined for a fifth straight defeat after losing the lead on the final run to the bottom gate and then over stood the lay line heading back to the weather mark. However, Spithill and his team-mates kept their wits about them and regained the lead for good after the Kiwis were forced to tack away on a dial-down near the top gate. “We lost the lead but we kept it together and were able to get that pass back at the top, so a good improvement on our boat speed today and another step tomorrow will be great,” Spithill said. “We worked very, very hard those five days and then we sailed five times as much as the other guys. A lot of work on the shore and it’s great to see the boat going quicker." A little bit more [boat speed] tonight, little improvement in the sailing technique as well, and we will be able to put on a good show tomorrow to pick up a couple of wins.”

June 24. The island got a whirlwind visit over the weekend from the Princess Royal and her husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, who are scheduled to head home today. The couple were met at LF Wade International Airport on Saturday night by John Rankin, the Governor, and Captain Paolo Odoli, his aide-de-camp, before being whisked away by a motorcade. Yesterday, the Princess Royal and Sir Tim attended Christ Church in Warwick, where the Reverend Alistair Bennett escorted them to the morning service. A ceremonial tree-planting on the grounds of Government House also took place that morning. They toured the Event Village for the 35th America’s Cup, where they met volunteers as well as Team BDA, the local entrant in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and visited Commissioner’s House. The royal couple also met numerous soldiers with the Royal Bermuda Regiment, who were joined by the British Army for the RBR’s biggest-ever deployment. Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, Commanding Officer of the RBR, said: “The Princess Royal was very happy to meet the troops involved in the security operations. The event is almost over, but we’re still continuing to push the troops in all aspects to make sure we do our due diligence. We’ve had a lot of good reports about our conduct and performance on land and on sea. It’s been a great privilege and honour for us to have this major role and we want to finish on a very high mark and end the event with the same high standards we have shown throughout.” The Princess Royal is the second child and only daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. She last visited the island in May 2011, when her flying stop coincided with a visit by members of the Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue.

June 24. One Bermuda Alliance candidate Sheila Gomez is alleged to have been involved in a confrontation with a member of the Progressive Labour Party during canvassing earlier this week in Warwick North Central. The incident, which The Royal Gazette understands occurred on Thursday, was the subject of a complaint to police by Ms Gomez, according to Lynne Woolridge, the chairman of the OBA, who described it as “bullying and intimidation”. However, in a statement this afternoon, the Opposition strongly condemned any “threats, acts of violence or antisocial activities directed against any Bermudian. The alleged incident occurred on private property after repeated requests were made to Mrs Gomez to leave the property,” the statement continued. “No assault took place, no threats were made and Mrs Gomez was handed back her campaign flyers. Several adult witnesses present can attest to this.” Earlier today, the OBA claimed that Mrs Gomez had crossed paths in Constituency 27 with Anthony Santucci, a former chairman of the PLP. Ms Woolridge said that campaign flyers had been “ripped from her hands”, with the candidate “verbally threatened” not to come back. The PLP responded that its teams in the area had been “overwhelmed by the jovial and supportive manner in which they have been received”. Saying the ruling party had a history of such charges, the party statement continued that the Opposition would await the findings of an inquiry, “if one even occurs, before commenting further”. The complaint was branded a diversion tactic and a “cynical attempt to push outrageous and false criminal allegations into the public domain”. The OBA was also accused of pushing online attacks on the PLP.

June 23. Murray Jones, the Emirates Team New Zealand performance coach, says the Kiwis have an “inherent advantage” that poses a serious threat to Oracle Team USA’s title defence. Jones believes the challenger has the edge in terms of technology and boat-handling, which, in turn, has again left Oracle playing catch-up in their bid for a third straight Cup triumph. “I just think we have some inherent advantages the way we are sailing our boat and that’s not going to change over this week and weekend,” Jones said. “The way we have set up our boat is a little better than they have, with the way Pete [helmsman Peter Burling], Glenn [skipper and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby], Blair [tactician Blair Tuke] and Andy [‘cyclor’ Andy Maloney] sort of work with different responsibilities. With Oracle, they have Jimmy [Spithill] trying to fly the boat and steering, and then you have Slingsby [tactician Tom Slingsby] doing the tactics, which is a little bit of a compromise role because he is sort of all over the place doing grinding, pedaling and sometimes at the front of the boat and back. It’s just not so easy as the relationship that Glenn and Pete have sitting side-by-side. They have more time to look around and assess things in a more calm way. We are quietly confident that we will just be able to continue the way we have been sailing and, hopefully, they will continue making some mistakes and we can win four races. That’s what we are trying to do.” Jones cited the radical pedal grinders that generate the power for the boat’s various systems among the primary weapons in the Kiwis’ arsenal." The pedal grinders help us a lot,” he said. “We can generate more power and that gives us some advantages in being able to sail the boat more precisely. ”As for the upgrades Oracle have made to their boat during a five-day layoff, Jones said: “They were in a situation where they had to make changes for sure; they were slightly slower than us. But I don’t expect them to look like a different team. They have been sailing like this for months and years, really, so I can’t see them making any major changes this week. They have been playing around with several different things with the rudders, elevators and also their boards. They have been doing a lot of work changing a few things closer to probably how we sail the boat and experimenting, so I would expect them to sort of lock in and get used to sailing the boat again and in a slightly different configuration. They looked worse than it actually was. I don’t think they were sailing very well and so it made it look like they were a lot slower than they actually were. But they would have made some changes this week for sure.”

June 23. Opinion, by Sir Russell Coutts. "Clean sweeps are nothing new in the America’s Cup Match. After such a dominant start to the 35th edition of the “Auld Mug”, Team Emirates New Zealand would certainly love a whitewash. To be honest, though, it’s not unusual for the America’s Cup to be one-sided. It was a close match in 1983 when Australia beat the American Freedom Syndicate 4-3.But it was a sweep in 1987 when Sail America reclaimed the trophy from Australia. And it was almost a clean sweep in 1992 when America beat Raul Gardini’s Il Moro di Venezia 4-1, while it was another landslide win in 1995 when Team New Zealand defeated Sail America 5-0.That trend followed in 2000, when New Zealand won 5-0 against Prada Challenge, the same result as it was 2003 when Alinghi beat the Kiwis. In 2007, New Zealand, the challenger, won two out of the five races, while the closest match was in 2013 when Oracle Team USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sport, defeating the Kiwis 9-8.Historically, it’s always been a case of one team dominating the other. It’s a shame this year’s event has been so lopsided so far. We all hoped for a really good fight. From the sport’s perspective, I hope Oracle have made some improvements and that the races are at least a bit closer tomorrow and Sunday. Because Emirates Team New Zealand have been totally dominant, lighting up every turn and mark last weekend, and are just four races away from the title. Oracle have trailed before, though — in San Francisco four years ago — but this time it feels a bit different. There are more subtle differences between the two boats and so far the Kiwis have come up with the better solutions. A lot of talk has surrounded Team New Zealand’s cyclors, as opposed to traditional grinders, and it’s hard to know how much of an impact they have had. However, I don’t think that’s been the performance difference; I think it’s more in the design of the foils — the thickness and perhaps even the shapes. And let’s not forget how well Peter Burling, the helmsman, and his crew are sailing the boat. They weren’t only faster last weekend, they sailed extremely well. It was a very impressive performance, you have to say that, and I think everyone was a bit surprised — maybe even the Kiwis! Oracle will have focused over the past five days on making gains and looking at the logical pathways to do that. It may involve taking a risk or two and they’re going to have to improve their performance. One thing’s for sure, the only way they’re going to put the Kiwis under pressure is if they can improve their speed and race them in a boat-for-boat race. It’s a different wind direction this weekend, and although that doesn’t sound like it makes much of a difference, it just might. Potentially, it could be the final weekend and I think Bermuda has put on a great show. I’ve received comments from all over the world, with people being very complimentary about the Great Sound as a venue. And I know the visitors have absolutely loved it here!. Initially, there were question marks over whether Bermuda could deliver as a host. For me, those questions have all been answered. It’s already been a fantastic event."

June 23. Francesco Bruni, the Artemis Racing helmsman, admits to being utterly surprised by the speed that the Emirates Team New Zealand boat has achieved in the America’s Cup Match. The Kiwis have been a dominant force throughout this AC35 Cup campaign and barring another meltdown, the likes of which they suffered in San Francisco four years ago, Bruni predicts an unhappy ending for defenders Oracle Team USA, who are four races away from surrendering the Cup. “It’s been a big surprise to see how fast Team New Zealand are,” said Bruni, who defeated Sir Ben Ainslie in the final of the 2013 King Edward VII Gold Cup. “They have been really dominating so far.” Bruni said the Kiwis had a very “strong package”, which he believed had given them the edge over their rivals. “It’s mainly the foil designs on their boat,” the Italian added. “They have done a very good job there and also on their systems and wing. It’s a very strong package. Oracle seems to be a little bit against the ropes. We will see what they will do. It’s been a great event and I am really looking forward to next weekend. It’s going to be great racing. Oracle will get closer, but probably not enough.” Bruni and his Artemis team-mates reached the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, where they lost 5-2 against the rampant Kiwis. “We did a good job in the America’s Cup,” Bruni said. “I am quite happy with how things went and Artemis should be proud of what we have done. Maybe with a little bit more luck, we could have gone a bit farther. But Team New Zealand has done a good job and if they win the Cup, we can say we lost against the strongest team.” As for the future of the Swedish America’s Cup syndicate, Bruni added: “It looks like Artemis want to keep going. Torbjörn Törnqvist, the team owner, is really passionate about this and wants to have another chance. He is happy with the work we have done and hopes the next one will be the good one, so I hope that we keep going as a team.” As for his own America’s Cup future with Artemis, Bruni said: “Our contracts finish at the end of July, and so it’s still a little bit early days now. But I will keep sailing with him [Törnqvist] as a tactician for his RC44. I am going to Italy next week for the second race of the season, so I’m in touch with the team and we will see what happens.” Bruni was a member of the Artemis team who were crowned RC44 match race champions last November. Before joining the Swedish team, he served as a tactician with Italian syndicate Luna Rossa at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. Comparing the AC72 foiling catamaran he raced at the previous America’s Cup to the AC50 being raced in this instalment, Bruni said: “The 50 is a better boat. The 72 was too big and hard to manage logistically. Don’t get me wrong, the 72 was a great boat. But the 50 is higher-performance for less logistical problems, so it’s a win-win.”

June 23. Bermuda has “knocked it out of the park” as an America’s Cup host, according to at least one longstanding journalist. Mark Reid, who has covered America’s Cup events since 1980, said that Bermuda had left a positive impression internationally, although the overall impact will likely be hard to gauge in the short term. “It takes time to look at the economic impact,” he said. “You can’t say next week, when the Cup races are over, that you’re ready to bid on the next America’s Cup. I think it takes time to see those legacy opportunities present themselves.” The California-based journalist, who writes for Bay and Delta Yachtsmen, said he fell in love with the America’s Cup while in college on the east coast .“I went to school in Massachusetts and during the summer we all had jobs in Rhode Island,” he said. “At the time, Newport was the home of the America’s Cup and I was a journalism major, so it was cool to go down there and see this international event going on." It was a fascinating time. I loved the technology, I loved the internationalism of it, and I got hooked. With the technology and the controversies, as a journalist it just drew me in. From that point on it has been part of my life, it has been part of my work and it has been part of my passion.” He compared the island to previous event hosts Newport and Fremantle, saying Bermuda has a small-city charm and praised Hamilton for fully embracing the event. There are banners everywhere and everyone is wearing America’s Cup or Team BDA shirts,” he said. “It seems like every facet and little corner of the city has embraced the America’s Cup, as opposed to San Francisco .“San Francisco did its part, but it’s a big international city, and sometimes even events like the America’s Cup get lost in the daily routine. In Auckland they embraced the Cup, but it’s a major city and Valencia is a major city. “I think the Cup lends itself in a charming way to a smaller city. Bermuda has presented a unique opportunity for the event, and it has been an amazing experience to be here.” “San Francisco thought they already had the tourists anyway, so there was a degree of objectionism,” he said. “They really didn’t provide a continuing legacy for the Cup, and there were several opportunities to do so. They wanted to develop one of the pier spaces down by the bay and that didn’t work out, so San Francisco really lost its chance in some respects to build a legacy, which is probably why it’s not there anymore.” Comparing the media attention drawn to this year’s event in comparison to previous America’s Cups, Mr Reid said that numerous stories have emerged this year to bring eyes to Bermuda. “From storyline standpoint, there are certainly a lot of great stories going on to draw people in,” he said. “There has been a lot to capture the imagination: when the Kiwis capsized and had to repair the boat and were able to get through that part of the round robins; New Zealand jumping off to a 3-0 win; and the question of if Oracle can come back like last time. “And, obviously, Team BDA fuelling the local spirit. I see more Team BDA shirts more often than America’s Cup shirts sometimes. It’s fantastic that the Bermuda youth team has managed to get people invested. It’s not just Oracle from San Francisco, it’s Team Bermuda. That makes it exciting. ”While he said that Bermuda seemed poised to host some form of America’s Cup event in the future, he admitted some doubts as to whether Oracle Team USA would be able to pull off another ‘come from behind’ victory. “I don’t know if there are as many tools left in the toolbox as there were last time,” he said. “Last time the boats were more of an open class and they could do a lot more to the boats to modify them, to change them in short order. Oracle were changing their boat every day.“ This time, there are a lot more one-design elements in the boats. Certainly Jimmy Spithill is tenacious. He will do whatever it takes to win. He doesn’t like to lose at all. With their design team, I think they have used the five days with their design team experimenting a bit and trying to see what they can do, but I don’t think they have the tools and the Kiwis are improving every day too .If Oracle can win a race on Saturday, I think everyone in New Zealand will get less sleep and maybe some people in America will wake up and think that maybe there is something here.”

June 23. Somersfield Academy students Hailey Hayward and Rhiannon Higgins ended their shared birthday on the America’s Cup main stage alongside Premier Michael Dunkley. As part of the school’s Job Shadowing Day on Wednesday, the M4 schoolchildren joined the Premier during his scheduled activities, which also included meeting with Governor John Rankin and a visit to the America’s Cup Village to watch Team Bermuda’s “historic accomplishment”. This week’s job shadowing served as an opportunity for Hailey and Rhiannon to learn more about the workings of Government and the importance of participating in public service. In a press release from the Department of Communications, the Premier complimented the “amazing” young people who are doing “incredible” things in Bermuda, saying that he takes great pride in spending time with them, as “supporting, nurturing and developing our young people is vital”. He went on to say: “Some day, I hope to see Hailey and Rhiannon involved in our community, because they are two of countless bright young stars who have so much to offer Bermuda in the future. They represent the best of our country, and we need to continue to invest in our young people who can be great leaders.” Mr Dunkley has previously hosted job shadowing initiatives for Bermuda High School and Warwick Academy students Namrata Bisht and Theo Wolffe.

June 23. Bermuda’s international standing as a business destination is again under attack by the European Union, according to finance minister Bob Richards. Mr Richards said that this month the Bermuda Government received a questionnaire from the EU’s Code of Conduct Group which he said was intended to harm the island’s position in international business. Mr Richards said: “The questionnaire is designed to lead to a predetermined conclusion that Bermuda is a tax haven that is harmful to the global economy, and the EU in particular, and therefore should be placed on an economic blacklist. This, despite the fact that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering have concluded that Bermuda is not ‘harmful’ in its conduct or the application of its laws in the global economy. The first attempt by the Code of Conduct Group to blacklist Bermuda in 2015 was thoroughly repudiated by the OECD and was dropped, but this latest attempt has been more cleverly constructed and poses a much greater threat. We believe it constitutes a clear and present danger to our international business sector.” Mr Richards said that the questionnaire was received by e-mail on June 9, and if the Government fails to respond by July 7, the island will be deemed non-compliant by the organisation. Richards said that he believed the questionnaire had been sent to multiple jurisdictions, not just Bermuda, and that the Government would be willing to release the questionnaire — and government’s response — publicly. Mr Richards defended the island’s reputation saying Bermuda had spent a great deal of time and money to stay ahead of the curve for international taxation and information sharing, saying that the island is being used as a political scapegoat. “Bermuda does not hide beneficial ownership from tax, regulatory or law enforcement agencies,” he said. “Bermuda does not create structures designed to obscure where income is earned. Bermuda is not the jurisdiction of choice for hundreds of thousands of multinationals seeking to create shell corporations. Other jurisdictions are. Scapegoating Bermuda plays well in some European countries for political reasons. It also assumes that Bermuda is weak and defenseless. But we are not. We will fight. We will fight this unjust attack on the livelihoods of thousands of Bermudians employed in the financial services business or those who depend indirectly on that sector for support. We will fight to preserve our sovereign right to determine tax policy for Bermudian companies.” While he said that Brexit had reduced the UK’s influence on the EU, he said Bermuda still had “private sector partners and overseas-based friends” who will work with the island as it defends its reputation. Our first priority is to answer the questionnaire clearly and logically,” he said. “If there are any biases in the questions, we will point them out and propose alternatives that demonstrate our role in co-operation, transparency and reporting. With the questionnaire submitted by the deadline date, we will follow with a campaign enlisting the support of our contacts within the EU and elsewhere that we have built up in recent years. I am confident we will prevail. We have worked long and hard to establish our reputation as a jurisdiction with integrity and the highest standards of transparency and best practice. We will fight to protect our reputation and the livelihoods of thousands of Bermudians who rely on that reputation for their livelihoods.”

June 23. Plans to bring the public up to date on the work of the Office of the Auditor-General are under way, according to a statement. Heather Thomas, who was named Auditor-General last year, said the office was working on producing a series of audit reports, with at least one expected to be published in the next few months. “I had two priorities when I started my term: to bring the work of the office up to date and to ensure the best infrastructure for our work was in place,” she said. “We have made good progress on both.” Ms Thomas said the office had been faced with significant challenges in recent years, noting that financial statements and audits for some agencies, government organisations and quangos were not up to date, with some dating back to 2003. “My staff and I have been working closely with the entities in question and I am pleased to report that many of the outstanding financial statements are now up to date and audited, or a plan of action agreed. Given the very significant challenges that my predecessor faced in her tenure, the Office of the Auditor-General had been unable to produce an annual report on the work of the Office since 2010. I am currently developing a report that will cover the annual work and administration of the office for the period between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2017. “Of necessity, the report will focus primarily on the 2016/17 year but will also bring in highlights from the previous years. I believe that this approach is the most expedient to bring the office’s reporting up to date.” The Auditor-General also said the audited financial statements of the Consolidated Fund for the year ending March 31, 2016 were issued in February, adding that work is done to ensure timelier reporting going forward. “The annual audit of the Consolidated Fund financial statements is the largest and the most important piece of work that the Auditor-General is required to do,” she said. “In recent weeks, we have been working on a combined report covering our audits of the Consolidated Fund financial statements for the years ended March 31, 2013 to 2016. The report is another significant step in our commitment in bringing our work up to date.” Ms Thomas also noted the office’s support of the Commission of Inquiry, adding: “I sincerely hope that I will not encounter problems having the depth and seriousness on which my predecessor reported and which led to the establishment of the Commission. Be assured, I will report on any problems that I do encounter during my audits. “However, despite what a few people may think, it is not my role to discredit or shame Government. Rather, it is to provide transparent, credible, independent information about the quality of government management and accountability that will lead to improvements where they may be required." She added that the office was working to update the Audit Act 1990 to reflect best practice by establishing a fixed term for the post of Auditor-General and allowing those in the post to “follow the money” by empowering it to audit individuals and non-government bodies in certain situations.

June 23. The Supreme Court has quashed the arrest of physician Mahesh Reddy, ruling that the summary arrest by the Bermuda Police Service was unlawful .In a hearing yesterday, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley made a further declaration that the subsequent search of Dr Reddy’s home was unlawful, ordering that any items seized be returned to him. “It is quite obvious based on the evidence before the court that the investigating officers did not evaluate the appropriateness of exercising the power of arrest in the way it was exercised as against other, less intrusive options,” he wrote in the judgment. “This was a fatal failure to consider crucially relevant matters.” Alternatively, he wrote the arrest was unlawful because, without any coherent explanation why the intrusive approach was adopted over obvious and apparently viable options, the decision to arrest was “unreasonable or irrational". The court also made a ruling in favour of the Attorney-General, finding that the statute used to arrest Dr Reddy was not unconstitutional. The matter is expected to return to the courts, with Mr Justice Kawaley adjourning an application on damages in the case to a later date, along with a discussion of costs. Mark Diel, representing the BPS, told the court that an application to stay the decision pending an appeal could be forthcoming. Dr Reddy, chief medical officer at Bermuda Healthcare Services, was arrested on May 9, 2016 in connection with an investigation into allegations that he ordered unnecessary scans on patients. However, he said the arrest and search were an attempt to intimidate him into giving evidence against former premier Ewart Brown, who owns Bermuda Healthcare Services. In a closely watched case, counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith, QC called the sting a “pre-planned, heavy-handed raid”, bent on carrying out the search from its outset. Dr Reddy, the court heard, had been subjected to pressure by police since an investigation into Bermuda Healthcare Services began in 2012.Mr Diel, however, argued that officers suspected Dr Reddy had committed an offence, and had reasonable grounds to perform the arrest. One of the reasons for the need to conduct a summary offence mentioned by Mr Diel surrounded the authenticity of Dr Reddy’s medical qualifications, which the court heard had been accepted by the Bermuda Medical Council. The Bermuda Medical Council recently checked and reaffirmed Dr Reddy’s medical credentials, according to correspondence shared with this newspaper under public access to information by the chief medical officer. In his judgment, the Chief Justice wrote that the summary arrest, along with the related search and seizure of property, was unlawful." The applicant is entitled to the protections of the fundamental rights and freedoms of our constitution, whatever his national origins or local political affiliations may be,” he wrote." Without even directly applying these high-level principles, it is clear that his rights under Pace, conservatively construed, were infringed by being subjected to an unlawful arrest and search on May 19, 2016.“In my judgment, this most likely occurred because of a genuine misunderstanding as to the terms and effect of the summary power of arrest as applied to a factually exceptional investigation, which raised legal issues which have not previously been judicially considered as matter of Bermuda law." In a statement released after the decision was handed down, Dr Reddy said: “Today’s judgment has struck a blow against the excessive use of power by the authorities for every resident of Bermuda." And he added that the judgment was “the right decision in any country that values its people and their constitutionally protected liberties above a government’s abuse of its power". Meanwhile, a police spokesman said: “The Commissioner of Police will consult with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and take advice accordingly." In the time since Dr Reddy’s arrest, two more police raids were carried out on Dr Brown’s clinics in February, followed by a suit filed by the Bermuda Government in the Boston courts, accusing Lahey Health of colluding with Dr Brown to gain access to local busyness. Dr Brown has vowed to fight the allegations “with our last cent and to our final breath”.

June 23. Charlie Swan is returning to the political fold after being rolled out for the One Bermuda Alliance. Mr Swan, a former United Bermuda Party MP, and his brother Michael, were unveiled as the OBA’s candidates for Southampton West and Sandys North Central respectively. They were joined by fellow new candidates, swimming coach Ben Smith, former senator Georgia Marshall and former West End Development Corporation chairman Ray Charlton, at an OBA press conference at Somerset Bridge yesterday. Describing himself as a “man of few words but a lot of action”, Charlie Swan said he was very pleased to be back in the political circle. Mr Swan was one of only two UBP MPs who refused to join the OBA when it was formed in 2011, opting to run as an independent at the last election. He stated at the time that “Bermuda’s issues today herald a call to be addressed in a non-partisan way; a way that respects as many views as possible with fairness and equity”. Along with former UBP leader Kim Swan, he was a central figure in obtaining a court injunction that delayed the formation of the OBA, after they claimed colleagues had acted against the UBP’s constitution in failing to consult with party members over merger talks with the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. Introducing Mr Swan, Michael Dunkley said: “I’m certainly delighted today to have Charlie Swan back as a colleague of mine. Charlie has a rich history in politics — he has represented the Southampton area for many years. “He has a deep-seated passion for Bermuda and as a business owner and someone who is ingrained in the community, Charlie certainly brings a measure of the pulse of the community back to the table of politics.” Mr Swan will be running against Scott Simmons of the Progressive Labour Party in the constituency held by veteran PLP MP Randy Horton, the Speaker of the House. Political newcomer Mr Smith will be considered to have the most likely chance of winning a place in the House of Assembly, as he will run for the Southampton West Central seat that Shawn Crockwell secured for the OBA at the 2012 General Election." As the national swimming coach of Bermuda, I’ve had a great opportunity to work with young people over many years, developing what I see as the future of Bermuda,” Mr Smith said. “I’d love to take the opportunity now to work with a great team from the OBA to help us to continue to move Bermuda in the right direction." ”Ms Marshall will contest Sandys South, the constituency where she lost a by-election to Jamahl Simmons in November, 2014.Mr Dunkley pointed out that unlike the incumbent MP, Ms Marshall lives in the constituency and has continued to work there since losing in the by-election. Asked why she was confident this time around, Ms Marshall said she had “forged relationships, reintroduced myself to this community, made sure that my neighbours know me as the multifaceted person that I think I am”. “Through that I have made many connections with the neighbours, the constituents, my friends in this community and the reception that I am receiving at the door is a very positive one." Michael Swan, described by Mr Dunkley as a “first-class candidate”, will run in the seat held for many years by Dennis Lister, a PLP MP since 1989.Mr Swan, who spoke about his and his family’s ties to the area, said he had considered entering politics ten years ago but decided to run now because he “was so impressed with what the current government has done with our economy." For me this election is not about OBA, PLP, black, white, one Bermuda, two Bermudas, three, four,” he added, “its really about your pocketbook. “The only way to improve the bottom line of your pocketbook is to have an economy that works. Right now our economy is working, the economic train has left the station. We now have to get more people on that train to benefit from the direction we are heading.” Mr Charlton will make a second attempt in Sandys North, which he lost by just eight votes to the PLP’s Michael Scott five years ago. Although Mr Charlton had considered moving away from politics, Mr Dunkley said he made the decision to move forward “because he deeply cares and loves Bermuda”. Highlighting his work as Wedco chairman, he added: “Ray’s record speaks for itself." And Mr Charlton, who said he was “blessed to be born in Bermuda and raised in Somerset”, added: “At the end of someone’s journey, I think you will be judged not on what you’ve acquired but on what you’ve given back. “Now is my time, because I’ve been so blessed, because I love my family, because I love my community, that I do want to give back and I’ve been working towards that goal for 4½ years." Nobody was put forward for Sandys South Central, the seat held by Kim Wilson of the PLP.

June 23. People are reminded that metal waste should not be included in loads of burnable waste delivered to the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility. The Ministry of Public Works has advised metal items can cause substantial damage to the facility, causing shutdowns which result in a build-up of burnable waste and the inability to produce electricity. A facility spokesman said in a press release: “It’s understandable that small metal items can mistakenly become commingled with burnables when hauling a large load of waste. However, just recently, a boat engine was included in a load with burnable items. Had this item been overlooked at the facility, costly damage and a lengthy shutdown period would have resulted." All waste facilities in Bermuda operate under licences that regulate the types of waste items accepted, according to the press release. Licences are renewed annually and are in place to ensure compliance with environmental standards. Truckers and members of the public who try to circumvent these regulations put ministry staff, Bermuda’s environment and public health at risk. To learn more about the Tynes Bay facility visit www.gov.bm/garbage-and-recycling or call 296-0673

June 23. One of the world’s leading internet privacy experts is working with local students to develop a national action plan against online bullying and sexual harassment. Bermuda's youngsters, well acquainted with the internet’s nefarious side, are keen to help the initiative, according to Parry Aftab, a pioneer in the field of cyber law." We're going to create a next generation of digital thinkers,” Ms Aftab told The Royal Gazette. The founder of the online help group WiredSafety is now special adviser to the Bermuda Government’s Department of ICT Policy and Innovation, which is tasked with tackling the problem. With her husband, child safety advocate Allan McCullough, Ms Aftab is drafting an island-wide programme to stamp out cyber bullying — “the first time ever a whole nation is involved”, she said. Ms Aftab added: “The great thing about a country of 60,000 is that law enforcement, the courts and criminal justice system, mental health support groups and the schools are all connected. You have one degree of separation; everything is accessible here. And the children have been extraordinary. It just gives you faith. ”Bermudians, especially young people, conduct a significant portion of their lives online, and at one middle school “all the hands went up” when students were asked about morphing, in which the image of a person’s head or face gets transferred on to a naked body. Familiarity with the practice does not imply actually engaging in it, she cautioned, describing the island’s youth as “very sophisticated". Nevertheless, “It’s a frightening world we are living in,” Ms Aftab said. “Little Bermuda has so much sexting. "Digital trends have presented the island with challenges similar the world over, such as the rapid circulation of video clips that last year prompted the Bermuda Police Service to warn the public against swapping images that could constitute illegal child pornography. Part of the national plan would tackle legislation. Ms Aftab said: “You have some good laws, and also some major gaps in your laws." After visiting many of the island’s schools, she aims to recruit middle and high-schoolers in plugging those gaps — culminating this December with “a summit or forum where young people will help run a global event where world leaders will be brought in on these issues." Ms Aftab is optimistic that the summit can draw representatives from the likes of Instagram and Google, YouTube and Nickelodeon. Her work on internet safety has been endorsed by major figures, including Vinton Cerf, a pioneering architect nicknamed the “father of the internet”. She has addressed Interpol on cyber-bullying, sat until recently on the board of Facebook, and continues to advise MTV’s public affairs board. WiredSafety, founded in 1995, is “the world’s oldest internet safety charity”, she said .Later this summer, the Department of ICT Policy is to launch a cyber safety website to survey parents, children and educators, while online resources and apps specific to Bermuda will be offered with the input of schoolchildren. Even as the internet presents fresh hazards to privacy, new tools are emerging, such as an app allowing young people to report sexting images to service providers. Using an encrypted signature, the private image can be traced by network operators, and removed." I have a huge cyber-bullying app coming out in September or October, and there will be a variation for Bermuda,” Ms Aftab said, calling herself “flabbergasted” at the inventive resources suggested by local students, such as adding comforting pieces of scripture to the “power pack” of support for young people victimized online. Suicide is a leading concern among Bermudian students, who typically refer to “kids dying” when asked why they would want to stop cyber-bullying. “They all know the name Amanda Todd,” Ms Aftab said, referring to the 15-year-old Canadian girl whose YouTube video, describing her torment after being blackmailed over intimate pictures online, has been watched more than 12 million times. Ms Todd posted it shortly before her death in 2012. Young people believe suicide from cyber bullying to be far more prevalent than actual figures suggest, Ms Aftab noted." If kids believe suicide is a regular occurrence, then they see it as normative behaviour. They think that’s the reality. ”Unlike older people who watched the internet emerge, children today see little separation between the online and offline worlds." Kids believe what they see online. It’s become a reality, even if it’s warped,” Ms Aftab said. “The most important thing is training middle and high-schoolers to be digital leaders. But her interactions with students left her impressed, with one girl telling her: “You don’t want to wait until it happens. You need to work on it now.”

June 22. Two days from now the world will see just what Peter Burling and his Kiwi mates are made of as the next round of racing resumes on the Great Sound. It is the ultimate weekend for the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton. The New Zealand bunch would like to make it a clean sweep. Helmsman Peter Burling has been called “Iceman”. Commentators say when he is at the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50, he looks like he is out for a cruise, a Sunday drive, just driving Miss Daisy. But it is no accident that he is at the helm of the America’s Cup challenger. His talent is no secret. He is an incredibly good helmsman who fits well into the Kiwi chain of command on board. Burling has his head out of the boat and his job is to drive, to pick out the shifts and puffs, and to take the shortest, fastest route around the course. The Kiwi team apparently have three full-time bikers, one biker who seems to be tasked also with foil and rudder trim, and a wing trimmer-tactician who operates a secret Nintendo-like box with buttons to push that grind the wing in and out, and adjusts its camber for optimum power and speed, and one full-time driver. Burling, winner of the inaugural Louis Vuitton Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013, helmed Emirates Team New Zealand to the lead after the first three World Series events. He and his 49er and AC35 crew Blair Tuke were named World Sailors of the Year. In an America’s Cup interview during the 2016 World Series, Burling’s talent and skill received rave reviews. Time has only improved his stature. Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said: “I don’t really know Pete that well. Obviously we’re mates, but we haven’t done that much racing. He raced on the previous World Series for Korea [White Tiger Challenge]. Peter and Blair Tuke are some of the best talent in the world today. You only have to look at their Olympic sailing and results.” Nathan Outteridge, of Artemis Racing, said, “Pete’s pretty vague most of the time. He’s the type of guy who often acts like he really doesn’t know what’s going on, but he’s pretty switched on. Training with his America’s Cup team [World Series team] has put him in a good position. That’s what racing with your competition is like. It’s knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and playing to them. His strength is that he just doesn’t get flustered. He never seems stressed about anything.” Sir Ben Ainslie, from Land Rover BAR, said: “He was pretty young when I was sailing with Team New Zealand and he was sailing with the youth team. He was identified then as a huge talent. That’s shown through. His performances with Blaire Tuke in dominating the 49ers have been absolutely astounding.” “He’s a very talented guy,” Spithill concluded. “He’s got a great team around him. They’ll be tough.” Ainslie added: “He’s obviously got a huge amount of talent. He’s a good competitor.” Outteridge commented on the pressure of sailing for the America’s Cup. “Probably one of [Burling’s] big weaknesses is that he is quite young and still the pressure could hit him quite hard. Under pressure we’re going to see if there are weakness going to develop.” But Burling has handled the pressure quite well. Arriving late in March, he and his mates took to the Great Sound within a week to begin practice on the course. Throughout the informal race periods, he matched up against Artemis, BAR and Team France. New Zealand did not practise against Oracle, nor against their stablemates SoftBank Team Japan. New Zealand were keeping their cards close. Burling led his team through the Qualifiers with eight wins and only two losses. Both those losses were to Oracle, who in turn lost twice to Artemis. Burling led his team through tough play-off matches against an improved BAR and pre-race favorites Artemis. He and the team suffered a damaged hull and a catastrophic, pitch-pole capsize only to come back stronger each time. Burling has been cool and tough under pressure, with the proof being in his performance. Burling said this about himself: “I just want to keep it fun and really enjoy the yachting. I’m trying to be the best sailor I can with my skill set. “It’s been a long-term goal to try to get as good as I can at sailing, to keep improving and keep learning. Now I’m up against the best yachties in the world and that is what every yachtie’s dream is: to go up against the best in the world.”

June 22. It is often said that the lion is king of the jungle. Apparently, they rule the waves too if Lionheart’s triumph in the America’s Cup J Class Regatta is anything to go by. The 43.4 metre racing yacht, built 75 years after she was conceived on the drawing boards, won the inaugural regatta to complete a remarkable hat-trick of titles in local waters, having also secured class and overall honours in the preceding America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. “Every regatta you win is a nice one but here this is the one, with the America’s Cup going on and a record fleet of seven J Class yachts, it has been magic,” Bouwe Bekking, the Lionheart tactician, commented .“As soon as Bermuda was announced, we just said that’s the one we’d like to win. ”Lionheart started the final day of racing at Murray’s Anchorage trailing leaders Hanuman by a solitary point. Victory in the fourth race, their second of the regatta, saw Lionheart leapfrog Hanuman at the top of the leaderboard and carry a one-point advantage into the final race. A poor start off the line seemed to have given Hanuman the title. However, Lionheart’s crew refused to roll over, playing the wind shifts to their advantage, to drag themselves back into contention. The battle for bragging rights then took another dramatic turn when Hanuman was hit with a penalty for infringement laying to the weather buoy for the last time — and Lionheart took full advantage. Lionheart covered Hanuman on the final run to protect their overall lead and clinch the series, reduced to five races after the first day of the regatta was postponed because of a lack of wind. “You just have to keep fighting, I think that’s one of the things with this crew,” Bekking said. “The boat is doing a nice job for us as well, but I think the crew work has been really good." That atmosphere on board that you are still able to claw back from maybe an impossible position like today, that’s what makes the difference. ”Ken Read, the Hanuman skipper/helmsman, admitted his team’s mistake ultimately lost them the regatta. “We made a mistake today,” he acknowledged. “But that is life, that is sailing, and Lionheart deserved to win.” The J Class yacht Velsheda won the fifth race, which allowed her to pip Hanuman into second place. “We were punching above our weight in that light stuff, so we are delighted,” Tom Dodson, the Velsheda tactician, said.  The J Class yachts featured in the America’s Cup in the 1930s and are still regarded by many as some of the most majestic and famous yachts afloat.

June 22. The City of Hamilton has partnered with the Bermuda Police Service in an effort to enforce parking regulations within the municipality. According to a spokeswoman for the city, the Traffic Offences Procedure Amendment and Validation Act officially came into effect on June 1, and a new dedicated input system to record parking tickets has been put in place. “Tickets issued as of June 1 will carry a $75 penalty,” the spokeswoman said. “Those that are not paid within seven days will result in a summons, signed by a magistrate, issued to the registered owner of the offending vehicle resulting in a $100 penalty. Continued lack of payment will lead to court action that will carry a $150 penalty. Failure to appear in court will result in a warrant issued for the arrest of the owner of the vehicle. All tickets issued as of June 1, 2017 will be input into the system and followed up. There will be a short amnesty in the issuing of a summons up to July 14, after which those who have not paid their parking tickets can expect to receive a summons to appear in court. Tickets will not expire.” Ed Benevides, the chief operating officer at the city, said the new partnership addressed challenges that had previously prevented consistent enforcement of parking rules and regulations. “Parking payment accounts for a substantial amount of the city’s income that feeds the annual budgets and allows us to complete capital projects and upgrades throughout the city. Without a robust budget, city infrastructure and improvements are gravely affected. The new partnership with the Bermuda Police Service will ensure that money owed to the city from violations will be paid and we can bring some law and order back to the city when it comes to parking. This should also be beneficial to City businesses, retailers and restaurants that rely on short-term parking for their customers.”

June 22. Members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers have commenced working to rule and could take further action, after a breakdown in negotiations with the Ministry of Education. Teachers agreed to work their contracted hours only following a vote at an emergency meeting held yesterday at St Paul AME Church. They also voted unanimously to give “notice of action” at any time the union executive decided. However, in a statement last night, education minister Cole Simons reminded the union “that it is important for the negotiations to remain within the scope of its purpose” and called on the BUT and the Public Service Negotiating Team to resume talks. With exams complete and only a few days left before the end of term for most students, the action is unlikely to affect learning significantly. In a separate development, the BUT this week released an “opposition paper” wish list for education in the absence of “any party showing a platform”. The motion came in response to correspondence from the Ministry of Education that the union said failed to honour the ministry’s word during the negotiations in March. The first issue of concern deals with scale posts — speciality subjects that teachers at all education levels are responsible for in addition to their normal teaching duties. BUT president Shannon James told The Royal Gazette: “They are supposed to give support to other teachers, but for the past two years the ministry has approached us with some amendments to the scale posts and we’ve had to say no because there was no proper discussion on it. We have had to roll it over for two years of a three-year contract." A second issue involves deputy principals at primary level being overloaded with teaching responsibilities." It's hard for them to be a full-time teacher and to be a deputy principal at the same time,” Mr James said. A letter from the Ministry of Education to BUT general secretary Mike Charles, with regards to the issue of deputy principals, said that while the MOED appreciated the “philosophical perspective that the organizational structure at primary school level should be reviewed, it is not their position to discuss staffing levels". The last issue revolves around the wording of the preamble of the collective bargaining agreement, which the union would like to include “the delivery of modern and relevant education". A number of schools lack adequate technological resources, including wi-fi access in some cases, according to the School Reorganization Report published at the start of last year. In reference to the wording, the ministry wrote “The MOED maintains its position that the inclusion of ‘modern and relevant’ in the preamble is unacceptable but is committed to prioritizing for consideration, alternative language.” The BUT will send an invitation to Mr Simons, along with Michael Dunkley, the Premier, to discuss the matter on Wednesday. Mr James said: “We are addressing the concerns of our teachers. The main thing is when you negotiate, you come to the table and the basic premise is your word is your bond. The ministry has gone back on what it said. For the ministry to come and roll back the agreement is an insult to the process and a direct insult to us." The BUT’s “opposition paper”, titled the 2017 Education Agenda, called for the next government to adopt an agenda for delivering “first-class learning experiences". Health and safety was the first area of concern on the paper — mould, faulty facilities and infestation were major issues identified in the Score report. The agenda calls for each school to be tested and certified before the start of each school year with assessments of air quality, vermin infestation, operational facilities, potable water and food service preparation areas. The paper also asks for adequate staffing, expanded curriculum options and access to instructional resources; a review and modernization of building infrastructure; an investment in technological infrastructure, resources and training, and a commitment to sustained professional development that “will be given the necessary time to be implemented effectively". The Progressive Labour Party sent out a press release yesterday accusing the OBA of breaking promises and “walking back” on its commitments to teachers. Mr Simons said he hoped the union’s executive would reconsider what he termed “the invocation of industrial actions". The minister pointed out that under article one of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the union, the purpose of negotiations was to agree on regulating salaries, hours of work, and other conditions of employment. He said teachers apply for scale posts, receive contracts and “are aware that the contracts are for a period of three years”. Mr Simons said: “The ministry’s position is that these posts serve as an opportunity for professional development and growth for teachers. Thus, the BUT’s request to have the posts made permanent negates the opportunity for other teachers in the system to have the growth experience for upward mobility, if desired." He added the employment of people and changes in the organizational chart fell outside the mandate of union negotiations. The minister further advised that the negotiations between the BUT and the PSNT had been suspended for a period. He said: “The ministry is disappointed with this latest position as the PSNT stands poised to build consensus, and to try to bring negotiations to some conclusion before school resumes in September. We call on the BUT and the PSNT to resume negotiations, so that the best interest of our teachers and students are served.”

June 22. Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd posted a 9.6 per cent increase in net income in its half-year report, as operating costs were reduced while revenue remained flat. The Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed company said net income for the six months ended March 31, 2017, was $550,000, compared to $502,000 in the corresponding period a year earlier. BPHL owns The Royal Gazette, as well as commercial printing, retail and real estate interests.“ The rising costs of healthcare, electricity and taxes continue to prove challenging; however your company’s management continues to find ways to manage and reduce operating costs,” BPHL said in its interim report to shareholders, which was filed with the BSX. “Revenue remained flat across the group for the six months ended March 31, 2017, and this, combined with overall costs reductions, resulted in a reported improvement in profitability. Operating revenue for the period was $13.14 million, in line with the same period a year earlier, while basic earnings broke down to 23 cents per share, up from 20 cents per share. BPHL highlighted the successful integration of businesses it acquired from MediaHouse three years ago — Island Press Ltd, Bermuda.com Ltd and Bermuda.com Guide Ltd — saying that the synergies achieved had boosted profitability by $135,000 over the same period a year earlier and by $585,000 from two years earlier. Real estate holdings were the most profitable part of the group, with an occupancy rate of 98 per cent, of which 58 per cent was occupied by third-party tenants, BPHL said. Shares of the company rose from $7.10 to $8.51 during the period, giving the company a market valuation of nearly $12.2 million. BPHL has been paying a quarterly dividend of 5 cents, representing an annual yield of 2.35 per cent at today’s share price of $8.51.The BPHL board will “continue to review the company’s performance and the ability to increase dividend payments to shareholders”, the statement added. And the company said no shares had been repurchased under the $1 million buyback plan announced in March last year. The statement added some highlights for the period including progress towards the Investors in People certification, the hiring of a sales director with more than 20 years’ experience in print and digital media sales and the ongoing redesign of the eMoo website.

June 22. A boat reportedly crashed into Gibbet's Island last night, leaving the operator in need of medical attention. According to Harbour Radio, at around 8pm a member of the public called 911 to report a boat had run onto the rocks near Flatts Inlet. Members of the public reportedly swam out to the crashed boat, which had struck Gibbets Island, and found one person aboard in an unresponsive state. Marine police attended the scene and took the operator to a waiting ambulance. According to a police spokesman, the 52-year-old Devonshire man regained consciousness after officers arrived. He was arrested on suspicion of operating a boat while impaired, assessed at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, and later discharged. At last check, the man had been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

June 22. Court reports were ordered on a St George’s man after he was caught with around a gram of cocaine. Levar Hollis, 38, was reportedly stopped by police on November 4 last year for a traffic offence on Kindley Field Road. Officers noticed that Hollis seemed nervous and asked him if he had anything illegal on his person. He then indicated towards his pockets, where officers found two small plastic bags. One bag was found to contain 0.85 grams of cocaine, while the second held 0.16 grams of cocaine freebase. Appearing in Magistrates’ Court this morning, Hollis pleaded guilty to possessing the controlled drug, saying that at the time of the traffic stop he was at a low point in his life. “This arrest was like a wake-up call,” he said. “It wasn’t just about me, it was about those around me.” Noting a lack of previous drug convictions, magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ordered a Social Inquiry Report and a drug assessment for Hollis to determine if a conditional discharge would be suitable. Hollis was released on $1,500 bail and is set to return to the court in August for sentencing.

June 21. Land Rover BAR Academy completed the ultimate smash-and-grab to snatch the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup from New Zealand Sailing Team’s grasp on the Great Sound. The Kiwis were shaking hands in celebration as they crossed the finish line to complete a clean sweep of yesterday’s three races, only to look back in horror as BAR Academy, needing to finish in the top three to claim the title, clawed their way up to second on the final leg after SVB Team Germany had hit the mark. New Zealand had dominated the final day as overnight leaders BAR struggled to a fourth and fifth-place finish in yesterday’s opening two races; races four and five of the finals. When helmsman Logan Beck steered the defending champions to their third win in race six, the British boat was languishing in fifth ahead of the final downwind run. However, a chaotic turn of events resulted in Team Germany spearing the leeward gate with their genneker pole and Team Tilt, of Switzerland, and Artemis Youth Racing were both hit with penalties, allowing BAR Academy to surge into second and win the Cup by a two-point margin from the Kiwis. The British team could not believe their luck with “hats off to the Kiwis” all the words the crew could initially muster. For New Zealand, it was a galling way to lose their crown.“ It’s a bummer we didn’t get there in the end,” Beck said. “But I think the boys are really happy with the way we raced today; clean starts, clean racing and came away with three great results. ”For the British team, who were joined by Sir Ben Ainslie for the celebrations, it was reward for their persistence despite winning only one of the six races.“ We had some slightly bleak thoughts for a little while watching on in that final race,” Rob Bunce, the BAR Academy skipper, said. “We were just praying for an opportunity from somewhere and then we saw the drama that was unfolding in front of us; that was our opportunity.“ It feels fantastic to be able to bring the trophy home with us.” Despite their mishap in the late stages of the final race, Team Tilt did enough to secure third-place honours. “I think my team fought hard all the time,” Sebastien Schneiter, the team helmsman, said. “We were in a lot of difficult positions after a bad start, but we were always fighting to come back and at the end that’s what made us able to get that third place.“ The points were so tight that every point was really important.” Roman Hagara, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup sport director, has high expectations for the Class of 2017.“Look for the sailors you’ve seen here in this 2017 edition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup to be in the next America’s Cup four years from now,” he said. “These young talents are the superstars of the future, and after seeing the level of skill and competitiveness they’ve shown here in Bermuda, there’s no doubt they’re going to take the sport to the next level.”

June 21. Rob Bunce, the Land Rover BAR Academy skipper, has reflected on an “epic day” after two second places and a first to top the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals standings. The British side seized control on day one yesterday and enjoy a seven-point cushion ahead of Team Tilt, of Switzerland, and Team France Jeune heading into today’s finale. Bunce, also the bowman, believes strong starts and clean maneuvers were essential to his team’s success. “It’s the perfect start we were looking for and we’re all delighted with our level of consistency,” Bunce said. “Our main focus isn’t to necessarily to win each of the races; it’s more about keeping that consistency and finishing in the top three as much as we can because consistency is key." Getting off that start line cleanly has been the crucial thing for us and if we can do that, then we’re all confident we are quick enough to challenge for those top places on a regular basis. ”Bunce insists BAR Academy will start today “as if yesterday’s races didn’t happen”, as they chase a maiden title.“ Obviously, we have a little cushion, but we won’t think about that,” he said. “It will be nil-nil and we’ll go again. Today was epic and we couldn’t be happier with that." We will take all the positives from today, but there are still things to learn and improve on.” Having the full support of the BAR America’s Cup team and their skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie, has been a huge boost for the Academy, Bunce said." All of the team from Land Rover BAR, including Ben, have been incredibly helpful and supportive to us on and off the water. “It’s been amazing to have that support and hopefully we can do this for them as well.” It was a day of mixed fortunes for Team France Jeune, who are third in the standings with 21 points. They won the second race, finished fourth in the first and were a disappointing seventh in the third. Robin Follin, the skipper, said: “It’s a good day, we are third and we’re happy tonight. The British team were very consistent and we have some things to improve on.” Max Kohlhoff, the SVB Team Germany skipper, believes his team are capable of far more after an eighth place and two fifths. “It was a tough day for us,” said Kohlhoff, whose team are seventh overall with 15 points." We struggled a bit with the boat speed. It’s a different boat for the qualifiers and we have to get used to it. “We have three more races and it’s only six points to second place. We have proven we can be among the top and we will give it our best tomorrow.” Among Kohlhoff’s team-mates are his brothers, Johann and Paul. “We are three brothers and we haven’t really sailed together before,” he said. “But we communicate well because we know each other so well. We can all sail better and hopefully we will show that tomorrow.”

June 21. The 35th America’s Cup Match will be “won or lost” with the tweaks defender Oracle Team USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand make to their boats over their five-day layoff, according to Oracle trimmer Joey Newton. The Kiwis jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-13 series with a superior boat that points higher to weather and sails deeper on the run to the leeward gate. This enables the challenger to make fewer tacks and gybes at both ends of the track and travel less distance to the finish line. “Black Magic?” Hardly. That the Kiwis have managed to achieve this owes much to their daggerboard foils, the submerged appendages that lift the boat out of the water to reduce drag and thus increase speed. It is for this reason that much of Oracle’s emphasis over the next several days will centre around their own foils. “The foils in these boats are the thing that’s producing most of the speed,” Newton, a six-times America’s Cup campaigner, said. “The thing the Kiwis seem to be going well at is getting their foils up and down the range a little better, and always having a little speed edge, so that’s where our team will be focusing on. The boards are incredibly complicated to build. There’s about 80 days of work in each one of those foils and something like 1,500 separate pieces of carbon fibre, so it’s not like you can snap your fingers and make new ones. But if you’ve got the components on the shelf ready to put on, then it’s another story, and I know with Oracle we’ve got a lot of those pieces in place and we will be trying them this week to get some more speed. This America’s Cup will be won or lost in this next week in the changes each team makes and the Kiwis will be the same; they are not going to sit still. They will have changes coming and ideas on how to make their boat faster, so it will be the development that will come out in the boats this weekend that will win or lose this America’s Cup.” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, added: “Clearly, we need to now put everything back on the table. These next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign. They’ve [Kiwis] obviously got speed and had a little bit of an edge sailing a lot of the maneuvers. They are a very, very strong team and have been in the America’s Cup repeatedly for a good reason. They’re a strong group but having said that, we’ve got a strong group as well. We’ve shown we can respond and that’s exactly what we are going to plan to do. There’s still a lot of boat speed to be gained and when you are pushed against one of the best teams in the world, it’s probably the best way to develop. And when you have five days, that’s a lot of time to make some changes. The learning is still vertical, I feel, in this game. We’ve got a lot of great boat building resource. We’ve got design engineering and a very, very good group up here and we feel with the resources we’ve got here we can make changes that’s going to have to improve the boat and give us more speed.”

June 21. June 21. Everybody following the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, already knows that Emirates Team New Zealand have out-started and outpaced Oracle Team USA in the first four matches. That is no secret. At the post-race press conference, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill repeatedly said that changes were coming during the long, five-day gap in racing. To almost every question he bridged his answers back to the issue of changes and speed, avoiding any details on what they could and would do to solve the slow starts they have got. “It’s pretty obvious,” Spithill said. “These guys [Team New Zealand] are faster. We need to make some serious changes ... clearly we need to put everything back on the table. These next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign.” He added: “Everything is on the table, no two ways about it, We will look at every single thing we can. We’ve been here before [referring to the previous America’s Cup in San Francisco]. We’ve got five days to respond now. Everything is up for grabs. Nothing will escape our eyes in these next five days, whether it is system-related, appendage-related, or sailing technique; we’re going to look at everything.” Spithill said that the Kiwis had speed and “an edge in a lot of the maneuvers. We saw that against Artemis as well.” He said: “We’ve got a lot of great boat building resource, design, engineering. With the resources we’ve got here, we can make changes that improve the boat and give us more speed. We’ll be into 24-hour shifts. This isn’t our first rodeo.” The situation remains that Oracle does not have a really fast boat. Artemis beat them in the Qualifiers and many people think that New Zealand could have. Some suggest that SoftBank Team Japan might have been able to do it as well. Wind strength for this Saturday and Sunday is predicted to be the same as last weekend at 10-13 knots, but more stable from the southwest. To find out more about what Oracle can and cannot do, The Royal Gazette turned to Martin Fischer, foil designer for Groupama Team France. Aside from modifications to control systems to adjust the daggerboards, rudders and the wing, two items create drag in the water — daggerboards and rudders. That is probably where the biggest gains in raw speed can be made. We asked: “What can Oracle do fix their ‘slows’ problem in five days? Oracle may change one daggerboard foil shape within the rule — 10 per cent modification allowed — in five days? Fischer replied: “I don’t know what kind of sections they are using. It could be possible to modify the section shape in some critical areas with non-structural fairings. This would for sure fit inside the 10 per cent limit. It seems that they suffer especially at lower speed. So it might help to add a winglet to the tip of the foil. This would also fit inside the 10 per cent limit. Both modifications could be done within five days. However, I have not done any deeper analyses of their foil shape, so I do not really know if this would really help.” Oracle may decide to change the foil tips, as some have suggested. Fischer explained: “I don’t think that it would be possible to rebuild tips within five days. I am not even sure they are allowed to do it. The rules allow a team to do four combined changes to the four race foils. Hence, either four modifications to one foil or one modification to each foil, where the changes must be limited to 30 per cent of the mass of the original foil. If they have already two tips for each foil, they have used the four combined changes. The Kiwis’ rudder shaft shape and elevator design are quite different from Oracle’s other unique features such as their kinky foils. Oracle may make modifications to rudders and elevators. “There are no limits on the number of rudders and elevators a team can use,” Fischer said. “But again I am not sure that [new rudders or elevators can be built] within the short time frame.” With Spithill continuing to return to the issue of change, Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling was finally asked if New Zealand were holding back in the Qualifiers and Play-offs, then responding with speed whenever pressured by their opponent. “We are learning and improving.” Burling said. “Our boat is going a lot quicker than it was a few weeks ago. We got pushed really hard by BAR in our semi-final and again by Artemis Racing in our Play-off finals. We learnt a lot from that. We are a lot tougher unit. Still we have a lot to work on over the next five days.” The Kiwis are a moving target, a fast one at that, “We’re going to be a lot better next weekend,” Burling added. Asked if he still had some secret weapon, Burling quipped, with a cool grin: “If we did have something secret, we wouldn’t be sharing it here.”

June 21. From complete exhilaration to downright frustration, Team BDA experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions on the opening day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals. The home favorites enjoyed a fairytale start in the first of three races yesterday, with a virtually faultless performance on the Great Sound to win by a comfortable margin. Mackenzie Cooper, the Team BDA skipper, and his crew were greeted by howls of delight by the hordes of blue-and-red clad supporters in the packed grandstand as they crossed the finish line. They crashed back down to earth in the second race, however, finishing last before being narrowly beaten to the line by SVB Team Germany in the final outing to place sixth. “It was a crazy day of ups and downs,” said Cooper, whose team are sixth in the overall standings on 18 points. “To win the first race was a great feeling. We were super happy, but we didn’t have a great second one and had to really fight to get sixth [in the third].” Cooper admits they could barely contain their euphoria after making a magnificent start to the finals by shedding their maiden. They came close twice in the pool B qualifiers with a pair of second-place finishes to take fourth overall. “Everyone was bursting inside but trying to not to show it as much as they were actually feeling. “To come across that last reach to a full grandstand with people waving Bermuda flags and chanting ‘BDA’ — well, it’s something I’ll never forget. It was an incredible experience. ”The Bermudians had little time to bask in their glory, though, with the three fleet races coming thick and fast. Cooper insists they were not “too high on life” after their triumph and put their disappointing finish in the second race down to a piece of indecision on his behalf. Having made a slow start, Team BDA fought their way back into the mid-pack but lost ground because of a poor gybe at the second gate before picking up a costly penalty. “It’s really hard regardless of where you finish because they really like to fire the races off one after another,” Cooper said. “I didn’t start us very well, but we had a really nice run and gained a lot back. “Just looking around the course, I thought there was better breeze [on the right-hand side of the course] and we wanted to get there. “The Germans had a really good gybe and unfortunately the Kiwis did as well. “We then copped a penalty and not knowing the most efficient way to get rid of it really put us on the back foot.” Although the picture could be a lot rosier for Team BDA heading into tomorrow’s finale, a gutsy showing in the third race at least keeps them within touching distance of the leaders. And with the team’s fans sure to descend in their droves to the America’s Cup Village to cheer them on, Cooper said they are determined to give them plenty to get excited about. “Tomorrow is our last day to put on a show for Bermuda, and we want to come out firing,” Cooper added." The support never gets old; the chants, the horns. A full grandstand for the Youth America’s Cup is pretty incredible. You won’t get that anywhere else." Anything can happen, we’ve already seen that and so we won’t stop believing we can win this. We will fix the mistakes we’ve made and come back stronger tomorrow.” Land Rover BAR Academy lead the eight-team fleet on 28 points after a first and two seconds, Team Tilt from Switzerland second and Team France Jeune third, both on 21 points.

June 21. Questions have been raised over the validity of an online invitation for a live debate between the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition. The call from the youth group Generation Next for a debate to be streamed online was accepted by David Burt, but elicited “surprise” from Senator Lynne Woolridge, the chairman of the One Bermuda Alliance." The Premier and his colleagues are always willing to debate all issues,” she said. “But the flyer promoting a debate has not been discussed between the two parties to make sure that any debates that are arranged are done so in a proper fashion taking all aspects into consideration including a neutral location with an unbiased moderator." Topics for the debate would include education, the economy, immigration, and job creation, said group member Eron Hill — with the event scheduled for the Bermuda Industrial Union’s Sweeting Ball Hall on July 3 at 8pm.“Young Bermudians deserve to know what the position of our leaders are on a number of matters,” Hill said." It is vitally important that young people not only feel a part of the process in shaping Bermuda, but that we also contribute to that process. There will be time allocated during the debate to allow for questions from the audience. “We look forward to receiving the indications from both leaders that they will engage with our young people and address these matters openly. Our young people are eager to hear the leaders outline and debate their respective visions, proposed policies, and plans for the future and sustainability of our island home." In a statement this afternoon, Mr Burt said he looked forward to the opportunity to showcase the differences in the OBA and PLP plans for the island." The PLP has a vision to build a better Bermuda and put Bermudians first,” he said. “We pledge to pass comprehensive immigration reform that ensures that Bermudians will have access to jobs and promotions and scrap Pathways to Status. We will reform public education to provide specialized training, especially in the STEM fields. “We will increase competition to bring down the cost of health insurance. And, we will work to reduce duties and restructure our tax code to put more money in your pocket, reduce the cost of living and making it easier for working families to live and thrive in Bermuda. ”Ms Woolridge said she would contact the Opposition to discuss arranging debates between the two parties. But she called on residents “not to be swayed by the fake news and propaganda of the Opposition’s political operatives — when announcements relating to the July 18 General Election are made, they will be made through official channels and not announced in the first instance on social media"." I can assure the people of Bermuda that the Premier and his colleagues have no objection to any debate or discussions on issues to help move Bermuda forward because we have a record that we are proud of and we urge the people of Bermuda not to get caught up in the Opposition’s negative narrative." We would like to remind the people that this country was in serious decline in 2012 and slowly but surely we are on the road to progress and the people of Bermuda can see this progress from east to west.”

June 21. Former One Bermuda Alliance chairman Thaddeus Hollis is to stand as an independent candidate in the General Election, he announced yesterday. Mr Hollis, who resigned from the ruling party in July 2014, will run in Hamilton West, his home constituency, where the Progressive Labour Party’s Wayne Furbert is the incumbent. Mr Hollis told The Royal Gazette: “Quite simply, I think that party politics has divided our community. It’s become a divisive way of keeping people apart, not bringing people together. I really do think as an independent, I can do a better job representing the voice of my constituents.” Mr Hollis, a self-employed labour relations advocate and employment consultant, joined the One Bermuda Alliance in 2011, not long after it formed. He became its chairman but resigned in July 2014, four days after releasing the findings of an investigation he conducted into the Jetgate controversy, which involved a $350,000 donation from overseas developers for the OBA’s 2012 election campaign. Mr Hollis told this newspaper that after he resigned as party chairman, he never renewed his OBA membership and stopped attending its meetings, but it wasn’t as a direct result of Jetgate. “I had enough,” he said, adding that the voluntary post of chairman was all-consuming and was impacting his ability to earn a living. “At the time, I was tired. It was a full-time job being the chairman.” He described Jetgate — which led to the resignation of then premier, Craig Cannonier, and a fraud squad inquiry into the bank account of a fundraising group linked to the OBA as a “tempest in a teacup” and said the negative publicity did not affect him. “I have taken knocks before, so that didn’t bother me,” he said, adding that he fulfilled his pledge to investigate the matter and make public his findings. Since then, Mr Hollis said: “I have just sat back and watched the party politics become personal attacks, personal criticism, playing the race card when it’s convenient and when it’s not convenient — both parties do it to some degree. ”He said he was disillusioned with party politics as it no longer revolved around “putting Bermudians first”.“ As an independent, I am not bound to anyone, except the people that voted me in, my constituents,” he said. He acknowledged that independent candidates rarely win seats in Bermuda, though he noted that Stuart Hayward managed to in 1989 when he ousted the UBP’s Clarence James in Pembroke West Central. But Mr Hollis said he believed he stood a good chance against Furbert because people in his constituency craved change. He said: “I have known Wayne for 40 years; I think he is a great guy. [But] he was the leader of the UBP and now he’s in the PLP — 40 years he has been involved in the UBP and the PLP and I really would like to see some change.” He said it was interesting to see how Mark Pettingill and the late Shawn Crockwell were able to “hold” the House of Assembly after quitting the OBA to sit as independents, suggesting that those without party affiliations would be able to wield considerable power if the election was close. Mr Hollis said he believed the OBA had “done the best it could with what it got in 2012” but had not focused enough on social issues. His election pledges include improved healthcare for seniors, reforms to the Employment Act and more help for single mothers. Simone Barton has been announced as the OBA candidate for Constituency 6, while Mr Furbert is expected to run again for the PLP. Mr Hollis is the first independent to publicly declare a candidacy in this General Election, though former premier Paula Cox is being tipped to run in Devonshire North West and incumbent Mr Pettingill has not ruled himself out of the running for Warwick North East.

June 21. The One Bermuda Alliance unveiled two more candidates who will represent the party in next month’s General Election earlier this afternoon. Grant Gibbons, Minster of Economic Development, will represent the party in Constituency 22 Paget East, while businessman Rodney Smith has been selected for Constituency 21 Pembroke South East. Dr Gibbons and Mr Smith were announced by Bob Richards, deputy premier, at the press event held at the Bishop Spencer School site. According to Mr Richards, both Mr Gibbons and Mr Smith have “outstanding records of public service and private enterprise”. Representing the Paget East since 1994, Dr Gibbons said the years had given him perspective." I've seen Bermuda in good times and bad,” he said. He said nothing had prepared him for the financial challenges faced by the party after taking power five years ago. “With discipline and determination, the OBA government has moved Bermuda forward,” he said. “You can see the results from one end of the island to the other. You can feel the confidence returning.” Dr Gibbons said that after years of empty promises, the party had delivered when it came to new hotel construction. “We are confident there are more to come.” He said work remained to address the families that are struggling and Bermudians who are still without jobs. “When you go to the polls on July 18, consider carefully and choose to continue moving Bermuda forward,” Dr Gibbons said. Mr Smith highlighted recent work done alongside the Salvation Army to highlight the plight of homelessness in the community. A resident of Constituency 15, he also highlighted a community effort in a legal victory against Belvin’s over the distribution of alcohol. “I want to bring those skills, transfer them to Constituency 21, and help them clean up some of the areas that we have there,” he said. He asked for the time to complete the efforts begun by the OBA five years ago. “We’re coming back today to say stand with us in 2017 — let us finish the work we began in 2012.” Pembroke South East is currently represented by the PLP’s Rolfe Commissiong.

June 21. The president of the Bermuda Public Services Union was among three candidates rolled out by the Progressive Labour Party this morning. Jason Hayward will represent the party in Constituency 19 Pembroke West. Graham Maule was announced as the candidate for Constituency 20 Pembroke South West, and Scott Simmons will run in Constituency 32 Southampton West. Introducing the candidates at a press conference this morning, Opposition leader David Burt said that the three men “collectively will show what the PLP stands for”. Mr Burt introduced Mr Hayward as a “champion of labour”, who provided “fearless leadership” and “staunch support for workers”. Mr Hayward said as an MP he would work to ensure the PLP was focused on “people, their families, and their communities”. He described the party’s platform as a plan that he boldly supported. “The PLP’s Vision 2025 is a framework that will lead Bermuda on a continued path of success,” he said. Mr Hayward said residents of Constituency 19 could be assured he would represent their best interests at all times. “I will not waiver from my commitment to serve and I truly believe that serving people equates to serving God.” The constituency is currently represented by the One Bermuda Alliance’s Jeanne Atherden. In describing Mr Simmons, Mr Burt noted his “good and dedicated service” to the party over the years, and that he exemplified the concept of placing service before self. Mr Simmons, chairman of the party, thanked party members and backers for their “unwavering support” in the constituency. He outlined three main areas of focus if elected — seniors, community infrastructure, and jobs and tourism. Mentioning the White Hill Field redevelopment he said: “It is my intention to make this development project a priority.” The redevelopment project at Morgan’s Point, Mr Simmons said, must put Bermudians first for jobs now and in the future. “Our survival as a community absolutely depends on it,” he said. The constituency is currently held by Randy Horton, the Speaker of the House. Mr Burt described Mr Maule as a “true green Bermudian”, who was “equipped and suited” to represent all islanders. Mr Maule, who studied hospitality in Scotland, said he was committed to working diligently to represent all of the constituents of Pembroke South West. He also pledged to nurture and support tourism development through focusing on Bermuda’s unique cultural heritage. “I am convinced that a sustainable future for Bermuda has to depend upon the ability of all Bermudians to work towards a common goal,” he said. “I believe in a Bermuda where we all recognise cultural differences within various groups and still live in harmony with mutual respect.” The area is currently represented by the OBA’s Susan Jackson.

June 21. Members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers have commenced working to rule and could take further action, after a breakdown in negotiations with the Ministry of Education. Teachers agreed to work their contracted hours only following a vote at an emergency meeting held yesterday at St Paul AME Church. They also voted unanimously to give “notice of action” at any time the union executive decided. However, in a statement last night, education minister Cole Simons reminded the union “that it is important for the negotiations to remain within the scope of its purpose” and called on the BUT and the Public Service Negotiating Team to resume talks. With exams complete and only a few days left before the end of term for most students, the action is unlikely to affect learning significantly. In a separate development, the BUT this week released an “opposition paper” wish list for education in the absence of “any party showing a platform”. The motion came in response to correspondence from the Ministry of Education that the union said failed to honour the ministry’s word during the negotiations in March. The first issue of concern deals with scale posts — speciality subjects that teachers at all education levels are responsible for in addition to their normal teaching duties. BUT president Shannon James told The Royal Gazette: “They are supposed to give support to other teachers, but for the past two years the ministry has approached us with some amendments to the scale posts and we’ve had to say no because there was no proper discussion on it. We have had to roll it over for two years of a three-year contract." A second issue involves deputy principals at primary level being overloaded with teaching responsibilities." It's hard for them to be a full-time teacher and to be a deputy principal at the same time,” Mr James said. A letter from the Ministry of Education to BUT general secretary Mike Charles, with regards to the issue of deputy principals, said that while the MOED appreciated the “philosophical perspective that the organizational structure at primary school level should be reviewed, it is not their position to discuss staffing levels". The last issue revolves around the wording of the preamble of the collective bargaining agreement, which the union would like to include “the delivery of modern and relevant education". A number of schools lack adequate technological resources, including wi-fi access in some cases, according to the School Reorganization Report published at the start of last year. In reference to the wording, the ministry wrote “The MOED maintains its position that the inclusion of ‘modern and relevant’ in the preamble is unacceptable but is committed to prioritizing for consideration, alternative language.” The BUT will send an invitation to Mr Simons, along with Michael Dunkley, the Premier, to discuss the matter on Wednesday.Mr James said: “We are addressing the concerns of our teachers. The main thing is when you negotiate, you come to the table and the basic premise is your word is your bond. The ministry has gone back on what it said. For the ministry to come and roll back the agreement is an insult to the process and a direct insult to us." The BUT’s “opposition paper”, titled the 2017 Education Agenda, called for the next government to adopt an agenda for delivering “first-class learning experiences". Health and safety was the first area of concern on the paper — mould, faulty facilities and infestation were major issues identified in the Score report. The agenda calls for each school to be tested and certified before the start of each school year with assessments of air quality, vermin infestation, operational facilities, potable water and food service preparation areas. The paper also asks for adequate staffing, expanded curriculum options and access to instructional resources; a review and modernization of building infrastructure; an investment in technological infrastructure, resources and training, and a commitment to sustained professional development that “will be given the necessary time to be implemented effectively". The Progressive Labour Party sent out a press release yesterday accusing the OBA of breaking promises and “walking back” on its commitments to teachers.Mr Simons said he hoped the union’s executive would reconsider what he termed “the invocation of industrial actions". The minister pointed out that under article one of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the union, the purpose of negotiations was to agree on regulating salaries, hours of work, and other conditions of employment. He said teachers apply for scale posts, receive contracts and “are aware that the contracts are for a period of three years”. Mr Simons said: “The ministry’s position is that these posts serve as an opportunity for professional development and growth for teachers. Thus, the BUT’s request to have the posts made permanent negates the opportunity for other teachers in the system to have the growth experience for upward mobility, if desired." He added the employment of people and changes in the organizational chart fell outside the mandate of union negotiations. The minister further advised that the negotiations between the BUT and the PSNT had been suspended for a period. He said: “The ministry is disappointed with this latest position as the PSNT stands poised to build consensus, and to try to bring negotiations to some conclusion before school resumes in September. We call on the BUT and the PSNT to resume negotiations, so that the best interest of our teachers and students are served.”

June 21. Government House Gardens will be closed to the public on Sunday during the royal visit. The Princess Royal and her husband Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence will be staying at Government House, after having arrived on Saturday evening. The couple will visit the America’s Cup Village on Sunday.

June 21. Fairmont Southampton has received two TripAdvisor awards, as well as two Best of Bermuda 2017 awards. The resort was recognized by the travel website with the annual 2017 Certificate of Excellence and the Family Vacation Critic Favourite. Waterlot Inn, meanwhile, took the Best of Bermuda awards for Best Hotel Dining and Best Creative Cocktail for “The Dock’s Ridiculous Caesar & Bloody Mary Bar"." Fairmont Southampton continues to be honored with numerous accolades,” general manager and regional vice president Kieran MacDonald said. “These awards are testament to the excellent level of family-friendly service delivered by our highly engaged colleagues, providing our guests with the ultimate Bermuda experience to inspire you." The certificate of excellence was awarded for consistently great guest reviews, while the Family Vacation Critic Favourite was awarded for being this year’s highest ranked family favourite in Bermuda with 84 per cent of families recommending the resort on TripAdvisor. To achieve this status, each hotel has to receive a rating of 4+ from TripAdvisor’s editorial staff and at least 75 per cent of family reviewers have to recommend the hotel by giving a 4+ rating in their TripAdvisor review.

June 21. The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art has been named one of the top visitor destinations by an online review site. TripExpert.com this month awarded the museum and gallery its Experts’ Choice and Best of Bermuda Award, noting positive reviews from more than 70 travel publications including Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Travel + Leisure. The attraction was also recently featured in a video by Condé Nast Traveler, highlighting it as one of the top ten things to do in Bermuda. Reacting to the awards, Tom Butterfield, founder and creative director of Masterworks, said: “We want to believe, and we do believe, that the museum is special but sometimes it is the outside observations that make it pretty special." The gallery also has another reason to celebrate, as it benefited from a silent auction on board the superyacht Maltese Falcon." We had the privilege of having the owner as well as the skipper of Maltese Falcon at the museum this past Monday,” said Mr Butterfield.“ She was so inspired by the collection that by Thursday of that same week they had organised a silent auction to be held on the Maltese Falcon that raised $50,000 for the museum." For us it was amazing that this world-famous ship tied in exceedingly well with this world-famous collection." And the gallery has added a new work by Bermudian artist Graham Foster to its collection — a specially commissioned piece celebrating the America’s Cup entitled Underway Bermuda 2017.“A benefactor of the Museum has very kindly had the wisdom and vision to have Graham Foster create this artwork for Masterworks,” said Mr Butterfield. “This is the third time this benefactor has commissioned a major piece for Masterworks, with previous works being done by British artists of his choosing to enrich the collection." Graham is no stranger to Masterworks as we knew him as an emerging artist when we gave him the opportunity for his first one-man show as part of Artists Up Front Street and he was also the winner of the Charman Prize in 2009. The new work was immediately placed in the members’ lounge and library for viewing as the piece weaves in with our 30th birthday narrative." We encourage everyone in Bermuda to come and enjoy the piece in this exciting moment for Bermuda during the America’s Cup. The piece is a lasting way for Bermudians to remember this moment in time and the impact the America’s Cup has had on the island.”

2017 Bermuda Island Games teamJune 21. Bermuda’s 67-member team departs tomorrow for the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden, led by Jon Beard, the Chef de Mission, who is confident the team will continue the success enjoyed at the Games. Bermuda will be represented by 67 athletes in nine sports, with volleyball having the biggest group, 23, as well as two in beach volleyball. Beard, chairman of the Bermuda Island Games Association, praised the hard work done by his committee of Juanita Blee, Georgina Francoeur and Laura Bolton, as well as companies and organisations who have supported the Bermuda team." Without their support many of these athletes would not be able to participate,” Beard stressed. “The team has been outfitted thanks to the continued support of Sun Life Financial International, who has provided the teams uniforms since 2015. Representing Bermuda is an honour that our athletes do not take lightly and the uniforms provided by Sun Life Financial ensure that they represent us in style.” Niall O’Hare, CEO of Sun Life Financial, stated: “We are pleased to continue our support of the Bermudian delegation for the NatWest Island Games. We are proud to support our local community and look forward to celebrating the athletes and their successes upon their return to Bermuda.” Bermuda will be represented by four track and field athletes, middle distance runners Deon Breary, the recent Bermuda Half Day Marathon women’s winner, Ashley Berry and Gayle Lindsay and sprinter Taahira Butterfield. Cycling has named strong men’s and women’s teams, including Dominique Mayho who has been competing in Belgium, and youngsters Che’quan Richardson, Kaden Hopkins and Matthew Oliveira while Gabriella Arnold, Nicole Mitchell, Zoenique Williams and Alyssa Rowse make up the women’s team. There are also two mountain bike competitors, Adam Kirk and Deshi Smith. The golf team comprises Katrin Burnie, Walker Campbell, Jarryd Dillas, Linda Down, Will Haddrell, Elizabeth Parsons, Mark Phillips and Tariqah Walikraam. Top singles player Gavin Manders will be part of a four-member tennis team which also includes Samuel Butler, Jovan Jordan-Whitter and David Thomas while Tucker Murphy is the lone triathlete. Badminton has a team of seven while there are five gymnasts. Ian Bucci and Kazimierz Orlowski will compete in beach volleyball. "These games are of a high standard,” Beard said recently. “They are not the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, but they still provide a very strong test for our athletes and help to develop them for future competitions." With these games, our athletes can compete in a competition where they truly have the chance to finish on the podium and it is a chance to show off our talent on an international stage." Beard added: “Gymnastics are in the Games again this year, and our gymnasts have always done us proud and finished in the medals. Gavin Manders and David Thomas have been popular and regular tennis competitors in the Games and will hope that they can get into the medals.“ Badminton will be hoping to continue their obvious development through recent Games and aim to be in the medals; and Archery, which has developed incredibly in Bermuda in recent years is hoping for their first medal in these Games. “Tucker Murphy will once again show his athletic diversity and hopes to among the top finishers in triathlon.” Archery — Robert O’Connor, Tiffany Slaton, Bernard Wade IIIAthletics — Ashley Berry, Deon Breary, Taahira Butterfield, Gayle Lindsay Badminton — Rowena Cespedes, Mark Haugen, Danial Hughes, Kwun Wa Lam, Darelyn Legaspi, Denzel Simons, David WellmanBeach volleyball — Ian Bucci, Kazimierz OrlowskiCycling — Gabriella Arnold, Kaden Hopkins, Adam Kirk, Dominique Mayho, Nicole Mitchell, Matthew Oliveira, Che’quan Richardson, Alyssa Rowse, Deshi Smith, Zoenique Williams Golf — Katrin Burnie, Walker Campbell, Jarryd Dillas, Linda Down, Will Haddrell, Elizabeth Parsons, Mark Phillips, Tariqah Walikraam. Gymnastics — Max Blakeney, Anna Francoeur, Taj Kiran Lowery, Gianna Webbe, Chantae Wilson. Tennis — Samuel Butler, Jovan Jordan-Whitter, Gavin Manders, David Thomas. Triathlon — Tucker Murphy. Volleyball — Brian Amaro, Shannon Botelho, Perry D’Ambrosio, Christina Duff, Kathryn Dyck, Daniel Fiddick, Keiran Hamilton, Kyle Hamilton, Melisa Judd, Allison Lacoursiere, Leticia Ferreira, Savannah Loder, Amber Lopes, Katrina McPhee, Bradley Meindersma, Tiago Ferreira, Sy Olson-McPeek, Khianda Pearman-Watson, Robert Saraiva, Allison Settle-Smith, Brandon Sousa, Eron Woods, Cyprian Zimecki.

June 20. Emirates Team New Zealand will take some catching both on the Great Sound and in the race for the “Auld Mug”. The Kiwis are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, after condemning Oracle Team USA to four defeats of worrying similarity at the weekend. Oracle Team USA, who started with a one-point lead having won the qualifying regatta, trail Team New Zealand 3-0 and need to make “serious changes” over the next five days, according to skipper Jimmy Spithill. After all, they have not won a single leg of the Match, with Peter Burling, the Kiwis helmsman, and his team of “cyclors” looking superior in every aspect of racing. One of many concerns for Oracle will be the dominance of Burling in the start box, an area where many believed the 26-year-old would struggle. Plagued with issues against Artemis Racing in the Challenger Play-off Finals, Burling looks to have solved those problems after winning all four starts against the more experienced Spithill. It has been 17 years since the Kiwis won the America’s Cup and they are only four races away from returning the trophy to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland. Finding solutions to sticky situations is Spithill’s forte, however. The fiery Australian skippered Oracle to one of sport’s greatest comebacks when they fought back from 8-1 down to beat Team New Zealand in San Francisco in 2013.He admits, however, that the next five days will make or break Oracle’s campaign. “Everything will be put out on the table, nothing will be off limits, and over the next five days our incredible shore team will be looking at every aspect of our boat,” Spithill said. “If we were forced to race day after day, we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup. “We’ve been in a situation like this before and we’ve had less time. We’ve got five important days and we’ll be using every single hour of them. We have to respond. ”The Kiwis, complete with their radical, cycling grinding system and longer, kinked light-air foils, have simply been faster than Oracle in the light, shifty conditions. So far the evidence suggests that the innovative, bold design of the Kiwis’ 50-foot flying machine is offering a glimpse into the future of America’s Cup racing. That Oracle made a last-ditch switch to partial pedal power, with a single cycling station behind helmsman Spithill, certainly suggests as much. And it is likely that Oracle’s technical wizards will be scrambling around their shed in Dockyard in a desperate attempt to find a winning formula before it is too late. “Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee that,” Spithill added. “Whether it’s system-related, appendage-related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything.” After racing had finished on Saturday, Spithill had promised his team would come out swinging in an effort to get back into the fight. In truth, Oracle could barely lay a glove on Team New Zealand, who left their rivals with a heavily bloodied nose for the fourth successive race. Next weekend, when racing resumes, Burling will look to deliver the knockout blow. “We now have five days to keep pushing on and progressing because everyone in this team is hungry to keep on improving and learning,” Burling said." We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy and Oracle will catch us, so we have plenty of work on in the next five days. “We’re happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America’s Cup. “We knew to do that we had to win eight races and so we have to keep on battling to ensure that is what we do.”

June 20. The America’s Cup J Class Regatta has reached an exciting climax with only one point separating the top three entries heading into today’s final day of the six-race series at Murray’s Anchorage. Racing finally got underway in yesterday’s medium east, southeasterly breezes after Friday’s original start to the offshore regatta was postponed because of a lack of wind. After all was said and done, it was the 42-metre J Class yacht Hanuman leading a record fleet of seven by a whisker. Originally christened Endeavour II and built in 1937 to contest for the “Auld Mug” that same year, Hanuman finished day one level on points with nearest rival Ranger but topped the leaderboard on a countback having won yesterday’s third and final race. The lead boat posted a combined score of 2-4-1 while Ranger returned ashore with a 3-2-2 record to keep the pressure on their rivals. In third, just one point adrift of the lead pace, is Lionheart, which is gunning for a third title in Bermuda’s waters having secured class and overall honours at last week’s America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. Lionheart posted a score of 1-3-4 to also remain thick in the hunt for honours. The crew of Hanuman are bidding for a second title this year having won St Barths Bucket on a countback from Velsheda who, along with Topaz, rounded off the top five entries on the penultimate day of the America’s Cup J Class Regatta.Svea, the newest member of the J Class fleet, sits in sixth having endured a tough day at the office after retiring from the second race and not making it to the starting line for the third. In seventh is the original Shamrock, the first J Class yacht built for the America’s Cup. The J Class yachts featured in the America’s Cup in the 1930s and are still regarded by many as some of the most majestic and famous yachts afloat .“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognized as being among the high points in Cup history,” Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority CEO, said. “The Js still epitomize grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering.” Only ten J Class yachts were ever built, of which three originals survive today."

June 20. Paula Cox has reached out to voters in Devonshire North West in a series of videos posted online over the weekend. The former premier, who was unhappy to have been overlooked in favour of Wayne Caines as the Progressive Labour Party candidate for Constituency 14, hinted last week that she could run as an independent candidate at the upcoming General Election. Two of the three short clips, which can be found on a YouTube page called “PC Elect”, feature Ms Cox delivering a special message for National Heroes’ Day and Father’s Day. The National Heroes’ Day message is directed at the constituents of Devonshire North West, as well as “the wider Bermuda”, while the Father’s Day video pays tribute to “all the fathers of Constituency 14”. A third video, which only features images, music and text, ends with the message: “We’re sticking and staying with Paula. July 18 Vote.” It comes after Ms Cox, who unexpectedly lost her Constituency 14 seat to the Glen Smith in the 2012 General Election, sent a scathing e-mail to Opposition leader David Burt over her rejection as a candidate. She accused party leaders, who announced Mr Caines as their selection on Wednesday, of acting as if they had a “backroom agenda” to tarnish her reputation. The series of e-mails between Ms Cox, Opposition leader David Burt, party chairman Scott Simmons and branch secretary Nadine Henry also appeared to suggest that Ms Cox could run as an independent candidate to “let the voters of C14 decide the outcome”. And Ms Cox told The Royal Gazette on Wednesday that she would continue to work in Devonshire North West. “The C14 voters have been very open about what they want and expect from their next representative and I plan to work to earn their trust and confidence. “They want change from the OBA and they wish experience and commitment. I am determined to do what is required to earn their vote and their support.”  Mr Smith has been named as the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for the election, which takes place on Tuesday, July 18.

June 20. Former Cabinet minister David Burch is expected to be officially announced as the Progressive Labour Party’s candidate for Warwick North Central. Mr Burch ran in the constituency — a key marginal seat — in the last General Election, losing by just ten votes to the One Bermuda Alliance’s Wayne Scott. It is understood an announcement is likely before the end of the week on his candidacy, although PLP constituency 27 branch chairman Anthony Santucci would not comment yesterday. Mr Burch’s Twitter account, @ColonelBurch, shows he has been actively canvassing in the neighborhood, as well as getting involved in cleanup activities on the streets. His social media feed features photographs of him meeting constituents, attending meetings and taking part in gardening efforts to improve the area. Many of the pictures are accompanied by slogans such as “canvassing 27” and “Colonel in the village”. Mr Burch has ran and lost three times as a PLP candidate in general elections and once in a by-election. He first ran for the party in Smith’s South in the 1998 General Election, then in a by-election in the same constituency in 2001. In the 2003 election, he ran in Hamilton South. The former Bermuda Regiment commanding officer, who reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, became a PLP senator in 1998 and served as chief of staff to Dame Jennifer Smith, during her time as premier. He joined the PLP Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio in 2000, before taking on the housing brief in 2002. Mr Burch went on to become Minister of Public Safety and Housing and, later, Minister of National Security. He resigned from that role, and from the Senate, in 2011, after a disagreement with Paula Cox, who was then Premier. Mr Burch was educated at West End Primary, Southampton Glebe and Sandys Secondary. He later attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and the School of Infantry, Warminster, both in the United Kingdom, and has an OBE for services to the military. He will run against the OBA candidate, political newcomer Sheila Gomez, a former tennis player and coach, in Warwick North Central. Mr Burch could not be reached for comment. A PLP spokeswoman said: “We will be announcing candidates for every constituency in due course.”

June 20. The Bermuda Trade Union Congress has called on the next Government to establish and maintain “a healthy balance between the interests of business and the interests of workers”. The BTUC put out a press release pointing to complaints over a number of years about unemployment, low wages and “an increased dependency of able-bodied persons on social assistance. In order to tackle these issues, the BTUC is asking the next Government to adopt and commit to this agenda that will empower Bermudians as well as support and improve the lives of all workers in Bermuda,” it stated. According to the press release, the BTUC is specifically calling on the next Government to:

It called for a Workforce Development Plan for Bermuda to:

June 20. Shawn Crockwell was a man of conviction who desired change and, above all, unity for Bermuda, speakers told a packed church hall at his funeral. The passing of Mr Crockwell, 47, a prominent lawyer, MP and father of three, has rocked the community since he was discovered at his Hamilton Parish residence on June 10. His casket stood draped in the Bermuda flag yesterday at the Southampton Seventh-day Adventist Church, where guests included: John Rankin, the Governor; Michael Dunkley, the Premier; Opposition leader David Burt; the Right Reverend Nicholas Dill, Anglican Bishop of Bermuda; Chief Justice Ian Kawaley; Deputy Speaker of the House Suzann Roberts-Holshouser, and various members of the Cabinet and legislature as well as former premiers and representatives of the courts. Mr Dunkley hailed his colleague as an extraordinary and charismatic man, adding: “Shawn was a dynamic public personality, and his vitality will be missed in the places that he lived, in his professional life, in the courts, the meeting rooms and, yes, the floor of the House of Assembly.” The Premier recalled a friendship that “began in politics but forged through the love of sports” — especially the Dallas Cowboys. Addressing Mr Crockwell’s children Curtis Hill, Shauntino Simons and Maya Crockwell, Mr Dunkley said: “He loved you more than anything in the world. No one who came in touch with Shawn and spent time with your father would not come away knowing just how much he loved his children.” Mr Crockwell was a man who wanted Bermudians to come together, the Premier added. “That work continues, and I, with others, will do our best to carry forward that promise and that hope that Shawn carried in his heart. Let’s not let his death be in vain.” Mr Burt told the congregation that to say Mr Crockwell’s life was “observed, respected and appreciated by many would be an understatement. It was Shawn’s warrior spirit that made him a beacon that so many in Bermuda could look to and connect with and follow.” Mr Burt spoke of the adversity faced by black men, as well as the challenges that Mr Crockwell had risen above — and the courage of his convictions, whether as chairman of the United Bermuda Party, a founder of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, or as a minister in the One Bermuda Alliance. Reviewing Mr Crockwell’s career, Mr Burt said he had spent two decades, often through physical pain, serving the country. “Shawn ultimately stayed true to his convictions, and sat as an independent,” Mr Burt added, saying Mr Crockwell had stood firmly by his beliefs. His wish was for “a unified Bermuda”, the Leader of the Opposition added, “and it is up to us to make his dream a reality”. Rising in tribute to his friend and colleague, fellow independent MP Mark Pettingill brought laughter on occasion, sharing that Mr Crockwell had once presented him with a picture of “the two of us getting on jet” as a Christmas present — in reference to the Jetgate scandal of 2013. “He gave it to me for the reason of learning from the mistakes you make,” Mr Pettingill said. Calling his friend “a quiet, reflective man”, Mr Pettingill shared some lines from a message left by Mr Crockwell. “In his final message, he left a vision for this country, and I am going to share some of them with you,” he said, reading of “a dream of love thy neighbor — that we cannot stand as a house divided; neither can the house stand simply on sand that looks really pretty. The time is now for realizing a place of equality, of forgetting differences, or not thinking of ourselves as black or white, left or right, rich or poor — but as Bermudians engaged in a struggle for unity. That was our friend’s vision for this country, and he was living it, and doing his best to make it a reality.” Childhood friends Owen Simons, and Wayne and Dwayne Caines recounted a man who was variously a classmate in the Bermuda Institute’s class of 1988, a student at Oakwood University and a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Family friend Sheila Holder read tributes from the Crockwells, including from his mother, Juanita, who wrote: “Shawn, I am so proud of who you became. Not because of the things you achieved, but because of the obstacles you overcame to achieve them. You have always been special to me and your family — now I know what Granny meant when she said ‘I love you more than tongue can tell’.” Delivering the eulogy, Damon Hendrickson, the pastor for the Somerset and Rockaway Seventh-day Adventist Churches, described his cousin as a man who desired change and who “became a friend to some, an inspiration to many and dare I say it, a hero for our country”. Adding that Mr Crockwell “didn’t let his personal struggle keep him from being a part of the struggle that it takes to be part of the process of change”, Mr Hendrickson wished for “a Bermuda where everyone instead of being critical of each one, made a conscious choice to serve in spite of their struggle”. He added: “If my cousin could go through his personal struggles and still decide that he was going to be a part of the struggle that it takes to make a change, then what is your excuse?”

June 20. BF&M Ltd’s profits fell by more than $1 million in the first quarter, as results were impacted by the knock-on effects of last year’s hurricane activity. The insurer and pension provider reported net income of $6 million for the first three months of the year, down from $7.1 million in the same period in 2016. John Wight, BF&M’s chief executive officer, described the earnings, which represented an annualized return on equity of 8.8 per cent, as “solid. Core operating earnings in the first three months were lower than the same period in 2016 by $1.1 million, mainly due to the loss of profit commission as a result of the 2016 hurricanes — 2016 was the most active hurricane season that the group has ever seen collectively,” Mr Wight said. BF&M revealed in April this year that claims from hurricanes cost it more than $10 million last year. Some of the storm claims were related to Hurricane Nicole, which battered Bermuda last October, causing an estimated $15 million in total insured losses on the island. Just days before, Hurricane Matthew had ravaged the Bahamas, one of 15 Caribbean islands where BF&M operates. Gross premiums written for the first quarter totaled $80 million, down 8 per cent from the corresponding period last year as a result of a reduction in fronting business. “Fronting business is generally fully reinsured and has little to no impact to the company’s bottom line,” BF&M said in a statement. According to the International Risk Management Institute, fronting is the use of a licensed insurer to issue an insurance policy on behalf of a self-insured organisation or captive insurer without the intention of transferring any of the risk. The risk of loss is retained by the self-insured or captive insurer with a reinsurance agreement. Fronting companies charge a fee for this service. BF&M said shareholders’ equity at March 31, 2017, was $269.1 million, up $4.6 million or 1.7 per cent from the end of last year. General fund assets totaled $1.1 billion, of which $118.1 million was held in cash and cash equivalents. Operating expenses increased by 3 per cent to $16.3 million. Investment income for the year reflected a $2.8 million increase in the fair value of investments for the period. Commission and other income increased from the prior year by 6 per cent to $10.3 million due to a profit share increase on life business, partially offset by the negative impact of 2016 hurricanes on reinsurance profit commissions on property business. Short-term claims and adjustment expenses increased 16 per cent to $6.5 million on higher loss claims in 2017. Life and health policy benefits, which are recorded at fair value, decreased by 22 per cent to $28 million, primarily as a result of a large fair value impact in 2016 of $11.2 million compared to $2.3 million in 2017.

June 20. Former US Navy chief boatswain Dean Bottomley is riding the crest of a wave thanks to the America’s Cup. For Captain Bottomley, of the family-owned specialist diving firm First Division Maritime Consulting and Services, landed the lucrative contract to clean the hulls of the majestic J Class sailing yachts anchored in Hamilton Harbour. Capt Bottomley, who runs the firm with sons Dustin and Dane and safety observer and deep sea diver Taneah Bean, said the seven-strong J Class fleet was just one the America’s Cup-related contracts the company had picked up. First Division Maritime, based in Somerset, has also cleaned the hull of the visiting 215-foot superyacht MV Shemara — the company’s biggest job so far. Capt Bottomley, who also skippers tour boats, said: “We’ve been doing cleanings all around the island for the last several months since May." I got a call when the very first J Class, Lionheart, showed up. It had been at sea for a while and needed a clean. They were delighted with the service and it went from there.” He added: “I just never thought we’d be working with such a prestigious group of vessels.”“ We feel like a Nascar pit crew — we’ve just about worked every day since May 5 and sometimes we’re doing three or four vessels in a day.” Capt Bottomley said he was sceptical about the prospect of a boom in business from the global sailing competition. He added: “I didn’t think it was going to be, but it has been. It’s been really great. ”The company, which can also draw on a pool of freelance divers at peak times, now plans to recruit another full-time diver for the team. The company was founded in 2007 and taught life-guarding, ocean rescue and swimming skills as well as providing captains for tour boats owned by other companies. The firm, owned by Mr Bottomley’s sons Dustin, who has just completed three years in the Royal Bermuda Regiment and is a rescue diver, trained in maritime security and a certified police diver, and Dane, who is studying marine science and science diving at California State University at Monterey Bay, branched out into hull maintenance and that side of the business took off. Capt Bottomley said: “When you get down there, it depends on how long the vessel has been in the water. Sometimes it’s an easy clean, but if they haven’t had any attention to their hull for a while, you have barnacles, coral and sea toast, which looks like burnt toast. It’s a growth that appears on bare metal, mostly.” He added: “Having been on ships for such a long time and knowing a lot about them, it’s an asset to captains. “I know exactly what’s going on and can articulate it to them in nautical terms." Marine growth on the hulls of yachts increases resistance in the water and slows them down — a serious problem when races can be won and lost in the space of seconds. Capt Bottomley added: “We also do maritime security — my son Dustin and myself are both certified maritime facility security officers. We bring a little bit of expertise to the table.”

June 20. Retired Bermuda footballer and coach Quinton Wendell Baxter told police he had sexually abused “at least eight young men” the Supreme Court heard yesterday as he was jailed for 11 years. Baxter was sentenced for a string of historic sex offences against three young boys only yesterday, but detectives told The Royal Gazette they would investigate any further allegations against him. The 58-year-old, who is more commonly known by Wendell or his nickname “Woolly”, broke down in tears as he apologized for his crimes which took place in the 1970s and 80s. “I stand here today and take full responsibility for everything that happened to them,” he said. “Their victim impact statements really showed me how they feel. To Bermuda, I apologise for everything I have done.” Puisne Justice Carlisle Greaves acknowledged that Baxter had shown “genuine remorse” for his “dastardly acts against these children”. But he said: “The credit for your guilty pleas, that remorse and the long time that has passed since these offences does not allow me to fall to a sentence below the level recommended by the prosecution. These types of cases sap the confidence of a community; it causes everyone to view others with suspicion. One becomes fearful of letting a child go about their business. As a result, very often cases like this cause us to raise our children like prisoners. I sincerely hope the victims in this case find some healing and that this story helps others in the community who are victims to come forward to eliminate from our society those who will exploit our children. I also hope this case opens the eyes of the exploiters, so they will learn that their actions will catch up with them.” In December 2016 Baxter handed himself into police and confessed to repeatedly sexually abusing a young boy between 1976 and 1979. Prosecutor Cindy Clarke told the Supreme Court: “He further disclosed that he has sexually exploited at least eight young males during the period 1976 to 1986, but he did not disclose their identities.” In March, he pleaded guilty to a total of 18 separate charges of sexual abuse relating to three young boys. The first seven counts on the indictment, which included indecent assault, committing indecent acts and gross indecency, related to the first young victim and took place between 1973 and 1983. The next six counts included indecent assault, committing indecent acts, attempted buggery and buggery and related to a second victim between 1978 and 1983. The final five counts included indecent assault and committing indecent acts on a third victim between 1981 and 1986. Baxter was charged with old offences, many of which have been updated, and which existed at the time he committed the crimes. Under the legislation that existed at the time, the maximum sentence for indecent assault was five years’ imprisonment, committing indecent acts was two years, gross indecency was two years, attempted buggery was five years and buggery was ten years. After yesterday’s sentencing hearing Detective Inspector Mark Clarke, who heads the Vulnerable Persons Unit, said: “Cases like this are always sad and we are grateful to the courts for their handling of this case. We will hear from anyone who wants to come forward and report sexual abuse and we would encourage them to do so. If anyone wants to come forward in relation to this defendant, it will be treated as a separate investigation.” Baxter led North Village to the Triple Crown of league, Friendship Trophy and FA Cup when the side dominated in the late seventies and went on to become a respected coach. His lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, told the Supreme Court: “His last offence occurred when he was 25 and since that time he has avoided committing any offences.”

June 20. American Brian Anderson, 63, has been identified as the man killed in a motorcycle crash in Devonshire on Monday afternoon. Mr Anderson was driving a rental scooter along South Road when it collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction near Brimstone Hill at around 5pm. His 11-year-old granddaughter was on the back of the scooter at the time, police said. According to police, CPR was performed on Mr Anderson at the scene before he was rushed to hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later. His granddaughter received treatment in hospital for her injuries but was later discharged, police said. The occupants of the car were uninjured. Mr Anderson’s wife was riding on a second scooter behind her husband and granddaughter at the time of the crash. She was not injured. "A family liaison officer has been assigned to support Mr Anderson’s loved ones at this difficult time,” police said in a press release yesterday. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators on 247-1788.

Monday, June 19. Bermuda Public Public Holiday, National Heroes Day.

June 19. Peter Burling is thrilled that Emirates Team New Zealand were able to reward the travelling army of Kiwis and those watching at home with another pair of wins in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. The helmsman said he has been blown away by the hordes of flag-wearing New Zealanders at the America’s Cup Village as well as the team’s local fan base in Bermuda. Burling also thanked his compatriots who have braved the early hours of the morning to watch on television their team’s dominant displays on the Great Sound. “We’ve made it no secret that we’re made up by the support we get from back home,” said Burling, whose team lead Oracle Team USA 3-0 after taking all four races on Saturday and Sunday to wipe out an enforced one-race deficit. It’s amazing how many people have been getting up at five in the morning in New Zealand to watch us. We’re also really appreciate of the support we’re getting from the Kiwi fans who have travelled up here as well as the locals who are supporting us. To see the amount of Kiwi flags here at the Village is amazing. It really inspires us to keep pushing on.” Burling steered his team to back-to-back wins on both days at the weekend, with the challengers now four races away from winning the Cup. Dominating Oracle from start to finish in all four outings, the Kiwis have been in imperious form, although Burling still believes there is room for improvement. “Today we sailed a fair bit better than yesterday, but we also made a lot of mistakes and feel we’re a bit away from where we could be.” Burling added. “We’ll just keep focusing on ourselves and it feels like we’re going really well at the moment. We’re really happy with where the boat’s at and it was amazing sailing out there today. Bermuda really turned on some amazing weather.” Burling insists his team will not rest on their laurels and will strive for improvement over the next five days. “Our team’s really hungry to keep moving forward, keep improving and we’ve now got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage,” he said. “You just have to look at where these boats could be in a year’s time to realize we’re all on a steep learning curve. We’ve already got a massive list of things to work on and it feels like if you make one too many mistakes, then [Oracle] will fight back. We’re really happy with a lot of the things we’re doing, but I’m sure these guys will come back fighting next weekend.”

June 19. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, said it is far too early to write off his team who have yet to get off the mark in their America’s Cup defence against challenger Emirates Teams New Zealand. The defenders of the “Auld Mug” are down 3-0 in the best-of-13 series and in desperate need of a change of fortunes if they are to retain their title. However, Spithill is not pushing the panic button just yet — and for good reason. “This team has been here before, so it’s not over,” Spithill said. “A big percentage of our team has been through some pretty tough situations — one, the obvious comeback during the last America’s Cup — so this is not the first time we’ve had to bounce back and really respond from a tough situation. We’ve been a tough situation before and had to overcome a lot of different challenges and now we’ve got to respond, and this is the group to respond because we’ve got the confidence to do it. What’s positive is we won the Qualifiers and we’ve taken race wins off team New Zealand. We’ve proved we can win races against these guys. We have to remember that and clearly we’ve got to make some steps forward in boat speed. But we can do it and have shown we can do it, given the history and given what’s just happened in the Qualifiers, and we’re a group that’s not afraid of the challenge. Mentally, the guys seem to operate better under high pressure.” With no racing scheduled until next weekend, Oracle intend to take advantage of the opportunity to iron out the kinks to get their campaign back on track. “What’s in our favour is we haven’t got just one lay day, we’ve got five days until the next weekend,” Spithill said. “We‘ve got a lot of resource up here at the moment and we will be looking at every single thing we can. Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee you that in these next five days; whether it’s system-related, whether it’s appendage-related, sailing technique, strategy — we’re going to look at everything. We’ve got some good sailing days coming up over these next five days and we will be under 24-hour shifts. The motivation is always there. The team is hungry and a very, very competitive group. But we’re also a quite candid group and it’s quite clear we need to make some changes. It’s pretty obvious these guys [Team New Zealand] are faster and we need to make some serious changes.”

June 19. The detonation of unexploded military objects near Chaplin Bay will take place tomorrow. Bermuda Police Service and Royal Bermuda Regiment members had planned to dispose of the items — confirmed as military ordnance from the Second World War — last Friday, but the operation was postponed due to sea conditions. Police say the Joint Services Explosives Ordnance Disposal team will work in partnership with British EOD experts for another attempt tomorrow, “using the safest method of disposal”. In addition, team members will be searching areas of the south shore to see if any other items have been uncovered by storm action. The items found to date do not present a danger unless people try and move them from their location, police said in a press release. People are reminded that, if they find anything that they believe to be military ordnance, not to touch it and immediately call 911.

June 19. Property managers at Royal Palms Hotel believe the America’s Cup has provided a positive impact on their business operations. Co-owner Nicholas Weare said in a press release: “We’re enjoying a very successful year with May and June being particularly busy. All of this year has been up for us and advance bookings for July and August look very strong as well. The breadth of the increase in demand is what we’re looking at and we’re more than optimistic about the America’s Cup legacy benefits from a tourism perspective.” Mr Weare said Royal Palms is serving repeat customers who are visiting and revisiting Bermuda to plan sailing events in the wake of the America’s Cup. “Before June and after June, those visitors would not be staying in our hotel if not for the America’s Cup,” he said. “The Americas Cup has really put Bermuda on the map.” Royal Palms is a 32-room boutique hotel in Pembroke, on the outskirts of Hamilton. The hotel and its iconic restaurant Ascots hire more than 30 people. The Weare family has owned the property since the 1980s and say they cannot recall a time when their outlook on tourism was brighter. Mr Weare said: “We’ve never seen the buzz that we have in Bermuda right now. The image that Bermuda is portraying is similar to St Barts and Monte Carlo — high end and glamorous. Bermuda can become a yachting destination, not just a yachting transit point. That is a realistic objective and when our hotel guests walk down Front Street they feel the excitement. This new buzz and image of Bermuda enhances their vacation and it’s having a very clear positive impact on visitor satisfaction.” The press release says staff at Royal Palms are enjoying “far higher income” due to greater occupancy and non-discounted rates. It states: “The busy hotel means everyone is working very hard and the managers at the hotel thought it important that they also enjoy and understand the benefits of the America’s Cup and to expose employees to Team BDA and the America’s Cup Endeavour Programme, which provide athletic and academic opportunities to Bermuda’s young people.” Staff were taken for a cruise on Sun Deck, a boat skippered by Bermudian sailor Lawson Williams.

June 19. Revelers dressed in their carnival best descended on the East End this afternoon for the Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend Parade of Bands 2017. Sporting glittering costumes and colorful headdresses, thousands of partygoers danced their way from Number 2 Gate to Clearwater Beach. More still headed to St David’s to watch as the parade made its way through Southside, with a collection of bands providing musical entertainment. “This is my third time and it seems to be getting better and better,” said Suzy-Q Albouy, who was dressed head to toe in a pink, turquoise and lilac costume, which she spiced up with some bright purple feathers. “It’s about fun, happiness, relaxing and letting it all go. It’s about enjoying yourself and living life because you never know what tomorrow will bring.” The 52-year-old from Hamilton Parish added: “I’m thankful that this beautiful island of Bermuda can put together an event like this and bring people together.” For Bermudian Daniela D’Amato and New York resident Alexes Eden the parade was also all about having fun and letting go. Ms D’Amato, who was one of the banner girls for the Party People band, added that it’s about having a good time with friends. Ms Eden, who was also dressed in a Party People costume that she put together at the last minute, added: “This is my first time in Bermuda — it’s beautiful.” For Darius Burns, from Charlotte in North Carolina, the event was a way to celebrate his late Bermudian grandfather Edmund Thompson. “This is my celebration to him,” said the 20-year-old, who was sporting an orange, turquoise and black headdress. He explained that it is only his second visit to Bermuda and that while his father came to watch the America’s Cup, he was keen to experience the Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend festivities. Barbara-Anne Thorne, who was dressed in the pink, turquoise and purple Nova Mas International Aurora costume complete with feathered headdress, was taking part in her second Parade of Bands. “We all love soca, so it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “We did it last year and were so nervous.” The 49-year-old from Hamilton Parish said so many of the dancers were younger but they found it to be a liberating experience “to see women of every size, shape and colour loving their bodies”. The event was also a first for Bernard Wade, from Pembroke, who was dressed in neon green shorts and a blue feathered headband. The 33-year-old said: “It means a good time, having fun with friends and enjoying some time off.” The Parade of Bands was the final event in the BHW line-up, which kicked off with Five Star Friday at the National Sports Stadium. Other events included yesterday’s Pan in the Park and a raft-up at Shelly Bay on Saturday. And the Super Hero J’Ouvert, which ran from 3am to 8am today, gave revelers the chance to show off their stamina in a festive atmosphere at Bernard Park.

June 19. The Progressive Labour Party has joined in honoring Bermuda’s national heroes. In a statement issued this afternoon, Opposition leader David Burt said “there can be no coincidence that the majority of Bermuda’s honored heroes championed the needs of the many, not the few; and shattered many ceilings to do so”. “The roll of our national heroes shows that there has always been a struggle against forces that seek to divide us, while also seeking to crush the forces that seek to empower and inspire us. Whether it was Dame Lois Browne-Evans or Gladys Morrell, their political achievements are all the more worthy because of what they had to overcome to succeed in a country that did not want their contribution to society’s political development simply because of their race and/or gender.” Mr Burt added that on National Heroes Day, the PLP also honours and remembers those national heroes in “whose mighty footsteps” it walks. He singled out Dr EF Gordon, “whose vision for fair labour and equitable law founded the Bermuda Industrial Union”, while also highlighting Pauulu Kamarakafego, “whose efforts lay the foundation for ‘one man, one vote, each vote of equal value’, which was achieved by the PLP Government in 2003”. And he quoted part of Dr Kamarakafego’s speech at the 2000 Bermuda College Commencement: “My parents told me … ‘Pauulu, whatever you learn doesn’t belong to you. It doesn’t belong to you because if society did not exist you would not have learnt anything in the first place!’ Therefore, I must give back to society.” Mr Burt added: “The challenge of the Two Bermudas was established early in our history — one Bermuda that has it all and another Bermuda that is struggling to get by. Over the last few years, the divide has worsened, not improved. However, over the course of our history, there were many leaders who fought to make Bermuda a more fair and equitable society — a society where all our people might have the opportunity to excel. The fight for justice and for equality is far from over. We have more work to do and Bermuda can do better. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Let us not make the mistakes of the past.”

June 18. Summary. Emirates Team New Zealand condemned Oracle Team USA to another pair of crushing defeats on day two of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, yesterday. The Kiwis were simply imperious, once again dominating in the start box before opening unassailable leads over an impotent-looking Oracle, who have lost every leg of the Match so far. Oracle promised to come out swinging, but could not lay a glove on the Kiwis, who left their arch rivals with a heavily bloodied nose for the fourth successive race. Peter Burling, the Kiwis’ helmsman, and his team of cyclists are now four wins away from seizing the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. While it is not over until it is over, as the Kiwis will surely testify having surrendered an 8-1 lead to Oracle in San Francisco in 2013, the past two days will have been deeply concerning for Spithill and his crew. Oracle now have five days to find a formula to nullify the Kiwis, whose innovative boat design, complete with longer kinked foils and cycling arrangement, is no doubt faster than the defenders’ more traditional flying machine. “It was a really good day for us and we definitely feel we’ve improved a lot on yesterday,” Burling said. “We tidied up a lot of those little errors we made around the course yesterday and that really showed today. We’re really hungry to keep improving and now we’ve got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage. If we stand still, we know these guys will be catching us.” Spithill believes his team have to make some “serious changes” to their boat if they are to keep their title hopes alive. “It’s pretty obvious these guys are faster,” Spithill said. “Today I thought we got off the line pretty well, but they were pretty impressive accelerating, certainly in the transitions around the racetrack. Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table. The next five days will be the most important of the campaign.”

June 18. America’s Cup Match, Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:49. During the pre-race briefing, race director Iain Murray said he expected more excellent racing as the two teams “come out swinging”, as Jimmy Spithill, Oracle helmsman said yesterday. Murray is confident that the wind will be more stable and that the boats will not fall into those five-knot holes and fall off their foils. There were times when each boat suffered on Saturday. Both were in the same hole and off their foils together once. The Kiwis hit one as they rounded the final mark to head for the finish and Oracle hit one when they rounded the last upwind mark close behind New Zealand, only to have a bad gybe and a splashdown in a lull. This racing is close, no room for error. Chief umpire Richard Slater showed the media a diagram generated digitally for the umpires to review the “over early” penalty against Oracle. The system can measure with a two-centimeter level of accuracy. Oracle were over early by 30cm. Today winds were expected to be more stable, 10-13 knots from about 110 degrees to 130 degrees. Racing began with pre-start intensity. New Zealand entered on port tack and Oracle ten seconds later. That is to protect the port-tack boat from attack by the advantaged boat. After deep dives into the back of the box, they raced to the left lay line then turned up for the line. New Zealand got the best of it. The Kiwis made the first mark first ahead by a boat length. The Kiwis made a perfect gybe while Oracle touched down slightly slowed just after their gybe. One mistake put them on the back foot. They were never close again. That gave the Kiwis a chance to soak down in front of Oracle to give them a dose of wing wash. They went into the downwind gate 11 seconds ahead. The Kiwis extended upwind, picking their shifts and covering Oracle. The Americans made one extra tack to the windward mark and fell back to 32 seconds behind. At the next mark, the Kiwis were 49 seconds ahead. Oracle came in for a dial-down as the Kiwis headed downwind and were the burdened boat. Oracle pointed down at them but the Kiwis made a big turn to avoid contact. Oracle pressed for a penalty, but it was ruled against The Kiwis made the final gate 41 seconds ahead of Oracle. The next leg was a short one to the middle mark, then a turn to the longer run to the finish. Kiwis made the turn 41 seconds ahead and finished 49 seconds ahead of Oracle to take a 2-0 lead. The Kiwis’ average speed was a knot faster; upwind almost two knots faster. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 2-0.

June 18. Race 4: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 1:12. What could Oracle Team USA do between races three and four? They changed some of the crew. New Zealand were in the winning mode. They would stick with their plan: get ahead and stay there. If you are winning, don’t change. New Zealand have not been behind on any leg yet in the four races. At the pre-start, Oracle entered on port and kept running straight ahead upwind in the box. The Kiwis then dived deep into the other corner of the starting box and then came back up towards the line. The Kiwis just stopped and then turned in a circle to come out under Oracle and cross the line on a time-and-distance approach gapped up to windward at the starting line. Both boats popped up and were foiling right at the start on the way to mark one. The Kiwis were to windward because they had gapped up. They were faster with a better angle and outran Oracle, dropping down in front of them going to the first mark four seconds ahead. Burling has won every race when he has been ahead at the first mark. The Kiwis were nine seconds ahead going on to upwind leg three. It was a classic match race going upwind. Oracle were just a little off the pace and the Kiwis were staying between the Americans and the mark. Kiwis rounded first on to leg four by 43 seconds. Downwind, the Kiwis and Burling looked relaxed. “The Iceman” checked for puffs and shifts from down in his cockpit, working up the course with just plain slick sailing. Burling led by 39 seconds going on to leg five. Upwind they led by 350 metres and staying directly between Oracle and the mark. They tacked two times more to keep their loose cover. The Kiwis were again sailing higher and just as fast, and built their lead to 500 metres. Going from leg five to six, New Zealand were one minute ahead of Oracle. Sailing downwind, the Kiwis just needed to protect their lead from 800 metres ahead. Burling and friends led by 1min 6sec at that middle turning mark. At the end, it was New Zealand by 1:12. By maintaining a higher VMG [velocity made good], the Kiwi boys had sailed nearly 500 metres fewer than Oracle 17 and sailed a faster average speed, too. Everyone is asking what can Oracle do during the week off — well, maybe they can pray for more wind. They need a different racecourse to have a shot. Joey Newton said this Kiwi boat “is quicker than the one we faced a couple of weeks ago [in qualifying]”. Burling said, coolly: “Another good day for us. We’re getting around the course well.” Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 3-0.

June 18. America's Cup website summary. Battle resumed on Father’s Day in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA looking to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand on day one. However, it was day two to the Kiwis again, with Emirates Team New Zealand recording two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America’s Cup, putting themselves 3-0 up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the winner of the 35th America’s Cup. After racing had finished on day two, Jimmy Spithill looked ahead to the five day break before racing restarts on 24th June and what ORACLE TEAM USA can do to put themselves back in the fight. “These are going to be the most important five days of this America’s Cup campaign for us. “I thought we took a good step forward from yesterday, but it is clear we have to find some speed from somewhere, that is no secret. If we were forced to race day after day we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup. Everything will be put out on the table, nothing will be off limits, and over the next five days our incredible shore team will be looking at every aspect of our boat. Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee that. Whether it’s system related, appendage related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything. The motivation is always there, the team is hungry and we’re a very competitive group, but we are also a candid group and it is quite clear we need to make some changes. We feel that with the resources we have here we can make the changes to improve the boat and give us more speed. It looks like we have some good sailing days coming up over these next five days so we’ll be into 24 hour shifts. We’ve been in a situation like this before and we’ve had less time. We’ve got five important days and we’ll be using every single hour of them. We have to respond.” In reply, despite knowing that repeating the opening weekend’s performance when racing resumes on 24th June would confirm Emirates Team New Zealand as the 35th America’s Cup champions, Burling again warned his team against complacency. “We are walking away with two victories again but, much the same as yesterday, we made too many mistakes,” said the Kiwi helmsman. We now have five days to keep pushing on and progressing because everyone in this team is hungry to keep on improving and learning. We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy (Spithill) and ORACLE TEAM USA will catch us so we have plenty of work on in the next five days. We’re happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America’s Cup. We knew to do that we had to win eight races and so we have to keep on battling to ensure that is what we do

June 17. Emirates Team New Zealand started the 35th America’s Cup Match on the front foot, sweeping the opening two races against defender Oracle Team USA in the Great Sound today to lay down a marker. The Kiwis came out firing on all cylinders, winning both starts and leading their rivals around every mark to take a 1-0 lead in the first-to-seven series. “I know we are only one point ahead, but to come away with two race wins today was a fantastic way to start,” Glenn Ashby, the Team New Zealand skipper and wing trimmer, said. “I’m really happy for all the guys, it was a great day. Obviously a fantastic rally by the boys today and just a massive effort on the hydraulic front. It was so shifty and puffy out there which puts huge loads on both the daggerboards, the wing and jib. You never stop trimming something for the whole day, so those guys got an absolute whipping today.” Team New Zealand’s day did not go without incident, as they nearly blew considerable leads in both races. They held an advantage of almost two minutes with one leg to go in the opening race, but lost momentum when they dropped off their foils gybing before recovering to lead Oracle across the line and wipe out the latter’s bonus point they earned for winning the qualifying regatta. The Kiwis were seemingly in control in the second race with a minute and a half advantage at the second leeward gate. However, Oracle nailed a big shift on the last beat to cut the deficit to three seconds before a poor gybe all but ended the race as the Kiwis stretched their lead the rest of the way. “We made a few mistakes around the track obviously and so did the other guys,” Ashby said. “So it was one of those days where it’s pretty hard to string every single puff and every single puff together so we had to let a couple go to make sure we sort of played the longer game.” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, felt his team failed to seize on opportunities in the light and shifty breezes and ultimately paid the price. “I clearly felt we played the cards we were dealt,” Spithill said. “Tough day but we are only one down. It was very gusty and some really big lulls out there so that was obviously the case out there today. But it’s the same for both boats so you have to deal with it the best you can. They seem to have good speed around the course but there was still some opportunities there and I thought Tommy [tactician Tom Slingsby] did a good job keeping us close there.” As for his team’s poor starts, Spithill said: “First one we had a little issue with our software. We were a little surprised with some of the numbers we had and really handed that one to them. The second one we thought he was going to be early. He got that real early push and we thought we were going to make a leeward end start work there and they just accelerated there unfortunately. But from that point on we still had our opportunities and it was little bit of a shame we could not pull that gybe off after rounding the top mark.” Racing continues tomorrow with race three and four of the series.

June 17-18. BBC UK aired its weekly Travel Show. Today, the focus was on Bermuda, the America's Cup excitement, lionfish hunting and eating and Bermuda Day. On May 25 this year, BBC Television presenter and wheelchair athlete Ade Adepitan enjoyed a memorable encounter with the Gombeys during the May 24 Bermuda Day Parade. Mr Adepitan was on the island as part of the BBC’s Travel Show to catch the festivities and cover some of the America’s Cup buzz. All the island’s Gombey troupes came together for the parade, which Mr Adepitan called “an amazing time — the parade was spectacular and the people were super cool”. The Nigerian-born British TV personality and wheelchair basketball Paralympian was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2005 for services to disability sport. Contracting polio as an infant initially affected his ability to use his left leg and ultimately prevented him from walking. 

June 17. Hunting season has officially opened and Jimmy Spithill has Kiwi in his crosshairs. The Oracle Team USA skipper has taunted Emirates Team New Zealand all week on social media and on the eve of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, he turned up the heat by firing a warning shot across the challengers’ bow. Spithill took delight in playing up the progress he said the defenders of the “Auld Mug” have made in the final lead-up to their grudge match with the Kiwis in terms of boat speed and handling, and suggested that the best is yet to come from 17 at the skippers’ press conference yesterday. “We have definitely improved and these next two weekends will be another great opportunity for that,” Spithill declared. “We have put in a lot of work. We have tried a lot of different stuff on the boat — techniques and sailing — and so for us it’s been a great period.” Peter Burling, the New Zealand helmsman, returned fire and took equal delight in playing up the improvements he said his team have made en route to the final. Burling said his team is “tougher” than the one that lost twice against Oracle during the round-robin Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. “We definitely feel like we are a lot harder as a team after the racing that we’ve had, and that’s full credit to the likes of Artemis and [Land Rover] BAR for the way they pushed us in the semi-finals and the finals,” Burling said. “We definitely feel like we are a lot tougher as a team now coming into this than we were a few weeks ago.” As well as boat handling, the key to victory on any given race day will be choosing the ideal configuration with their foil daggerboards to maximize boat speed in the conditions, which Spithill and Burling touched on. “You have to have a crossover and a range in your set-ups,” Spithill said. “You’ve only got four foils to essentially choose from and each team has had to take that into account when they’ve designed and engineered them. We feel we got a good crossover and we’ve seen these guys can get through a pretty good range as well, so that’s only going to keep the racing close.” Burling added: “Our designers have done a great job designing us some boards with some pretty good crossovers and overlaps. Definitely in that series last weekend [the Challenger Play-off Finals against Artemis Racing], we got caught out a couple of times probably not on the ideal configuration, but we managed to find some pretty good boat speed anyway.” Oracle are gunning for a third successive Cup triumph, while Team New Zealand are seeking redemption after squandering a seemingly impregnable 8-1 lead in the previous in San Francisco four years ago. “We all remember seeing San Fran and how close we did get there and we’ve definitely learnt a lot of lessons since that time and we’re a lot stronger team and a different team than we were back then,” Burling said. “We are just really excited to get out racing this weekend and the support we get from back home is overwhelming and absolutely amazing.” Spithill and Burling are bracing themselves for what they expect will be a hard-fought battle. “You’ve got two of the best teams in the world going head-to-head in a real heavyweight battle,” Spithill said. “There’s a reason why the teams are here at this point: the teams are at a very, very high level and you will see us pushing very hard. We’re expecting very aggressive and tight racing. I’m expecting it’s going to be one hell of a fight.” Burling added: “I’m sure it’s going to be one hell of a battle out there on the water. That’s what we’re here for, and that’s what we’re excited to get into.” The forecast is for light to moderate easterlies this weekend, with winds at 8-11 knots. “The easterly is a tricky direction,” Spithill said. “It’s shifty and puffy, and I’m sure you’ll see some lead changes in the racing because of it.” The first team to earn seven points walks away with the “Auld Mug”. Oracle have a one-point advantage heading into the America’s Cup Match, which they earned for winning the Qualifiers. This means the defender has forced the challenger to at minus-one point, requiring eight wins to lift the Cup. In response to a question regarding Oracle’s advantage, Burling was quick to emphasise that “if history is anything to go by from last time, it doesn’t matter at all”. 

June 17. High above the America’s Cup Village, every ferry arrival, change in the weather and marine movement is being closely monitored by a team of eagle-eyed experts. More than 20 representatives from emergency services, private security firms, government departments and the event itself sit shoulder-to-shoulder in front of five CCTV monitors. The Joint Agency Co-ordinating Centre is the culmination of months of planning that means those in the command centre can respond quickly and efficiently to everything from a maritime disaster to a cruise ship inferno. Establishing the JACC has also provided unique experience and training to numerous Bermudians that will prepare them for future international events, according to Inspector Steve Cosham, the island’s national disaster co-ordinator. “We have never had anything like this in Bermuda so we looked to the UK to understand how they set up for big events,” Inspector Cosham said. “In January representatives from the UK’s National Police Co-ordination Centre came to Bermuda and delivered training over four days to 68 people from across all the agencies involved in the America’s Cup. On April 1 we held Exercise Joint Venture where we looked at how we would deal with a range of scenarios from oil spills to firearms incidents to mass casualty marine incidents. The JACC facility opened on May 22, just a few days before the America’s Cup kicked off, and went live on May 25, the day before the opening ceremony. Every day a series of briefings takes place to ensure that every agency involved in the huge security operation required for the sailing spectacle is fully informed of the day’s activities. “Having representatives from each agency in one room ensures no duplication, no gaps and good communication,” Inspector Cosham said. “It’s a great springboard for us and the way we could deal with other events in the future. We have done well so far, we are still getting a few people trying to bring crash helmets into the village, but if that is the biggest issue that’s good news. Someone did try to bring in a drone, but apart from that there have been no surprises.” JACC’s work has impressed Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security. “The impressive part is seeing them work so effectively together,” Mr Baron said. “I have been hugely impressed.”

June 17. Bermudian painter Graham Foster has completed an America’s Cup-inspired painting which has joined the celebrated collection at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. The painting, Underway Bermuda 2017, was unveiled at the gallery with Masterworks founder Tom Butterfield and curator Elise Outerbridge present. The acrylic on wood piece was commissioned by a client and took Mr Foster some ten weeks to complete. Mr Foster is best known for his momentous Hall of History mural at the Commissioner’s House in Dockyard and is also the artist who designed the John Lennon tribute sculpture, also at Masterworks. Mr Foster told The Royal Gazette: “I had no plans to paint anything related to the America’s Cup. I admire the technical innovation of the catamarans, but from an artistic point of view, I prefer the classic wooden yachts of the past. Last year, a benefactor of Masterworks approached me about creating a painting inspired by the America’s Cup which he could then donate to them. I decided to go with a more angular, linear style than usual, and to amp up the colour. I thought that the backdrop of Hamilton, with a variety of Harbour Road architecture in the foreground, with the boats racing between, would be more interesting than the horizon and islands of the Great Sound. I also wanted a series of horizontal lines to offset the vertical lines of the sails. The tricky part was getting the sails to stand out against the buildings so I used opposite colours, flags and long bands of colour. I also used a lot of artistic license when it came to the buildings as I wanted them to follow a certain colour and architectural pattern sequence.” Mr Foster included the City Hall, the Cathedral and Sessions House to break the horizon but many of the buildings are actually imaginary. “Doing all the windows drove me nuts,” he said. “Towards finishing the painting, I was thinking about the lack of a human element, and possibly putting some crew on the boats, but then decided the painting would have too much going on, so just painted a lone kiskadee to offset a purple sail instead. The challenges of this painting forced me to think outside the box, and head in a new direction stylistically, which I will continue to experiment with, alongside more surreal pieces. I’m glad I paint on wood because, as I was making the frame, with the painting laid out flat, the dog and cat ran up and decided to have a full on scrap right on top of the painting! Luckily acrylic is tough, so no scratch marks either.”

Graham Foster America's Cup painting

See above article.

June 17. Documents detailing plans to move the playground at the America’s Cup Village to Botanical Gardens have been released by the Department of Parks. The 30ft by 65ft playground, designed by Austrian company Arti, features several nautically themed pieces of playground equipment including swinging and rocking “catamarans”, climbing nets and balance stations. According to the documents, the equipment would be installed north east of the Parks Office building. The proposal also notes that unlike at the event village, the equipment would be placed in a sand pit at the gardens.

June 17. It’s been fun in the sun for crowds of revelers who have been making the most of the Bermuda Heroes Weekend activities. About 100 boats floated in the usually peaceful waters off North Shore for a raft up party amid a festive atmosphere at Shelly Bay during the afternoon. Music blasted from a huge barge, the beach was lined with blue umbrellas protecting partiers from the burning sun and, with bright colours all around, Bermuda was showing how it likes to party. The weekend kicked off with a Five Star Friday at the National Sports Stadium last night, with other events including:

June 17. Shawn Crockwell left a message saying his death was for health reasons, his grieving sister told a press conference today. Reading from the message, Juanae Crockwell quoted her brother saying he had Crohn’s disease, adding that he also wrote: “I am at peace. This decision was because of health reasons. I have been sick,” Ms Crockwell said the note said. “I have been struggling with Crohn’s disease for the last 20 years.” She said the independent MP wanted the country to come together, saying “people need to be honest” and “life is too short for hate. I hope that those that feel animus towards me can get over that, because I am at peace.” She quoted him: “We are missing that ‘love thy neighbor’ in Bermuda.” The MP also said it had been his “greatest honour” to represent the island at the highest level, according to Ms Crockwell. Mr Crockwell, 47, a father of three, was found dead in his home in Hamilton Parish on Saturday. Describing herself as broken-hearted, Ms Crockwell said the family was grateful for the response from Bermudians over the past week. “I would like to again extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Bermuda for their expressions of love, sympathy, and their kind gestures during our time of bereavement,” she said. She described her brother as “my hero and my friend” and said the family was devoted to moving towards the vision outlined by Mr Crockwell. “Our family is committed to being a part of the change that he wanted to see in this country, and we invite and implore you to be a part of that change too,” she said. Before the press conference began, independent MP Mark Pettingill, a close friend of Mr Crockwell, said that the family would not be taking questions from the media.

June 17. A Ugandan national awaiting deportation has been released from custody following a court hearing. While the Governor had called for Billy Odoch to be remanded until he can be deported, Puisne Judge Stephen Hellman found that the Governor failed to give a suitable reason for the detention. “This does not necessarily preclude the Governor from reconsidering the reasons for his detention,” the judge said. “That is possibly an argument for another day.” Odoch was jailed in 2015 after pleading guilty to charges of obtaining a United Kingdom passport by deception and using a false Bermuda passport. At the time, the court heard that Odoch had 23 aliases in the UK. He originally appeared in court answering to the name Alfred Alva Thompson with prosecutors unsure about his actual identity, only that he was not Mr Thompson. They explained that only one Mr Thompson with that name living in Bermuda and he had never travelled abroad or applied for a passport. He later pleaded guilty to the two offences, giving his name as Billy Odoch, and was sentenced to spend two years in prison. The court heard that he was released from custody early this year and applied for asylum on the grounds that he had a “well-founded fear” that he would be persecuted upon his return to Uganda. Because Bermuda is not a signatory to the UN Refugee convention, the application had to be made to the British Foreign Commonwealth Office through Government House for their consideration. However on May 26, Governor John Rankin signed an order that Odoch be detained until he can be deported in the interest of the public good. He was subsequently arrested earlier this month, with the court hearing that his deportation had been delayed by his refusal to sign an application for a Ugandan passport. In a hearing sparked by a writ of habeas corpus, lawyer Kamel Worrell argued that the detention of Odoch was unconstitutional on the grounds that the reasons before the court for the decision was insufficient. He noted that Odoch had not committed any offences since his release from prison and had been in regular contact with the Department of Immigration. Mr Worrell also said that the deportation should be stayed until his client’s request for asylum can be considered, although that argument would have to be brought before the court through a separate judicial review application. Delivering his judgment, Mr Justice Hellman said that while the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act does empower the Governor to have a person detained until deportation, the law does not state that such a detention is mandatory. And he stated that if a detention was to be made, an appropriate reason must be given for it to be constitutional, and that the only reasoning in evidence for the detention was that Odoch had been convicted of a criminal offence. “The difficulty is that that reason, under the wording of the statute, fits the deportation of a person but doesn’t on the face of it constitute a valid reason for that person to be detained,” he said. “You cannot punish someone twice for the same offence.” He noted reasons that could have been presented, including that Odoch may “go to ground” to avoid deportation or commit further offences, but said the reason listed could not be considered reasonable. Given the circumstances he ordered that Odoch be released from custody, although he said that there was no reason the Governor could not make another application and any application to stay Odoch’s deportation would require a separate application and hearing.

June 17. The anonymous financial backers of Preserve Marriage could have to stump up for some of the legal costs of the case which led to the legalization of same-sex marriage. At a June 1 hearing in the Supreme Court, lawyer Grant Spurling, for successful plaintiffs Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche, told Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons that his clients would pursue costs from the Government, Preserve Marriage and Preserve Marriage’s donors. Delroy Duncan, for Preserve Marriage, said the issue of those third-party funders was critical and more time was needed to enable them to gain legal representation, as was their right. “The third-party funders are separate and apart from the limited liability company, Preserve Marriage,” the lawyer said. He said Mr Spurling was seeking names, addresses and other contact details for Preserve Marriage’s donors but he did not represent those people and could not provide them. “This is, in Bermuda terms, a very serious development,” added Mr Duncan. “You have a limited liability company which was a charity that people gave to, some under a cloak of confidentiality, some expressly saying ‘we do not want our names exposed’. “Some of those funders include churches and members of the community. Those people are entitled to be told before a hearing ‘this is what you potentially face’ and get legal representation.” He described the funders as “a lot of people throughout this community” and who would need to be marshaled and made aware of their liability. Mr Spurling responded: “The third-party funders can’t be taken to be unaware of costs.” He said if money from the donors was used to fund the litigation, they had to realize they could be liable for costs. Preserve Marriage’s intervention in the matter extended the proceedings greatly, he argued, when the plaintiffs’ aim was for the issue to be dealt with as swiftly as possible. Mr Spurling said Preserve Marriage should not be allowed to “effectively, conduct litigation behind a thin corporate veil. We are not talking about piercing the veil of a limited liability company. We are talking about very specific cost orders against third-party donors.” The lawyer noted that his clients had their human rights breached when the Registrar-General refused to post their marriage banns and could not now be left with the “very heavy burden of legal costs”. Mrs Justice Simmons said there could be “great difficulty” in ensuring the third-party donors were heard in court and asked Mr Spurling if he’d be willing, for practical reasons, not to pursue those donors. He said a final determination on that could be made later, since the hearing was to be adjourned anyway. Shakira Dill-Francois, representing the Government, said Mr Spurling would need to spell out whether any of the legal work done on behalf of the plaintiffs was provided free of charge. “Our position is, we are not liable to pay for that,” she said. Mr Spurling said: “The pro bono elements are not included on the applicants’ bill.” Ms Dill-Francois also suggested it made no sense for the Human Rights Commission, another intervener in the case, to seek costs from the Government, since it was funded from the Consolidated Fund, ie the public purse. But Rod Attride-Stirling, for the HRC, replied that though its funding was from the Consolidated Fund, it was from a different budget than the one used to fund Government’s legal costs. “We say this is a case where costs should be awarded against the respondents,” he said. “The HRC does not have an unlimited budget. It has a small budget.” Mr Attride-Stirling said not awarding costs to the HRC from Government would be “punishing” it for getting involved in a case involving human rights. The costs issue was adjourned, as was a final determination on the exact wording of the judge’s order on the legality of same-sex marriage.

June 17. Preserve Marriage has urged its supporters to sign a petition against the landmark ruling which legalized gay marriage in Bermuda. The organisation, which lost its charitable status in the wake of that judgment, placed the petition at three different venues on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, telling followers on social media: “All of Bermuda, including those who voted against same-sex marriage, come out to sign … in any one of three locations.” The venues were Calvary Gospel Chapel in Southampton, Heritage Worship Centre in Hamilton and St George’s Youth Centre. The online flyer said: “Calling Bermuda to sign the community appeal against Justice Simmons’s single ruling of same-sex marriage. One will not decide for our children. Preserve Marriage has fought for Bermuda. Now it’s time for Bermuda to fight to preserve marriage.” It stated: “Government won’t appeal, so we the people will.” The group was due to hold a meeting on Monday (June 12) for those in support of appealing the decision, with members told in an e-mail that Preserve Marriage’s lawyer Delroy Duncan would “give an update on next steps”. The e-mail said American preacher Tony Evans, a Christian pastor who believes same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue, would be present to “encourage all”. The message also revealed that Preserve Marriage’s potential liability for costs in the same-sex marriage Supreme Court case would be on the agenda. The Preserve Marriage e-mail to its members said going after the group for legal fees would “silence your voice. Lawyer [Mark] Pettingill, representing Godwin and DeRoche — who ended up getting married in Canada — after bringing same-sex marriage to Bermuda, is now trying to claim their legal fees from Preserve Marriage Bermuda and its supporters to attempt to cripple us financially.” Preserve Marriage has not responded to an e-mail request for comment. 

June 17. Opposition MP Wayne Furbert remains steadfast on returning to the House with his private member’s Bill restricting marriage to heterosexual couples, after the dust from the General Election has settled. “Right now there’s nothing to debate, but if I am elected I’ll bring it back in November,” the Hamilton West MP told The Royal Gazette. Mr Furbert described the draft legislation as “not a Progressive Labour Party Bill, but a conscience vote for everyone”, and said his party’s position had always stood at leaving the vote up to individual MPs. Twenty MPs, 12 of them from the Progressive Labour Party ranks, approved the Bill in July 2016, although the Senate subsequently turned it down — with a defiant Mr Furbert bringing it back to Parliament last month. But with the election called for July 18, just ahead of the scheduled return to the House, the future of Mr Furbert’s legislation could be less settled. Asked if he felt confident of getting the same reception to next time around, Mr Furbert said attitudes “could change based on the political climate at the time”. He said: “Some of those MPs may be in Parliament and some not. But if I am given the OK on July 18, it will be laid back down. It’s my obligation to do that at the earliest opportunity.”

June 16. Oracle Team USA have pinned their hopes on achieving a hat-trick of America’s Cup victories on one boat. The American defender had the option of launching a second boat, which they are allowed to do under the rules governing the 35th America’s Cup, with challengers limited to one. The rules state that the second boat must be launched a month before the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and could be sailed only once the qualifying regatta was completed. However, Oracle are evidently satisfied with the boat they raced in the Qualifiers, as there has been no sight of a second boat with each passing deadline as outlined in the rules. Oracle will face challenger Emirates Team New Zealand in the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, which starts tomorrow on the Great Sound. The teams met in the previous America’s Cup Match in San Francisco in 2013, when Oracle pulled off a stunning comeback after trailing 8-1 to retain their title. Oracle will start their second defence with a head start against the Kiwis after winning the qualifying regatta. In the final lead-up to their grudge match with Team New Zealand, Oracle have used every opportunity to upgrade their boat and sharpen their sailing skills. “We’re trying to maximize our days,” Matt Cassidy, the Oracle bowman/grinder, said. “We have a huge checklist to get through, whether it be boat-handling or speed test and we need to get every minute out there that we can.” Much of Oracle’s focus in training has been on the pre-start, where they feel they have the edge over the Kiwis, as well as being more consistent maneuvering around the racecourse. “You can’t ever take your foot off the gas,” Joey Newton, the Oracle trimmer, said. “We will keep pushing right through to the end because we know that’s what it takes to win. There’s no greater prize in yachting than the America’s Cup. It’s a lifelong dream for every sailor on this team to win the America’s Cup. We’re not giving this up without a fight, and I really like our chances.”

June 16. Opinion, by Sir Russell Coutts.  "Contrary to media speculation, Bermuda’s chances of hosting the 36th America’s Cup are still strong if Oracle Team USA win. That’s a big “if”, though, because Emirates Team New Zealand have built up some serious momentum and were very impressive against Artemis Racing. But should Oracle retain the “Auld Mug”, then Bermuda would be in the driving seat and have the first right of negotiations. Other venues would be considered only if those negotiations weren’t concluded satisfactorily. There’s no doubt Bermuda has been a very, very successful host and I know there’s a desire from Oracle to remain here, that’s for sure. The Great Sound, with its variable conditions, really is the perfect venue for this type of racing. Obviously, there’s no chance of the America’s Cup returning to the island if New Zealand win. And looking at their performances in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, the Kiwis are going to be very tough to beat. They’re certainly sailing their boat fast and executing their maneuvers very consistently. Eliminating any mistakes will be key because Oracle are going to be a very different proposition to what the Kiwis have faced so far. Artemis threw some races away because of poorly performed maneuvers and I just don’t envisage Jimmy Spithill and his boys making those mistakes. In fact, Jimmy will look to punish Pete Burling if the Team New Zealand helmsman makes even the slightest error. Clearly, Pete’s start record hasn’t been great to date and this will be the first time he has really been under the spotlight. There’s nothing like an America’s Cup final in sailing. It’s a far different experience from the eliminators heading out there for race one, I can tell you that! It’s going to be a big test for both teams and will be really interesting to see who comes out on top. Team New Zealand have played things pretty conservatively at the start because they’re so confident in their boat speed. I imagine they will employ those same tactics, although they won’t want give away too much against a team as experienced as Oracle. There’s a fair bit on the line for both teams as Jimmy won’t want to compromise his own great record in the America’s Cup. It will have been 13 days since Oracle last raced competitively, although I know Jimmy and his team have been doing their own preparations and working hard on improving their boat. There’s still a fair bit you can do with the modifications on the various components on the boat and the way you use your technology. These two boats sail very differently and both teams will continue to evolve and make adjustments. Last time in San Francisco, in 2013, it was a great race between two very strong teams, when Oracle clawed their way back from 8-1 down. I really feel as though we’re in for another treat this time around."

June 16. Day two of the Pool A Qualifiers in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup once again belonged to Sweden’s Artemis Youth Racing as they topped the tables with two wins. Heading into the day the Swedish team once again grabbed the headlines with two victories from day two’s three races to reaffirm their position at the top of the standings, qualifying comfortably with 55 points. Joining them in the final three qualification spots from pool A are SVB Team Germany, Switzerland’s Team Tilt and Team France Jeune. The result today means that Youth Vikings Denmark and Kaijin Team Japan from Pool A join Next Generation USA and Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team from Pool B in suffering elimination from the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The results also mean that the identities of the eight teams which will contest the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup are now known, The final field is Artemis Youth Racing, SVB Team Germany, Team Tilt, Team France Jeune, Land Rover BAR Academy, Spanish Impulse, NZL Sailing Team and Bermuda’s hometown heroes, Team BDA. Red Bull Youth America’s Cup sport directors Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher gave their thoughts on the latest day of competition, and what lies ahead in the Finals on June 20 and 21. Hagara started, saying: “The teams were faced with yet more light winds today, but they dealt with the conditions well and we managed to complete the race programme today, It’s tough work racing in these conditions — it’s hot, there’s little breeze and you’re having to work incredibly hard on the racecourse to maximize every opportunity that comes your way. “Now we know which teams will be in the Finals next week, and I think we’re in for a couple of days of thrilling racing, Hopefully we have some better winds, but they’ll go out and deal with whatever is in front of them, and I know that whichever team comes out on top, they’ll deserve the spotlight that will be shining upon them.” Steinacher added: “I’ve been extremely impressed with how all the teams have come into this regatta, There are a few teams emerging as serious contenders, but the margins are so fine, there’s really so little to choose between them, I don’t think anyone can predict who will come out on top at the end of the series. One thing we can predict for sure is how the Finals on Tuesday and Wednesday will captivate Bermuda, Team BDA did so well to get into the Finals, and now it’s all anyone on the island wants to talk about. The guys in that team are doing an incredible job, and now they also have to deal with the hopes and dreams of their entire home country. Having seen them in action, both on and off the water, I don’t think for a second that will faze them. In fact I think it’ll help them as the support is going to be incredible.” POOL A RACE 4. Building on their impressive displays on day one of pool A qualifying, Gustav Petterson’s Artemis Youth Racing solidified their position as Pool A leaders with a third overall victory in the qualifying stages to kick off the day in perfect fashion. It was Max Kohlhoff’s SVB Team Germany who had led the way for the majority of the race, but a late final mark surge from the Swedish team ultimately saw them snatch victory ahead of the Germans. Behind that scrap, a close-fought battle between the four other pool A teams saw an improved performance from Youth Vikings Denmark help them clinch a morale-boosting third place finish, ahead of Team France Jeune, Switzerland’s Team Tilt and Kaijin Team Japan. POOL A RACE 5.  Artemis Youth Racing’s dominance of pool A continued in race five, as skipper Gustav Peterson again mastered the light conditions to seal a second successive victory. It proved a much closer battle for the next three places, with Sebastian Schneiter’s Team Tilt securing second place, ahead of SVB Team Germany and Youth Vikings Denmark. Farther back, Ibuki Koizumi’s Kaijin Team Japan crossed the finish line in fifth place while somewhat surprisingly, Team France Jeune, who struggled throughout the race, were forced to settle for sixth place. The results after race five meant that Artemis Youth Racing and SVB Team Germany had secured their places in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Final. Their progression meant that there were only two spaces left in the Finals for the remaining four teams to fight for ahead of the sixth and final Pool A Qualifiers race. POOL A RACE 6.  The final race of the Pool A Qualifiers saw Switzerland’s Team Tilt come out on top in a dramatic late tussle with Youth Vikings Denmark, clinching a vital victory which sealed their progression into the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals. Behind them, Team France Jeune also confirmed their qualification with a third place finish, ahead of Artemis Youth Racing and SVB Team German, who had both already sealed their places in the Finals ahead of race six. The final race results meant that Artemis Youth Racing, SVB Team Germany, Switzerland’s Team Tilt and Team France Jeune have sealed their progression to join NZL Sailing Team, Land Rover BAR Academy, Spanish Impulse and local favorites Team BDA, in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Final, taking place on June 20-21. Meanwhile, Youth Vikings Denmark and Kaijin Team Japan joined Next Generation USA and Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team, from pool B, in suffering elimination. POOL A RESULTS. Race 4. 1, Artemis Youth Racing (10pts); 2, SVB Team Germany (9); 3, Youth Vikings Denmark (8); 4, Team France Jeune (7);  5, Team Tilt (6);  6, Kaijin Team Japan (5). Race 5. 1, Artemis Racing (10); 2, Team Tilt (9); 3, SVB Team Germany (8); 4, Youth Vikings Denmark (7); 5, Kaijin Team Japan (6);  6, Team France Jeune (5).  Race 6.  1, Team Tilt (10);  2, SVB Team Germany (9); 3, Team France Jeune (8);  4, Artemis Youth Racing (7);  5, Youth Vikings Denmark (6);  6, Kaijin Team Japan (5).  FINAL STANDINGS.  1, Artemis Youth Racing (55);  2, SVB Team Germany (47);  3, Team Tilt (46); 4, Team France Jeune (46);  5, Youth Vikings Denmark (43);  6, Kaijin Team Japan (33).

June 16. Ginny Ferson, the Deputy Governor, has headlined a group of six locals who have been acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday honours List. Mrs Ferson has been appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, while the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour have gone to Leleath Gloria Bailey, William Cooke, Cynthia S. Cox, Mary Lodge and Ian Murdoch. Ginny Ferson OBE. The honour is in recognition of Mrs Ferson’s services to child safeguarding in the British Overseas Territories. Mrs Ferson was appointed as Deputy Governor of Bermuda in December 2013. As a career diplomat she has previously served in Mauritius, Luxembourg, South Korea, Pakistan and New Zealand where she was Deputy Governor of the Pitcairn Islands. In early 2016 she undertook a five-month assignment in St Helena to implement the recommendations of the Wass Inquiry into child safeguarding. During her tenure of office in Bermuda, she has also been involved in encouraging measures to ensure effective safeguarding of children on the island, working closely with government agencies and voluntary organisations. On the announcement of the Award, Mrs Ferson said: “I am thrilled to receive this award and I count myself fortunate to have been in a position where I could share best practice about child safeguarding across the Overseas Territories. I know many individuals are doing a lot of good work around child safeguarding in Bermuda and in the other territories where I have worked. I encourage them to continue to raise awareness about child abuse and our collective responsibility to do right by our children.” Leleath Gloria Bailey — for services to the community. Leleath Gloria Bailey’s service to the community spans more than 37 years and began when she was appointed chairwoman of the Midland Heights Association. Ms Bailey has served the association since 1978 and has been instrumental in resolving the residents’ problems. She is president of both the Board of Trustees and the Neighbourhood Watch Committee. Professionally, Ms Bailey has been equally dedicated and worked for more than 40 years in the Civil Service. She worked for a number of departments, including Public Works, Community Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Health and, finally, the Parliamentary Registry as a registration officer. Ms Bailey was also a dedicated member of the Bermuda Public Services Union and served as the president from 1994 to 1998. She was the first female to be elected president by the membership rather than previous presidents, who were elected by delegates. In 1994 as president, she represented the union on the Joint Labour Day Organising Committee and served as a volunteer Secretary for 17 years. Ms Bailey also co-authored the history book Labour on the March with Alvin Williams in 2000. The book depicts the story of the labour movement in Bermuda from its inception. From 1997 to 2000. Ms Bailey served as titular member of the Public Services International World Women’s Committee and travelled to Geneva, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Yokohoma, Japan, and to Central America and South America. She volunteers for the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton and became lieutenant governor in 2008, the second-highest position in Kiwanis International and the highest position in Bermuda. For more than a decade, she has been a volunteer life coach for the Mirrors Programme. In 2007, she was appointed to the Government Employment Tribunal, the Government Arbitration Panel and the Essential Industries and Disputes Panel. In 2011, Ms Bailey was selected as one of the 100 women, 100 visions celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day 1911-2011. William Richard Cooke — for services to the community, especially in the areas of medicine and maritime history.  William “Bill” Cooke was the third of nine children, and the first in the family to aspire to a higher education. After serving in the US Army, Bill attended St Michael’s College in Vermont from 1948 to 1952, under the G.I. Bill and obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology with honours. In September 1952, he entered the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and graduated MD CM in 1956. This was financed by a four-year grant from H.A. & E. Smith’s Ltd. While in medical school, he married a nurse from Montreal General Hospital, Anne Prescott, and they had a daughter, Kathryn, and a son, James, before returning to Bermuda in June 1962. Once settled in Bermuda, Dr Cooke entered clinical practice as a specialist in internal medicine and was soon recognized by his colleagues. In 1975, Dr Cooke introduced the oncology programme at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where he treated patients and trained nurse Hilary Soares in oncology procedures. The department quickly expanded. Dr Cooke became involved in the administration of the hospital and the hospital’s organisation, while simultaneously conducting his own clinical work until his retirement on December 31, 1995. He also served as the first hospital Chief of Staff. After his retirement, Dr Cooke volunteered at the National Museum of Bermuda for 12 years. During his time at the museum, he worked on the cataloguing of materials relating to the shipwreck collections of the museum and thus was a major background contributor to the recently published book on the subject Shipwrecked: Bermuda’s Maritime Heritage, by Gordon Watts FSA. Other archival work led to his editing of the museum publication Bermuda: Growth of a Naval Base, 1795—1932, published in 2009 as part of the museum’s monograph series. More recently, Dr Cooke made a significant contribution to the book Dr Savage’s Bermuda, which was published by the museum in 2015, after the significant donation of 49 watercolour paintings of the island in the period from 1833 to 1836. Cynthia S. Cox — for services to the community  Cynthia S. Cox graduated from the University of Oxford in 1985 with an M. Phil in management studies. Before that she attended Georgetown University, Washington 1977-81 and attained a BSc in foreign service with a concentration in international economics. In 2015 she attained her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. Mrs Cox is the founder, and has been director and president or co-president of Knowledge Quest Ltd since its inception in 2002. Knowledge Quest is a Bermudian-registered charity that provides college/university scholarships to Bermudian students who otherwise could not afford to study abroad. Knowledge Quest has funded more than 150 Bermudians and spent more than $3 million, with no overhead expenses except bank charges, since the charity’s inception in 2002. From 2011, Mrs Cox has been a director at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. From 2003 Mrs. Cox has been general manager of Cheyne Capital’s Bermudian-based companies. Mary Lodge — for services to St George’s Preparatory School. Mary Lodge began teaching in 1974 as a high school biology teacher. She spent several years working from the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo as the science resource teacher to primary schools, also working with a team to produce resource books for educators which are still in use today. In the 1990s, she spent three years as a mentor teacher for the Ministry of Education, ensuring that new and young teachers at all levels were fully equipped for success. In 1998, Mrs Lodge was appointed as the first female principal of St George’s Preparatory School. She credits Vivlyn Cooper and Joseph Christopher as being inspiring mentors and the Board of Trustees of St George’s Prep for their dedication and support. Visitors to St George’s Prep often comment on how exceedingly well-behaved the students are. Part of the ethos of Mrs Lodge’s school goes beyond academics and focuses on developing well-rounded people that are good citizens and kind to one another. She credits this to the parents and broader community encouraging the diverse student body. She also models this commitment to the community in her own life, volunteering with a variety of different non-profits over the years including the Gilbert Institute PTA, the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation, Bermuda Zoological Society, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda and The Chewstick Foundation. During her 43-year career, she has taught thousands of Bermudians including doctors, artists, lawyers and educators. Ian Murdoch — for services to the marine environment. Mr Murdoch has been involved in marine conservation for more than 35 years and helped to shape Bermuda’s marine conservation policies. In 1983 he was appointed to the Fisheries Advisory Committee, which he served on for seven years. That same year, he formed the Bermuda Divers’ Association with owners of local commercial dive operations to draw attention to overfishing and encourage protection for the marine environment. In 1984, Mr Murdoch requested that the Government set aside six popular dive sites as protected areas where fishing was to be banned. This was agreed to by the environment minister in 1989. Additional locations have been added over time. Between 1984 and 1985, Mr Murdoch led an effort, through the Bermuda Divers’ Association, to clean up and sink the abandoned ship Hermes with the aid of Marine and Ports. The ship has become a popular dive site. For two years, 1988-1990, Mr Murdoch worked with the Bermuda Divers’ Association to conduct surveys to convince government that fish stocks were being depleted and that a ban on fish pots was imperative. Fish pots were ultimately banned in 1990. In 1999, working with BAMZ, Mr Murdoch requested that an additional 20 protected sites be added to the list. He also organised and implemented the installation of 27 fixed moorings for protected offshore dive sites to avoid anchor damage to the reefs. Shortly after the government of the day threatened to reintroduce fishing pots, Mr Murdoch resurrected the conservation group Friends of Fish between 1998 and 2000. With the aid of Steve Cook, Mr Murdoch organised an international conference called Bermuda and the Sea 2000, with the objective of educating local and international attendees about the perils of reintroducing fish pots. In 2005, he was involved in bringing attention to an offshore black grouper spawning site and encouraging the Government to mandate protection during spawning season. Mr Murdoch has been a scuba diver for more than 50 years and is an accomplished marine photographer. Through his appointment to the Marine Resources Board, he continues to advocate for marine conservation.

June 16. The Bermuda Government has created a new portal that meets the island’s obligations under automatic exchange of tax information agreements. Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, said the Tax Information Reporting Portal was essential for the island to adhere to international compliance standards and to protect its status as a financial centre. The new portal will enable overseas tax authorities to access tax information on individuals and multinational companies and was borne out of international agreements designed to clamp down on tax dodging. “Today’s launch of Bermuda’s automatic exchange of information (AEOI) portal is a milestone in protecting Bermuda as a leading international financial centre,” Mr Richards said. “It is impossible to remain a viable centre in today’s compliance climate without conforming to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development AEOI regime, especially as it is required by both the European Union and the G20 to meet their standard for international co-operation on tax matters.” The new rules mandate how countries collect information on the financial account information of individuals and also operations of multinational companies, to the benefit of interested tax authorities. The new portal confirms the island is meeting its obligations under the OECD CRS (Common Reporting Standard) and OECD CbC (Country-by-Country) AEOI regimes. “Bermuda is an AEOI Early Adopter jurisdiction, meaning that Bermuda’s portal will receive year 2016 CRS and year 2016 CBC information from Bermuda persons and share the information with all countries that are also AEOI Early Adopters for year 2016 CRS and CBC information,” Mr Richards said. “Many of the large countries are latecomers by only collecting and sharing under the OECD AEOI regime starting with either year 2017 information or year 2018 information. This includes some of the EU, G20 and OECD countries — some of the very countries promoting these very standards.” The Ministry of Finance statement added: “Bermuda is the first UK Overseas Territory to join the OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting committee known as the Inclusive Framework. Bermuda has also initiated renegotiation of all four of its double-taxation agreements to revise them to the standard articulated by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS.” Reporting persons can now access Bermuda’s Tax Information Reporting Portal at www.gov.bm

June 16. Opposition leader David Burt declined yesterday to delve into internal party processes after reports of a conflict involving former leader Paula Cox. However, after a series of questions about the candidate selection process, he said that the process within the party had changed since the last General Election, with the party approving changes in 2014. “The processes that we are using for candidate selection were modified,” he said. “They were ratified by the central committee at the delegates’ conference.” No further details about the changes were provided. Reports emerged this week that a dispute had arisen because of the selection of Wayne Caines for Constituency 14 over Ms Cox. The former premier, who lost to Glen Smith in the 2012 General Election, said in an e-mail seen by this newspaper that party leaders had acted as if they had a “backroom agenda” to tarnish her reputation. In the e-mail, Ms Cox said that the branch had selected her as the candidate and that the party’s constitution needed to be adhered to. At the time of the 2012 election, all PLP candidates — including sitting MPs — were selected by a branch vote. Those rules were put in place in 2010 with the intention of encouraging new talent into the political arena and ensuring that under-performing MPs cannot cling to safe seats. The measures were also aimed at preventing party leaders from “parachuting” their favorites into safe seats in the wake of accusations of interference in the lead-up to the previous election. Addressing the issue at a press conference held to unveil new candidates, Mr Burt said: “At any point in time when you are in leadership, at any point in time in an organisation, you are probably not going to get buy-in from 100 per cent for every decision, but the view of the party is we are moving forward. We are going to make sure that we work together to deliver for the people. What I believe is that every single person in the PLP wants to make sure that the OBA’s term of government ends on July 18.” He also stated that he doubted that there would be “two PLP candidates” running in the constituency.

June 16. Craig Cannonier, Glen Smith, Fabian Minors and Scott Stewart have been unveiled as One Bermuda Alliance candidates for the General Election. Mr Cannonier, the former premier, will stay in Devonshire South Central, the safe seat he won at the 2012 election. The public works minister gave a hard-hitting address, saying the island had witnessed failure under “an assumedly white party, and an assumedly black party. This election is not about race, but about the business of saving this island." Mr Cannonier described the OBA as “a bunch of unlikely people working together for the betterment of this country”. Mr Smith, will defend the Devonshire North West he unexpectedly took from Paula Cox, the former premier, five years ago. Wayne Caines was announced as the Progressive Labour Party candidate for that seat, ahead of Ms Cox, on Wednesday this week. Ms Cox has hinted she will run as an independent. Mr Smith emphasized his canvassing and work on behalf of the neighborhoods in his constituency, pointing to repainted homes, new lighting and benches added to the neighborhood around Cedar Park. He also extolled the OBA’s economic record, using the example of his own business, which he said has grown from 32 staff to 48 over the past 4½ years. Mr Minors will run in Devonshire North Central, which was won narrowly by Glenn Blakeney for the PLP in 2012, and retained more convincingly by Diallo Rabain of the PLP at a by-election in February 2016. Calling himself a proud St David’s Islander, Mr Minors added: “I’m also proud to say I have been a resident of Devonshire Parish for the past 24 years.” He vowed to “knock on every door and listen to the constituents — I want to earn your trust and earn your vote. We need the OBA to continue on with what it has started — we can all see the benefits of a better and safer Bermuda.” Mr Stewart will run in Pembroke East, a safe PLP seat held by Walter Roban, the deputy leader. “As a member of the Liquor Licensing Authority, I was sympathetic to the residents of Glebe Road, who faced by the sale of alcohol in their neighborhood put a stop to it,” Mr Stewart said. He also spoke of his work on the Bermuda Housing Trust, mandated to provide affordable housing for seniors, as well as his role as a councillor of Pembroke Parish and as a Commissioner of Charities — adding: “And don’t let anybody sell you ‘two Bermudas’. The older I get, the more I understand that all people want the same opportunity.”

June 16. Opinion, by Cheryl Pooley, a social commentator and three-times former parliamentary candidate. "The introduction of tax reform measures is one of the most important items that should be on the Agenda for any political party vying to win this upcoming election. Tax reform is critical to Bermuda’s economic recovery and clearly the One Bermuda Alliance is afraid of the word “tax”. One of the reasons that our buses, roads, ferries, schools and airport are falling apart is because we do not raise enough money from payroll tax to run our country. Yet in other countries such as the United States, Canada, Britain, Japan and Australia, there is a capital gains tax on wealthy individuals, trusts and private companies that own multiple commercial and residential properties. The income derived from investment in real estate should be taxed in Bermuda just like it is in most other Western and European countries. Which, by the way, is a weighted average of 23.2 per cent for member countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Progressive Labour Party appears to be the political party more likely to include tax reform in its political platform for the upcoming General Election to be held on July 18. No doubt about it, the OBA scored an amazing feat with bringing the 35th America’s Cup to Bermuda, refinancing the national debt when the interest rate was low and slowly reducing the Civil Service. On the other hand, it failed to deliver on promises to produce 2,000 jobs, to tender government projects, to be transparent, to listen to the people and to resuscitate the economy. In fact, the economy up until May this year has been anaemic since the OBA won 19 of the 36 seats in Parliament on December 17, 2012. Not only does it appear that the PLP would consider implementing a capital gains tax, but it is to be hoped it will reconsider offering Bermuda has a tax-free haven. It would be beneficial not only to Bermuda, but also to our international business, to consider corporate tax reform and to phase out the tax assurance certificate with five years’ notice. Current holders of the tax assurance certificate should continue to enjoy the benefit through to 2035, as promised by Bermuda governments both past and present. However, it is my hope that the next government drops the TAC for newly incorporated exempted businesses after five years and replaces it with a certificate requiring a minimum of 1 per cent to 2 per cent tax on shareholder dividends. In October 2015, Reuters reported that 500 of the largest American companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore. This information came from Citizens for Tax Justice, and the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund used companies’ own filings to produce the report that found 75 per cent of the firms on the Fortune 500 list operate subsidiaries in countries such as Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The European Union has estimated that it is losing $1.3 trillion a year from tax avoidance schemes of multinationals. The Trump Administration has already discussed lowering the corporate tax from 35 per cent to 15 per cent to encourage American corporations to come back onshore. There is constant and well-founded criticism from countries in Europe, Latin America and North America regarding the use of inversions by companies incorporated in offshore jurisdictions. The OECD has beaten us into compliance-gathering robots and, finally, the G20 Focus on Beneficial Ownership Registers, discussed on October 4, 2016 in Brussels, should send clear signals that international business needs to pay some form of tax to quash the constant and well-founded barrage of criticism. Apparently, John Charman, chief executive of Endurance Specialty Holdings. is one of the few visionaries in international business to publicly support some taxation. The OBA comes across as being too weak to negotiate a seamless adaptation from no corporate tax to some corporate tax. Perhaps because a large percentage of its supporter base is unable to untangle their business interests from the interests of what is better for Bermuda and for the majority of its citizens. The PLP has voiced its appetite in the past about tax reform and I hope its political platform will elaborate more on this incredibly important economic opportunity to stimulate the economy, pay down our debt and invest in our infrastructure."

June 16. Claudette Fleming has highlighted the urgent need for better protection of seniors as those over 65 will this month outnumber those under 14. Tougher legislation is also needed to prevent and protect vulnerable seniors from abuse, according to the executive director of Age Concern. Dr Fleming, who spoke to The Royal Gazette as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, questioned whether it was time to establish an equivalent of Child and Family Services for the elderly. It comes after years of concern over Bermuda’s ability to care for its ageing population. According to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health and Seniors, an adult protection system for seniors and persons with disabilities is being developed as part of a “longer-term” care strategy, but this will “require legislative changes and access to resources to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place”. Last year, a total of 33 cases of senior abuse were investigated by Ageing and Disability Services, who have a shared responsibility with the Bermuda Police Service to look into reports. “Some people can get very frustrated and feel as though they are not being supported because the system is still kind of fragmented,” Dr Fleming said. “We don’t have the legislative teeth that we need to do some more concrete things and the [Senior Abuse Registry] Act itself is about a registry and not protection and prevention and that needs to change. And then we probably need the equivalent infrastructure, like you would see at Child and Family Services. Do we have senior protection workers? We don’t. We have case managers who do their best to take this up as an issue in addition to the other things that they manage. But when you think of the fact that in this month, seniors over 65 will outnumber those under the age of 14, you have to question whether or not you now need the equivalent of child protective services for seniors because of the population shift. These are policy matters that have to be addressed.” Elder abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological or financial, with the latter the theme of this year’s awareness day. According to the United Nations’ Division for Social Policy and Development, 5 to 10 per cent of older people globally may experience some kind of financial exploitation. Dr Fleming said this was also a concern in Bermuda, adding: “With all the people coming into pensions, with the National Pension Scheme — it’s 20 years in — we’ll have people come into tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s one thing to have your physical capabilities and have money and be able to make decisions. But when your mental capacity is gone, and some people do a very good job of being responsible and acquiring homes and saving but then they lose their mental capacity and this leaves them extremely vulnerable to abuse.” Combined with rising rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s, she said this created “a situation that could lend itself to an abusive environment if we don’t have the right protections in place”. Full residential care facilities, the hospital bed crisis and the lack of strong home-care infrastructure also “all create an atmosphere of putting a lot of stress on families who may not be equipped to deal with older loved ones at home and again put our seniors at quite a risk of abuse”. The fifth or sixth most common call received by Age Concern is about abuse, according to Dr Fleming, and the charity is required by law to pass this information to the police and Ageing and Disability Services. “Ageing and Disability Services then have the ability to go in and investigate and they will have their processes as to how they determine if it warrants an investigation,” she said, adding that this needed more support. “I understand at this moment it is very stretched in some of the things it does, let alone have the ability to be out and about in the community to make sure that the circumstances of abuse aren’t existing.” The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health and Seniors said “the Ministry is conscious of the legislative and resource challenges in protecting vulnerable adults in general, including both seniors and persons with disabilities. Under the Long-Term Care Action Plan, developments are under way to address some of these difficulties in the short and long term, including exploring an Office of the Public Guardian, addressing mental capacity issues, and strengthening the prevention of abuse within care homes,” she said. She added that there were key areas within the Senior Abuse Registry Act 2008 “that can be improved upon to ensure a more accessible and efficient system both for vulnerable persons and the regulator”. The Power of Attorney Act, The Mental Health Act and the Residential Care Home and Nursing Home Act and Regulations, which also promote and ensure the prevention of abuse, also require updating and strengthening, she said. And a longer-term strategy will include the development of an adult protection system for seniors and for persons with disabilities. “To create a more comprehensive adult protection system requires legislative changes and access to resources to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place,” she said, adding that these resources would include the likes of public receivers and access to emergency placement. With regard to case managers specifically, Ageing and Disability Services is actively working to achieve full staffing levels to better assist the community with both prevention and protection.”

June 16. The Bermuda Stock Exchange has launched its “Own Your Share of Bermuda” campaign to raise awareness of opportunities to invest in the island’s public companies. The Royal Gazette is supporting the effort by publishing weekly features on each of the 13 domestic companies listed on the BSX. Devonshire Industries is best known for its subsidiary Bermuda Paint. And paint and roofing materials remain the backbone of the company. Jacob Hocking, an architect at cTx Design Group and Devonshire Industries president, said: “The company has always given a good rate of return to the investor with average yearly returns of eight to nine per cent. “We normally pay a dividend of about 25 cents twice a year. We have great cash flow, the company doesn’t have any debt and it owns all of its buildings and equipment.” The company’s latest figures show profits of more than $182,000 for the financial year ended in March 2016 — down from the $317,717 recorded the previous year. Basic and diluted earnings per share amounted to 41 cents, down from the 72 cents notched up in 2014-15. Net revenues amounted to $2.96 million, a slight drop on the $3.08 million for the previous year. Administrative costs fell by $16,120, down from $594,749 to $578,629. The company continued its marketing drive, spending $114,095, up 29,451 on 2014-15’s $84,664 spend. Selling expenses fell slightly, down to $304,839 compared to $305,337 the previous year. Mr Hocking said: “As a company we’re always looking for ways to be more efficient, reduce expenses and look for new creative marketing methods and new materials and products we can offer to consumers.” He added that the firm had a strong connection with the building industry — and sales and profits varied depending on the stage of projects and time of year, with paint sales to the Bermuda Government peaking over the summer holidays when schools are painted and at hotels during the off-season. Mr Hocking said: “We’ve been improving our efficiency in the company and we’ve worked hard to make our staff more efficient and we’ve incurred capital costs on new equipment and a renovation to our paint store. We are trying to position ourselves for the years coming.” Bermuda Paint is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary and remains the only manufacturer of paint on the island. But the company is still brushing up on its skills — and uses the latest technology to create new and improved paints specifically designed for Bermuda’s environment. The company became part of Devonshire Industries in 2001, with all shareholders moved to the new company. Bermuda Paint employs nine people and includes a retail store and the firm has benefited from a link-up with a major US company, in which it holds a stake, which helps with technological development. The American firm also tests Bermuda Paint products against competitors, including mass market paints. The company has also expanded into other products like the Bermuda TrueRoof system, Bermuda Paint teamed up in 2003 with two local roofing companies to develop adhesives, fired cement and coating for the True Roof foam-type roofing system and is now a major player in the market. Mr Hocking said: “We put a lot of engineering research into the roofing system — we have developed a product we can stand by and that came with a cost as well. But we have a system that works.” The company also produces a range of paint primers designed for the island’s unique climate, while original paints like the ACT and DecraTone latex paints have been developed over the years and now have 100 per cent acrylic resins for durability. In addition, unlike resins based on PVA, which is more of a vinyl paint, acrylic resins “breathe” in Bermuda’s climate. Special primers are also needed in Bermuda because buildings are made of cement and cement and Bermuda sand are alkaline so need an alkaline-resistant primer. The company also makes antifouling paint for marine applications.

June 16. Jean Motyer, an organist, choir director and composer who brought music to churches around the island, has died at the age of 85. A dedicated member of the Garden Club of Bermuda, Mrs Motyer was also a world champion flower arranger and judge, with a keen interest in horticulture, who paved the way for the island’s rich tradition in flower arranging. In addition, Mrs Motyer was a passionate voice for persons affect by Alzheimer’s Disease, which in 1990 claimed the life of her husband, Puisne Judge Robert Motyer. After his passing, she created a foundation in his name as a support group — as well as joining the Alzheimer’s Task Force, aimed at determining how many residents suffered from the illness. In 1991, she told the Mid-Ocean News that one of her dreams was to see a facility established to look after persons with dementia. Although highly active in the Methodist church, singing regularly at Wesley Methodist Church until not long before her death, Mrs Motyer was a devoted chorister and organist for places of worship that included St Mark’s Church and the Anglican Cathedral. Mrs Motyer is survived by her four children Gillian Motyer, Karen Foster, Judy Motyer and Brian Motyer.

June 15. America's Cup report.  Rome Kirby is a second-generation America’s Cup winner. His dad, Jerry Kirby, won the America’s Cup in 1992 and Rome was a rookie on board “17” for the Comeback Cup four years ago, when ORACLE TEAM USA came back from a 1-8 deficit to beat Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8. “I remember hoisting the America’s Cup up,” Kirby says. “I walked across the stage and my whole family was in the front row. I remember holding the Cup up in front of them was a pretty special moment. We’re going to do our best to hold on to it.”  That means making use of every minute before racing starts on June 17. ORACLE TEAM USA won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Sunday June 4th, earning themselves a point to carry forwards into the America's Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. The team hasn’t been racing since, confined to the sidelines while the Challenger Playoffs saw Emirates Team New Zealand rise to the top and beat out all other contenders to become the Challenger. During that time, the two-time defender has been practicing, evolving its boat, testing new equipment and practicing some more. “We’re trying to maximize our days,” sailor Matt Cassidy said. “We have a huge checklist to get through, whether it be boat-handling or speed tests and we need to get every minute out there that we can.” A big focus has been on the pre-start playbook, where the team feels it may have an advantage over the Kiwis, and on getting more consistent in maneuvers, in an effort to be as prepared as possible when racing starts on Saturday. “You can’t ever take your foot off the gas,” confirmed Joey Newton, a veteran member of the sailing team on his sixth America’s Cup campaign. “We will keep pushing right through to the end, because we know that’s what it takes to win. “There’s no greater prize in yachting than the America’s Cup,” he says. “It’s a lifelong dream for every sailor on this team to win the America’s Cup. This is my sixth campaign, and it is by far the most intense. We’re not giving this up without a fight and I really like our chances.”

June 15. Former Premier Paula Cox sent a scathing e-mail to Opposition leader David Burt over her rejection as a candidate for her lost seat. The former premier, who lost to Glen Smith in Devonshire North West in one of the shocks of the 2012 General Election, said party leaders, who announced Wayne Caines as their selection yesterday, had acted as if they had a “backroom agenda” to tarnish her reputation. She said the Constituency 14 branch executive was told at a Devonshire Recreation Club meeting on Monday that she “could be a liability” to the Progressive Labour Party if she were to run. According to e-mails passed to The Royal Gazette by Beresford Mack of the Atlanta-based press agency MC Media, the branch executive was dismayed that Mr Caines, the former senator, had been chosen ahead of Ms Cox, who is described as “constitutionally selected”. The series of messages between Ms Cox, Mr Burt, party chairman Scott Simmons and branch secretary Nadine Henry also appeared to suggest that Ms Cox could now run as an independent candidate to “let the voters of C14 decide the outcome”. Ms Cox told this newspaper last night: “The news as you would be aware is that the PLP party leadership has made their decision, which was announced via their press conference earlier today. I will continue to work in C14. The C14 voters have been very open about what they want and expect from their next representative and I plan to work to earn their trust and confidence. They want change from the OBA and they wish experience and commitment. I am determined to do what is required to earn their vote and their support.” Asked for a comment about the e-mails, Mr Burt said: “The PLP’s priority is bringing an end to the failed OBA government and giving the Bermudian people a voice again. Internal party discussions pertaining to the best path forward are common, but at the end of the day, the entire PLP is focused on victory in 34 days. That’s where my focus is and that’s where this party’s focus is.” Ms Cox wrote to Mr Burt on Tuesday: “This is to follow up in writing further to the meeting you had with the C14 executive yesterday evening at the Devonshire Recreation Club and our discussions. The branch executive used the occasion to reconfirm to you that they continue to stand resolutely behind me as their selected candidate. They stated unequivocally that the process outlined in the party’s constitution for the selection of candidates must be adhered to. You have acknowledged that based on the party’s national polling, it shows that I as the branch selected candidate was well positioned to win.” Saying that she was selected according to the party constitution, she continued: “Polls are no guarantee and hard work is required to serve the people. However, recent polling does shed a very favorable light on my chances both when compared with the Government and any unnamed PLP candidates. I listened with interest to the suggestion that I could be a liability nationally to the party’s chances if I ran. I found this an extraordinary assertion. This sounds to me like some backroom agenda to tarnish my reputation. It also seems to be at odds with what you shared privately as to options you saw for me if there was a PLP win at the polls. It seems contradictory to say my image is good for the party to govern, but bad for the party to run. Let me state emphatically that if the party continues to ignore the PLP C14 branch’s stated decision, I am prepared to let the voters of C14 decide the outcome. The C14 constituency is a diverse one and has constituents who, while they may be aching for a change, also want to build a relationship and dialogue with their representative. I have enjoyed the time spent canvassing. Much work remains before every single voter is seen, but they are special and I will continue to work to earn their trust and confidence. They deserve no less. I am a diehard PLP supporter, but in my view when you flout procedures and the will of the PLP/C14 constituency, then lessons may have to be learnt. People seem to think I will just roll over for what some claim is for the good of the party — no. Principles and due process are higher goals that we have to also be mindful of. If you truly believe someone needs help, then you support and help — not discard. We are supposed to be a team. Those are the PLP values I uphold and respect and I will die for.” Mr Simmons wrote to Ms Cox and Mr Burt last Friday: “I note the tenor and urgency of your e-mail and I am not aware if correspondence has been exchanged between the both of you. That notwithstanding, it is my hope that we can resolve this matter with determined haste, as an election has been called.” The PLP constitution supports a candidate selection process inclusive of full disclosure and consultation with the branch, Mr Simmons said. “As principal steward of our party constitution, I am concerned yet clear that resolution must be found immediately under the guidance and adherence of our party constitution and all efforts must be made to avoid an internal and external public disagreement. To engage in such a potentially explosive display of public disagreement will be devastating to our party image and reputation at this critical time. I implore all that a resolution must be found for the good of the party and I am available to meet to facilitate an amicable end.” On Monday last week, Ms Henry noted that a meeting had taken place between Mr Burt, deputy leader Walter Roban and the PLP’s candidate committee chairman. She wrote: “In the days that followed, Constituency 14 met to discuss the presentation and found no doubt once again with an unwavering support for already approved candidate Paula Cox. Therefore, I write to reconfirm that Ms Cox is the candidate of choice for Constituency 14.”

June 15. Wayne Caines, Anthony Richardson and Rose Ann Tucker were yesterday unveiled as Progressive Labour Party candidates for the General Election. Mr Caines, a former senator and chief of staff to the Premier, will fight for Devonshire North West, the seat previously held by former premier Paula Cox but won at the last election by Glen Smith of the One Bermuda Alliance. At a press conference at Alaska Hall, Mr Caines, a former prosecutor of seven years, described himself as “a son who is at home” in Devonshire North West, having spent his childhood and teenage years in the constituency. The former CEO of Digicel Bermuda and former captain in the Bermuda Regiment, said his priority was to “end gun and gang violence in our island home.” Mr Caines continued: “This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, particularly during these challenging times in our island. I have always been committed to service. My goal is simple — to be an advocate for hope and to foster the belief that as Bermudians we deserve to have a better Bermuda for all. Our children deserve to go to world-class schools. Our seniors deserve first-class medical care. Our young men and women deserve to have legitimate access to the professional opportunities that exist in their own island. Additionally, I plan to work tirelessly to end gang and gun-related violence on our island.” Opposition leader David Burt said of Mr Caines: “Wayne is a member of many civic organisations and sits on various boards. Impressively, he was the recipient of the Community Leader Award from the Detroit-based non-profit organisation Operation ReachBack. With his military discipline and community activism, Wayne is an ideal candidate for the PLP in Constituency 14.” Mr Burt said of chartered accountant Mr Richardson: “With his professional and community experience, I am convinced Anthony will make an excellent representative for Smith’s West”. Mr Richardson, the deputy chairman of the party, will run in Hamilton South, which Sylvan Richards will defend for the OBA. He has held numerous senior positions such as accountant general of Bermuda, chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, CEO of the Bermuda Health Council and chief financial officer for the Bermuda Land Development Company. Mr Richardson pledged to work to make the education system “first-class once again” as well as addressing Bermuda’s social ills and fiscal management. Speaking on his canvassing experience, Mr Richardson said concerns raised related to education, road safety, water supply and employment. Urging voters to play an active role in the 2017 election, he said: “I pledge to ensure that our education system can be one that is first-class yet again, and I do believe it can. I pledge to ensure that we address the social ills that are plaguing our country. We can fix this, and we will. And I pledge that with my financial background I will play a role in ensuring we govern with responsible and prudent fiscal management. I have a vested interest in the success of Bermuda as I have two children whom I love dearly and whom I want to live a happy, healthy, successful life in Bermuda. “ Ms Tucker, a former assistant secretary for the PLP who has been involved at the branch and executive levels of the party, will run in Smith’s South, where education minister Cole Simons has been MP for the OBA since 1998. In the 1980s, Ms Tucker was a founding member of People for Positive Change (having ESP), grass roots, lobbyist group focusing on what she described as “the then economic, social, and political shortcomings of the UBP” and in the 1990s lobbied as the National Tenants and Future Homeowners Association “bringing awareness to the Housing crisis and breaking down the barriers to get access to the houses on Southside”. The self-employed entrepreneur who operates a concierge service said: “There are two Bermudas and Bermudians must come first in opportunity, jobs and success in our own country. It is quite clear to me, that key challenges island wide, are in the area of employment, education and healthcare costs. There has been no increase in jobs for Bermudians. There is a serious deficit in our historical and liberal education. Our transportation system has failing equipment, infrastructure and scheduling deficits and there is a pressing need to reduce the cost of nutrition and further reduce the cost of healthcare in this island.” Mr Burt added: “Rose Ann understands the true meaning of hard work. A family immersed in politics fostered in Rose Ann a lifelong interest and desire to become involved in the political process and to contribute to the betterment of all Bermudians.”

June 15. The Bermuda Business Development Agency has announced the appointment of Greg Wojciechowski to its board of directors. Mr Wojciechowski, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Stock Exchange for the past 15 years, joined the BDA board this month. “On behalf of my fellow directors, I am delighted to welcome Greg to the Board,” said BDA chairwoman Kiernan Bell. “He has impeccable credentials and highly relevant experience and knowledge as CEO of the BSX, and is one of the jurisdiction’s finest ambassadors. We could not be more pleased to have him join us in our work to empower Bermuda’s economy, encourage inward investment, and promote Bermuda’s reputation globally.” A Bermudian, Mr Wojciechowski also serves as chairman of Bermuda’s Financial Intelligence Agency and ILS Bermuda Ltd, and sits on the board of directors of the World Federation of Exchanges. “I’m delighted to join the Board of the BDA and work with my fellow directors to drive forward the agency’s goals. Hopefully my business-development experience at the BSX will add a beneficial perspective,” Mr Wojciechowski said. "The BDA plays an essential role in our jurisdiction’s outreach to attract more business to the country — a mission that impacts all of us. I’m proud to help engage other corporate stakeholders to support the critical work BDA is doing for our domestic economy.” Under Mr Wojciechowski’s leadership, the 46-year-old BSX has driven the development of Bermuda’s domestic capital market and attracted global capital market support, particularly in the insurance-linked securities and cat-bond sector. The BSX has also garnered numerous international endorsements, and been recognized by the US Securities Exchange Commission, Canada’s Ministry of Finance, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the London Stock Exchange, and the UK government’s HM Revenue and Customs, among other bodies. Mr Wojciechowski previously served as the BSX’s chief operating officer, having previously held management positions at several US brokerage firms. He was educated in the US, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

June 15. When Belco workers opened up one of the their huge generators — known as E3 — for a routine overhaul last month, they got a nasty surprise. Inside the heavy oil-burning beast, half of the 16 connecting rods that link the pistons to the crankshaft were seriously worn and had to be replaced. Had one of them broken, “catastrophic failure” would have resulted, potentially fatal for the 32-year-old generator, potentially dangerous for staff, hugely expensive and disruptive for the island’s electricity supply. Fortunately E3 was caught before the worst happened, but engine D8 was less fortunate. A bearing shell broke inside the colossal engine, forcing it to be shut down. D8 is housed in what is known as the Old Power Station, the oldest part of the Belco complex, a structure built about 100 years ago. Decades of ingrained industrial grime give the building a distinctly Dickensian look. According to plant manager Elizabeth Davidge, speaking on a media tour of the plant, D8 will be out of action for at least four weeks while the repairs take place. D8 owes Bermuda nothing, having toiled for nearly four decades to generate electricity for the island. It may be many years past its retirement date, but it remains a key part of the energy infrastructure — its eight megawatts represent 5 per cent of Belco’s entire capacity. Two of the other near 40-year-old engines in the Old Power Station have been retired — or rather they retired themselves. One gave up the ghost in 2009, another in 2015. Belco gave the media a glimpse inside its operations at a time when the utility is awaiting approval for its capital plan from the Regulatory Authority and the Bermuda Government that would enable it to replace the ageing generators. It wants to decommission half of its 160-megawatt capacity over the next three years and replace it with new more efficient natural gas-burning generators providing 60 megawatts. Belco describes the need as urgent and has argued that it will need to start work by next month in order to meet its timetable. Working with ageing machinery has become way of life for the Belco workers described as “Herculean” by Sean Durfy, their chief executive officer, for keeping the ageing plant running so the island’s energy supply retains first-world levels of reliability. Danny Johnson, who has worked at the plant for six years, personifies the pride of the Belco workforce. He came from a motorcycle background, but these days enjoys turning his attention to the king-size engines that power Bermuda. He doesn’t mind the noise or the heat — temperatures for workers can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months in some areas of the plant — but he concedes that catastrophic engine failure is a concern and it can be dangerous. “I know of two occurrences here when a connecting rod came out of the engine,” he said. Joshua Simons has worked at Belco for 25 years, having started out as an apprentice and worked his way up to manager of facilities and security. He explained the challenges associated with operating equipment that has exceeded the lifespan it was designed for. “You can replace moving parts, but when the actual housing of the engine becomes worn, then it gets very difficult,” Mr Simons said. “You’re working with tolerances of thousandths of a millimeter and these engines have been running for 8,000 hours a year for decades.” The biggest engines in the plant are those installed in the East Power Plant in 1985. These enormous machines each provide between 10 and 14 megawatts of capacity. The neighboring four engines, installed in 2005, run more efficiently and sit atop a vibration mitigation structure, something that residents living close by would appreciate. These are dual-fuel engines that can be converted to burn natural gas. Fuel to the plant is supplied via a six-inch pipe that runs nine miles from the fuel storage area at Ferry Reach. The utility burns about 900,000 barrels of fuel per year — most of it heavy oil, but also some lighter diesel fuel. On site is a heavy oil tank that can hold 68,000 barrels of heavy oil — about three million gallons — and two 25,000-barrel diesel tanks. Gas turbines, which kick in at times of high demand to provide extra capacity, run on the diesel. Ms Davidge said the 4.5-megawatt turbines are more expensive to run than the bigger engines, because they are less efficient and because the diesel they burn is more expensive than heavy oil. When engines like D8 and E3 break down however, the turbines have to be used more often, driving up the overall cost of electricity production. Belco reckons it can save $26 million on production costs by replacing its old generators. The whole operation is overseen from the C. Eugene Cox Operation Centre, named after the late former Belco vice-president and Bermuda Minister of Finance. Denton Williams, Belco’s chief operating officer, showed off the hi-tech control room, full of monitors facing a large computerized map of Bermuda with Belco’s 32 substations lit up on screen. The technology allows Belco to better enable the balance of supply and demand and to rapidly pinpoint outages and deal with them quickly. “Our aim is to deal with outages within 90 minutes,” Mr Williams said. “The other day a car took out a utility pole and we managed to restore the power supply in 45 minutes. That’s quite impressive. The control centre is the epicentre of operations in a hurricane. After last year’s hurricane, we restored power to everyone within six days. After Hurricane Emily 20 years ago, it took us months, so things have improved.” Asked whether Belco had set funds aside over the years in preparation for the retirement of the generators, CEO Mr Durfy said the company had done better than that by paying off debt. This had left Belco carrying no debt and well positioned to borrow the necessary funds to support its approximately $300 million capital plan. Mr Durfy has previously stated that Belco would request a tariff increase of 3 to 4 cents per kilowatt hour during the construction period in order to ensure an adequate rate of return for shareholders. After that, he predicted the rate would peak and then start to fall as efficiency savings were realized. The alternative — continuing to keep the ageing generators running — would cause costs tens of millions extra and would inevitably result in higher electricity prices, he added. Mr Durfy argued that the Electricity Act, passed last year and which passed oversight of the electricity sector to the Regulatory Authority, in addition to seeking to open up electricity generation to competition, was “flawed legislation”. The law did not give the Regulatory Authority the authority it needed to make decisions, nor the funding to bring in the expertise it needed to regulate the sector effectively, he said. And he argued that studies had shown that competition in a market of less than 1,000 megawatts would not improve things for the consumer — the Bermuda market is only 160 megawatts. “The legislation is flawed,” Mr Durfy said. “It will not work and it will add extra costs to the electricity system. We’re going to decommission 80 megawatts, because we have to for safety and economic reasons. If you want to open it up to competition after that, then I can guarantee that electricity prices would still go up.” He had expressed these concerns and the urgent need to upgrade Belco’s plant in talks with government representatives and with the regulator. “I’m not sure anybody’s listening. They say they get it, but we’ve been saying this for years and nothing has happened.” Without action, the reliability of the electricity supply is at risk, Mr Durfy said — a risk that he felt was not fully appreciated in Bermuda. He said: “If you have a third-world electricity system and you have rolling blackouts, what does that do to your economy?”

June 15. National fuels policy is the subject of a new government discussion paper — and the Department of Energy is now seeking public feedback on it. The policy sets out the government’s aims of achieving a mix of fuels that is cost effective and less polluting. The document, which is available on this webpage under the heading of Related Media, can also be found on the Bermuda Government web portal or in hard copy from the Department of Energy at the Government Administration Building, 3rd floor, 30 Parliament Street. The deadline for written comments on the policy document is close of business on July 7, 2017, submitted via e-mail to energy@gov.bm or by hand at the Department of Energy, Government Administration Building, 3rd floor, 30 Parliament Street. The Department says it will review all information obtained and respond to each submission. Jeane Nikolai, Department of Energy director, said: “Fuels is another essential pillar of the energy sector which directly affects the local community and economy. The New Fuels Sector Policy will mark the beginning of Bermuda’s road towards a fiscally transparent, efficient and environmentally sensitive fuel regime. The Department of Energy is working with stakeholders to develop new policies for the fuels industry, including assessing new fuels and technologies, ensuring fuel security, ensuring public safety, fuel quality as well as ensuring that fuels are at least cost. "The policy proposal is the culmination of months of preliminary consultative work done by the Department of Energy with private sector and government stakeholder groups," a government statement added.

June 15. The family of Shawn Crockwell has released a statement thanking the community for their outpouring of “love, support and well wishes”. The 47-year-old lawyer and independent MP was found dead at his home in Hamilton Parish on Saturday. This afternoon Mr Crockwell’s sister Juanae Crockwell released a statement on behalf of the family, saying: “We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the people of Bermuda for their outpouring of love, support and well wishes during our time of bereavement." The passing of our son, father, brother, uncle and friend has been tragic and heartbreaking. We understand that we shared Shawn with our country, and we know that the entire country is grieving with us. His death is a tremendous loss to our family and to Bermuda. We are also aware of the unsubstantiated rumours and speculations that have been circulating via various forms of media and a formal statement from the family will be forthcoming. However, we ask that the public respect our privacy and allow us the time to grieve in peace whilst we prepare to lay our beloved to rest. Shawn was a man of integrity. He was a dedicated and loving servant of the people and we will ensure that his legacy remembers him as such.”

June 15. Premier Michael Dunkley has responded to a call for an investigation into the death of Shawn Crockwell, saying the responsibility lies with the Bermuda Police Service. The letter, sent to the Governor, John Rankin, by youth activist Eron Hill, was shared with the media and copied in the Premier, along with Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security. Mr Hill, a law student, called an independent investigation a “necessity” to bring clarity in the wake of Mr Crockwell’s passing. It elicited a swift response from Mr Dunkley, who suggested that the police ought to be copied in on such a request. “The passing of my friend has rocked family, friends and community,” the Premier added. “Many are searching for answers but from police reports they have confirmed no suspicious circumstances.” Mr Dunkley expressed confidence that all reports to the police of “death threats or anything else are dealt with in a most appropriate manner”. Saying he was writing on behalf of “a large portion of our community”, Mr Hill referenced Mr Crockwell’s position on a motion of no confidence against the Government that never went ahead in the House of Assembly last Friday — and said an investigation would allay anxieties.

June 15. A conspirator in an international operation to smuggle nearly $1 million worth of cocaine soaked in shredded paper packaging into Bermuda has been jailed for 21 years. Curtis Swan had also been convicted of possessing more than $130,000 in ill-gotten gains and removing $90,000 from the island that police believe was earned from the illegal trade of narcotics on the island. Yesterday the 54-year-old was sentenced to 21 years for conspiracy to import the drugs and three years each for two counts of money-laundering. Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe ordered that all the sentences should run concurrently. Mr Justice Wolffe described the drug smuggling operation as “sophisticated” and said Swan’s role was on the “middle rung of the ladder”. “There is not much in the way of mitigation in this case,” he added. “Without conspirators and the brains behind the operation the drugs would not reach our streets. It must have been clear to the jury that you were not just a simple mule duped into picking up the box of vases. Money obtained from drugs transactions is the ultimate motivator for the importation of drugs and the money launderer is the most critical person in the entire industry.” Earlier in yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Swan had again professed his innocence of any involvement in the drug operation. During the course of a five-week trial at Supreme Court, jurors heard that Swan, who previously worked at The Royal Gazette, was caught red-handed in May 2015 after he picked up a package containing shredded paper and glass vases from FedEx in Hamilton. Authorities in the United States had already intercepted the package, which originated in Panama, and removed the packaging that was found to have been soaked in cocaine hydrochloride. After Swan picked up the package he was kept under supervision as he stopped at Bermuda Paint and bought liquid ammonia on behalf of The Royal Gazette — which he was not authorised to do. Prosecutors told the court that the chemical would have been used to remove the cocaine from the shredded paper and would have produced a large quantity of crack cocaine with a street value of over $811,000. When police descended on Swan’s Warwick home, they discovered vases and other packaging, which contained traces of cocaine. They believed it showed this was not the first attempt to smuggle in the cocaine from Panama. Further inquiries by financial crime officers revealed huge quantities of cash had been deposited in Swan’s three Bermuda bank accounts between January 2013 and 2015 and withdrawn soon after the money was transferred. Examination of his bank account records showed Swan had removed just over $92,000 from Bermuda through his various accounts that had then been withdrawn from cash points in Trinidad and Panama. He had also personally tried to launder a further $39,000 in ill-gotten gains by exchanging Bermuda dollars for US currency at various financial establishments in Bermuda. Swan was arrested and questioned by police on May 28, 2015. He admitted picking up the package from FedEx but claimed he had no idea it had contained drugs. During his trial Swan took the stand and again insisted that he had done nothing wrong and had no idea that he had been involved in a drug importation conspiracy. However, the jury rejected his version of events and found him guilty of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into Bermuda and money-laundering by a majority decision last month.

June 15. Butterfield Bank has jacked up lending rates by 0.25 of a percentage point after the US Federal Reserve yesterday raised its short-term rates by the same amount — the third American increase since December. The Butterfield base rate for residential mortgages and consumer loans will go up to 4.5 per cent from 4.25 per cent. And the base rate increase for corporate loans will rise to 4.75 per cent from 4.5 per cent. The increase on consumer and corporate loans takes effect immediately. The increase on residential mortgages will take effect on September 12. Butterfield, however, did not say if the change would mean an increase in interest rates on savings at the bank. Rival bank HSBC Bermuda was keeping its cards close to its chest. A spokeswoman for the bank said: “HSBC Bermuda considers multiple factors — including but not limited to, the Fed rates — in our ongoing reviews of the Bank’s lending and savings rates. Any impact on the rates will be communicated through our usual channels.” Clarien Bank did not respond to requests for comment by press time last night. The Federal Reserve move takes its Fed Funds rate to a 1 to 1.25 per cent range, and is the fourth increase in a sequence that began in December 2015. The American increases are seen as a reversal of the Fed’s moves to battle the financial crisis and the recession. In 2007, as recession began to bite, the benchmark federal funds rate was 5.25 per cent. The Federal Reserve has signalled it will increase short-term rates once more before the end of the year and three times next year.

June 15. Emirates Team New Zealand have been racing on two different fronts to keep their America’s Cup bid on track. First, there’s the race on the water where they have earned the right to do battle with two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in a rematch of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco four years ago. Then there is the behind-the-scenes race to have replacement parts for their yacht rapidly built and flown in. The Kiwis had an express package of parts flown to Bermuda in a hurry after damaging their boat in several incidents during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off series, including a dramatic nosedive and capsize against Land Rover BAR. The shipment of the state-of-the-art pieces, which included a new rudder and a new batch of fairings, is intended to be in place for the grudge showdown with Oracle, which starts on Saturday. Auckland-based company C-Tech has been working long hours to create the new parts for Team New Zealand, whom they have been supplying cutting-edge, carbon-fibre gear for the past 15 years. “We originally made the fairings around the daggerboard case, which were smashed in the capsize, so we’ve been rebuilding those,” Alex Vallings, director of C-Tech, said. “The fairings we’ve had about eight people working on it for the past few days. They’re carbon panels made in a mould. Right through the campaign we’ve been building stuff for them; the rudders, daggerboard, all the hydraulic system around the case that control the angle of the daggerboard and a lot of tubing for the boat.” Team New Zealand advanced to the 35th America’s Cup Match after defeating Sweden’s Artemis Racing 5-2 in the best-of-nine Challenger Play-off Finals.

June 15. Lionheart came roaring back on day two of the offshore America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta yesterday. The J Class entry thrived in perfect racing conditions to bounce back from a disappointing start to their campaign 24 hours earlier. Lionheart’s crew got their tactics spot-on, making the best choice from a challenging downwind start and leaving the fleet trailing in their wake all the way around the racecourse. Ranger, whose crew includes tactician Brad Butterworth, a four-times America’s Cup winner, leads the J Class division by a one-point margin heading into today’s final day of racing off the East End of the island. “It will be all on for the final day,” said Bouwe Bekking, Lionheart’s tactician and seven-times round-the-world racer. The six-strong J Class racing fleet, which includes the newest J Class yacht Svea, is the most competitive ever assembled for this historic class, which raced in the America’s Cup in the early 1930s. Yesterday’s westerly breezes ranged between ten and 13 knots off St George’s and produced excellent racing for the 14 superyachts racing in three divisions. Sojana, the 115-foot Farr ketch of Sir Peter Harrison, backer of Britain’s 2003 GBR Challenge America’s Cup programme, won Class B with French ocean racing legend Loïck Peyron on the helm. In Class A, Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling, a Frers-designed Nautor Swan 115, scored their first win, while in Class C it was the pretty spirit of the traditional style yawl Bequia, which won the regatta’s seven-strong fleet. All racing is taking place north, east and south off St George’s. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is hosting the regatta in conjunction with Boat International Media and the America’s Cup Event Authority.

June  14. Mackenzie Cooper admits the pressure valve has been released after Team BDA’s “monumental achievement” of qualifying for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals. The new darlings of Bermudian sport continued their incredible story by advancing from the Qualifying Series as one of the top four teams from their pool yesterday. By reaching the finals the home-town favorites have already exceeded the expectations of many of those who cheered their every move across the Great Sound during the past two days. Having won the hearts of a nation, Cooper’s team will now carry the island’s hopes on their young shoulders when they race to become the best youth sailing team in the world. “It’s a sigh of relief for sure and the pressure is off now really,” said Cooper, the team’s skipper. “Yesterday was incredible and while today doesn’t have that same feeling, it’s more monumental as we’ve officially qualified. I think everyone knows we have the speed and ability to beat anyone on our day and we’ll go into the finals with an open mind.” Being able to race relatively pressure free makes Team BDA a dangerous proposition, according to Cooper. The 22-year-old now believes the heat is on the “massive sailing nations” such as New Zealand, Britain and Spain — the three other qualifiers from pool B. “We didn’t win the qualifiers so people aren’t looking at us and thinking, ‘These are the guys to beat’,” he said. “We know we have everyone’s support and we’ll just go out and go for it — there isn’t really anything to lose. You look at Bermuda, a population of 65,000 people, and we’re up against these massive sailing nations like New Zealand, Britain and Spain, and we’re out there competing neck-and-neck. That gives us a lot of confidence and we think we can do that in the finals as well.” The prospect of racing on home waters in the most prestigious youth sailing regatta has given Cooper a few sleepless nights in the build-up. After all, half of Team BDA’s six-man crew did not know a tack from a gybe having never sailed until 18 months ago. “I’ve had some nerves the past couple nights and it’s been hard to eat throughout the day,” Cooper said. “But the support from everyone has been amazing and so crucial to instilling that confidence in us.” Team BDA, who started the day tied for third, posted finishes of second, sixth and fourth to come fourth, with Austrian Candidate Sailing Team and Carson Crain’s Next Generation USA both being eliminated. While admitting he was disappointed with his team’s final two finishes, Cooper believes there were plenty of positives to take from those performances. “Getting that second in the first race was huge and we knew that helped with the [overall] points,” added Cooper, who is also the team’s tactician. “A sixth and fourth to end the day wasn’t great but, look, we were third in both of those races and shifts happen and that’s the way sailboat racing goes. “It was really tough conditions on the Sound today, really light and shifty. We move on, though, and we’re very happy about that and can’t wait to race in the finals.” Despite achieving their primary goal, Cooper insists there will be no celebrations in the camp just yet. “Maybe we’ll have an ice bath and a protein shake. We’ll be taking it pretty easy.” Results. Pool B, Race 4. 1. NZL Sailing Team (10pts);  2. Team BDA (9);  3. Spanish Impulse (8);  4. Candidate Sailing Team (7); 5. Land Rover BAR Academy (6);  6. Next Generation USA (5).  Pool B, Race 5. 1. Spanish Impulse (10);  2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9);  3. Candidate Sailing Team (8);  4. NZL Sailing Team (7);  5. Next Generation USA (6);  6. Team BDA (5).  Pool B, Race 6. 1. NZL Sailing Team (10);  2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9);  3. Spanish Impulse (8);  4. Team BDA (7);  5. Next Generation USA (6);  6. Candidate Sailing Team (5).  Final standings: 1. NZL Sailing Team 51;  2.  Land Rover BAR Academy 51;  3. Spanish Impulse 51;  4. Team BDA 45;  5. Next Generation USA 36;  6. Candidate Sailing Team 36 The 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals are live on Red Bull TV on June 20 and 21 from 2pm Bermuda time.

June 14. Age Concern’s executive director has outlined the island’s progress in managing its ageing population. Claudette Fleming highlighted the Bermuda Health Plan, the Long-Term Care Plan and improvements in health insurance coverage, as well as Age Concern’s work, at a two-day United Nations Economic Convention. But Dr Fleming said she also learnt that Bermuda had “a long way to go” in coming to grips with its long-term care issues and the staggering cost of living among other challenges. “I learnt a great deal and have a greater appreciation for the progress that Bermuda is making in managing its ageing population in comparison to other countries,” Dr Fleming said in a statement. “Specifically, I was able to make reference to Bermuda’s progress with respect to the launching of a Bermuda Health Plan; its Long-Term Care Plan; improvements to health insurance coverage for seniors and the value of Age Concern’s work with respect to advocacy and information programmes such as our annual legal clinics hosted in partnership with MJM here in Bermuda.” The two-day meeting was convened in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from June 1 to 2, to assess the progress made in the implementation of both the San Jose Charter on the Rights of Older Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Dr Fleming added: “I believe my international colleagues were most intrigued by the degree to which Age Concern, as a NGO (non-government organisation), is working with government and the private sector to meet the needs of older people. I did observe, however, that we have a long way to go in getting a handle on our long-term care issues and the staggering cost of living in Bermuda among other challenges that threaten the quality of life of ageing residents, particularly the poor and the vulnerable.” Dr Fleming noted that like all other participating countries, Bermuda has yet to implement a national plan on ageing, “despite the laudable goals of MIPAA and the urgent need to address the rapid ageing of its population and related implications”. Diane Quarless, chief of ECLAC sub regional headquarters for the Caribbean, stated that Dr Fleming “provided great insight into the ageing challenges facing Bermuda which in many ways mirrors that of a number of Latin and Caribbean states”. “In particular, we benefited from her presentation on the role of advocacy in the rights discussion and the importance of educating older adults on the responsibilities that they have in the ageing process.” As part of the conference, Caribbean policymakers from UN member countries identified key actions to expand protection for the human rights of older persons over the next five years. They also reported on the most important measures taken to strengthen protection for the rights of this age group, including new or improved laws, policies and programmes. Panel discussions focused on strategies to promote healthy ageing, social and health protection and the contribution of older persons to family, community and public life. During the final day, representatives agreed on a set of recommendations to further protect and promote the rights of older persons. These will contribute to discussions at the Fourth Regional Intergovernmental Conference on Ageing and the Rights of Older Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will take place from June 27 to 30 in Asuncion, Paraguay. Dr Fleming added: “I was delighted to have been invited by ECLAC to be a part of a very intriguing dialogue and review of the progress of the advancement of the conditions of older persons throughout the Caribbean since the 2002 adoption of the MIPAA. I am also grateful that the Bermuda Government endorsed my attendance. I commend all those working in Bermuda and across Latin America and the Caribbean who are striving diligently to improve the lives of older adults across the region and encourage them to continue in their efforts.”

June 14. An 81-year-old tourist from Williamsburg, Virginia, named in the United States press as Tom Power, died yesterday while swimming at the West End. According to the Bermuda Police Service, Mr Power got into difficulty while swimming off Pompano Beach Club in Southampton, at around 11.40am. He was helped to shore, administered CPR, and taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was later pronounced dead. A police spokesman added: “Foul play is not suspected and a family liaison officer has been assigned to provide support to the deceased’s family at this time.” Mr Power and his wife Mary Ellen Power, owners of popular businesses in the town, were described by the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily as “staples of the community”. Mr Power, known to be a keen swimmer, was said to have been pulled offshore by a current. According to his daughter, Cathy Power Pattisall, he was “doing what he loved with the woman he loved in the place that he loved to be”. The couple had recently been bestowed the Prentis Award by the College of William and Mary. They ran the Cheese Shop and the Fat Canary restaurant on Williamsburg’s Merchants Square.

June 14. We contacted government agencies, organisations and charities to find out what help could be available to the Uighurs. Government House in Bermuda has been in touch with the UK Home Office about the status of the Uighurs naturalization applications but could only tell us: “The Home Office is in direct contact with the Uighurs’ legal representative.” The UK Home Office responded it “does not routinely comment on individual cases”. The charity UNHCR, which launched its Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024, said it was up to the individuals affected to reach out to them directly. The UK Human Rights Commission responded: “Unfortunately, Bermuda falls outside the remit of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and we will not be able to become involved in this case.” Bermuda’s Human Rights Commission said it was “unable to comment at this time”. We approached the US Consul General and were told: “Their travel documentation lies with the UK government so those are the ones who have to comment on that.” Amnesty International’s USA researcher, who has written on rights abuses at Guantánamo Bay, said he was interested in the case but did not have the capacity to work on it at present.

June 14. It has been eight years since four Uighur prisoners were brought to Bermuda from Guantánamo Bay in the dead of night — but the cloak of secrecy surrounding their arrival has yet to be lifted. Sunday marked the anniversary of the June 11, 2009 arrival of the Uighurs, but despite the passage of time, little has ever been revealed about the deal that brought them here. Three public access to information requests have been made by The Royal Gazette to find out more about:

But most of the details remain under wraps, with only one of the Pati requests producing any disclosure. The first request — for all correspondence between the Cabinet Office, including the Premier, and US authorities regarding the four Uighurs — hit an immediate roadblock after it was submitted in January. Cabinet Office information officer Charles Brown advised that the timeframe in the request was too broad, as it sought correspondence between January 1, 2009 to date. This newspaper narrowed the dates to January 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010 but it was to no avail. After repeated searches by Mr Brown, using a variety of search terms, not a single record about the Uighurs was found in the Cabinet Office’s files. Mr Brown told this newspaper on April 25: “We have now conducted a search of the paper file, as well as the email accounts of the senior officers attached to the Cabinet Office at the time and there is no record that has been located containing any of the search terms used.” Cabinet Secretary Derrick Binns is currently considering whether this newspaper has grounds to request an internal review over the lack of disclosure. The second application — for all correspondence on the four Uighurs between Government House and the US authorities, Government House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Government House and the Government of Bermuda — was rejected by Deputy Governor Ginny Ferson on the grounds that the records were exempt from disclosure. John Rankin, the Governor, upheld that decision and the case is under review by the Information Commissioner’s Office. The final request, to the Department of Immigration, did result in some disclosure. This newspaper asked for all records regarding the four men, including any permission they or their dependents have to live and/or work in Bermuda, and any rejections for Bermudian status, permanent residency or any other immigration category. Chief Immigration Officer Danette Ming released eight records: correspondence from immigration officials, with the names of the Uighurs and their dependents redacted. The first, dated July 1, 2009, shows the men were granted special ministerial permission to reside and seek employment in Bermuda, as per section 61 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act. “Prospective employers are not required to apply to this Ministry for permission to employ you,” the letter from the department’s corporate services manager states. “However, in dealing with applications, we trust that your respective employer will ensure that Bermudians and spouses of Bermudians are not disadvantaged in this regard.” A letter dated August 5, 2011, gives permission to reside on an annual basis to an unnamed individual, on the basis that another person has agreed to be financially responsible for them. It expressly forbids the individual from seeking or accepting work. The other letters, all from Dr Ming, deal with permission to land and reside, and permission for a child to attend preschool. Home Affairs permanent secretary Rozy Azhar told this newspaper in a letter: “The documents sent to you were all the records in their files representing any permission the four Uighurs or their dependents have to live and/or work in Bermuda. “I can also confirm that there were no rejections issued for Bermudian status, permanent residency or other immigration category from June 11, 2009 to date.”

June 14. The secret deal to bring the four Uighurs to Bermuda from Guantánamo Bay was sealed after a meeting at the White House, according to Dr Ewart Brown. The former premier agreed to an interview with The Royal Gazette to mark the eighth anniversary of the men’s arrival, telling this newspaper: “Not only do I not have regrets but I’m proud that I did what I think was the right thing to do.” Dr Brown recalled how in May 2009 he was in Washington on a visit to promote Bermuda’s interests, when the United States Senate voted overwhelmingly to bar the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay to the US and its territories, and reject funding for president Barack Obama to close the detention centre. Dr Brown said his wife Wanda mentioned the issue in passing to him at their hotel and he then read an article in the Washington Post about it on his way to a meeting at the White House. “I forgot about it, thinking nothing of it, that it would not come up again,” he said. “It was the furthest thought from my mind.” But at the end of his meeting with an official from the US State Department, the matter did come up. “Just before I left the White House, the under-secretary I was talking to said the president was very upset that Congress would not allow the budget to bring people from Guantánamo to the United States,” said Dr Brown. “He [the under-secretary] said ‘we need some help with this. Do you think Bermuda could help?’ I said we could think about it and then I left. About four or five hours later, I was on the golf course and I got a call to say the White House wanted to see me again. I said ‘what’s it about?’. They said they didn’t want to talk about it [until I got there]. I changed and went down. That’s when I was shown the information on each person. I noticed they had never been charged and they were incarcerated for eight years. It seemed to me that these were some people who needed somebody to help them. I said ‘four people?’. We have 10,000 on work permits and these guys need help. This would be a good opportunity to do something positive. This would be a good opportunity to do something positive for the United States.” The former Progressive Labour Party politician said that second meeting, when he was shown classified documents on Khalil Mamut, Abdulla Abdulqadir, Ablikim Turahun and Salahidin Abdulahad, was with a White House lawyer. “[The lawyer] said ‘this is what we are talking about’. He explained it. He said ‘I have here the classified documents of the people that we are interested in, if you care to look through them, feel free’ and I did. After I looked at those, I was convinced that we couldn’t go wrong.” No pressure was put on him to give an immediate answer, according to Dr Brown, and “absolutely nothing” was offered in return. He asked for time to speak with immigration minister David Burch to check the legality of giving the prisoners refuge on the island. The White House lawyer told him the issue was “extremely confidential” and asked him to limit his conversations about it to the minister. “I knew then that there was some risk involved; that’s the chance we should take.” The Cabinet colleagues discussed the matter via telephone that evening, agreeing to keep the rest of Cabinet out of the loop. Cabinet is a leaky ship. I didn’t think that they would disagree. I knew that they would be upset that they weren’t informed but I didn’t think anybody disagreed with the principle of doing it.” Dr Brown said the absence of a paper trail at the Cabinet Office in relation to the agreement was not surprising, considering the highly secretive nature of the agreement, and the fact that he never sent any e-mails or other written correspondence about it. “It was so quiet,” he said. “[Mr] Burch really handled it extremely confidentially. Confidentiality was requested and respected. Maybe [there was] something in writing between the US State Department and the Minister. I don’t know that to be the case.” Asked if he signed any paperwork, Dr Brown said there may have been a document detailing the “basics” that Bermuda would provide for the Uighurs, such as housing. The morning after his White House meetings, Dr Brown received a call from Mr Burch. “He . . . said ‘we can do this’. I don’t know if he consulted the Constitution. He came back [and] confirmed that we could do it.” After that, he said, the immigration minister took care of the details. “I think it all happened within a week,” said Dr Brown. “I wasn’t that close to it. It was truly a quiet operation. I didn’t want a lot of conversation, even with me. [Mr Burch] just kept dealing with [an official] from the State Department. They worked together. I got a call when he was on his way [to Cuba].” As Mr Burch headed to Guantánamo, Dr Brown called Sir Richard Gozney, who was then the Governor, and told him some Chinese Muslims were being given refuge in Bermuda. “I did not mention Guantánamo,” he admitted, an omission that led to a tense meeting the next day at Government House. Dr Brown said Sir Richard called him on the morning of June 11 and said he had been contacted by “his people” in Washington. “He was very, very upset. He wanted me to come up to Government House and see him immediately and he wanted me to cancel my press conference for later that morning. I said I’d come to see him at Government House as soon as I could get there but that I would not cancel the press conference.” He said when he came face-to-face with Sir Richard, the Governor was “red-faced and very angry. I think he was very embarrassed that he had to explain what had happened to people at the FCO and other places in Britain.” Dr Brown said the Governor raised the fact that he had not mentioned Guantánamo during their call the previous evening. “I said ‘I didn’t know I had to’,” recalled Dr Brown. “It was genuine but by the time he said it I knew he meant I should have sought his permission.” The former premier said the United Kingdom was not mentioned once during his conversations at the White House and, although he dislikes the colonial relationship, “wasn’t giving them the finger when I did it. It wasn’t part of the feeling when I did it but when I started hearing the comments [that he should have sought permission] — what I call the ‘man-boy’ comments, which I considered to be negative and insulting ... I made comments that I didn’t like the relationship.” Eight years on, Dr Brown is insistent that he struck the deal for all the right reasons, believing that helping out the US could only work in Bermuda’s interests, while four men never convicted of any terrorist offence could be given sanctuary. “When I did this, I didn’t think I was being a villain,” he said. “I thought it was a good thing and I thought the Brits would like it. Some of them did, privately. Some highly-placed British politicians were in support of it.” At the time of their arrival, Dr Brown said the Uighurs would be “landed in Bermuda in the short term, provided with the opportunity to become naturalized citizens and thereafter afforded the right to travel and leave Bermuda, potentially settling elsewhere”. But the men remain stateless, with the UK understood to still be considering passport applications. Dr Brown said: “I thought that the British might not have any objection to making them British citizens and they could have. But it’s eight years now. They haven’t, to my knowledge, committed any crime. They have worked hard.” He said the onus was now on either the UK or the US to give the men citizenship, as Bermuda had no ability to do so. “As I have told them personally, it surely is not what I thought it was going to be for them, but it’s better than Guantánamo. If I had had another term in government I think, I know, I would have made another effort to try to get them some assistance from either the Americans or the British. I would have tried to wage an intense campaign to complete the loop of justice for them. It would be the right thing to do.”

June 14. A funeral for Shawn Crockwell has been announced for 4pm on Tuesday at the Southampton Seventh-day Adventist Church on Middle Road. The 47-year-old lawyer and independent MP was found dead at his home in Hamilton Parish on Saturday. As per protocol, the flag outside the Cabinet Office will be flown at half-mast on the day of his funeral. Mr Crockwell is father to Curtis Hill, Shauntino Simons and Maya Crockwell, son of Howard and Juanita Crockwell, and brother to Mark and Juanae. Mr Crockwell was predeceased by grandparents, Edgar and Cecily Crockwell, Lydia “Tim” Furbert, and Arthur Jones. In lieu of a viewing, a memorial service will be held at the church on the day before, at 6.30pm. Instead of flowers, donations are requested for Pride Bermuda. Donations can be made online at pridebermuda.bm. 

June 13. As viewers across the world tune in to watch the America's Cup action from Bermuda, there are some who are taking a far keener interest in the smaller details than most. Engineers and software designers at Michigan-based Altair have a good reason to be watching Artemis Racing — they have skin in the game. The company has been working with the Artemis team since the start of the 35th America's Cup campaign. Altair has used its expertise in engineering and computer software to help design and construct the daggerboards for the Artemis boat. The daggerboards, or foils, are one of the most critical components for the racing team. They are deployed to lift the AC50's twin hulls above the water, reducing drag as the boat races. The foils also transfer side force into forward force. To succeed in its mission, the Altair team had to achieve and integrate into the daggerboards optimal streamlining, formidable integral strength and lightness of material. The exactitude of perfection comes down to minuscule changes of less than a millimeter that can result in additional knots of speed on the water. It is a tall order, but it is exactly the type of challenge on which Altair's team thrives. “Our company is primarily comprised of energetic and bright engineers so we're naturally inclined to seek out difficult problems and find clever ways to solve them,” David Durocher, Altair engineer, told The Royal Gazette. “When you couple really interesting design challenges with an active role in one of the longest running competitions in sports, you can't help but get involved, excited and completely absorbed.” The central role the daggerboards play in aiding Artemis Racing's performance during the America's Cup is a dramatic and highly visible example of what Altair does — but it is only one project in its sizeable portfolio. For instance, Altair collaborated with aerospace companies Airbus and BAE Systems to design wing ribs for the Airbus A380 jet airliner that met a strict weight target, but also fulfilled load and stress checks, compressive buckling problems and design guidelines. “The tendency is to be satisfied with a design that works after weeks and weeks of conventional trial and error. A conventional approach can leave upwards of a 40 per cent mass inefficiency,” said Mr Durocher. Instead, Altair uses computers and software such as its own OptiStruct to analyze, test and tweak structural designs. Doing this on the Airbus project resulted in 500kg weight savings. Using sophisticated optimization algorithms, Altair lets the computer work through “hundreds of design iterations and automatically drive towards the lightest weight design that satisfies ten of thousands of checks”. The company was founded in 1985 and now has regional operations in 22 countries and a staff of more than 2,000. Its involvement in the America's Cup came when an engineer on the Artemis team, who was familiar with OptiStruct, approached the company. The Swedish team wanted to use OptiStruct's topology optimization to design more efficient structures on the team's boat, particularly in the development of the composite daggerboards. The foils are one of the “design freedom areas” where the racing teams can make innovative modifications. Mr Durocher said: “Very small changes of less than a millimeter translate to knots of difference on the water.” America's Cup teams are allowed four foiling daggerboards and provisions for replacements if damage occurs, but the replacements must be identical in geometry and weight to those created before the competition commenced. Late adjustments are not allowed. “All the board fine tuning is done leading up to the races, then it is pencils down,” said Mr Durocher. From its headquarters in Troy, Michigan, the Altair team has been watching the performance of the Artemis Racing in Bermuda with a keen interest in the various components its expertise helped create. However, its engineers have not been needed on the island. “Artemis has carried forward the work that we did for them on the daggerboards and has not needed our day-to-day involvement since,” said Mr Durocher. Altair is proud of its role in helping Artemis Racing, and has created a short video, entitled Surface to Air, documenting its involvement and highlighting challenges and innovations created by the AC50 boats. Having its design work and solutions perform under close scrutiny on the world stage of the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda has been a bonus for the company. And being at the leading edge of development in such a dynamic sport has provided the type of challenge on which the company's engineers, designers and developers thrive. “We're naturally pushing the envelope of our technology faster when we work actively with our customers,” said Mr Durocher. “It's the company structure of Altair. We're an engineering consulting company and a commercial software company; we have engineers actively working important problems that are feeding the guys developing the technology with new challenges and great ideas for solving them.” With so many eyes around the world watching the action in Bermuda, Altair is positioned to attract more interest in its services. Altair has a wide range of technologies that are actively applied across all industries where highly engineered products and designs are needed,” said Mr Durocher. “Whether it's a highly competitive design like the AC50 composite daggerboards, a safer and smarter automobile or a lightweight and more efficient aircraft, you'll see these companies and industries engaging our engineers and using our software to help make better designs.”

June 13. Bermuda looks unlikely to be selected as the host of the 36th America's Cup. Despite the belief this is what Larry Ellison, the Oracle Team USA owner, meant when he told crowds “we'll be back” at the opening ceremony in May, the reality is understood to be different. Mr Ellison's comments caused a stir behind closed doors, according to sources close to the situation, not least because they came as a surprise to many, and elements within his own Oracle team and the America's Cup Event Authority are said to be cooling to the idea of returning. Instead, Bermuda is expected to be offered a stop on an expanded Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series circuit as the teams eye a future of fast and furious racing, packaged for television in a manner similar to Formula One. Tellingly, Mr Ellison made no mention of the Cup itself when he addressed the Bermuda crowds in the America's Cup Village during the opening ceremony on May 27. “If we [Oracle Team USA] sail fast enough, we are definitely going to come back,” he said at the time. The feeling among many is that the omission provides enough wiggle room for Bermuda to be awarded nothing more than a stop on a new circuit. The new framework agreement signed by five of the six teams in January set the platform for this evolution, and talks have already taken place on what the 36th and 37th editions of the Cup, which are scheduled to take place in 2019 and 2021, may look like. This includes a World Series with as many as 12 international regattas, and an expanded field of eight to ten teams. There is a strong possibility that one of those new teams will have a Spanish connection after Sir Russell Coutts, the ACEA chief executive, raised the issue with Juan Carlos I, the former King of Spain, during his visit to Bermuda last week. As well as watching the racing, Juan Carlos was given a tour of several team bases, where he chatted to sailors and designers about the new America's Cup Class yachts. The inclusion of Spain, plus the expected return of an Italian team, could potentially add two more European stops to the next World Series, which is being slated to begin as early as October. The ACEA declined to comment on the possibility of Bermuda missing out on hosting the Cup the next time around, pointing out that the eventual winner this month would be the ones making that decision. And all the talk of a bright new future could be scuppered if Emirates Team New Zealand, the only team not to sign up to the new framework agreement, walk away with the “Auld Mug”. An ACEA spokesman said: “Bermuda is a truly wonderful home for the 35th America's Cup. The future of the America's Cup is exciting, with the majority of teams agreeing to a set of rules that will continue to build upon the momentum generated by the entire 35th America's Cup campaign, including the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series events that were staged around the world in the two years leading into the current events in Bermuda. “However, under the new rules proposed, the choice of venue for the next America's Cup Match will still lie with the defender, as per the Deed of Gift. Until the defender of the 36th America's Cup is identified, by winning the 35th America's Cup presented by Louis Vuitton, all discussions about the choice of venue are speculation and, therefore, not something the ACEA can comment on.” With the racing in Bermuda providing plenty of excitement for television and attracting a new breed of fan, commercial considerations have come to the fore as never before; especially when the likes of Land Rover BAR have budgeted some $100 million on this Cup alone. The relationship with Formula One has led to Artemis Racing linking up with Martini Racing and, by extension, the knowledge and experience of F1 team Williams; while BAR brought in Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren principal, as chief executive. Whitmarsh told The Daily Telegraph last month that he saw the America's Cup as a “fascinating business model”, which mirrored the rise of Formula One. “We have something now which is dramatically exciting on television,” he said. “The real essence, the real driving force behind F1 was television.” Whitmarsh also pointed to the creation of BAR's state-of-the-art facility in Portsmouth as evidence of the long-term planning that was taking place with regards to the America's Cup, much like McLaren's base was for the F1 team. “We're not building for one campaign,” he told the Telegraph. “Traditionally, the America's Cup has been billionaire-based and one campaign at a time. We're doing something different. The MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] drew people to it because it said: 'This is a business that is here for the long haul, this is a palace of engineering. What you have [at the Land Rover BAR base] is a sort of MTC on the sea.”

June 13. The America’s Cup Village will be closed for three days this week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday— despite that fact that the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup competition will be continuing on Thursday and Friday. TeamBDA finish their qualifying races this evening, but teams in Group A will be battling it out on the Great Sound on Thursday and Friday and the public have been advised to watch those races from the shore or on boats. The Village will reopen on Saturday when the main event — the finals of the America’s Cup between defenders Oracle and Emirates New Zealand — gets under way with the first two races of the series. Americas Cup Village tickets are still available for June 17, June 18 and June 25 although Grandstand seating and tickets to the Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar are sold out on all days of the America’s Cup match. There is, however still some limited corporate hospitality. AC ferries will operating every day that the America’s Cup Village is open as will the Park n Ride programme. Both can be booked in advance online at www.americascup.com/tickets

Tuesday, June 13. Emirates Team New Zealand earned the right to do battle with defender Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, while Team Bermuda made a promising start to their Red Bull Youth America’s Cup campaign on the Great Sound yesterday. The Kiwis clinched their berth in the final of sailing’s holy grail for the second straight time after seeing off Artemis Racing 5-2 in the best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals. Team New Zealand started the day with a comfortable two-point advantage and sealed the deal with as many matches to spare. “We’re really happy to be going back to the Cup match and we feel like we can bring it home,” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “It felt like the first day we’ve had the configuration spot-on. That showed during the race as the boat was going seriously fast. We got a good start and we definitely feel like we’re in great shape to take on Oracle. ”The Kiwis’ passage through to the final has been anything but smooth sailing as they capsized and broke both wing sails in their semi-final against Land Rover BAR. “One thing about this team is they’ve dug really deep to get us to this point,” Burling, the youngest helmsman in the fleet, said. “We’ve kept making the boat go faster while fixing things that were broken, and that showed today with how much quicker we were going. We’re just super excited to take on Oracle.” Glenn Ashby, the Team New Zealand skipper and wing trimmer, is looking forward to having another crack at Oracle after the Kiwis blew what seemed an impregnable 8-1 lead against the American defender at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013. “We debriefed after San Francisco and the lessons that we learnt have absolutely made us a stronger team going forward,” Ashby said. Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis helmsman, was disappointed to bow out of the regatta, but exemplified great sportsmanship in defeat. “It’s obviously disappointing that our challenge has ended today,” he said. “But I’m really happy with how we put together this campaign for this Cup here in Bermuda. “Hats off to Team New Zealand, they’ve sailed a good event and we’ve had some really good battles with them.” Meanwhile, Team BDA demonstrated that they will be no pushovers, thriving in the non-foiling conditions to keep their bid to qualify for the final of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup on track. The local team finished day one of the regatta third overall in pool B after posting an impressive 4-3-2 record in the three fleet races contested. “We wanted to start really consistently and get some good results on the board, and we managed to do that,” Mackenzie Cooper, the Team BDA skipper, said. Land Rover BAR Academy topped pool B after the first day.

June 13. Reality show fans received a glimpse of Bermuda this weekend as The Real Housewives of Potomac visited the island. The most recent episode of the United States show, which airs on Bravo, was entitled Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle and featured the cast venturing from Maryland to Bermuda on a vacation. Throughout the episode, the audience is given a look at the Fairmont Southampton, Gombeys and Bermuda’s coastal views with the cast praising the island’s beauty while dealing with their interpersonal issues. Several of the ladies also took a ride on the SoftBank Team Japan boat, while others went jet skiing in St George’s. The show, now in its second season, is one of several programmes in the Housewives series. The show’s first season attracted an estimated 2.1 million viewers per episode and has been broadcast in New Zealand and Britain in addition to the US. A spokesman for the Bermuda Tourism Authority said yesterday that the producers of the show had approached their marketing team with the idea of filming a part of the season in Bermuda. “We provided planning and logistical support, but beyond that the Real Housewives were left to discover Bermuda on their own — the same way an increasing number of air visitors are discovering the island,” the spokesman said. “It’s our understanding the Real Housewives visit went well with a good sampling of adventure and culture experiences around the island. “Add this to the America’s Cup coverage beamed around the world right now and it’s been a good month of television exposure for Bermuda’s tourism product. This is the kind of exposure that puts Bermuda in a good position for continued growth.”

June 13. A full investigation has been launched into a “sensational and speculative” voice note left by a fire service member regarding the death of Shawn Crockwell. The Bermuda Police Service yesterday condemned the recording, shared on social media, which described the supposed circumstances surrounding the discovery of the independent MP, as well as his condition. The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service responded shortly afterwards, saying it had launched an inquiry into the matter and that it would act swiftly if professional standards had not been maintained. Mr Crockwell’s body was found at his home in Hamilton Parish on Saturday at about 4pm. News spread rapidly shortly afterwards as the 21-second-long note was circulated among the public. At 7pm, a police spokesman officially announced the death of the 47-year-old father of three. In a statement yesterday, police said: “The Bermuda Police Service has verified that a voice note circulating on social media with alleged circumstances of MP Shawn Crockwell’s sudden death did not come from a police officer. “The contents of the voice note are disturbing in that they make sensational and speculative comments about the scene that are not true. It has been confirmed that the voice on the recording belongs to a member of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service. Accordingly, the matter has been referred to the Chief Fire Officer who has initiated an internal investigation.” Asked whether charges could be expected, Assistant Commissioner Martin Weekes responded: “The Bermuda Police Service investigation will examine the entire circumstances connected to the sudden death of MP Crockwell, including speaking to Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service personnel.” Chief Fire Officer Reginald Lloyd Burchall described the incident as “a serious issue which is being fully investigated”. He added: “First responders are required to operate at the highest levels of competence and sensitivity. Our firefighters are well trained and answer calls around the island every day, professionally, and in keeping with our expected high standards. Where that standard is not met or some breach occurs, we act swiftly to ensure that public confidence in the BFRS remains high.” Mr Burchall extended his sympathies to the family of Mr Crockwell, and said he would “pray for their comfort at this difficult time”. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security said Senator Jeff Baron, the minister, was aware of the issue and understood that both the BPS and BFRS were looking into the matter. A full inquiry into Mr Crockwell’s death is under way. However, when asked yesterday whether the date and time for Mr Crockwell’s death had been determined, a police spokesman said: “Please note that the Bermuda Police Service will not be releasing specific details relating to the ongoing investigation into the sudden death of MP Crockwell.”

June 13. A 32-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis following a search warrant early this year. Police attended a residence on Fentons Drive, Pembroke, with a canine unit shortly before 5.30pm on January 7. Magistrates’ Court heard that officers asked Okeisha Clarke if she was in possession of any illegal drugs. “Yes, in my back pocket,” she replied. The marijuana, totaling 3.39 grams, and a partially-burnt marijuana cigarette were seized by police. Asked by Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo if she had anything to say in court, Clarke responded: “They didn’t have to look for it. I gave it up. I was co-operative.” He adjourned sentencing until Tuesday, June 27, pending reports. Clarke was granted $1,000 bail.

June 12, late pm. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals. Race 7 re-run: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by 0:56 in a 5-2 win. It was a dueling blast reach off the start, and the Kiwis took the leeward position. They drove Artemis up to weather, so they could peel off and get a good lead at the first mark. New Zealand had a massive gain on the right side of the course doing 32 knots while Artemis were at 25 knots. New Zealand had a 19-second lead at the leeward gate. New Zealand built their upwind gap to a huge lead of 35 seconds at the weather mark. There was a large right-hand wind shift making it a reach downwind and extra pressure for the Kiwis, too. New Zealand led at the next turn by 44 seconds. Going upwind on Leg five the Kiwis led by up to 350 metres. New Zealand were doing 30 knots plus and Artemis at 26 again. New Zealand made the turn onto leg six with a 58-second lead. This was the last chance for Artemis, but not much of one. They were just looking for a breakdown to save them. New Zealand made the final gybe onto the finish leg and blasted to the finish close to the wall in front of the America’s Cup Village grandstand 56 seconds ahead of the Swedes. Now Emirates Team New Zealand are the Challengers for the 35th America’s Cup and will face Defender Oracle Team USA in the Match starting on Saturday, a repeat of America’s Cup 34. Can the team redeem?

June 12. late pm. Race 7: Emirates Team New Zealand v Artemis Racing — abandoned, time. At the start, the wind at Morgan’s Point was seven knots at 233 degrees; at Commissioner’s House in Dockyard, it was ten knots at 243 degrees; and at Pearl Island, it was nine knots at 232 degrees. The boats went to the line and seemed to be running on time and distance to start. Artemis was over early, according to the digital starting line measurement. They were over by just a metre going fast. New Zealand stayed out of trouble in the start and timed their run perfectly. They flew across the line as the clock ticked down to zero. This was the first time New Zealand had led around the first mark in the series. New Zealand took an extra tack approaching the downwind gate to the left mark to get the wind advantage on the right-hand side upwind. Team New Zealand hit a big lull going upwind and could not even foil, so Artemis caught up and, as they crossed, there was a dial-down and a dip. Both boats were struggling to get to shifts and puffs, just struggling to get up the course. The boats came into the left-hand mark both on starboard tack. New Zealand had the right of way inside the zone and to leeward. The Kiwis came up in a luff and Artemis didn’t keep clear, and were penalized for it. The boats were going so slow downwind that Artemis had trouble dropping back two boat lengths to wipe off the penalty. The course was shortened to finish at the next mark if the boats could even make it in time. The boats had five minutes to get 1,200 metres to the new finish line or the race would be abandoned and re-sailed. They had 900 metres to go within just over a minute. Neither boat could reach the finish in that time. Iain Murray, race director, announced that the race was abandoned and instructed the boats to return to the starting area to try to re-sale it when the breeze kicks back in. The rain squalls have sucked up the wind. When they pass, the breeze should fill back in. Average wind speed fell to about a half-knot. Murray said: “We have absolutely no breeze. We just have to wait and see what happens.”

June 12. American International Group is to sell $590 million of shares in Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer Arch Capital Group. AIG, which has many Bermuda-incorporated subsidiaries, last month appointed former Hamilton Insurance Group chief Brian Duperreault as president and CEO, acquired more than 6.38 million common shares last year through the conversion of 638,141 convertible preferred shares the US-based giant got as a result of the sale of United Guaranty Corporation to Arch. The offering is scheduled to close on Wednesday and is subject to the usual closing conditions. AIG said it had given underwriters a 30-day option to buy an additional 957,210 common shares in Arch, which would be issuable on conversion of 95,721 additional convertible preferred shares, worth about $89 million. After that, AIG would still own 542,420 convertible shares in Arch, which are subject to a lock-up which expires in mid-January next year.

June 12. A 124ft yacht from the Isle of Man ran aground in the Great Sound yesterday afternoon and an effort was being planned to have it pulled free. According to the duty officer at Bermuda Maritime Operation Centre, the yacht called Jetsetter ran aground in the vicinity of Stag Rocks in the Dockyard area at around 1pm. There were no reports of water intake or of any injuries. A plan was being co-ordinated through Marine and Ports for the tug Faithful to attempt to pull the vessel free around high tide at 11pm last evening. The officer added: “We will have to assess it from thereon. Most of the passengers have been taken off.”

June 12. Flora Duffy recorded her second successive ITU World Triathlon Series victory by romping home to win the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds in England yesterday. The Bermudian, who was always near the front of the pack before breaking clear early in the run, completed the course in 1hr 57min 2sec. Trailing her exactly a minute-and-a-half behind was Taylor Spivey, of the United States, with Italian Alice Betto third in 1:59:36. Her victory comes four weeks after another dominant victory in Yokohama, Japan, in which she beat American Katie Zaferes by 1min 51sec. Duffy managed to exit the waters just seconds behind Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth, which set herself up perfectly to have an ideal cycle. Coming out of the first transition, a small group of women instantly joined together on the bike, but as Learmonth slowed down in the first 12km countryside lap to wait for compatriot Non Stanford, the lead group lost its connection and narrowed down to only four riders. The front four of Duffy, Spivey, Betto and Maya Kingma, of Netherlands, pushed ahead as three of the rookie women tried to keep up with the masterclass of Duffy’s riding. However the four managed to work well together as they continued to gain a healthy lead over the chase groups. As the main four steadily increased their advantage, they ultimately were untouched on the bike course, entering the bell lap with a lead of 2:30. Entering the second transition, Duffy was off in an instant and never looked back. Her ability in the bike catapulted her into a perfect position to blast off on the run and bypass her younger and less experienced fellow cyclists. While the chase pack contained many strong runners, with the huge deficit, Duffy secured the fastest run, 35:04, to claim gold. “I came out of the water in a good position and luckily the girls on the bike were keen to work with me,” Duffy told the WTS website. “So perhaps they picked up on if you ride hard there is an opportunity to podium, so we made a huge gap and yeah it was fantastic. You know this was Taylor’s [Spivey] first podium and Alice’s [Betto] as well, so that is really cool and I am super happy for them. Four was perfect, especially when we came into the circuit because it is so technical here, so the smaller the group is the faster you get through the corners and just the more efficient you are. Those girls rode super well technically so it helped the speed, so we just gradually just put more and more time into the chase group, which was pretty cool,” she said of the small lead bunch she cycled with. “Obviously you go into each race with a goal, so yeah it is nice that I have won the first two, which kind of came as a surprise but I guess I will just keep the momentum going.” Leading British triathlete Vicky Netherlands said on the BBC’s UK coverage that Duffy has taken the sport to a new level and wondered how anyone was going to beat her this year. A good Bermudian contingent, including Charlie and Maria Duffy, featured heavily in the British network’s coverage. The series moves on to Hamburg, Germany, from July 15 to 16, with races to come in Edmonton, Montreal, and Stockholm before the season finale in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from September 14 to 17.

June 12. The community has paid tribute to a man of intellect and moral fortitude who had a deep love for his country with the passing of Shawn Crockwell. Whether it was engaging with young people on the importance of education, fighting a cause in the courts of law or representing his fellow countrymen in the political arena, he did so with heartfelt passion and insight, according to his family and friends. Damon Hendrickson, the pastor for the Somerset and Rockaway Seventh-day Adventist Churches, said he liked to think that his cousin, who passed away at his Hamilton home at the age of 47, was “on a journey. One of the things he learnt from faith is that it is important to serve others before yourself. As he got older, he tried to position himself where he could be influential and serve others in the best capacity he could. That is why he wanted to get into politics: the whole notion of being able to help not just a small faith community but being able to help the larger community. He was active on every level. I like to think that my cousin was on a journey and it was a journey that was cut short. You could hear it in the tone of his talk and the tenor of his speech that he was growing as a man, and we hadn’t yet seen the best that Shawn Crockwell had to offer to this island. In many ways he was seen as a leader of our country — where he could have gone to who knows, but with his desire to serve and the God-given abilities that he was blessed with, I don’t believe there was any ceiling to what he could have done in this country.” Mr Hendrickson also described Mr Crockwell as a man of faith who cherished his family. “He loved and cared deeply about his family. As he got older, that only deepened further. He grew up in the Southampton Seventh-day Adventist Church — he was one of the founding members of the Southampton Inspirational Choir. At one point in time, Shawn fancied that maybe he might go into ministry, but that quickly turned into a love for law.” Chief Justice Ian Kawaley spoke highly of Mr Crockwell’s aptitude as a lawyer: “I had the privilege to be involved with Shawn Crockwell during his early legal education. He was extremely bright and showed great promise. He fulfilled that promise after he was Called to the Bar. He consistently displayed a high degree of intellectual clarity, integrity and professionalism whenever he appeared in court. He could have had a comfortable, successful and quiet commercial legal career, but had the courage and civic-mindedness to enter the demanding arena of public service as well. Shawn Crockwell will be sorely missed but not forgotten by Bermuda’s legal fraternity.” His close friend from childhood and university contemporary, Wayne Caines, reflected on a life with his friend that was akin to “a life from a storybook”. He and Mr Crockwell met when they attended the Bermuda Institute in 1982. Mr Caines and his twin brother, Dwayne, were quick to befriend Mr Crockwell and their families became close. As the boys matured together, they became “inseparable”. Graduating from the Bermuda Institute, Mr Crockwell went to study in Canada before rejoining his friend at the Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama. They were roommates and both studied history and political science together. They were also members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, which “develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities” and were members of the Rho Chi Chapter. “We attended the Adventist church, we ministered in music all over Bermuda. Singing, which was one of Shawn’s passions,” Wayne Caines recalled. “He was a fastidious student and showed exceeding discipline. In class he was able to ask the intellectual questions, to probe to get to the bottom of the matter. He was disciplined in sport and in diet — it was noteworthy that for a young man he wanted to incorporate a law firm called C&C Incorporated. Unfortunately, we never got to see that come to fruition. Being members of the fraternity was a huge opportunity for us to develop a deep bond as brothers. It is a blow for his brothers in the fraternity, for our church family and for his family, but we know he has left an indelible mark on our community.” The pair were also in a college group, Willing, Succeeding and Blessed, for which they used drama to recruit students for the university. They held talks around the United States, speaking with children about the benefits of education. Mr Caines spoke of his admiration for how Mr Crockwell was able to deal with adversity, saying that despite the prison spell he served, “he was able to excel, rehabilitate and change lives”. Mr Crockwell used his time in prison to study law. In 2009, he was Called to the Bar and was elected as an MP for Pembroke West in December 2007. “He was able to make change in our country. Most recently I was able to talk to him about the changes in politics. He was committed to making a change in Bermuda and he and I spoke about my commitment and how we could make a change together. It is difficult for me to take it in because we were just talking about what Bermuda would look like if we could take it in a different direction. Most importantly, the people in his community, whether it is the Seventh-day Adventist community of faith, whether it is the brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated, the members of the OBA, the members of the PLP or the members of the community at large, we should focus on the positive things in his life and how he tried to effect change to stand up against wrongdoing. We should all use this as an example in our lives of how we are to govern ourselves and use his message and life’s mantra as a beacon to guide hope and give light in this dark world.” Longtime friend Alan Dunch said he was “tremendously shocked and saddened” by news of Mr Crockwell’s death. Mr Dunch, a lawyer at MJM, said his relationship with Mr Crockwell dated back to the latter’s days as a Supreme Court clerk. He said the two had been professional colleagues and friends for the past decade. “I considered Shawn a good friend,” Mr Dunch said. He described Mr Crockwell as a very dedicated and loving family man, particularly to his daughter. “I have very fond memories of her coming to the office and visiting with him, and visiting me,” Mr Dunch said. “It’s a tremendous loss for her and for the family.” Professionally, Mr Crockwell was a very good lawyer, Mr Dunch added. “He and I worked closely, side by side, and I had tremendous respect for his legal ability.” Mr Dunch said that he would remember Mr Crockwell most for his determination to put his past behind him and pursue the career path he had wanted to chart from a young age. “The community at large has lost someone who made every effort to contribute in as meaningful a way as he could,” he said. Fellow lawyer Charles Richardson wrote in a post online: “Despite being on opposite political teams, we began this journey together. I have seen him at his best and his worst, and I vouch for him as one of the most sincere persons I have known.” Mr Crockwell leaves behind his parents, Howard and Juanita Crockwell; sons Shauntino and Curtis; daughter Maya; brother Mark Crockwell; sister Juanae; former wife Susan Davis and his special friend Cami Bean-Caines.

June 12. Several government facilities are set to close early on Thursday as staff mourn the passing of long-serving public works employee William Evans. According to a spokeswoman, the Airport Waste Management Facility, the Marsh Folly Composting Facility and Waste Collection are all set to close an noon so staff can attend Mr Evan’s funeral. All three are expected to reopen at the normal time the following day. “To service residents of the west end, the Ministry of Public Works requests that west end household waste be placed out for collection on Wednesday with trucks collecting in that area all day Wednesday, and up until noon on Thursday,” the spokeswoman said. “Household waste should be securely bagged, and placed at regular collection sites, preferably in lidded bins to avoid scavenging by wildlife. The ministry also reminds the public of the change in waste collection the week of June 19, National Heroes Day, when east end garbage will be collected on Tuesday, June 20 and west end garbage will be collected on Wednesday, June 21. Recyclables will be collected in the west on Thursday and in the east on Friday. For the full garbage and recycling schedule, see the BTC Phone Book blue pages or the government web portal, www.gov.bm.

June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 4: Artemis Racing beat Emirates Team New Zealand by 0:15. All the spectators were looking for more aggressive starts and they got it. After some aggressive luffing, Artemis Racing gapped off to windward of New Zealand, then cracked off for speed and outraced them to the middle mark to turn downwind clear ahead. But they were sailing a seven-leg course and the wind is what matters. Going downwind, Artemis were hitting 43 knots and New Zealand were at 38. Artemis led turning upwind. It was another tacking duel, with the Kiwis chipping away. New Zealand found speed and pressure to the left and rounded an opposite mark only nine seconds behind. Downwind, Artemis chose the right side and it seemed to be the favourite choice. The boats crossed sides, and coming into the upwind mark, Artemis led by 20 seconds. Artemis had chosen the better side of the course in the previous downwind rounding and improved all the way up. The Swedes kept their lead on leg five when suddenly the Artemis boat leapt out of the water and their daggerboard foils broke through the waves, catching nothing but air. They dived a bow into the waves and suddenly aimed left heading for New Zealand. New Zealand turned away to avoid, they thought, a potential crash and pressed for a penalty. But the umpires ruled no penalty. Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge later said: “We just wanted to keep it interesting for everyone.” Artemis barely led around the mark on to leg six and through the short leg seven to the finish. This result means racing will continue tomorrow. Artemis’s top speed was 48.5 knots and speed was king. Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand are level at 2-2

June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by retirement.  This time the Kiwis got the outside lane, but couldn’t outspeed Artemis who carried them up the course from their leeward right-of-way position. Then Artemis peeled off downwind first and led around the bottom mark by 15 seconds. Going back upwind on leg three the two crossed tacks and, then at the next crossing, Artemis tacked on the Kiwis’ track. Artemis led by six metres as they turned at the boundary. The Kiwis took control to leeward, luffed up and pressed for a penalty, and Artemis tacked away to keep clear. New Zealand passed Artemis in the move. The Kiwis led at the top mark by 15 seconds and by more than 200 metres going downwind. On the first Artemis gybe, they almost lost another player over the side. He was spinning around the windward shroud for a few seconds before regaining control. The Kiwi boat led by 18 seconds going into leg five with a 178-metre lead. It was a puffy day with shifts thrown in, too, and there were lots of choices for the skippers and tacticians. The Kiwis were extending their lead. The wind was dropping and the Kiwis had gone with light-air daggerboards for the day. Wind in the first race was about 16 knots and in the second race it was down to about 10.5 knots. Turning on to the downwind leg six, the Kiwis had picked up 21 more seconds more to lead by 39 seconds. The Kiwis’ decision to use light-air daggerboards paid off in this race. The Swedes retired without taking the final leg. They had a technical problem with the port daggerboard and, as they prepared for the start of the day’s third race, were working out which system needed repair. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Artemis Racing 3-2. 

June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 6: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by 0:01. Artemis took the leeward position off the start line again and once again pushed the Kiwis upwind from the right-of-way position, peeled away clearly ahead and led down past the middle mark to round ahead at the leeward mark on to leg three. The Kiwis followed Artemis around the left-hand mark, but then tacked early to get clear air and a split. Coming together, Artemis did a fake dial down, like a head fake at New Zealand, who fell into a deep avoiding dip. The Kiwis gained and were very close and, as they came into the weather mark on starboard, they split roundings to opposite marks in the gate. The Kiwis came out fast for the smooth rounding with the split at the top and got a passing lane to sneak ahead of Artemis. Gybing down leg four, both boats had foiled 100 per cent. They rounded with Artemis only metres behind going on to leg five. The Kiwis extended their lead by pointing higher with about the same boat speed; that means they had better VMG [velocity made good] to the weather gate. They were extending their lead with every tack. Going into the downwind turn, New Zealand led by 16 seconds The Kiwis had a huge lead and Sweden had no options left. All they could hope for was a Kiwi breakdown. And they almost got it. The Kiwi boat was flying for the finish and looked like they were going to crash into the final gate before the dogleg to the finish. They had a bad gybe because they apparently lost juice in their hydraulics and they just dropped off their foils and virtually stopped. Frantically, the peddlers pumped it up and the Kiwis got it going to win by a beak and cop a photo-finish win. This was the race of the year so far. New Zealand have reached match point. Tomorrow is “do or die” for Artemis, who need a repeat of their heroics against SoftBank Team Japan to move on to the Match on Saturday. Can they do it? Emirates Team New Zealand lead Artemis Racing 4-2.

June 11. Shawn Crockwell had suffered “bouts of ill health” for some time, according to his best friend and business partner. Mark Pettingill spoke for the first time yesterday, to The Royal Gazette, about the death of Mr Crockwell, who was found in an unresponsive state at his Hamilton Parish home on Saturday afternoon. The clearly distraught lawyer described himself as “lost” and paid touching tribute to his 47-year-old friend, with whom he was due to fly to New York yesterday. Referring to how inseparable they were, Mr Pettingill said: “I don’t yet know what Butch Cassidy does without the Sundance Kid.” In his full prepared statement, he said: “I woke up to a world today that will never be quite the same, not because of the death of my best friend, but because of his life. Shawn Crockwell was iconic. He was incredibly intellectual, erudite, caring and kind, coupled with a rapier wit. He was deeply loyal to his family and friends and courageous in his beliefs, steadfast in his ability to reflect on his own views and accept his own consideration and assessment to change his stance if driven to the conclusion that it was the right thing to do. [He had] a wisdom few can lay claim to. He loved Bermuda and its people and wanted the best for us, embracing change if that’s what was called for. Despite his public persona, he was a very private person and had suffered for some time with bouts of ill health. I realize that many people are stunned by his passing and are questioning the cause. Having his confidence, as I did, and given communications between us in the hours before this tragedy, I must accept that his struggle with his health led to this escape. I would please encourage people to accept this and rejoice in the life of this special human being, his journey, his rise, his fortitude, his character. He was a true beacon to all of us that at some time may falter in our lives, [showing us] that with hard work and determination and love, great things can be accomplished. I know today mine is not the only broken heart and the depth of despair and grief of his family must be immeasurable. I can only pray and hope that one day, not far away, the pain will be replaced with only smiles. The smiles that ‘Crock’ in one way or another brought to so many in our island home. I don’t know yet what Butch Cassidy did without the Sundance Kid but to carry his indomitable spirit and light always in heart and mind must be the answer. Peace and love.” Mr Crockwell and Mr Pettingill met more than two decades ago when the former was a clerk at the Supreme Court and the latter a young lawyer. They became friends before Mr Crockwell served time in jail and the friendship deepened upon his release, after he pursued a career in law and joined the United Bermuda Party, where Mr Pettingill was also a member. The pair were founding members of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance and went on to help form the One Bermuda Alliance. They served in the Cabinet together but, eventually, both quit the party to become independent MPs. They returned to private practice law as partners at Chancery Legal.

June 11. Independent MP and prominent lawyer Shawn Crockwell was found dead at his home on Saturday afternoon, stunning his parliamentary colleagues and sparking an avalanche of tributes. Within three hours of his body’s discovery, police had affirmed there was no suspicion of “foul play”. Last night, Mark Pettingill, Mr Crockwell’s close friend, released a short statement on behalf of the family: “They wish to thank everyone that has given such an outpouring of love and support in relation to the loss of their beloved son Shawn. They would please ask that people not speculate in relation to the cause of death. Once the inquiry into the circumstances of his passing are finalized, they will issue a further statement. I would ask that people, at this time, respect their privacy.” Mr Crockwell had suffered “bouts of ill health” for some time, according to his best friend and business partner Mr Pettingill. A pivotal figure in Bermuda politics, Mr Crockwell quit Cabinet in March last year, citing his loss of confidence in the One Bermuda Alliance under Michael Dunkley, the Premier. Less than four months later he left the party altogether, revealing he would take his place in the House of the Assembly as an independent. In March this year, he was joined by Mr Pettingill, who also left the OBA and stated he, too, would stand as an independent. Last month, when Progressive Labour Party leader David Burt announced he would propose a vote of no confidence in Parliament — due to take part last Friday — Mr Crockwell told The Royal Gazette that he would vote against his former party, potentially tipping the balance of power. That vote was staved off by the Premier, who called a General Election for July 18, resulting in the dissolution of Parliament. In a rare show of unity, the OBA and PLP have suspended election campaigning for 48 hours. Mr Pettingill was one of the first visitors to Mr Crockwell’s Hamilton Parish home after the body was discovered at about 4pm. Also on the scene was PLP MP Wayne Furbert, who later sang a touching tribute, which was posted on Facebook. At 7pm on Saturday, a police spokesman announced the former tourism minister’s death. “Mr Crockwell was found in an unresponsive state at a Hamilton Parish residence around 4pm today. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene by the attending doctor. Initial inquiries suggest that foul play is not suspected.” A full inquiry regarding the MP’s death is now under way, and a family liaison officer has been appointed to offer support, the spokesman said. Mr Crockwell, 47, was divorced and had three children — two sons and a daughter. As word spread of lawyer’s death, tributes began to flow. “It is devastating, shocking news, and it hurts,” Mr Dunkley said. “On behalf of colleagues in the One Bermuda Alliance and the people of Bermuda, I extend deepest condolences to Shawn’s family — his children, his brother and sister, his mother and father, of whom he was so proud and inspired by. I can’t imagine the trauma they are going through right now. Despite our recent political differences, Shawn remained my good friend. Together we watched our beloved Dallas Cowboys, talked Premier League football and had laughs. He was one of the brightest, most talented people I’ve had the pleasure to know. No one overcame his personal difficulties with more flair and accomplishment than Shawn, completing his law degree in prison and emerging to be an effective advocate for people. In the floor of the House of Assembly, he was a gifted and compelling speaker — smart, logical and passionate, always interesting. When Shawn spoke, the Chamber listened. As a government minister, he was effective, getting things done, and he brought razor-sharp intelligence to the Cabinet table. This is a tragedy that is incomprehensible to me. Shawn was a Bermudian success story, full of promise and possibilities. I will miss him.” OBA chairwoman Lynne Woolridge said on Saturday: “It is with a profound sense of shock and sadness that we learnt today of the death of our colleague, Shawn Crockwell. Shawn’s enthusiasm, passion and dedication to serving the people of Bermuda was unquestioned. Shawn will be missed, but his legacy and his work to uplift all Bermudians will live on. As a mark of respect, and as we come to terms with this tragic loss, the OBA will be suspending election campaigning until further notice. On behalf of the people of Bermuda, I offer my sincere condolences to his family, associates and friends.” In a statement released on Saturday evening, the Leader of the Opposition said: “The members of the Progressive Labour Party are stunned and deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of one of Bermuda’s honourable sons, Shawn Crockwell. “Shawn was a rare man of conviction and courage; when communing with him, you could clearly see that God granted Shawn the courage to promote, defend and pursue his convictions regardless of the favour or foul of any observer. I believe Shawn’s life was a testament to the heights that can be attained if one strives to overcome formidable obstacles. Many have convictions, fewer have the required courage to stick to them, and fewer still use those gifts to serve their fellow man. Shawn Crockwell did so both in his vocation and his profession, and those he served will no doubt miss his counsel and compassion. Out of respect for Shawn’s sincere and meaningful contribution to the political discourse in our beloved country, the PLP will be suspending all campaign activities and advertising for a period of 48 hours. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Shawn’s family and loved ones during this time. Bermuda will be all the poorer for your loss.” Mr Crockwell was head of the litigation department at Chancery Legal, practising in all areas of civil and criminal litigation. Before joining the firm, he was behind legislation for the Casino Gaming Act 2014 and the Bermuda Tourism Authority Act 2014. He was Called to the Bar in 2009 and was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Saturday, June 10.  Artemis Racing’s man overboard drill was put to the test as team skipper Nathan Outteridge lost his footing and fell into the water on day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals on the Great Sound today. Emirates Team New Zealand was the top boat on the day, twice coming from behind to carve out a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-nine series. However, the focal point of discussion back on the dock after an exciting day of close racing in trying, flat water conditions was Outteridge’s dramatic and unscheduled swim. The mishap occurred during the day’s third and final match with Artemis barely ahead of the charging Kiwis by four metres as the teams closed in on the weather mark. The Swedes came off their foils in a poorly executed port tack and while crossing to the leeward hull, Outteridge slipped and fell overboard, leaving his team-mates to fend for themselves the rest of the way. “It was disappointing falling overboard,” Outteridge said. “I tried to grab some net or a bit of the boat and just missed everything and ended up in the water. Once I resurfaced, I looked up made a little prayer and wished the guys the best of luck.” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, added: “I didn’t really realize he had gone overboard. We came out of that first tack knowing we were going to have a piece of the top mark We had our heads down making sure we were getting everything out of our boat we could to make sure we got past and then realized they had slowed down, and didn’t really realize why until we sailed past them about a minute or so later.” Very little separated two evenly matched teams who were locked at 1-1 in the overall series when disaster struck Artemis and virtually handed the Kiwis the match. “Up until I went overboard, the boat was performing very nicely and maneuvering very well, and so we are really happy with the improvement we’ve made to the boat,” Outteridge said. Understandably, Burling was delighted to see his team seize early control of the series. “Our first sail we felt the boat was going really fast today,” he said. “We definitely didn’t feel like we had it set up quite 100 per cent because the breeze was going up and down, we were kind of chasing it all day. But really happy to walk away with two wins.” The eventual winner of the Challenger Finals will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. Racing continues tomorrow.

June 10. Nathan Outteridge believes his team’s new-found confidence and keeping things simple are the keys to beating Emirates Team New Zealand in the finals of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs. Artemis rattled off four wins on the trot to beat SoftBank Team Japan in the semi-finals, wrapping up a 5-3 victory yesterday on the Great Sound. They return to the water today to take on a New Zealand side firmly ensconced as favorites after their dominant performance in the Qualifiers, and equally dominant win over Land Rover BAR in their semi-final. Still, Outteridge believes the momentum his team have built over the past couple of days will make for some close racing. “It’s nice to be hitting some form now,” the Artemis skipper said. “If we can keep the momentum going that we have had the last few days and keep sailing error-free, that will be our best chance moving forward.” Much of the confidence that Outteridge has in his side’s chances comes from improvements made to the boat, which he said helped the team to rip around the water during their win over SoftBank. He gave credit to the shore team, who he said had been working around the clock to make things better. “We have done a lot of work to the boat over the past couple of days and the confidence in the boat has just grown. The design and engineering team have just really sorted out a couple of weaknesses we had and turned those into a strength. The shore team guys have been working 24 hours to really give us the confidence in the boat, and if we can keep pushing the boat to its limit over the next couple of days, it’s going to be some incredible racing.” Iain Percy has had an impact, too, both and off the water, with Outteridge saying the team’s tactician played a crucial role in the four victories that took them from 3-1 down to victory over Team Japan. “The main thing is that we have simplified our racing slightly,” Outteridge said. “It’s really easy to get caught up in the battle and forget the details that are required to sail well. Iain Percy had a few words to the team and just reminded us to trust our gut, and to sail the boat to our capabilities. On top of that, we have made a nice improvement to the boat, and when you have confidence in your boat, you are able to really push it hard.” Percy has a crucial role to play today in the first three races of the Challenger final that are scheduled, not least in his communication, which Outteridge pointed to as one of this team’s strong suits. “We’ve got incredible sailors on our boat like Iain Percy, who, between grinding as hard as he can is giving really good information,” the skipper said. “For us going into tomorrow, that’s one of our big strong points — our communication and set plays. The way we handled the racing against Dean [Barker, the Team Japan skipper] in some really tight racing is going to put us in a strong position for tomorrow.” Outteridge and Peter Burling, the New Zealand helmsman, have plenty of history when it comes to racing each other on the water. However, Outteridge said today would be about more than going head-to-head with his counterpart again. “I’m looking forward to the match-up tomorrow, but it is more than just a race between Peter and myself,” he said. “It’s two big, well-supported teams going head-to-head. It’s going to be a really good race. The teams are evenly matched and it’s going to come down to how well we sail as a team.”

June 10. When it comes to the best seat in the house for the America’s Cup, helicopter pilot Michael Franck is quite literally top of the tree. Mr Franck, a third-generation pilot from Oregon, and his team have been sending footage of the island’s trademark turquoise seas and stunning landscape, as well as the dramatic racing, into living rooms across the globe for the past two weeks. The 44-year-old’s Chicago-based business Elite Rotorcraft takes on movie, television and commercial assignments across the US and just last year the firm was involved in the filming of blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But capturing the thrills and spills of catamarans flying across the Great Sound at 45 knots has provided a new and unique challenge for Mr Franck, his fellow pilot Aaron Fitzgerald, and the Amis Productions camera duo of Matt Connor and Shane Smart. “The view we get from up there is pretty unbelievable,” Mr Franck said. “The whole event is a totally unique experience for us, and although we were here for the World Series in October 2016 this is the first time we have done something like this before. You get a whole new perspective of how beautiful this island is. It’s gorgeous. You don’t get many helicopters over here so being a helicopter pilot is a bit like being a celebrity. We get a lot of waves from the land as we fly from the airport to the Village in the morning and lots of attention in and around the Village; it’s been great.” Mr Franck has shipped in two AS350 BSE Airbus helicopters for the event and he expects to have both airborne today operating in tandem for the first time as the competition heats up. Each helicopter is fitted with a state-of-the-art camera controlled by a cameraman from the cockpit and it is the pilot’s job to get as close to the action as safety protocols permit. “I would say we get to around 100ft of the boats, but we have to be aware of the wind and all the weather conditions so we don’t take their wind or affect their speed,” Mr Franck said. “These helicopters are top of the range; the industry leader for this kind of filming. They travel really fast and are incredibly powerful. They have very few limitations. When we dropped the sky divers on the opening day we had to ascend to 5,000ft, which took just two minutes. We can carry around three-and-a-half hours of fuel on board, so we tend to go up just before the racing starts and stay up until the racing is over.” While this year’s competition is Mr Franck’s first taste of America’s Cup racing, for Mr Connor, Bermuda is the fifth America’s Cup venue he has filmed. “We do a lot of these sailing events back in England, but being able to film in Bermuda is pretty special,” he said. It’s what we do, but the water and the scenery here are amazing. The racecourse itself is also a fantastic amphitheatre for the sport; it helps make the footage we get look great.

June 10. Independent MP Shawn Crockwell has been found dead at his home. A Police spokesman confirmed the lawyer’s death at 7pm, adding that “foul play was not suspected.” No other details have been revealed. Fellow MPs Mark Pettingill and Wayne Furbert were seen outside Mr Crockwell’s Hamilton Parish home earlier in the evening. A police spokesman said: “Mr Crockwell was found in an unresponsive state at a Hamilton Parish residence around 4pm today. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene by the attending doctor. Initial inquiries suggest that foul play is not suspected.” A full inquiry regarding the MP’s death is now under way, and a Family Liaison Officer has been appointed to offer support, said the spokesman. Mr Crockwell, the former tourism minister, cited a loss of confidence in the One Bermuda Alliance under Michael Dunkley when he quit Cabinet in March 2016. He would later leave the party in July of last year. Mr Crockwell was head of the litigation department at Chancery Legal, practising in all areas of civil and criminal litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he was behind legislation for the Casino Gaming Act 2014 and the Bermuda Tourism Authority Act 2014. He was Called to the Bar in 2009, and was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. Mr Dunkley said he was informed late this afternoon of Mr Crockwell’s death. “It is devastating, shocking news, and it hurts,” said the Premier. “On behalf of colleagues in the One Bermuda Alliance and the people of Bermuda, I extend deepest condolences to Shawn’s family — his children, his brother and sister, his mother and father, of whom he was so proud and inspired by. I can’t imagine the trauma they are going through right now. Despite our recent political differences, Shawn remained my good friend. Together we watched our beloved Dallas Cowboys, talked Premier League football and had laughs. He was one of the brightest, most talented people I’ve had the pleasure to know. No one overcame his personal difficulties with more flair and accomplishment than Shawn, completing his law degree in prison and emerging to be an effective advocate for people. In the floor of the House of Assembly, he was a gifted and compelling speaker — smart, logical and passionate, always interesting. When Shawn spoke, the Chamber listened. As a Government Minister, he was effective, getting things done, and he brought razor sharp intelligence to the Cabinet table. This is a tragedy that is incomprehensible to me. Shawn was a Bermudian success story, full of promise and possibilities. I will miss him.” OBA Chair Lynne Woolridge said: “It is with a profound sense of shock and sadness that we learnt today of the death of our colleague, Shawn Crockwell. Shawn’s enthusiasm, passion and dedication to serving the people of Bermuda was unquestioned. Shawn will be missed, but his legacy and his work to uplift all Bermudians will live on. As a mark of respect, and as we come to terms with this tragic loss, the OBA will be suspending election campaigning until further notice. On behalf of the people of Bermuda I offer my sincere condolences to his family, associates and friends.” In a statement released this evening, Opposition leader David Burt said: “The members of the Progressive Labour Party are stunned and deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of one of Bermuda’s honourable sons, Shawn Crockwell. Shawn was a rare man of conviction and courage; when communing with him, you could clearly see that God granted Shawn the courage to promote, defend, and pursue his convictions regardless of the favour or foul of any observer. I believe Shawn’s life was a testament to the heights that can be attained if one strives to overcome formidable obstacles. Many have convictions, fewer have the required courage to stick to them, and fewer still use those gifts to serve their fellow man. Shawn Crockwell did so both in his vocation and his profession and those he served will no doubt miss his counsel and compassion. Out of respect for Shawn’s sincere and meaningful contribution to the political discourse in our beloved country, the PLP will be suspending all campaign activities and advertising for a period of 48 hours. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Shawn’s family and loved ones during this time. Bermuda will be all the poorer for your loss.” Close friend Alan Dunch said he was “tremendously shocked and saddened” by news of Mr Crockwell’s death. Mr Dunch, a lawyer at MJM, said his relationship with Mr Crockwell dated back to the latter’s days as a Supreme Court clerk. He said the two had been professional colleagues and friends for the last decade. “I considered Shawn a good friend,” Mr Dunch said this evening. He described Mr Crockwell as a very dedicated and loving family man, particularly to his daughter. “I have very fond memories of her coming to the office and visiting with him, and visiting me,” Mr Dunch said. “It’s a tremendous loss for her, and for the family.” Mr Crockwell also had a son, Mr Dunch said. Professionally, Mr Crockwell was a very good lawyer, added Mr Dunch. “He and I worked closely, side by side, and I had tremendous respect for his legal ability.” Mr Dunch said that he would remember Mr Crockwell most for his determination to put his past behind him and pursue the career path he had wanted to chart from a young age. “The community at large has lost someone who made every effort to contribute in as meaningful a way as he could,” he said. Mr Crockwell’s fellow lawyer Charles Richardson said: “Despite being on opposite political teams, we began this journey together. I have seen him at his best and his worst and I vouch for him as one of the most sincere persons I have known.”

June 10. A pioneer for women in the legal profession recognized her predecessors at a ceremony held in her honour. Shirley D. Simmons was acknowledged for being Called to the Bar a half century ago yesterday. A tree planting celebration at the Arboretum was organised by the Women’s Legal Network to mark the milestone. The lone surviving member of the “Three Musketeers”, Ms Simmons, along with Ann Cartwright DeCouto and Dame Lois Browne-Evans, were Bermuda’s first female lawyers. Ms Simmons was the second of the group, when she was Called to the Bar on June 2, 1967. She pointed to the importance of her time at the Berkeley Institute, where she said she was not only educated, but encouraged as well. “Even though for some reason [the Women’s Legal Network] feel they should honour me, I say to them the glory,” Ms Simmons said of the school’s staff. “They saw something different and they nurtured it. Without that nurturing, I would not be here today.” She also recognized her mother for the financial sacrifices she made to provide her with an education. Ms Simmons said that from the time she was about 11 she knew that she wanted to be a lawyer. She said she could recall reading a book that had a big impact on her. “It was a defence lawyer representing someone who was in prison and they hadn’t committed the crime. It definitely had something to do with it.” Kimberly D. Caines, co-founder of the Women’s Legal Network, described Ms Simmons and her colleagues as inspirational. “They didn’t allow society at that time to confine them,” she said. “I can only imagine what that would have been like.” Ian Kawaley, chief justice, said Ms Simmons and her colleagues showed how much change could take place “once someone blazes a trail and breaks through the glass ceiling”. “It opens up opportunities for others to follow,” he said. The bar, Mr Kawaley said, was “richer” for the gender diversity it enjoyed today. Part of the legal profession for the last 50 years, Ms Simmons said it was refreshing to see some of what she described as the bad practices that are enshrined in Bermudian law slowly being chipped away. “I’m glad to know I am around to see some of that.” Ms Simmons encouraged those thinking about blazing their own trail. “If they can think it, they can do it,” she said. “If they believe in themselves and go in it with love and passion, they can’t lose.”

June 10. In 2004, all Reverend Canon David Raths dreamt of was “living somewhere by the sea”. He was then an army chaplain for the National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, ministering to soldiers in war-torn parts of the world. When he wasn’t serving overseas, he worked as a part-time parish priest in Ottawa. “I felt ready for a change of pace and to get back into full-time ministry,” Rev Raths said. “My bishop at the time said he didn’t have another post for me that year, but said I could look outside of the diocese, so I decided to do that. I felt because I had been landlocked all my life and because my children were grown up, I could go off and live somewhere by the sea — you don’t get more ‘by the sea’ than Bermuda. I saw online they were looking for a new priest at St Peter’s Church in St George and after considerable back and forth, I arrived here in June 2005. It’s been a very interesting 12 years since.” The 74-year-old is retiring this month to spend time with family in Canada. The last decade has been a time of great change at St Peter’s, he believes. Over the years he’s noticed the population has become older, and started to dwindle; he believes the church is missing “at least one whole generation” in the pews. Still, there’s a lot that’s positive going on. The church is open all week and the numbers of visitors have picked up,” Rev Raths said. “We have greeters at the doors, a faithful bunch of volunteers, so when people come they feel welcomed. The greeters are all parishioners or friends of the church. They know a lot about the church, they love the church and have grown up here, so that makes all the difference for our visitors. They count everyone who steps through the doors each year. It’s around 65,000 — and that’s just the weekday visitors. This is the number one tourist destination in Bermuda.” The history of St Peter’s is part of the draw, Rev Raths added. “Many Americans ask, ‘How much of the church building is original?’ I guess they expect for it to be replicated. We have had to rebuild after hurricanes but parts of the wood go back to the 1600s and they are intrigued it’s still a real, working, active church because to them it looks like a museum. Many visitors stop by to pray. People walk in and want to tell me about their church background or ask for a blessing and it’s a ministry to all those people and that’s just a huge thing. It’s been difficult to get support to keep it open, but we have managed. There’s a group called Friends of St Peter’s Church that has been wonderful in supporting and helping with projects like restoring the clock and those types of things. Without that we just couldn’t keep up. There has been a lot of support and goodwill for St Peter’s throughout Bermuda because of its significance, not just as the oldest church, but as an integral part of Bermuda history and the island’s overall identity.” Rev Raths recalls how tourists turned out even during a major storm a few years ago. “The organist called and said, ‘Are you going to do church?’ I said, ‘Let’s just go down and see who shows up. It was really blowing and rainy, but soon after a man walked around the corner and said to me, ‘Are you open for church?’ He had just brought an elderly couple all the way from Cambridge Beaches who said the only thing they wanted to do was come to church at St Peter’s. In total, 17 people showed up that day. It’s been that type of ministry to visitors.” Before arriving here he imagined he would get bored in such a tiny place — it never happened. “I’ve never worked so hard in my life and the people in Bermuda and in the parish of St George’s have been wonderful,” he said. “Many of them are eccentric, but that’s just part of the fibre of the community and it’s been a wonderful experience. If we were all the same it would be boring. I have enjoyed the people very much. Overall it’s been a good 12 years, but very exhausting.” He is looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with his six grandchildren. “I have missed them being born and see them only once a year. That’s been the hardest part being here and being away from family,” he said. “I also have seven siblings that I have seen even less than my grandchildren so I’m ready to try to catch up with family.” Once he has time to catch his breath, he’d like to minister to soldiers with mental, physical or emotional challenges because of the conflicts they’ve faced around the world. “When I was an army chaplain, what was hardest for Canadian soldiers in all these places were the children. Because a lot of us were dads, seeing kids in the midst of this devastation was the most difficult part. I would like to do more with Unicef or an organisation like that,” he said. His hope going forward is that St Peter’s will continue to play a pivotal role in Bermuda, not only for visitors but for the local community as well. “The wonderful thing about St Peter’s is it’s a true town church, the only one in Bermuda,” he said. “It was very central to the community in St George, so as the priest I got to take part in a variety of community happenings. I know that will continue and St Peter’s will continue to be the cultural icon that it is to Bermuda.”

June 10. Widespread mould at Dellwood Middle School is the main reason the school has relocated to Bermuda College, according to Bermuda Union of Teachers president Shannon James. Speaking to The Royal Gazette yesterday, Mr James said Dellwood represented the tip of the iceberg in terms of schools that were in need of health and safety remediation. In recent weeks, TN Tatem Middle School was forced to close and relocate to Clearwater Middle School because of mould issues while Harrington Sound Primary School children were sent home for several days because of an infestation of bird mites. Mr James said a report similar to the Score [School Reorganization] report for primary schools was needed for all schools in Bermuda but added that concerns had already been raised with the Ministry of Education by some principals and their deputies. Students and teachers at Dellwood were forced to relocate to Bermuda College this week due to what the ministry described in a press release as “building issues”. Mr James made clear that mould was the overriding factor following a meeting between education minister Cole Simons, the Permanent Secretary of Education, the Commissioner of Education, and the principal at Dellwood yesterday morning. The ministry has said it would provide updates early next week after the transition was complete. Mr James said: “Mould is the main issue — it is all over the place. It was also being tested for asbestos but mould is the main concern. “What we would like to see is [a report] not just for Dellwood but for all schools — they need some major attention. The health and safety of our school buildings is a main concern. People say ‘oh, we live in Bermuda, we have mould’, but what are the levels of mould and what types of mould are they? We have to figure it out because of the health implications. I know there have been a few teachers who have had some health concerns due to the conditions. A report like Score is necessary but along with that there are chains and chains of e-mails that can show that there are schools where principals and deputies have been saying we have a leak, we have mould, we have an issue ...Yes, a Score report would help because it would help to condense everything but there are records of school saying we need to get these issues addressed. I used to work at Dellwood. It has had issues for years and now there are classes that have become really dangerous.” According to Mr James, health and safety officers have said that they must find the root cause of the mould problem. “You can clean stuff and wipe stuff down but if you don’t get to the leaks or whatever is causing it, you will be right back there in a few days.” Mr James wanted to make clear that information from another news source that teachers at Dellwood took industrial action over the mould was incorrect. He said: “They were looking at the Health and Safety Act 1982 and were saying Dellwood is a sick building so they didn’t want to go in. It was not industrial action.” Finally, Mr James’s message to the ministry was “do it right”, referencing two recent school remediation plans that were said by the Ministry to be satisfactory only to be followed by further works and temporary closure. TN Tatem closed in November of last year due mainly to mould and health problems. Work was done and the Bermuda Government released a health and safety report to say the school posed no immediate threat. However, when it reopened, teachers insisted the school remained “sick” and eventually walked out in protest. The students were moved to Clearwater Middle School until the works were completed. Then, last month, Harrington Sound Primary School was closed for two days due to bird mites found in the roof. Following work, the Ministry of Education sent a letter to the school saying it was safe and comfortable. However, more mites were found a day after the children returned and the PTA held an emergency meeting. Further work was then carried out to rectify the problem. “Just do it right,” said Mr James. “So many times we go for quick fixes — just do it right.  You also have to follow up and make sure that things are maintained and followed through. The same with TN Tatem and Harrington Sound. Just do it right.” Classes for the remainder of the year will be held at the Bermuda College campus, the ministry said. “The Ministry of Public Works had scheduled repairs and maintenance to begin after the school term had ended but the work will now start next week,” the release said. In addition to planned air quality tests, several school repairs were also planned to take place over the summer break, the ministry said. Details of the particulars of the work were not provided by the ministry in its release. In March, education minister Cole Simons told the House of Assembly that several schools were being investigated for possible mould. Dellwood — along with Port Royal Primary School, Prospect Primary School, and the Child Development Programme facility — were all named. “After assessment of these facilities, a determination will be made whether any remediation work needs to be carried out,” Mr Simons said at the time. Parents will be kept informed through the school about the alternative arrangements at the Bermuda College, according to the ministry. Mr Simons provided the public with an update on the Score report last week including a comprehensive list of work that has been carried out at 18 primary public schools. This included the painting of buildings, tenting for infestations, window replacements, restroom upgrades and air quality tests. “We will continue to deliver on the items highlighted in the Score report as well as other school facility repairs as they arise. Further repair work has been scheduled for the summer months when schools are closed to ensure that our primary schools are safe and clean prior to the start of the 2017/18 school year."

June 9. Artemis beat Japan to race against New Zealand in Semi-final 2, Race 8. Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan by 0:13.  After three successive wins yesterday in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals, Artemis Racing has the momentum and the breezy conditions of 18 to 25 knots could be in their favour. It has also just emerged that Team Japan hit an unknown object on the surface of the water on the way to the start and may have damaged their boat. Hardly ideal before a do-or-die race. It’s a better start for Team Japan. Boy, did they need that after a pair of poor starts yesterday by Dean Barker, the skipper. Slight error there by Barker; the boat touched down and they lost a few seconds. Team Japan still ahead, though, as they head into the third leg. Barker’s boat keeps touching the water. Did that earlier incident damage their foils? That would be heartbreaking for Barker and his crew. Team Japan get themselves in a bit of a mess and Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, makes them pay with a tight overtaking maneuver. That could be absolutely critical. There is some serious pressure on Team Japan now as the Swedes have a healthy lead. Artemis have the bit between their teeth and are flying! Barker doesn’t appear to be making any gains on their rivals. Something has to change here and change quickly if Team Japan are to keep their America’s Cup dream alive. Barker’s team were 3-1 up but Artemis have finally discovered their consistency over the past two few days. Oracle Team USA, the defender, and Emirates Team New Zealand, who advanced to the Challenger Play-off Finals yesterday, will certainly be watching with interest. Team Japan have managed to close the gap but it doesn’t appear to be enough. They just don’t have sufficient firepower. It’s game over for Barker. Team Japan’s campaign is over. That’s tough to take for Barker who would have desperately loved to have battled his old friends at Team New Zealand for the right to face Oracle. Outteridge is apparently “stoked”. Great bit of Aussie slang there by the Artemis helmsman. The next round should be intriguing, with Artemis in this type of flow. Team New Zealand, beware! Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan 5-3. 

June 9. Peter Burling, the Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman, admits that Wednesday’s postponement of racing proved to be a blessing in disguise for he and his team-mates. The Kiwis dodged a bullet when racing was called off because of strong winds just 24 hours after their yacht suffered considerable damage when it nose-dived in race four of their best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-final against Land Rover BAR. “We are really glad that day wasn’t sailed because the boat was not quite ready,” the Olympic gold medal-winner and former World Sailor of the Year said. “It definitely would not have been in the sort if shape as it was today, that’s for sure, and I’m really thankful we didn’t get racing. To be able to close it out today was a bit of pleasure for them [shore team] and it gives them the chance now to finish off all the little details before the finals. We sailed the shifts really well and kept the boat in the modes it should be in — and full credit to all the guys. It’s been a massive push by our shore team to get us back out on the water with a boat that’s in as good as shape than the one we’ve got. This is definitely a little road on the way to our goal and we are definitely here to try and win the next series, and then to try and bring the Cup back to New Zealand. That’s definitely what we’ve come here to do; that’s our goal for ourselves.” Team New Zealand moved a step closer to their ultimate goal after defeating Land Rover BAR 5-2. However, their day did not go without incident, as their leeward daggerboard malfunctioned during the pre-start of the day’s opening match. “We’re still not quite sure what happened in that pre-start, why the leeward daggerboard came up,” Burling said. “But it’s definitely something I think we dealt with really well.” Team New Zealand will meet the eventual winner of the other semi-final between Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan, which will be decided today, weather permitting. Artemis, the Swedish challenger, lead the series 4-3 with two matches remaining, having come from 3-1 down. We are watching a really interesting battle unfold between Artemis and Softbank,” Burling said. “Both of them are out there sailing incredibly well, so we’re under no illusions that we are going to be in for a good fight in the final. But we are really happy with the way how the boat is going at the moment and really happy to have it back in one piece after that capsize a couple of days ago.”

June 9. NBC Sports will be implementing a blackout schedule for America’s Cup coverage this weekend, according to One Communications. Another three dates this month will also be affected because of the unavailability of broadcasting rights for the America’s Cup in Bermuda, a statement said. “One Communications would like to advise the viewing public of the following broadcast changes for the 35th America’s Cup,” it said. “Due to the unavailability of broadcasting rights for the America’s Cup in Bermuda, NBC Sports will be implementing a blackout schedule on Saturday, June 10, Sunday, June 11, from 2pm to 4pm ADT. This blackout will continue during the same time period on June 12, 26, and 27 in the event America’s Cup racing is scheduled. Viewers may continue to follow all the AC35 action on Bermuda Broadcasting’s Channel 9 and now on Channel 401 in HD.” Bermuda Broadcasting Company, an official broadcast partner of the 35th America’s Cup, welcomed the announcement, saying live action can be followed on Bermuda Broadcasting in high definition, through terrestrial TV, on Channel 20.9, or cable. Local cable companies do not have the rights to broadcast the Cup via the NBC Sports Network, the company said. Bermuda Broadcasting will continue to provide coverage of the 35th America’s Cup on ZBM TV 9. Both CableVision and Wow now have high definition channels for ZBM TV 9 and ZFB TV 7. Patrick Singleton, CEO of Bermuda Broadcasting, said in a statement: “We have invested a lot of time and resources into providing live TV, radio and social media coverage of the America’s Cup, and it’s important that the rules are followed. This is the greatest sporting event ever hosted in Bermuda and we are delighted to be bringing it into people’s homes across the island.” Mr Singleton welcomed visitors to Bermuda Broadcasting’s remote broadcasting facility in the heart of the America’s Cup Village, located close to the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s facility.

June 9. Bermuda is expected to get a royal visit from the Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence this month for the 35th America’s Cup. According to a statement from Government House, the couple are expected to be on the island on June 24 and 25 for an official visit. “During their time in Bermuda, Her Royal Highness and Sir Tim will attend a reception at Government House, Morning Service at Christ Church Warwick, the 35th America’s Cup and visit Commissioner’s House,” a Government House spokesman said. Princess Anne is the second child and only daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

June 9. Suzann Roberts-Holshouser and Sylvan Richards have confirmed they will fight to retain their eastern parish seats for the One Bermuda Alliance at the General Election. Michael Dunkley took the occasion to hit back at Opposition criticism over debt increases under the OBA’s watch, calling finance minister Bob Richards “the best in the history of Bermuda”. Countering what he called “Burt maths”, in a comeback to Opposition leader David Burt, the Premier said debt had increased 700 per cent under the PLP’s tenure — and that the OBA had no choice but to borrow further upon assuming Government in order to pay the salaries of civil servants. Yesterday’s announcement came with two challengers in Progressive Labour Party seats: Peter Barrett, who campaigned in Hamilton East in 2012, and Simone Barton, a newcomer to the political fray. Ms Roberts-Holshouser is the second woman in the island’s history to serve as the Deputy Speaker of the House, while Mr Richards is the Minister of the Environment. Ms Roberts-Holshouser will represent the OBA in St George’s South, where she will face Tineé Furbert of the PLP. She spoke of her intention to see further legislation passed to broaden access to cannabis-based medicines, noting that one of her constituents, now deceased, had been the first to gain access to such treatment when cannabinoid pharmaceuticals were approved. She also extolled the Cash Back for Communities programme. Mr Barrett will again run in Hamilton East, where the incumbent in one of the PLP’s safest seats is long-serving MP Derrick Burgess. A member of the Hamilton Parish Council as well as the Liquor Licensing Board, Mr Barrett emphasized the OBA’s stewardship of the economy, saying the party had gained power at a time of “job losses, empty apartments and a depleted treasury. In recent times there has never been so many people working in Bermuda. The Alliance will continue to pursue policies that will move Bermuda forward, and together.” Ms Barton, CEO of the Bermuda Heart Foundation, will challenge in Hamilton West, which Wayne Furbert holds for the PLP. “My passion is the health of our community,” she said, telling the media she was “not running against a party or person — I am running today to serve you, and if I am lucky enough to get your vote, I promise I will make you proud”. Mr Richards will remain in Hamilton South, which he won at the 2012 election by defeating Diallo Rabain, who has since entered Parliament after winning a by-election in Devonshire North Central. The minister detailed his commitments from 2012 that he had acted upon, such as securing changing rooms and bathrooms for John Smith’s Bay. The Pink Beach property, “dilapidated and sad” in 2012, now has a “beautiful” resort that has made a difference in the area, and Mr Richards said he had also kept busy in the community with events such as Good Friday on Smith’s Parish Field, and developing connections with the Cleveland Cricket Club. The OBA has now revealed 15 of its candidates for the election, which Mr Dunkley has called for July 18. The Premier closed the announcement by countering PLP criticism of the OBA record on education, saying the education budget for 2010-11 had been $126 million, while “the next year the budget was cut to $106 million. Don’t come talking to me about budget cuts,” he said. The OBA has taken flak over mould outbreaks in schools while the Cabinet building was being abated, but the Premier called such attacks “laughable”, saying officials had been ordered out of the building by the health and safety officer. “In 14 years, the schools fell apart under the PLP Government. Now we’re starting to slowly but surely fix them up.”

June 9. Sky News, London, England. Theresa May has no intention of resigning as Prime Minister after a disastrous election for her party - and will appoint her new Cabinet later. She is trying to produce a small working majority in coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - despite facing calls to stand down - and is expected to visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm to seek permission to form a government. DUP MPs are meeting to discuss the situation and the party has said it "will act in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom", according to Sky sources. A formal agreement is yet to be reached. "They have a very delicate balance to strike between how they use this power they suddenly find themselves with, and how they ensure that anything they demand does not derail efforts to restore devolution here," said Sky's Ireland correspondent David Blevins. The move was slammed as a "coalition of chaos" by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who condemned Mrs May for putting her "party before her country". "She has been found out, she should be ashamed," he said. "If she has an ounce of self respect, she will resign." Sky's political editor Faisal Islam said such a deal "would complicate the relationship between the UK government and the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland". Sky's senior political correspondent Beth Rigby added: "She wants to stay - I'm not getting the sense they (Conservative Party) want to push her out." May not quit despite a hung parliament that came about after the Conservatives lost their majority on an extraordinary night. The Tories remain the biggest party with 318 seats so far and Labour currently have 261 - with 326 required for a majority and just one seat left to be called. This may be down to a higher youth turnout in favour of Labour. Some 69% of the electorate went to the polls, indicating young people were voting in higher numbers this time compared to two years ago, according to Sky News election analyst Professor Michael Thrasher. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Mrs May to resign, declaring he is "ready to serve the country" after her snap General Election gamble spectacularly backfired - and a much better than expected poll for his party. However, he has refused to be drawn on whether he would form a minority government. The shaken Prime Minister is working to form a government on the basis the Conservatives have the largest number of seats and votes. A DUP MP has said the DUP  would consider a supply and confidence arrangement to make sure Theresa May has sufficient support to keep her in government, but he said it would cost the Conservatives a lot. They would want considerably more resources for Northern Ireland, more influence and involvement in trade deals. That suggests it wouldn't be a full-blown coalition - rather a confidence and supply deal. It means those 10 MPs will lend her their support on key votes so she gets things through. The results leave Westminster in chaos with just 10 days before the Brexit negotiations are due to begin. In a somber speech after retaining her seat, Mrs May said: "The country needs a period of stability and, whatever the results are, the Conservative party will fulfil our duty of ensuring that stability so we can all go forward together." Speaking after retaining his Islington North seat, Mr Corbyn said: "The Prime Minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she has got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that's enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country." A dramatic election night saw several "big beasts" lose their seats - with former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg the main casualty, losing his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour's 25-year-old candidate Jared O'Mara. Alex Salmond, who led the SNP into the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, lost his Gordon seat to the Conservatives. Ben Gummer, who helped write the Tory manifesto, lost his seat in Ipswich. Housing minister Gavin Barwell lost in Croydon Central and Jane Ellison's 8,000 majority in Battersea was overturned with a 10% swing to Labour. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, only managed to cling on by 346 votes in Hastings and Rye. The Lib Dems made gains nationally, while UKIP's vote plummeted spectacularly from 12.6% of the vote share in 2015 to 1.9% this time around, prompting Paul Nuttall to quit as leader after his party failed to win a single seat. Mr Farron of the Lib Dems ruled out any pact or confidence and supply arrangement with the Tories. Ridiculing Mrs May's own Brexit mantra, he asserted: "Let me make our position clear: no deal is better than a bad deal." In Scotland, both Labour and the Tories made gains on a bad night for the SNP, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conceding her plans for a second independence referendum were "undoubtedly" a factor in the election result which saw her party lose 21 seats.

June 9. The Progressive Labour Party issued a statement swift on the heels of the calling of a General Election for July 18, saying Michael Dunkley, the Premier, had “clearly” made the call to avoid a vote of no confidence in the House of Assembly. It was a question Mr Dunkley faced earlier from the media — and dismissed, saying that “the people need to decide — we don’t need to have rancor in the House of Assembly about the direction that Bermuda is going”. But the Opposition statement said the Premier would not avoid “the verdict of no confidence that will be delivered at the ballot box on July 18”. The statement continues: “The minority OBA government had lost their mandate to govern and the PLP welcomes the forthcoming General Election so that the people of the country the OBA has worked so hard to divide can now decide their future. Bermuda has suffered for four years under the OBA and our families cannot withstand another term of their divisive policies and arrogant leadership. In the last four years Bermuda has lost 2,000 jobs, Bermuda’s debt has doubled and the gap between the haves and have-nots has increased. Bermudians are enduring an ever increasing cost of living with wages that aren’t covering our needs. Bermudian parents, students, and teachers are suffering with an under-resourced public education system that is an afterthought to the OBA. Bermudians have had four years of jobs losses, downsizing, outsourcing, and an uncertain future. Bermuda can do better than we’re doing under the OBA. The PLP is ready to be your next Government. We have listened to you and we have learnt from you. We know that the most important issues that affect our country’s future require a measured and bipartisan approach. Our country is facing a jobs crisis. The next PLP Government will implement a fair immigration policy that promotes Bermudian employment and stimulates economic growth. Pathways to Status is not the solution, despite the OBA’s efforts to force it upon us. We will reduce the costs of employment through bipartisan tax reform and reduce healthcare costs through greater competition and the use of technology. Your PLP Government will introduce retraining programs to ensure higher levels of employment for Bermudians. Let’s get our Bermudians back to work. We’re confident that if we come together, on July 18, the people will elect a Government that puts Bermudians first.”

June 9. July 18 is now the official date for the next General Election, Michael Dunkley announced Thursday night, just ahead of an Opposition vote of no confidence set for today. Emphasizing the One Bermuda Alliance’s record with the island’s economy, the Premier condemned the “politics of destabilization” — saying the election was about “affirming Bermuda’s commitment to continuing the recovery”. “It’s our record versus their record,” he said. Ending weeks of speculation, Mr Dunkley, flanked by Cabinet colleagues, confirmed he had met with the Governor, John Rankin, who accepted his request to dissolve Parliament. Mr Dunkley disputed suggestions that his hand had been forced by the impending motion from the Progressive Labour Party, calling July 18 one of five dates he had contemplated, with two already past. “The people need to decide,” he added. “We don’t need to have rancor in the House of Assembly about the direction that Bermuda is going. Everyone can see that we are moving in the right direction, so now it’s time for the people to decide, and the politicians to listen.” Casting voters’ choice as one of “safe” economic management against “the reckless conduct of the past”, Mr Dunkley said that social progress depended largely on economic progress. If returned to the Government, Mr Dunkley vowed to return to the House on July 20, “or as soon as is practicable”, to continue legislative work, including absentee balloting, fixed-term elections, the Boundaries Commission report and roadside testing. An election manifesto is to be brought out in a couple of weeks’ time. Meanwhile, Mr Dunkley spoke out against negative campaigning, saying that “people in Bermuda do not like divisive politics — political parties are distrusted for that approach”. He denied any rift within the party ranks, calling the departure of MPs Shawn Crockwell and Mark Pettingill, “water under the bridge”. With diversity came “strong opinion”, Mr Dunkley said — but he continued: “What I have a hard time with is people picking up their cards and walking out.” While the Opposition has criticised the “two Bermudas”, Mr Dunkley said his party stood for inclusion, and “deeply” opposed “the politics of division”. Added Mr Dunkley: “For those not yet touched by the recovery, do not despair. The ship has been turned. It’s moving in the right direction, and we’re going to get everyone safely on board. That’s our promise — that’s our commitment to you.” Among his colleagues at the OBA headquarters was Charles Swan, the former United Bermuda Party MP. Asked if Mr Swan had thrown his hat in the ring with the OBA, the Premier replied: “Of course. He’s here.” Mr Dunkley had remained tight-lipped over the election date within hours of calling it, telling this newspaper simply: “You’ll find out when I do it.”

June 9. The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has recorded the best May occupancy figures in the hotel’s history. And the huge success has led to $200,000 in overtime pay for the Princess staff. Allan Federer, the hotel’s general manager, said: “In response to mounting speculation regarding hotel occupancy during the America’s Cup, we would like to clarify that the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has just completed its most successful May in the history of the hotel. Furthermore, June will be the best month ever. As a result, we paid $200,000 in overtime to our employees. Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is a multidimensional business with 600 employees across various departments. We have not laid off any employees. In fact, we have increased employment for the America’s Cup. Employees are given more or less hours depending on the demand in their area of work.” The Hamilton Princess first opened its doors on January 1, 1885, making it the island’s oldest operating hotel.

June 9. The Reverend Nicholas Tweed’s successful legal battle against the Government has enshrined the right of estranged foreign husbands of Bermudians to live here without permission, according to a legal expert. Lawyer Peter Sanderson said one interesting but largely overlooked aspect of the case was the declaration by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley that non-Bermudian husbands have the same rights to reside as non-Bermudian wives, despite a section of the Immigration and Protection Act 1956 which sets out different rights, based on gender. Mr Sanderson told The Royal Gazette the ruling was another example of how the Human Rights Act 1981, which outlaws discrimination based on gender, trumped all other statutes. “Every case that comes out, further establishes the precedent of using the Human Rights Act, because judges rely on case law,” he said. “The more case law, the stronger the precedent.” In the civil proceedings brought against the Minister of Home Affairs by Mr Tweed and the Council of AME Churches, the plaintiffs asked for a declaration that section 27A of the Immigration Act was “inoperative to the extent that it imposes conditions upon Rev Tweed, as a husband, which are not imposed on his female counterparts”. The legislation says that, subject to certain conditions, the husband of a wife who possesses Bermudian status — a “special status husband” — can “land and ... remain or reside in Bermuda” as if he too had Bermudian status. One condition is that the husband is not estranged from his Bermudian wife; the same condition does not apply to wives of Bermudian husbands. The Act says if all the conditions are not met, it is unlawful for the husband to reside here without “specific” ministerial permission. Mr Tweed, who lives apart from his Bermudian wife, and the AME Churches argued that section 27A was inconsistent with the Human Rights Act and the pastor should be entitled to remain in Bermuda without the specific permission of the minister responsible for immigration. Mr Justice Kawaley agreed, noting that similar declarations had been made in two previous Supreme Court cases, one of which was the landmark Bermuda Bred matter, which extended spousal residential and employment rights to same-sex partners in a permanent relationship with a Bermudian. Mr Sanderson was the lawyer who represented the successful plaintiffs in the Bermuda Bred case. He posted on Facebook: “It seems that Reverend Tweed may owe a debt of gratitude to same-sex couples in allowing him to stay in Bermuda. “It is interesting in these times of Preserving Marriage that it was a man of the cloth who litigated the rights of estranged husbands of Bermudians to continue living here without restrictions.” The lawyer told this newspaper that the Chief Justice’s declaration regarding special status husbands only related to residential rights, not employment rights. According to Mr Sanderson, estranged non-Bermudian husbands still need work permits. If they get divorced from their Bermudian wives, they would still need ministerial permission to reside, regardless of whether or not they had dependent Bermudian children on the island. In Mr Tweed’s case, he is the father of a school-age Bermudian child but he and the AME Churches did not seek a declaration regarding his rights as a parent. The civil proceedings were launched after the pastor of St Paul AME Church had an application for a renewal of his work permit rejected last October. As well as being granted the declaration, Mr Tweed and the Council of AME Churches successfully argued that the decision of the Minister of Home Affairs to refuse him a work permit should be quashed, as should a decision requiring him to settle his affairs and leave the island. The Chief Justice said: “The decision requiring [Mr Tweed] to settle his affairs and leave Bermuda was arrived at in breach of the rules of natural justice because he was not given an opportunity to make representations before the final decision was made.” He added: “The employee being afforded an opportunity to be heard in his own right about his residential status was clearly important here because he is the father of a Bermudian child and is very arguably entitled to reside in Bermuda as the spouse of a Bermudian, in light of the declaration this court has now granted.” Edward Tavares, from the fathers’ advocacy group ChildWatch, welcomed the declaration. He said children already had established rights under international law regarding family life, but these had been “overlooked and violated” in the past, when one half of a separated couple had been made to leave the island. “Having to relocate and be separated from one’s children is not an easy thing to do and, from the child’s perspective, shouldn’t happen. The child needs continuous contact with both parents throughout their lives.”

June 9. Up to 80 US lawyers are set to visit Bermuda in August after the American Bar Association’s annual conference in New York. The ABA has chosen the island for a four-day break following its annual meeting — a first for the organisation and a major boost for tourism. Martin D. Balogh, associate executive director of the meetings and travel group, at the ABA, said: “Bermuda provides easy access from New York, the site of the ABA annual meeting. It also represents a chance to interact with the Bermuda Bar Association in a beautiful destination in season. We are hoping for between 50 and 80 people to take the trip.” He added that the ABA has held many stand-alone meetings in Bermuda, but this was the first time Bermuda had been chosen for the post-meeting trip. Mr Balogh added that the publicity generated by the America’s Cup had helped the ABA in its decision to pick Bermuda. He said: “It certainly adds to the desirability and cachet of the location.” Duncan Card, managing principal at law firm Bennett Jones, who is a member of the ABA business law section committee on gaming law and the international section’s committee on national security, said: “It’s fabulous. There are 20,000 members in the business section committee alone. If this notice went out to the entire membership, that’s advertising you couldn’t afford to buy. It shows the different way people are looking at Bermuda and where it sits as a destination now because of the work that’s been done in the last two or three years.” Mr Card agreed the massive publicity generated by the America’s Cup had played a part in the ABA decision. He said: “Absolutely — no question. It’s all cumulative. Once you get traction established with a brand, it’s cumulative. When it catches on, it’s exponential. It’s great to see this as an example of that traction.” Mr Card added delegates to the conference, to be held in New York between August 10-15, were senior lawyers across the market and the kind of well-off visitor Bermuda aimed to attract. He said: “This is a stamp of approval as the after-meeting destination for 2017.” The four-day trip to Bermuda, with attendees staying at the Fairmont Southampton, starts after the conference in New York concludes and will include meetings and a reception with the Bermuda Bar Association. The invitation to ABA members said: “It will be high season in Bermuda and the weather should be at its best. “With daytime temperatures in the 80s — it’s perfect for golfing and soaking up the sun on the beach. Go ahead — enjoy four glorious days in paradise.” The invitation also highlights the short, non-stop flights to Bermuda from New York and Newark airports. The American Bar Association is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organisations, with more than 400,000 individual members and around 3,500 organisations signed up.

June 9. A set of stamps highlighting the Queen’s connection to the island are set to be released this month to celebrate her position as the longest reigning monarch. The three-stamp collection features photographs of Her Majesty taken during recent visits to the island. The First Day Cover also features a portrait of the Queen painted by former Bermuda resident Henry Ward, which was personally unveiled by the Queen last year. Philatelist Horst Augustinovic said that the addition of the portrait came late in the process, after the stamps had been approved. “We had already finalized this with the royal cipher and we opened The Royal Gazette that morning and there was the story about the painting,” he said. “I thought gee, I know Henry from way back, and I called his mother. He called back within an hour or two, but we had to get permission from all sorts of people.” He said that in order for the stamps to become a reality, they have to be approved by several parties, including Buckingham Palace itself. Mr Ward said he was flattered to have his painting included in the collection, saying: “It was very kind of Horst to suggest it, but also we’re delighted that Her Majesty has approved it. “That she has given us her permission to use this is very flattering, I think.” He said he was “deeply honored” to not only have the Queen herself unveil the portrait — something that is rarely done — but then to have the painting garner international attention. “The media took it and it went all over the world,” he said. “It was the front page of The Times, it was on media outlets around the world. It just spooled everywhere. It was lovely to be able to do the whole project. It was a great undertaking. It took a year to paint it, and I think a lot of people forget that the Queen is 92 years old. When I painted her, she was 90. It’s a difficult balance to get, between the eternal quality of the Queen, the gravitas of the position, but at the same time not overly paint wash it so she looks unrealistic or too young. It’s a very difficult balance. I was very honored to do it. The experience of meeting her was wonderful, and I was honored that she unveiled it herself.” Discussing the details of the portrait, he said the arrangement of her Garter Robes beneath her was intended to convey her sovereignty of the island nation, while the door behind her is decorated with iconography including the sphinx, a phoenix and a lamb. “These doors were rebuilt for Her Majesty after Windsor Castle burnt down, so these are all very specific images pertinent to the Queen,” he said. “It could have been a black backdrop or a Red Cross arrangement. I had to find something to highlight her divine status, and I was able to work that into the work.”

June 9. A comprehensive guide has been published to help Bermudian families apply to British boarding schools. UK Boarding Schools Guide was offered free of charge between June 5 and June 8. It was produced by British education consultants BvS after they noticed the amount of Bermudian and Caribbean students interested in British boarding schools. The 170-page guide provides an in-depth analysis of the UK education system, and details the examinations and admissions processes of different British boarding schools. Tips and advice for Bermudian families were also included, as well as profiles of more than 50 of the UK’s leading independent and state boarding schools. “We are really delighted that, at last, there is a book written with Bermuda families in mind,” said BvS consultant Niall Browne in a press release. “There are a number of publications about British boarding schools, but the Schools Fair has shown that Bermudian parents have their own unique considerations. We hope that this guide will help them navigate their way through the often confusing process of selecting the right school for their children.” BvS Education is the joint organizer of the International Schools Fair, and specializes in providing families with the educational needs their children might require.

June 9. A visible sign of the island’s booming summer can been seen weekly as freight-carrying ships arrive with containers piled higher than usual. The America’s Cup and the accompanying plethora of visiting superyachts, the tall ships’ visit, and the arrival of the Marion Bermuda Race next week, have created heightened demand for equipment, supplies, and particularly fresh food. There has also been a general increase in local demand for imported items. Ahead of the America’s Cup and the other summer sailing regattas, wholesale retailers estimated they would need to bring in an extra 20 per cent of fresh food during the period surrounding the America’s Cup. Bermuda’s three shipping companies have been tasked with fulfilling the transportation logistics needed to meet the extra demands. Things have gone well, according to Barry Brewer, chief executive officer of Bermuda Container Line. He said it had been a multi-stage challenge, which started with the transporting of equipment and supplies for the America’s Cup Village and the teams competing in the contest. BCL operates the MV Oleander between Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Bermuda. Its roll-on, roll-off capabilities helped with the moving of some of the bulkier freight, such as chase boats and a helicopter. The Oleander is also able to carry cars and other vehicles, which has proved advantageous during the temporary ban on car transporter ships entering Hamilton Harbour during this month’s America’s Cup. “The question now is less about getting equipment and the teams here, and more about servicing the people here,” said Mr Brewer. Planning started many months ago and included discussions between the shipping companies and the island’s food distributors. “The wholesalers were expecting a 20 per cent increase in consumption of fresh food,” said Mr Brewer. That meant ensuring additional refrigerated containers were available to transport the extra produce. BCL has seen a 20 per cent increase in cargo volume on its weekly sailings. “There was a real uptick in activity locally in the lead up to the America’s Cup,” said Mr Brewer. Infrastructure projects, and residents fixing up their homes were the likely reasons for the boost to first and second quarter figures. Now the summer tourism season, which this year has been augmented by a higher number of visiting superyachts, is set to keep things busy for the near future. Mr Brewer said the busier period was welcome after the “prolonged period of suppressed demand” during recent years. Elsewhere, Bermuda International Shipping Ltd, which operates the Bermuda Islander, and Somers Isles Shipping Ltd, operator of Somers Isles, have also been busy. George Butterfield, manager of Meyer Freight, which acts as agents for the two shipping companies, said: “BISL and SISL are experiencing a modest increase n cargo. Both lines are continuing to provide great service to all their customers during this period.” While Mr Brewer paid tribute to the BCL team and the efforts of people across the island who have worked to ensure Bermuda can handle the busy spell. “We are very pleased with how capable we have been to handle things, and working with customers to make sure we could do it. It has been encouraging. Bermuda has really stepped up, and I’m very proud of this little country.”

June 8, late. BBC UK Sports Sailing. Ben Ainslie's Great Britain Land Rover BAR are out of the America's Cup after New Zealand earned a 5-2 semi-final win. Leading 3-1 overnight in the best-of-nine contest, New Zealand won the first of Thursday's three scheduled races to take them to the brink. And although Britain won the next race, New Zealand took the third. "Three and a half years ago a few of us were sitting around a table in London - what we have we have achieved is incredible," said Ainslie. "I was really proud of the way the team sailed today. We will be back next time and we will be stronger." Despite the capsize NZ took a 3-1 lead into the third day of racing. It was a victory to savor for New Zealand after their catamaran capsized during racing in high winds on Tuesday. After Wednesday's races were postponed because of high winds, New Zealand made a strong comeback to go 4-1 up on Thursday. Great Britain had a 26-second lead at the first mark before their opponents came back to secure a 31-second victory. Britain managed to hang on with a near-perfect win in the next race after getting off to a strong start and, this time, maintaining their lead and matching their opponents for speed. However, New Zealand's class shone through as they put Tuesday's troubles behind them. "We struggled coming into this with a lack of speed but everyone has dug so deep to get us more competitive," added Ainslie. The Kiwis will take on Sweden or Japan in the play-off final. Sweden need just one more win after a dramatic comeback. They trailed Japan 3-1 at the start of the day but won all three races on Thursday to take a 4-3 lead. There were hugs, tears and cheers as Great Britain sailed back into the dockyard for the final time. They were facing up to the realization that this 21st British challenge for the 'Auld Mug' had gone the same way as the others. Britain's wait to bring sport's oldest trophy home goes on for at least another two years. Amid the despondency, there was a positive message from Ben Ainslie. The man on whom so much rested certainly isn't the type to hide. He strode up to BBC Sport to give his first interview, despite the obvious pain that this deeply personal challenge had failed only minutes before. "We will be back," was the emphatic message. In reality, he had probably known this moment was coming for a while. Great Britain lost two points on the first day of racing when they had a problem with their wing. Since the high of winning the World Series pre-qualifying event, it's been evident that the British bid was behind its rivals. Boat speed and control was often cited as an issue; practice races hadn't been encouraging. They were also inconsistent throughout this regatta. Ainslie had proved almost unbeatable in the starts, but too often their rivals would reel them in. The Kiwis are the strongest challenger, and despite dropping one race to Great Britain on Thursday, they showed no outward scars after Tuesday's dramatic capsize. The inquest will be thorough and probably painful for Britain, but Ainslie seems far from done with the America's Cup.

June 8, late.  Land Rover BAR's first Challenge for the America's Cup ended today on the Great Sound, Bermuda, at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Playoff Semi-finals. A massive three race day concluded the Playoff Semi-Finals. The team sailed their race of the series, posting a win in race two and also achieving 100% flight, from start to finish. It's just two days short of exactly three years since the British team – who have their home in Portsmouth – officially launched their long-term challenge to bring the Cup home to British waters. It's a vision that the team are as committed to now as they were at the official launch on that beautiful day at the Royal Museums Greenwich. Despite the team's consistency on the start-line, and the rapid pace of development of their race boat, the team finished the semi-final 5-2 down to Emirates Team New Zealand. Land Rov​er BAR ​continues the ​journey ​to bring​ the Cup​ home one day, is committed to Challenge in the 36th America's Cup with funding secured for the next campaign, pledges continued support as Title and Exclusive Innovation Partner. Land Rover BAR Academy is to race in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup 12th – 21st June. Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR Skipper and Team Principal: "Firstly well done to Emirates Team New Zealand. But I was really proud of the way the team sailed both today and with our approach to this whole series. We struggled coming into this with a lack of speed for a number of different reasons. The whole team; the designers, engineers, shore team and everyone in the office have dug so deep to make us more competitive. We did that throughout this competition to the point that there wasn't a huge amount between the two boats today. It's a huge credit to our team – and a huge thank you to them, I couldn't be more proud. And a huge thank you to everyone back home in Britain for supporting us; we will be back next time and with support already in place today from Land Rover and 11th Hour Racing, I know we will be stronger." Mark Cameron, Land Rover's Experiential Marketing Director: "The Land Rover BAR team has accomplished so much and we are immensely proud of the partnership that has been forged. It has been an incredible success for us both in terms of engineering collaboration and the launch of our new Discovery which is why we are delighted to announce our continued support as Title and Exclusive Innovation partner for the 36th America's Cup. "It would have been fantastic to have progressed further, but you cannot underestimate how significant Land Rover BAR's achievement has been. To win the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series outright as a rookie team and to successfully launch the Land Rover BAR Academy, also competing here in Bermuda, are real highlights for Land Rover."  Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing, President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Co-Founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute: "Having been involved with Land Rover BAR from the beginning we are very proud of the journey Ben and his team have brought us along to enjoy. We are also thrilled to have the opportunity to extend our partnership into the future – further strengthening our mission and engaging the international sports community on the environmental challenges we face across the world." In 2016 the team launched the Land Rover BAR Academy, to find and support talented young British sailors and create a pathway into the America's Cup. The team will race at the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, beginning on Monday 12th June and concluding on the 21st June.

June 8 Race results. 

June 8, earlier. Land Rover BAR must beat Emirates Team New Zealand in at least two of their three races today to keep alive their hopes of lifting the America’s Cup after the winds on the Great Sound blew in the Kiwis’ favour yesterday and cancelled racing. New Zealand lead 3-1 in the best-of-nine semi-final in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs and with an extra race scheduled for today, two wins for New Zealand would send Sir Ben Ainslie’s team home. The wind is expected to ease to about 12 to 16 knots today, more within New Zealand’s comfort zone, having capsized in strong winds in their last race on Tuesday. “It sets up two campaign-defining days for us,” Freddie Carr, the Land Rover BAR grinder, said. “We know we’ve got to win two; tomorrow, our goal will be to win all three. It’s in a good spot for our boat. We’re pleased with our boat speed in the 12 to 16-knot range, so we’re happy to go and race in that stuff tomorrow.” After suffering serious damage in Tuesday’s crash, there were doubts that New Zealand would be able even to make the start line in strong winds yesterday. Fortunately for them, the wind speed went above the 24-knot maximum, causing racing to be cancelled for the day and giving New Zealand an extra 24 hours to get their boat ready. While the structure of their boat was said to have been sound, there were rumours that they had to build a new wing made up of part of the wing they had damaged earlier in the day and part-salvaged from the accident. Some of the systems on board may not be completely tested until they hit the water today. “In my mind there is no doubt they would have been ready, they are a resilient bunch,” Carr said. “By hook or crook, they would have been out there. There was no mindset in our team that we will have been sailing round a course by ourselves.” Carr was in the BAR boat when the New Zealand crash happened. As the bowman, he faces backwards in the boat and had a close-up view. “Ben did a great job in the pre-start and knew that our bear-away was a bit hairy, as we were getting up to speeds of 43 knots,” he said. “I watched them put the bow down and the overriding thing for me was just how high they flew out of the water. It reminded me of when we were doing our dinghy sailing camps and we were a little out of control and would have huge crashes. A second before they even went over, I thought they are going to have a big one here and you saw the result. It was spectacular and devastating for those guys.” Blair Tuke, the foil trimmer for New Zealand, was thrown so far from the New Zealand boat that he was picked out of the water by the BAR chase boat, one of three New Zealand sailors to hit the water when their boat went over. “I couldn’t recall a situation where they have had as big an incident as they did, and it will have been hard for them to go out and race in similar conditions,” Carr said. “They’d have gone out and given it a good old go because they are great sailors, but, hand on heart, if that had happened to us in the first bear-away in a race, you’d have it in the back of your mind, so it might have put them on their heels a bit.” But there is confidence back in the BAR crew after an unfortunate time on Monday, when they were forced to forfeit their first two races of the semi-final. New Zealand had a similar problem before racing on Tuesday, but managed to get back in time to swap the wing before the opening race. “One thing that really put us in good stead [on Tuesday] is we went out first thing in the morning in 20 to 24 knots, got our top speed and felt utterly confident in our machine, so when we went out in the afternoon we had out chests puffed out,” Carr said. “They had a problem with their race wing, didn’t get any warm-up practice and the first time they reached at speed yesterday was when they went down the first reach in the race. So you have to doff your cap to them in that first race, but as we saw in the second race, the way they sail their boat with the helmsman [Peter Burling] not doing the raking, at times you can get a little out of whack with that situation. For 99 per cent of the time, their ride-high control is spot-on, but it is obviously a little hard in those situations.”

June 8, earlier. Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, has chalked up his team’s latest setbacks as another learning curve and believes that he and his team-mates “will come out stronger” from their ordeal. Team New Zealand damaged both wing sails on their AC50 during Tuesday’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. The first wing sail was damaged while warming up for their third match against Land Rover BAR and the spare at the start of the fourth when the boat pitch-poled in the starting box in white-knuckle conditions on the Great Sound. However, Team New Zealand’s shore team were equal to the task, working frantically throughout the night to get the boat ready to resume racing, which was postponed yesterday because of strong winds. “The guys have obviously had a big night getting everything organised for today’s racing to be on the water,” said Ashby, who also serves as wing trimmer while Peter Burling takes the helm. “It was definitely a huge day for the whole team yesterday and the guys have done an absolute fantastic job over last night to get the boat back into racing condition today. Everything has been pulled apart and checked. There would have been 30 to 40 guys working on the boat on and off over the last 24 hours and they are a really fantastic group of guys. It’s a great environment to see the strength of the team in these sort of situations. Obviously, a lot of the structural components on the boat were sound. A lot of the non-structural components — all the air-dynamic fairings on the boat — are almost superficial in a sense and don’t have anything much to the do with the actual structural integrity of the yacht.” Team New Zealand are no strangers to adversity, as their foiling catamaran was damaged in a collision with BAR during official practice races in the final lead-up to the Qualifiers. “The team has definitely had some adversity over the last two or three weeks with different pieces on the boat,” Ashby added. “But that is one of the strengths of Emirates Team New Zealand: the ability to react to this sort of thing, and there’s absolutely no doubt we will come out a stronger team. We will be back to put our helmets and goggles back on and get out there tomorrow. We are really looking forward to a three-race day.” Team New Zealand lead their best-of-nine semi-final with BAR, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, 3-1. "Obviously, a three-race day is a big day physically on the water for the guys and we want to get as many points on the board as quickly as we can and try and get into the final as quickly and as cleanly as we possibly can,” Ashby said. So we’re very much looking forward to getting out there and putting our best foot forward for tomorrow’s conditions.” As for Tuesday’s spectacular nosedive, Ashby said: “Accelerating the boat down once we lost one of the rudders elevated us out of the water. The boat went into a bit of a nosedive and ultimately into a catastrophic capsize. From where we were sitting in the back of the boat, it was all dramatic, but just really happy nobody was injured. The boys got a few cuts and bruises, but nobody got seriously hurt. Yesterday was absolutely not ideal for anyone. We were sailing in top-end conditions and the added risk of having a capsize is greater. Every knot you sort of go up towards that wind limit, it does get harder to sail these boats. When you do sail in those windier conditions, these boats become extremely difficult to handle and it really becomes a survival test rather than an actual match race in the top-end conditions. We hadn’t learnt to sail the boat in anything more than about 22 knots of wind before and so yesterday was a first for us as a team and, to be honest I think, for most of the teams because the boats are so difficult and fragile in those conditions.”

June 8, earlier. Peter Bentley believes we may one day see an America’s Cup Class yacht that is capable of breaking through the 50-knot barrier, now that teams have taken the training wheels off. The technical rules adviser for Artemis Racing is also a senior member of the design team tasked with getting the most out of the AC50s being used in the 35th America’s Cup. And while the six teams have regularly reached the high thirties and have occasionally sailed into the forties, going faster still is not yet within reach. That does not mean it will not be possible, but increased speed comes with increased stability problems, which Emirates Team New Zealand discovered to their cost on Tuesday. “We could produce a set of foils for these yachts relatively easily, and I stress the word ‘relatively’, to break through 50 knots in a straight line,” Bentley said. “Whether we can actually get the yachts around the course with those foils is an altogether different question.” As this newest incarnation of the America’s Cup has shown, technological advances are being made all the time, primarily as the teams learn more and more about the boats. The dry lap achieved by Emirates Team New Zealand last week during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers broke down another barrier in terms of engineering, and Bentley believes there are plenty more to fall. For Bentley, the next task is all about refining machines that are the future of the sport. “We’ve had an America’s Cup of learning to sail these boats, and learning what they’re about, and really we’re going from — if it was a bicycle — having the training wheels on, to taking the training wheels off,” Bentley said. “We’re sailing those boats pretty fast; it’s now about understanding, if we take the cycling analogy, what gear to be in, what pressure to have the tyres, some of the much smaller, finer details about to really refine the boat.” Of course, Bentley will be the first to admit there are changes coming that people will not have expected to see. “As with any branch of technical endeavour, just when you thought you knew everything, you find out something new every day,” Bentley said. “That’s what makes it fascinating.” At the heart of those advances is the need to balance speed and stability, challenges that a sport that is billing itself as the “Formula One on Water” is facing every day. And where the friction between tyre and road is central to the car version, here the relationship between foil and water is key. “How fast you can go is fundamentally limited by cavitation, which is where, in very simple terms, the water around the daggerboard and rudder boils,” Bentley said. “Water can boil at any temperature depending on the pressure, and the way the daggerboard works is that there is a high-pressure side and low-pressure side, and if the pressure gets low enough on one side, the water boils and you get a big bubble of air around the foil and that slows you down. Cavitation is the limit on speed. The problem there is that the foil, which is good at high cavitation speed, has poor stability and poor control.” To adapt to these new technological challenges, teams have been using the expertise of designers and engineers from the world of motor sport, with Land Rover BAR a prime example. Martin Whitmash, a former chief executive of McLaren Racing, Adrian Newey, of Red Bull, and Richard Hopkirk, an engineer who helped to turn Lewis Hamilton into a world champion, all brought on board. Artemis have got into the act as well, bringing Martini Racing and their relationship with Williams into the mix. At a get-together at Artemis’s base in Dockyard yesterday, Bentley and Giles Ritchie, the Global F1 Sponsorship Manager for Martini Racing, discussed the similarities between the sports. For Bentley and his team, the issue of speed versus stability is at the core of what they are trying to achieve on the water, as they chase down SoftBank Team Japan in their semi-final of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs. According to Bentley, the balancing act between the two is a constant trade-off, mostly involving the position of the daggerboard, rudder and foils. “At its very simplest, the boat is fastest when the horizontal part [of the daggerboard] is roughly parallel with the surface of the water, but it’s least stable,” Bentley said. “When the tip is pointing uphill, the boat achieves some natural stability on its own, but then you are giving away speed. You can also design the daggerboard in a way that makes it more or less stable, and that also trades off against the speed. Fundamentally, the better the quality of your control system, your hydraulics and electronics, the more precisely you can drive the daggerboard and get it exactly where you want it, the more you can sail with an unstable and therefore faster daggerboard.”

June 8. earlier. Déjà vu, all over again. Welcome to smoother sailing, two days after “destruction derby day”. It’s sailing Day-10 of the 35th America’s Cup. Hopefully, the day off yesterday gave teams the time needed to bring their boats back to 100 per cent performance levels. This is the third day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. Three races will be scheduled in each of two brackets in this best-of-nine knockout round. It could be last we see of two of the challengers. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR by 3-1, and SoftBank Team Japan have an identical advantage over Artemis Racing. The first teams in each bracket to score five points move into the play-off finals. The other two join Groupama Team France on the sidelines. Weather.  The breeze is expected to settle to 12-18 knots from the southwest accompanied by a 50/50 chance for scattered showers in the afternoon. The America’s Cup should get back to good racing; more than survival. The races will alternate between Artemis Racing v Softbank Team Japan matches and Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR. The teams will also alternate their side of entry, with Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR choosing a port-tack entry for their first starts of the day. Tuesday review After review of video footage of the capsize of Emirates Team New Zealand at the start of that second race yesterday, it appears that the Kiwi boat’s port daggerboard/foil and rudder hitting the wake of Land Rover BAR and losing its grip in the water was a contributing cause of the incident. The moment the New Zealand yacht entered the wake zone, the back end of their boat popped up and the nose dug in. And as Glenn Ashby said: “We went down the mine.” New Zealand had suffered wing failure shortly after entering the Great Sound for their first race of the day. They nursed the broken boat back to their base, hauled the boat, pulled the broken wing and installed a spare and were back out in 40 minutes, still putting bits and pieces together and setting up systems as they started just on time. The New Zealand team started just behind BAR, but stuck to then and midway through the race got a chance to pass and took it. They were fast and happy with the boat and its heavy-air performance. Moments after the Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand’s second start, Land Rover BAR cleanly executed a bear-away and began flying. The Kiwis began to follow suit just like they did in the earlier race, but Peter Burling and team launched high on their foils, hit BAR’s wake zone only to have the rudder loose its grip and pop out. The bows immediately dived into the waves. Their speed went from went from 25 knots to zero, and within a split second the mast slammed forward and the cat’s hulls pitch-poled into the water. Everyone on board was fine — along with three crew in the water — except for a few cuts and bruises. The Kiwi shore crew worked through the night to repair the damage to the platform and fairings, and put one wing together out of the pieces from the broken two. The second day of the playoffs had delivered plenty of breathtaking moments in the three earlier matches as well. Pieces of boats were flying every which way, as fairings were torn off by wind and wave. Chase boats followed to pick up the pieces. Land Rover BAR skipper Sir Ben Ainslie called it “certainly the most exciting and exhilarating racing I’ve ever been involved in”. Despite the best efforts of the helmsmen to sail conservatively, they all admitted to tense moments with near-capsizes, getting out of sorts, and boat pieces flying off like a rocket ship leaving orbit. SoftBank Team Japan sailed consistently to earn two wins over Artemis Racing, who struggled much of the day with breakages and boat-control challenges that led to additional penalties. Land Rover BAR, meanwhile, put a welcome point on the board against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Schedule

Defender Access Period (11am-1pm)

SF1, Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (2.08pm)

SF2, Race 5: Artemis Racing v SoftBank Team Japan (2.37pm)

SF1, Race 6: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (3.06pm)

SF2, Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (3.35pm)

SF1, Race 7*: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (4.05pm)

SF1, Race 7*: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (4.35pm)

* if necessary

June 8. Markel is restructuring its insurance operations to combine two divisions into one. The company, which is based in the US, but which has offices on Front Street, said the new division, to be known as Markel Assurance, would be up and running by the start of next year. The company’s existing Wholesale and Global Insurance operations will combine under the new banner, to be led by Bryan Sanders, president of Markel Wholesale. Bermuda will host an underwriting team for the new division, as will Dublin and London. In the US, Markel Assurance will operate through a regional structure with ten offices in six regions serving all major insurance hubs. Markel Assurance said gross written premium of the new division was around $1.8 billion, coming from three product lines — casualty, professional liability, and property/marine. “This move combines two talented and successful divisions and aligns our structure more closely with both production partners and customers,” said Richard Whitt, the co-chief executive officer of Markel. “We are committed to innovation and to making it easier to do business with Markel — establishing this new division accomplishes both of those objectives.” Mr Sanders added: “We will have more resources, more products, and all of the long-term relationships that have brought us this far. Creating this new division will help Markel maintain its leadership position.”

June 8. Arch Capital Group Ltd has revealed that its second-quarter profit will take a $38 million hit from reinsurance losses. The news prompted Arch shares to fall more than 2 per cent in early trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and follows filings that show chairman Dinos Iordanou sold nearly half of his personal stake in the company during the past three weeks. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Bermudian insurer and reinsurer said $38 million in losses emanated from its property facultative reinsurance book of business. “Such activity related to losses incurred on a small number of contracts across multiple underwriting years and represents an unusually high level of activity for the property facultative reinsurance unit,” the filing stated. “Since its inception in 2007, the property facultative reinsurance unit has consistently produced significant underwriting profits for the company.” Arch shares had risen more than 12 per cent since the start of the year by Tuesday’s close. Yesterday, Arch closed down $2.10, or 2.2 per cent, at $95.04, in New York trading. Other recent SEC filings show insider selling by board members. Chairman Dinos Iordanou sold 100,000 shares — nearly half his stake in the company — since May 18. As of May 31, after those sales he still held 107,151 shares in Arch, worth about $10.15 million at yesterday’s price. Arch director John Vollaro also sold 10,000 shares on May 31 and June 1, leaving him with a holding of 118,016 shares.

June 8. Queries on beach accessibility dominated the question period at a town hall meeting on the St Regis hotel development. A standing-room only crowd packed into Penno’s Wharf for the presentation on Tuesday night. Those in attendance included Quinell Francis, Mayor of St George, Senator Renee Ming, MPs Kenneth Bascome, Derrick Burgess and Lovitta Foggo, and Henry Hayward, former parish mayor. Miguel Purrory, with Desarrollos Hotelco Group, and architect Colin Campbell, with OBM International, provided updates on the current state of the project before opening the floor to questions from those present. A number of the questions focused on what the project would mean for public access to St Catherine’s Beach. “Under the terms of the lease the entire beach is accessible to Bermudians,” Mr Campbell said. Access in the future, he said, would be in the same location it is today only “better” and “safer”. Ms Ming said that she had heard a lot of “angst” and “worry” from constituents over the issue of beach accessibility. She pointed to the use of the term “reasonable use” within the lease granted for the project, as well as a portion which states that the beach can be closed by the hotel with the approval of the minister of tourism. “I think to manage an expectation, we should be able to say at what times would (the closures) happen,” Ms Ming said. She also enquired as to how many jobs for Bermudians would be created by the development. Laura Purrory, manager of the project on the ground, said that around 300 construction jobs would be created. Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of that labour force will be brought in, she said. Mr Purrory said that the bottom line was better served with local workers. “This is a business,” he said. “From our perspective, the more Bermudians we have, the better. Bringing people from abroad costs a lot of money.” Questions on camping, sewage, sanitation, illegal dumping and water were also raised by audience members. Mr Purrory encouraged those in attendance and in the community to keep spirits high. “Let’s not forget how much the community of St George’s will benefit from this project,” he said. Mr Campbell echoed: “There are great opportunities coming down the line.” Mr Purrory said that work on the golf course portion of the project would begin mid-2018. By June 2020, St Regis would be a fully operational hotel, Mr Campbell said. “There’s no money saved in taking a long time.”

June 8. Traffic will be limited on Front Street on Saturday morning June 10 as the island hosts the annual Queen’s Birthday Parade. The parade is expected to begin at 10.30am, and as a result traffic restrictions will be in place early that morning. A government spokeswoman said: “The public is encouraged to come out and view the event which will feature the pomp and pageantry of the marching units from The Royal Bermuda Regiment, The Royal Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, Bermuda Police Service and Bermuda Police Reserves, Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment Junior Leaders and the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps. 

June 8. A collection of paintings by Jeremy Houghton, artist in residence for the America’s Cup boat Land Rover BAR, will be displayed at the Hamilton Princess. Bringing the Cup Home, The Collection portrays the UK team’s lead-up to the 35th America’s Cup and will raise money for the team’s official charity, the 1851 Trust, through exhibitions and the sale of the works. Mr Houghton is a UK artist who has held exhibitions of his work throughout Europe, the US, India and South Africa. He was artist in residence at Highgrove for the Prince of Wales and at Windsor Castle for the Queen, and was an official artist for the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games. According to a Hamilton Princess press release, Mr Houghton studied fine art in France at the University of Aix Marseilles and has a Postgraduate Diploma and an MA by research in Fine Art from the University of Gloucestershire. “He is a specialist in sport and flight and his work focuses on movement, light, time and space. Using techniques such as the use of masking fluid to create a black and white look reminiscent of vintage photos or negatives, Mr Houghton is able to capture the movement within the sports that he paints. “After being selected as the team’s artist in residence in 2015, Mr Houghton spent one week per month at the team’s base in Portsmouth, and accompanied the team to a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events. His paintings depict action on the water as well as behind the scenes work by the entire Land Rover BAR team.” The exhibition is displayed on the second floor mezzanine level between the Trudeau and Harbourview rooms. Included in the exhibition are six 167 x 30cm tall free standing paintings, two large 100 x 80cm oils, 1 80 x 60cm watercolour, two small 25 x 35cm watercolour sketches and four 60 x 50cm prints. “We are pleased to host this impressive exhibition of beautiful paintings by Jeremy Houghton,” said Allan Federer, general manager at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. “Mr Houghton is a celebrated painter, and is recognized as an expert in capturing sport. His expertise shines through in each item in this exhibition, and it is a treat for us at the Hamilton Princess, and for all of our visitors, to be able to enjoy the results of his time working with Land Rover BAR.” Jo Grindley, CMO/CCO, said: “Jeremy was chosen as our artist in residence because of his ability to portray not only the excitement and action of sailing, but also the nuances of every other moment in our preparations for the 35th America’s Cup. The results do not disappoint, and we hope that they will introduce the excitement of sailing to a wider audience. Proceeds from the works will be donated to the 1851 Trust, the official charity of the team, set up to harness the power of sport to engage young people in science, technology and sustainability.” The Duchess of Cambridge is royal patron. Bring the Cup Home, The Collection is on display at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club from now until the end of the America’s Cup.

June 8. A growing number of Bermuda taxi operators are accepting credit cards — and are finding benefits beyond improved options for passengers. In addition to providing customers with a convenient payment method, drivers speaking to The Royal Gazette said the card readers bring improved safety and even larger tips. David Frost, executive on the Bermuda Taxi Owners Association board, said: “A lot of the guys who have been using the credit card machine have seen a surge in tips. On the machine there’s a 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent option. Most of our customers have been tipping 30 per cent. That’s more than you get in a restaurant. Since the days of the horse and carriage we have been operating in the same way. Now that we have this partnership, we have brought taxi service into the 21st century.” Mr Frost added that the lack of cash would also improve safety for drivers, particularly those working at night. More than 50 taxi operators have adopted credit card technology through a promotion put together by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport, the Bank of Butterfield, Mastercard and Spectropay, offering a year of free service. Pat Phillip Fairn, the BTA’s chief product and experiences officer, said: “For us, it’s a fantastic win for the customer. For today’s traveller to Bermuda, technology is part of their life. For more of our taxi operators to embrace taking on this technology is fantastic. We are constantly asking visitors what they want and when we surveyed about transportation, ten per cent of those who expressed any dissatisfaction, said not being able to pay for a taxi by credit card contributed to their dissatisfaction. For us, this move is being proactive. We don’t want that ten per cent to grow. We are just so delighted that so many taxi drivers have agreed to make the switch.” Chris Dill of Spectropay said the card readers were able to accept payments via chip and pin, swipe or “tap and go” technology and, using a mobile phone app, the funds are transferred into the taxi driver’s bank account within two business days. While operators would usually be required to pay a monthly fee for the service, that fee will be waived for a year through this programme, after which the operators can decide if they want to continue accepting cards or not. So far, Mr Dill said the reaction to the cards has been positive among drivers. “The reaction has been very good, particularly with the promotion, but even before that we saw interest in it because the visitor to the island is changing,” he said. “They are younger, and they just do not carry cash.” Taxi operator Leo Simmons, who invested in a credit card reader several months ago, said he has already seen the benefits. “It’s just another service that the taxi driver has the opportunity to offer the customer,” he said. “I have had quite a bit of use, particularly in the winter months when it was slow because I was one of the few taxi operators who took a credit card. I would get pulled out of the line for customers with credit cards. It’s very useful when you have a flight with 30 or 40 people and you’re at the back of the line. It has its benefits.” John Tucker, another taxi operator, said: “Nowadays you get quite a number of people who are travelling with credit cards instead of carrying cash.” Gabriele Zuliani, head of the Caribbean at Mastercard, said they were pleased to be able to bring innovative service and convenience to their customers. “Enabling contactless technology in Bermuda’s taxis is part of an important step towards our goal of helping customers take on what’s new and what’s next in their business,” he said. And Senator Michael Fahy, the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, congratulated the drivers for adopting credit card payments for their fares. He said: “It’s critically important that we continue to advance our tourism product technologically, especially as we attract a younger audience and work to stay ahead of competing destinations.”

June 8. Local historian Peter Frith is looking to the future as the St George’s Foundation prepares to celebrate its 20th year of bringing Bermuda’s history to life. Over the next few months the Olde Towne will hosting a number of events, all part of the impending anniversary. Mr Frith, the foundation’s general manager, highlighted those events at this week’s Rotary Club meeting.  While the 35th America’s Cup is taking place in the West, the East will be showcasing its own sailing festival. Next Tuesday, June 13, Bermuda’s connection to the “majestic J Class yachts” will be the subject of a talk taking place in the World Heritage Centre, 19 Penno's Wharf, St George at 7pm. That will be followed the next day by the Pirates and Plunder event, hosted by the foundation and sponsored by Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Our own Deliverance will fly the Jolly Roger,” said Mr Frith. “And the public should plan to view the America’s Cup J Class Regatta races in Murray’s Anchorage on Friday, June 16, Monday, June 19 and Tuesday, June 20 from Beach House Restaurant and Fort St Catherine.” The month of August will see the celebration of “spectacular” murals of an older Bermuda’s way of life, painted by Emile Verpilleux, as well as the opening of the Roy Taylor Art exhibit in St George’s Town Hall where ten of his paintings will be featured. On July 21, there will be a Tag Day in order to raise funds for the charity. November 4 is the actual the day of the anniversary when the Foundation will host a celebration event, featuring guest speaker Aloysius “Lockjaw” Fox. Mr Frith reflected on what the foundation, and Bermuda as a whole, had accomplished so far, thanking the volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to making this year a successful one. “If it had not been for their hard work and persistence”, he said, “the island may not have seen the St Regis Resort breaking ground in St George’s, the opening of Fort St Catherine to the public on Sundays, and the thrift shops at the World Heritage Centre. The Centre has experienced its best May in six years, with visitors averaging 500 a day. “Admissions and overall sales have improved by 15 per cent”, he added. Through the work of the Ministry of Tourism and the BTA, St George has seen the addition of new cruise ships which have committed visits over the next five years. He thanked the Norwegian Cruise Line for, not only “having the confidence in us”, but for sponsoring the continued restoration of the Deliverance, which will be opening a new exhibit on board. “Our World Heritage Centre site management committee has partnered with the St George’s Foundation, Corporation of St George, Bermuda National Trust, St George’s Historical Society, St David’s Island Historical Society, Bermudian Heritage Museum, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Hub 1 Cultural Tourism Manager, Government Departments of Parks Conservation Services, the Department of Planning, as well as Community and Cultural Affairs. “We are all working together to better the economy of the town, ensure the continued preservation of our unique heritage, and signify us as a place of universal value for all to enjoy.” And he complimented the West End for doing their part by hosting the America’s Cup. “I just can’t get over how magnificent that America’s Cup Village is up there on the newest piece of Bermuda real estate,” he said. “It certainly made me very proud to be Bermudian and to see what can be done when we all pull together and move in the same direction.” The foundation’s next restoration project will be the “magnificent Queen’s Warehouse”, the home of the World Heritage Centre, and the Second-Hand Rose Charity Shoppe. Those wanting to donate or volunteer, can visit the website stgeorgesfoundation.org.

June 8. The Ministry of Public Works has detailed its plan to temporarily shut off Government piped water customers to assist those who rely on water trucks. In a statement yesterday, the government announced that the plan would not affect “essential customers” such as the King Edward Memorial VII Hospital, Cedar Park and Mary Victoria estates, who are solely reliant on the piped water supply. Government piped water customers in Pembroke, Devonshire, Smith’s and Hamilton Parish will be affected first, with a shut-off scheduled to run from June 12 to June 18, with a second shut-off period scheduled from June 26 to July 2. Southampton and Sandys will be next, with piped water service being turned off from June 19 to June 25 and again from July 3 to July 9. A spokeswoman said: “The Government’s piped water customers will be given credit for the monthly fee charged during this time of restricted access. “The majority of piped customers across the island have had access to water on demand, and will continue to have this ability during the periods that the piped service is on. Piped customers are encouraged to fill their tanks leading up to these outage periods and monitor their water levels throughout them. The Ministry of Public Works and the Bermuda Water Truckers Association would like to thank the public for their co-operation and pledge to meet the needs of our community.” While Bermuda had one of the wettest January’s on record, every month since has been drier than average. As of this afternoon, the Bermuda Weather Service has recorded 18.14in of rain this year, compared to an average of 22.72in during the period. Some showers are expected this weekend, but the weather is forecast to clear again by Monday.

June 8. RG Editorial. "Will he or won’t he? Those are the questions that have been sweeping the political landscape in the days in advance of the motion of no confidence that David Burt plans to call against the One Bermuda Alliance government led by Michael Dunkley when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow. With both the OBA and the Progressive Labour Party in full electioneering mode, the country is braced for a particularly special period of nastiness to replace the simply special periods of nastiness that are normally reserved for the House of Assembly. But first the Premier must have the Governor, John Rankin, dissolve Parliament and call the next General Election — or he could have it done for him. Conventional wisdom suggests that Dunkley does not want to run the risk of having the rug pulled from under him, with independents Shawn Crockwell and Mark Pettingill appearing to hold the keys to the kingdom, which leaves him a mere 24 hours to make the call. Crockwell for sure has it in for the Premier and is sharpening the knife in standing his ground on the same principles that 11 months ago led to him abandoning the party he had helped to found. “Those sentiments have not changed,” he said recently when asked for his position on Burt’s motion. “I can’t see how I can now take a different position. In summary, I will be consistent.” Which leaves Pettingill in the box seat and potentially Randy Horton, the Speaker of the House, as well. Horton, the former Somerset Cup Match cricket captain, could face the decision of his political life — much harder than deciding whether to throw the ball to Winston “Coe” Trott, El James or even to keep the cherry for himself. Banker decisions back in the day. But as the PLP MP for Southampton West, this one is not so straightforward and he may have to check the state of the wicket to determine whether pace or spin is the better option. Battered from pillar to post by his own party in the most tempestuous days of Marc Bean, Horton is not only a senior statesman from a seemingly bygone era, but it is questionable how much he is in step ideologically with the new guard — although not necessarily a youthful iteration — that is attempting to wrest back control of the government after an interruption to 14 successive years in charge of the public purse in December 2012. Dunkley, yet to win an election as a party leader, will feel miffed that he is being forced into this position, especially when he and others in his Cabinet should be reveling in the continuing festival that is the 35th America’s Cup going on at Cross Island and on the Great Sound. So now, yes, AC35 will be trotted out as a political football in earnest. The PLP, hitherto with no one to play against, has kicked this football up and down the pitch in a one-dimensional scrimmage of attack against defence, with only like-minded folk to find favour with. An easy target, the Cup is at the pinnacle of international sport, and the scale of the opposition towards it here reveals nothing more than an indifference to sport in general, if truth be told. Unless a relative or loved one is taking part, or something universally sensational happens — the capsizing of Emirates Team New Zealand captured the imagination in these parts of those who had little to no interest beforehand — we just don’t want to know. So, out-and-out sports lovers? No. Which is why it has been so easy for the naysayers to tilt opinion and to build an army of propaganda merchants that would pounce on any opening to make the America’s Cup look bad when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary that the arrivals of the six professional sailing teams, their backroom staff and their families have put a smile on many a Bermudian face. Those smiling widest are the children of the Endeavour Programme, which will go down as the true legacy of this hairy month of high-wire balancing acts on the Great Sound. There will also be big smiles from the members of Team BDA, who will take to the water in competition on Monday and Tuesday for six fleet races in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. How can anyone have a bad thing to say about nine young people who have come through an arduous training programme to get to this point? Much in the same vein as the idiots who likened the comedian Nadanja — our own flesh and blood — to an Uncle Tom for promoting the America’s Cup, would those same persons then lay into 22-year-old Dimitre Stevens? When the ACBDA rolled out the team line-up, it attempted overtly to play up the diversity angle by emphasizing that Dimitre and Mustafa Ingham had made the boat and that they were black — an historic feat. But we were having none of it because there was and is little significance in the historic make-up of a team for an event in only its second go-around. There was just no sample size. But this is Bermuda, and the bitty race baiters and those who expect an economic trickle-down to rush in as though through a water fountain even before the event has left town do themselves few favors, serving only to further sow the seeds of discontent and estrangement. Dunkley, estranged from the independent MPs on whom he previously so relied, now faces a sheepish tea engagement with the Governor sometime tomorrow, with at least a further four candidates scheduled to be introduced today in St George’s. Surely he will not allow Burt to effect what would be a humiliating hammer blow in advance of the already inevitable election. He has to jump the queue. It only means now then that an election by September 9 is a dead certainty, with mid-July being the betting man’s favourite. Burt has taken flak for the timing of his motion, coming as it does in the middle of the America’s Cup, but can you blame him? This is politics and it’s personal, and the America’s Cup, after all, is just a sailing race."

June 8. David Burt has called on Michael Dunkley to call an election, declaring: “One way or another, the people will be heard.” On the eve of his planned motion of no confidence in the Government, the Opposition leader said he wants the people to go to the polls instead. This week, the Premier has declined to comment when asked whether he is preparing to call an election. If he does drop the writ before tomorrow’s proposed motion, the House of Assembly will be suspended and the debate will not take place. If the motion does go ahead, the One Bermuda Alliance’s fate rests on the independent MPs Shawn Crockwell, who has said he will vote against the ruling party, and Mark Pettingill, who has refused to say which way he will vote. If both independents vote with the Progressive Labour Party, the motion of no confidence will succeed, meaning the Governor can revoke the Premier’s appointment or dissolve Parliament on the advice of the Premier, prompting a General Election. Mr Burt stated this afternoon: “For far too long our country has suffered under this OBA Government which has divided us and ignored the needs of too many. The people deserve the opportunity to chart a new direction. We take this opportunity to once again call on the Premier to give the people their chance and call an election. If he chooses not to do the right thing, we will answer the call of so many Bermudians and cast a vote of no confidence tomorrow. One way or another the people will be heard and they will have the opportunity to decide their own future and cast their vote. For our part, the PLP will continue to focus on bringing new, energetic and strong leadership that seeks to serve all Bermudians, not just the chosen few.

June 8. Six of Mark Pettingill’s white constituents have lobbied him to support the ruling party if a vote of no confidence in the Government takes place tomorrow. The independent MP, whose vote would most likely determine whether the motion succeeded or failed, told The Royal Gazette he had received “no phone calls” but “e-mails from six people, all OBA stalwart supporters”. He said the senders were all from the Harbour Road area of Warwick, representing the “white echelons” of society. But he refused to be drawn on whether the messages had influenced him ahead of the potential vote. Nor would he speculate on whether Michael Dunkley, the Premier, would head-off the vote by calling a General Election today or tomorrow.

June 8. Independent candidates would stand little chance in a General Election in the face of the island’s entrenched political divide, according to several past contenders. Voter discontent that boosted hopes for independents prior to the 2012 election has given way to party affiliations favored by Bermuda’s electoral system, former loner candidate Phil Perinchief said. Mr Perinchief, who hasn’t ruled out throwing his hat in the ring again, spoke to The Royal Gazette on the eve of what many expect to be the day of reckoning — when Michael Dunkley sets a polling date ahead of tomorrow’s no-confidence motion in the House. “Bermuda is far too finely polarized around race and class lines, and historical scars and the concomitant political power that comes with the successful outcome of a General Election, for people to risk gambling their one crucial vote for an independent candidate — no matter how deserving and worthwhile they may be,” Mr Perinchief said. That view was shared by Stuart Hayward, the standout independent who in 1989 ousted the UBP’s Clarence James from the strong seat of Pembroke West Central. “While I have always thought the island would benefit from debate and decisions grounded in reason and independent thinking, as does Jersey in the Channel Isles, Bermuda is so highly politically polarized, and the parties so close numerically, that getting elected would be an uphill climb for almost any independent candidate,” Mr Hayward said. Similar assessments came from David Sullivan, the hopeful in the 2011 Devonshire South Central by-election, and another former independent who requested to remain unnamed. And while Charles Swan, the former UBP MP who also went alone into the 2012 fray, doesn’t think that “now is any different from 2012”, he does not see much independent hope in 2017. However, Mr Perinchief cautioned against blaming the Westminster System for partisan divisions. “Unless and until politically backward Bermuda relinquishes the undemocratic electoral system of ‘first-past-the-post’ in favour of an appropriate island-wide proportional representation voting system, the benefit of political diversity and edifying viewpoints will not be truly enjoyed by those who suffer, and suffocate, under the narrow polarization of the two-party system,” he said. Confronted with “less than sterling” candidates, voters struggle between “voting for them or voting at all”, while the parties “know this dilemma and nevertheless unabashedly expect, or even demand, your vote”. Independents gained the legislature in force after last month’s elections in the Cayman Islands — but Mr Perinchief said the jurisdiction had “less of a problem” with partisan baggage. An anonymous hopeful from the 2012 campaign said the last General Election “had the best window for independents running: dissatisfaction with the PLP, along with, while not necessarily trust in the One Bermuda Alliance, a lot of swing voters. Now it’s very polarized. The people dissatisfied in 2012 will come back and vote PLP.” The contender agreed that the first-past-the-post system propped up the party divide — suggesting systems such as Wales or Scotland’s allowed for better independent representation. “I don’t think we should see independents running as a zero-sum game, however. They can introduce policy ideas and give additional voices.” Mr Sullivan sees fertile territory for going it alone when voters are fed up with the incumbents, and there is “a less than appropriate challenge from the opposing party. Now, within the constituencies, we don’t have dislike of the incumbents. What we have is support almost at 50-50. PLP constituencies like their candidates; OBA constituencies like theirs. We don’t have that fertile ground for independents to present themselves. What independent candidates can do, particularly in marginal constituencies, is become the spoiler in a situation where anybody can scoop up votes from one or the other. Independents should be thinking long and hard about what they are offering. I don’t see potential for them winning, just potential for them spoiling.” Bermudian voters have not embraced independents reappearing since the start of party politics, Mr Sullivan said. “Even having two independents in the House with Shawn Crockwell and Mark Pettingill makes the populace uncomfortable. I believe they have abused their positions as MPs by not respecting the wishes of the people who put them there.” Jonathan Starling, who “enjoyed contesting the 2012 General Election”, has firmly declined running again. “I encourage everyone to ensure they are registered, and to actually go and vote. And I also salute all the candidates that are willing to put their names forward, be they party or independents. It can be a difficult and punishing job. However, it can also be extremely rewarding and is fundamental to our democratic process.” Agreed Charles Swan: “It takes a brave and energetic soul to do it, and there are people out there who can do it — but I just don’t think it will happen.”

June 8. Voters will go to the polls in Britain today to decide whether Theresa May’s Conservative party will remain in office for the next five years. The Prime Minister called the snap General Election back in April saying the country needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum. Yesterday Michael Dunkley said that the Bermuda Government would continue to work with whichever party came out on top. “The UK elections are being closely watched by the entire world, including Britain’s Overseas Territories,” the Premier said. “Bermuda certainly prides itself on having a strong relationship with both Houses of Parliament and will continue to engage with elected members of Parliament. We are confident that through this engagement we will continue our joint partnership with the UK Government, whether it is a Tory majority or Labour majority. Both leading parties have given an undertaking to continue its relationship with Britain’s Overseas Territories.”

June 7. 3:07 pm. America’s Cup Race Management, the independent organisation responsible for the rules and regulations of America’s Cup racing, confirmed today that the four Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs Semi-finals races have had to be postponed until tomorrow. The decision to postpone was taken because of the sea state and wind speeds on the Great Sound racecourse exceeding the 24-knot speed limit agreed by all six teams. Iain Murray, ACRM race director said: “While there was dramatic action yesterday, well within the wind speed limits, today was a different matter. We have been constantly monitoring conditions on the racecourse during the course of the day and have decided that there will be no racing today. The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter winds and good conditions, and if those forecasts are accurate I am confident we will see more fantastic racing here in Bermuda between the four teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs Semi-finals.” While the racing may have been postponed, the America’s Cup Village is open for business and people continued to flock into the world-class hub of all the action. The America’s Cup Village is scheduled to open at 11.30am tomorrow and a busy programme of racing is planned from 2pm. Anyone with a ticket to the America’s Cup Village today is urged strongly to check their e-mail for communication from the America’s Cup about their tickets.

June 7. 12:20 pm. Iain Murray, regatta director for the 35th America’s Cup, said it is highly doubtful that any racing will be held today owing to the strong winds on the Great Sound. Addressing reporters at this morning’s media briefing at the America’s Cup Village, Murray said: “I’m thinking that we’re not sailing today. Currently it’s blowing 25 knots on average and gusts to 26-27, so that speaks for itself.” Murray said the race committee will venture out on to the racecourse to make further assessments on the wind velocity and sea state before making a final call. “We will go out and correlate our boat against Pearl Island [weather beacon location] at that wind strength and also assess the sea state, the roughness factor, when I determine to make a call for safety under the protocol.” Under competition rules teams are prohibited from racing in winds exceeding 24 knots. “I’m thinking that we are going to race six races tomorrow, which may or not conclude some parts of this series,” he said. “And Friday has moderated substantially from the forecast last night. There’s some hope we might be able to complete the full programme if we are required.” As it stands, Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR 3-1 in their best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off semi-final, while Softbank Team Japan lead Artemis Racing 3-1 in the other semi-final. The eventual winner of the challenger play-off final will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Match..

June 7. Legislation aimed at updating anti-corruption law is set to come into effect on September 1. Trevor Moniz, the Attorney-General and the Minister of Legal Affairs, said the Bribery Act 2016 will introduce a “simplified and comprehensive statute” prohibiting bribery. “It will help investigators, prosecutors and the courts to tackle bribery effectively whether committed at home or overseas,” he said. “The Bribery Act will also help to enhance Bermuda’s international reputation for the highest ethical standards. The act requires that guidance be drafted and published which assists in determining whether commercial organisations have failed to prevent bribery. The Ministry has consulted in recent months in respect of such guidance which will be released shortly. In the interim the Act can be found on www.bermudalaws.bm.”

June 7. The General Election race for St George’s is locked in a dead heat, according to a poll commissioned by The Royal Gazette. The One Bermuda Alliance and the Progressive Labour Party is each claiming 42 per cent of the votes in the East End parish that has proved a decisive battleground in all recent elections, with 16 per cent of voters undecided. It comes after months of campaigning in the area from both parties who are aiming to capture the four eastern constituencies including St George’s West, which the OBA won by just four votes to clinch power in 2012. As previously reported, the Global Research poll between May 15 and 19 found the OBA was leading overall by 44 per cent to 38 per cent. A breakdown of the results by parish shows the contest is particularly tight in St George’s, Devonshire, Pembroke and Warwick, where the gap is no more than five points in each. The telephone poll of 400 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent. St George’s has traditionally been one of the most closely fought political battles: on nine occasions since 2003 its constituencies have been won or lost by margins of less than 50 votes. At the 2012 election, the OBA took three of the parish’s four seats, including St George’s West, where Nandi Outerbridge claimed 359 for the OBA, against 355 for Renée Ming of the PLP and 214 for independent Kim Swan. The popular vote in the East End was tied at 47 per cent each. Since then, Mr Swan has joined the PLP, and in early May he was unveiled as the Opposition’s candidate for St George’s West, where he will likely go head-to-head with Ms Outerbridge, the sports minister. The OBA believes it has sparked rejuvenation in St George’s, with groundbreaking finally taking place on a St Regis hotel last month after decades of broken promises about such a development. Economic activity has been further boosted by the airport redevelopment and the return of regular cruise ships. The PLP has been actively promoting its St George’s election candidates, with senators Tineé Furbert and Ms Ming rolled out in St George’s South and St George’s North in addition to Mr Swan. Meanwhile, in Pembroke, the parties are neck and neck, on 40 per cent each. In the central parish’s tightest constituency, Pembroke Central, Walton Brown, of the PLP, beat Andrew Simons by six votes in 2012. Mr Simons was unveiled as the OBA candidate for the constituency on Monday. In Warwick, the OBA is leading 39 per cent to 37 per cent. In its closest constituency, Warwick North Central, Wayne Scott of the OBA beat David Burch of the PLP by ten votes in 2012. The OBA unveiled former tennis player Sheila Gomez as its candidate for the constituency last week. In Sandys, the PLP continues to dominate, with a lead of 54 per cent to 21 per cent. The OBA is ahead by 30, 26, 20, 12 and 5 points in Smith’s, Paget, Southampton, Hamilton and Devonshire respectively. Most of those results are consistent with previous election results, except for Hamilton, where the PLP was successful in two of the three seats five years ago.

June 7. The island’s first crematorium is up and running after more than three decades of planning and setbacks. The facility on Waller’s Point Road in St David’s has already undertaken more than a dozen cremations since it opened its doors at the end of April. The state-of-the-art crematorium, which is run by Amis Memorial Chapel, will be officially opened with a ribbon cutting on June 24. “It is very rewarding to see this facility up and running after such a long time in the making,” Martha Amis told The Royal Gazette. “Everything has gone very well so far and we have already done more than a dozen cremations since we first opened our doors to the public. It is great that we were allowed to build this structure and invigorating that all our hard work has come to fruition. It’s important that we are able to provide the community with a service that they desire and one that is becoming more popular in Bermuda.” The Amis Crematorium will hold an open house on June 25 between 2pm and 4pm for residents to find out more about the facility and the process of cremation. The structure and equipment for Bermuda’s first crematorium were specially constructed in the United States and shipped to the island last year. The retort, which is the machine that carries out the cremation, came from Florida, while the structure itself was made in Colorado. The most recent planning application to build the crematorium was submitted in May 2015 and was the fourth time that Amis had tried to get permission to build such a facility in Bermuda. Previously, the funeral home had proposed building a crematorium at Well Bottom in Warwick, next to its funeral home in Warwick, and most recently on Industrial Road in Southampton. However, all three proposals were rejected by the Development Applications Board.

June 7. The former fiduciary arm of law firm Appleby has bought up a European financial services group. Estera, once part of Appleby, but now an independent business, has taken over Heritage Financial Services Group, which operates from offices in Guernsey, the UK and Malta. Farah Ballands, CEO of Estera, said: “We are delighted to welcome HFSG to the Estera family, a team with an excellent reputation in client service, a value which is core to Estera.” HFSG provides third party fund administration, depositary, trust and corporate services. It employs around 100 people across three jurisdictions and the company is expected to be rebranded as Estera once the deal is finalized. Ms Ballands said: “This transaction, together with our acquisition of Guernsey-based Morgan Sharpe earlier this year, is central to the expansion of our funds service line, while also expanding jurisdictional choice for our trust and corporate clients.” Ethan Levner, Estera head of corporate development, said the funds market was a strategic priority for Estera and the buy-up of two fund administration businesses underlined the company’s commitment to establishing an international presence in the sector. Mark Huntley, CEO of HFSG, said: “This transaction marks a significant development for Heritage, our clients and employees. “While we will continue to deliver the highest standard of professional and personalized service, our business, our people and our clients will all benefit from the global resources and growth ambition offered by Estera in respect of our fund and fiduciary service offering.” He added: “We appreciate that for our clients continuity of people and service is important. To this end, they can take reassurance in the fact that all Heritage employees will transfer to Estera and that our senior management will take a meaningful stake in the enlarged business.” HFSG’s insurance business is not included in the transaction and will continue to operate as an independent company.

June 7. A 26-year-old convicted of conspiring to import heroin was jailed for 12 years yesterday, while his mother received a suspended sentence for a money-laundering charge. Damon Morris, of Paget, was convicted by a jury of conspiring to import heroin and possessing cocaine among other charges, and his mother, Denise Morris, also of Paget, 55, was found guilty of money laundering. During their trial, a jury heard that, in December 2015, a passenger arrived in Bermuda on a commercial flight when an X-ray confirmed the items were inside his body. He subsequently excreted the items, which were found to be 86.38 grams of heroin with a street value of $253,380. Following an investigation, police arrested Damon Morris on conspiracy to import controlled drugs. During the arrest, officers also found 49.97 grams of cocaine and 10.14 grams of cocaine, with a combined value of $18,800. In addition, they seized $15,210 which was in Denise Morris’s possession. After a 7½-week trial, a Supreme Court jury found Damon Morris guilty of conspiracy to import heroin, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of drug equipment. Denise Morris was acquitted of the drugs offences, but was found guilty of possessing criminal proceeds in cash that were connected to the case. Addressing the court on Friday, prosecutor Larissa Burgess said that Damon Morris had previous convictions and has shown no remorse, noting that he still maintains his innocence despite what she described as “overwhelming evidence”. She recommended a total sentence of 33 years behind bars for Damon Morris, including 18 years for the conspiracy to import heroin and 15 years for the cocaine charges with the charges running consecutively. However, defence lawyer Marc Daniels said such a sentence would be “manifestly harsh and excessive” as it would be significantly greater than sentences imposed for the importation of much greater quantities of drugs. Given all the circumstances, he said a sentence of between eight and ten years in prison would be appropriate, arguing that any more than 12 years in totality would be the upper limit the court should consider. And while Ms Burgess called for a sentence of 12 months in prison for Denise Morris, defence lawyer Susan Mulligan argued that a conditional discharge would be appropriate given the impact the charges have already had on her. Ms Mulligan told the court that her client was embarrassed and humiliated by the charges, had lost her relationship with her son and was at risk of losing the job she has held for 30 years. Delivering her sentence, Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons noted that Denise Morris had no previous convictions and had done much service to the community. “To any bystander, they may feel she has been punished enough,” she said. “Circumstances call for more than a conditional discharge, but present circumstances merit a suspended sentence.” She subsequently imposed a 12-month sentence, suspended, adding that there was no need for further supervision. However, in the case of Damon Morris, Mrs Justice Simmons said a message must be sent by the courts, noting the damage that drugs do to the community. She said that there were no mitigating factors in his case, saying that he has shown no remorse for his actions, only to the damage they have done to his family. Mrs Justice Simmons sentenced Damon Morris to 12 years behind bars for the conspiracy to import heroin, 10½ years for the cocaine charges and one year for the possession of a scale, but ordered those sentences to run concurrently.

June 7. Island-based investment manager HSCM Bermuda has invested $20.1 million in preferred shares in a reinsurance vehicle that will take over $35.3 million of seasoned workers’ compensation liabilities. The deal, on behalf of an unnamed company, was arranged by specialty reinsurer MultiStrat, also based in Bermuda, along with its affiliate the Annapolis Consulting Group. Rachel Bardon, managing director of HSCM Bermuda, an arm of Hudson Structured Capital Management in the US, said: “We are delighted to complete this transaction in this legacy block of business.” Tim Tetlow, a partner in the firm, added: “This transaction allows the cedant to move forward and focus on its future.” And Michael Millette, managing partner of Hudson Structured, said that he hoped to do more business with MultiStrat in the future. We are pleased to collaborate with MultiStrat in this transaction. We have studied a series of options together and expert that this will be the first of many that we complete.” Bob Forness, CEO of MultiStrat, said: “The combination of the HSCM Bermuda team’s expertise and our efforts over many months produced an attractive transaction and a template for the future. We look forward to working more with HSCM going forward.” The news came as Hudson Structured and HSCM Bermuda announced that it had appointed former KPMG Bermuda managing director Jason Carne as an adviser focusing on valuation and reinsurance. Mr Carne said: “I have been following them with interest for a while now and I’m a firm believer that the next step for ILS is to bring a fuller spectrum of reinsurance risk and opportunities, including property, casualty and long-term business to the third party capital markets.” He joins David Cash, former CEO of Endurance Specialty Holdings and Rich Carbone, ex-chief financial officer of Prudential Financial and current director of two further companies. Mr Millette said: “Our board of advisers provides the firm with breadth and depth of experience and judgment that we rely upon. Jason is an exceptional addition to the team.” Mr Carne worked at Hamilton-based KPMG for almost 20 years and was founder and leader of the firm’s insurance-linked securities practice. He also serves as a non-executive director for several Bermudian reinsurance companies. Hudson Structured and HSCM Bermuda invest across the risk and return spectrum in all instruments and sectors of the insurance and reinsurance markets. The board of advisers works as part of the HSCM Bermuda team to review strategy and investments.

June 6. America’s Cup. Semi-final 2, Race 3: SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing by retirement. Team Japan made a far superior start and are the quicker of the two teams on to their foils. Both syndicates are flying around course at the highest speeds seen so far, with the conditions at the very edge of the wind limit. Artemis appeared to lose a piece of their boat on the third leg — it looked like fairing at the front of the boat — but it did not seem to be causing too many problems at this stage as they closed the gap after a mistake by Dean Barker, the Team Japan skipper. Artemis lost a huge amount of ground, getting into a horrible tangle coming through the fourth gate and flipping on to one side. There does now appear to be some damage to the Swedes’ boat; reports suggest it is a daggerboard issue. Barker and crew have been throwing away leads all competition but are now miles in front of their opponents. Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis are simply well off the pace in this one. Losing that piece of boat could not have helped. The Swedes are usually quicker in the higher winds. It is a white-knuckle ride on the Great Sound, but Team Japan are handling the tough conditions impressively. Artemis retired although Team Japan crossed the line. It appeared there is also some slight damage to the Japanese team’s boat, although nothing to overly worry about for Barker. A big win for Team Japan, who are now 2-1 ahead, and problems to resolve for Artemis.

June 6. America’s Cup. Semi-final 1, Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Land Rover BAR by 2:14. Two-nil without even completing a race, Land Rover BAR are back on the water with their spare wing after breaking their first choice in yesterday’s opening race. It was the Kiwis, however, who suffered boat problems today, breaking their wing sail in practice and are now also using their back-up. Sir Ben Ainslie is drawing upon all of his experience in handling these conditions and makes a stronger start, opening up a modest gap between the two boats by the third of nine legs. The rain is hammering down on the Great Sound but proud Brit Ainslie is perhaps more familiar to this rough weather! What a difference a day makes. BAR endured a calamitous Monday but are holding off their rivals in their first “proper” race in these semi-finals. The Kiwis are closing the gap, though, and are putting BAR under some serious pressure after a slow tack by Ainslie on the fifth leg. Team New Zealand have seized control, literally flying along the L-shaped course and do not look like relinquishing this lead. Ominously, the Kiwis are looking just as comfortable in high winds as they do in the lighter conditions. Peter Burling, the Kiwis helmsman, tells his crew he is experiencing some “issues”, not that you would have guessed. A comfortable win for the Kiwis who are 3-0 up

June 6. America’s Cup. Semi-final 2, Race 4: SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing by 1:27. Dean Barker, the Team Japan helmsman, has been making strong starts throughout the competition and takes another one over his opposite number, Nathan Outteridge. The rain was so heavy that the spectators in the grandstand could barely see out into the Great Sound. They’re drenched but still seem to be enjoying themselves. Artemis are having less fun and are struggling in these conditions, picking up a boundary penalty to further compound their woes. They are not happy with that decision and are completely powerless watching Team Japan extend their already healthy lead. Iain Percy, the Artemis tactician and grinder, is giving umpire Richard Slater a piece of his mind via his microphone. Not a happy camper at all! There seems to be one or two spectator boats inside course. Absolute chaos out there today as Artemis are forced to change their path. Conversely it is a relatively quiet day at the office for Barker and Team Japan, who look well set to open a two-race lead. Although there does appear to be a little bit of damage to their boat. Again, nothing too worrisome. Another cool, calm victory for Team Japan. Not a bad day’s work. SoftBank Team Japan lead Artemis Racing 3-1

June 6. America’s Cup. Semi-final 1, Race 4: Land Rover BAR beat Emirates Team New Zealand by retirement.  Team New Zealand arrived too early in the start box and were handed a penalty. Crisis for New Zealand, as they’ve overturned before the start line! They were flying towards the start, going way too high up on their foils, and the boat tripped over itself and flipped over. All of the sailors are safe, several still trapped in the boat, after the most dramatic incident we have seen at this America’s Cup. Plenty of cosmetic damage to their America’s Cup Class boat, but it remains to be seen if there are any significant problems. BAR win the race but they will not take much pleasure from that one. What a dramatic day on the water! Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR 3-1

June 6.  Welcome to Race Day 9 of the 35th America’s Cup. This is the second day of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. Two races will be held today in each of two brackets in this best-of-nine knockout round. We have wind in the Great Sound. Lots of wind. Weather. Forecasters expect an 18-knot southerly breeze that should veer south-southwesterly and build to up to 22 knots, gusting to 30 during the race window. Early morning, the wind at Morgan’s Point, the south end of the Great Sound, was gusting to 17.7 knots out of the south-southwest. Races today should feature longer legs and more of them to maintain the time span of 20 to 22 minutes per match. The wind direction will provide for optimum racing with an interesting breeze off the hills, flat water at the top end in the south and a chop at the bottom marks out towards Spanish Point. The races will alternate between Artemis Racing v Softbank Team Japan matches and Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR. The teams will also alternate their side of entry, with Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR choosing a port-tack entry for their first starts of the day. “We’ve seen the boats doing 46 knots in 18-20 knots of wind,” race director Iain Murray said yesterday. “These boats are not trying to go 50 knots; they are trying to get to the bottom mark as fast as they can.” In other words, the boats are focused on VMG (velocity made good) to the bottom mark, not just speed. The fastest speed is through the turn with the true wind going from 100 degrees to 140 degrees through the “power zone” or if the wind is up the “death zone”, as the teams call it. The mandatory rules are that the average wind cannot exceed 24 knots during the sampling period that ends three minutes before the start. The only reason to cancel a race after that comes down to Murray’s judgment as to whether “we are in a dangerous situation. If a boat capsizes we will ‘black flag’ the race and award the race to the non-capsized boat”. Murray also clarified that in the America’s Cup Match, Oracle have to win seven races to keep the Cup. Their opponents start with minus-one and therefore must win eight races to take the Cup from the defender. Schedule. SF1, Race 3: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (2.08pm). SF1, Race 3: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (2.36pm). SF1, Race 4: Artemis Racing v SoftBank Team Japan (3pm).  SF1 Race 4: Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (3.30pm). 

June 6. The crews of the tall ships competing in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships regatta will spend an extra couple of days in Bermuda after their departure was delayed by offshore weather. The 19 majestic ships went ahead with their Parade of Sail from Hamilton to St George’s yesterday — a spectacle usually reserved for the final day at port — but most are now expected to remain here until tomorrow. From 3pm tomorrow, they will have a 48-hour window to set off on the next leg of their journey to Boston. Director for the race Pauline Appleby explained: “There is too much wind farther down the run line. There are three fronts on the line and the first is very intense. We need to know that the vessels are as safe as possible. They will stay here for a couple more days until the fronts have moved.” The great ships began their grand procession from Hamilton at 9am yesterday from the towering naval Italian Amerigo Vespucci to the smaller Rona II crewed entirely by females. They unfurled their sails displaying their full grandeur. The Pride of Baltimore II even let off a few canons and there were more canons fired from Fort St Catherine as the ships made their approach to the old town. On board the Resolute ferry, the lucky crew were able to take in two spectacles in one day — following the Parade of Sail there was time to take in a couple of America’s Cup races on the way through the Great Sound. The Parade of Sail is the last of a series of events tied to their visit to the island, which included concerts, parades and parties in both St George’s and Hamilton. There are still places available for trainees to join the next leg of the journey. Apply by e-mailing trainee@tallships.bm.

June 6. The accusation of bias against Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Minister of Home Affairs, was “totally rejected” in the ruling by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley, on her decision not to renew a work permit for the Reverend Nicholas Tweed, the minister declared yesterday. Speaking in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, Ms Gordon-Pamplin called herself “very, very pleased” with that aspect of Mr Justice Kawaley’s findings. With the activist pastor’s case to go back before her ministry and the Department of Immigration, Ms Gordon-Pamplin said she would now have to examine “shortcomings with respect to procedural matters” identified by the Chief Justice. “When the judge suggests there were some things procedurally incorrect, what’s unclear — and what I have to take legal advice on — is the fact that my procedures require me to be seized of a file when an application is made within one month of the expiry of an existing permit.” The minister added that she would have to avoid falling afoul of Mr Justice Kawaley’s ruling in taking “a re-look at the situation. Obviously we will deal with it as a matter of urgency,” she told The Royal Gazette. The minister said she would also seek legal advice on how the department should process “people who do not apply and do not conform with the policies, and how to deal with matters where people are basically untruthful in their applications”. Responding in a statement this morning, shadow home affairs minister Walton Brown welcomed the move to block Ms Gordon-Pamplin’s “attempts to banish an OBA critic”. Mr Brown said: “The judgment asserts that Minister Gordon-Pamplin did not consider the work permit application on its merits. Instead, she made her decision without allowing Reverend Tweed to make any representations whatsoever about his very real personal residential connections with Bermuda, which the courts deemed should have been allowed. The PLP maintains that after the minister publicly expressed personal disdain for Reverend Tweed in the House of Assembly, she was obliged to remove herself from the decision-making process and instead refer the matter to the Board. However, she did not and the inference of impropriety can justifiably be made. We are pleased to see that some justice has prevailed and that ministerial interference has been rightly struck down. However, with the courts redirecting the matter for reconsideration by the minister, we urge her to remove herself from the process and defer to the Board of Immigration to decide on this matter.”

June 6. Chief Justice Ian Kawaley has called for a “narrow and focused fine tuning” of Bermuda’s work permit policy in light of the legal battle between the AME Church and the Bermuda Government. Mr Justice Kawaley said the case illustrated the “folly of the apparently longstanding tradition of ministers retaining legal power to substantively decide individual work permit applications. The most significant problem the present case highlights is the potential confusion on the part of technical officers, work permit applicants, the Immigration Board, and the minister if there is no clear dividing line between cases where the board is making the substantive decision and where it is not,” the Chief Justice said in his judgment. Mr Justice Kawaley added: “There appears to be compelling reason for deploying the valuable power conferred on the Minister by section 13(b) of the Act to delegate decision-making competence to the board over work permit applications, either generally of certain categories of types of application. “This would add valuable administrative and legal clarity to the respective roles of minister and board without requiring any significant disruption to the existing administrative operations.” Yesterday afternoon, the Attorney-General’s Chambers released a statement saying that the Government would consider the Chief Justice’s recommendation. “The Chief Justice rejected the argument put forward by Reverend Genevieve-Tweed that the minister was biased in how she dealt with his work permit application,” the statement said. According to the ruling, the minister ‘clearly attempted to deal with the work permit application in a principled manner. However, the Chief Justice did find that there were some procedural issues with the way the minister and Department of Immigration handled Reverend Genevieve-Tweed’s work permit renewal application. He has accordingly asked the minister to retake the decision afresh. His judgment also made clear that a statutory power to delegate the minister’s functions in respect of work permits to the Immigration Board has never been made. This has been the case since the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 was first enacted. This lack of delegation caused there to be an ‘administrative law muddle and confusion’. The Chief Justice did recommend that this delegation be made, and the Government will be considering the recommendation.” In his ruling, Mr Justice Kawaley maintained that the interests of good public administration required the delegation power to be exercised to give the board full competence to adjudicate politically neutral decisions on ordinary individual work permit applications. He added: “It is unsatisfactory that the published Work Permit Policy misrepresents the true legal positions and that; firstly, the board has no legal authority to make substantive decisions on work permit applications and, secondly, even if as a matter of practice the board is the real decision-maker in most cases, in every case the minister has the legal right to assume full command and control of an application, contrary to the legitimate expectations of applicants based on the wording of paragraph 14 of the policy.”

June 6. The Reverend Nicholas Tweed and the Council of AME Churches have won their legal battle against the decision of the Minister of Home Affairs to refuse to grant the pastor a work permit. Chief Justice Ian Kawaley quashed Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s determination that Mr Tweed should settle his affairs and leave Bermuda, saying it “breached the rules of natural justice” because he was not given a chance to make representations before the final decision was made. He ordered the matter be remitted to the minister “to be dealt with in accordance with the law”, although he stated it would be “desirable” for the minister to act on the advice of the Board of Immigration and “allow the board to make the substantive decision”. The Chief Justice also imposed orders quashing Ms Gordon-Pamplin’s decision to refuse the AME Church an advertising waiver and a work permit to employ Mr Tweed. These matters will also be remitted back to the minister for consideration. At trial, Mr Tweed’s legal team claimed that Ms Gordon-Pamplin’s denial of a work permit was influenced by a “visceral negative attitude” on the part of the minister, while Government lawyers maintained that the minister had acted fairly. Yesterday morning, Mr Justice Kawaley ruled in favour of Mr Tweed and the AME Churches citing “procedural impropriety and unfairness”, although he said the applicant’s actual bias complaint against the minister was “not made out”. Union leaders Chris Furbert and Jason Hayward — prominent members of the People’s Campaign along with Mr Tweed — and Opposition leader David Burt were among a packed courtroom as the judgment was delivered. The judgment states: “The minister’s involvement in the application process from the outset was not based on her own idiosyncratic desire to ‘interfere’, but because her predecessor had directed that any future work permit applications in relation to the second applicant (Mr Tweed) should be decided by the minister. “Subsequently, the Council of AME Churches was expressly told that its application was going to be considered by the board. In fact, the board only acted in an advisory capacity and the minister made the substantive decisions. This legal and factual confusion infected the entire process which culminated in the minister refusing the applications for an advertising waiver and a work permit without the work permit application being considered on its merits. This institutional bug caused procedural irregularity and unfairness which obliges this court to grant an order quashing the minister’s decisions to refuse the advertising waiver and the work permit application and remitting the matter to the minister for reconsideration.” Mr Justice Kawaley ordered that Government should pay the costs of the case given that “the applicants (Mr Tweed and the Council of the AME Churches) have clearly succeeded”. The judgment also states: “The minister also decided that the second applicant (Mr Tweed) should settle his affairs and leave Bermuda. This decision ought not to have been made without first allowing him to make representations to the minister about his personal residential connections to Bermuda. Those connections are not insignificant as he is the father of a Bermudian child and the foreign husband of a Bermudian wife, albeit living apart from her. The decision that the second applicant must settle his affairs and leave must also be quashed and remitted for reconsideration on the same basis as the work permit decision.” The non-renewal of Mr Tweed’s work permit sparked demonstrations last year: the pastor had his renewal turned down on October 21, with a subsequent decision on December 28 not to allow an appeal. During last month’s judicial review trial at the Supreme Court, Delroy Duncan, representing Mr Tweed and the AME Church, told the Chief Justice that the minister should have withdrawn herself from the matter from the start, noting her earlier statements in the House of Assembly on Mr Tweed’s regular sermons, criticizing the integrity of the Government. Mr Duncan told the court that Ms Gordon-Pamplin appeared to have made her mind up on Mr Tweed’s permit renewal as early as July 29, ten days after his permit expired, when she insisted that his position had to be advertised. He also argued that the minister had “trawled” Mr Tweed’s immigration files in an effort to impose “information hurdles” on his application. After the hearing, Mr Tweed said he would not be making any comment.

June 6. Opinion, by Anne Applebaum. She writes a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. "We are days away from the British parliamentary elections on Thursday. I’m not going to predict the result, but it’s already clear that the British prime minister will not get the landslide she wanted. The same polls that showed a huge majority for Theresa May two months ago have narrowed. Some foresee, if not an outright Labour victory, then at least a hung Parliament. Even if she wins, her position is tarnished. Support that seemed solid has vanished. Why? For one, it looks like her watered-down English national populism doesn’t work — or at least can’t compete with the tougher, nastier, harder-core version of populism on the British Left. As I wrote when it started, this election has been a contest between parties that are offering extremist versions of what they used to be. May has run a campaign that has sought to put some distance between herself and her “elite” party. “Mayism” was launched with posters calling on voters to support “May’s Team” instead of the Conservative Party; other tactics included frequent repetition of the phrases “strong and stable”, “ordinary people” and — to describe her opponents — “coalition of chaos”. But she also announced policies and then retreated from them, refused to appear at televised debates, declared this a “Brexit election” and then refused to talk about Brexit. Her cabinet includes several people who played major roles in the Brexit campaign and famously promised gains from leaving the European Union that they knew would never be achieved. “Strong and stable”? The No 2 pop song in the country, with two million YouTube views as of Saturday, is Liar Liar, an anti-May tune that has caught on precisely because her attempt to make the Conservative Party seem less conservative does not convince everyone. The lyrics are extremely blunt — “she’s a liar, liar” — and they echo the language of the Labour Party, whose quasi-Marxist rhetoric describes a wrecked country in need of revolutionary change: “Nurses going hungry, schools in decline. I don’t recognise this broken country of mine.” Instead of helping May, the nihilistic “we don’t believe in anything, we don’t trust anybody” mood that helped the “Leave” campaign win the Brexit vote is now working in the Labour Party’s favour. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is an old-fashioned Leftist who doesn’t do slick campaigning — and that seems to appeal to people right now. He hasn’t changed his views about anything since the 1970s — he would nationalize industry if he could, he has never been too keen on Nato, nuclear defence or the British army — and somehow that makes him seem sincere. Labour’s slogan, “For the many, not the few,” sounds like a Labour Party slogan, not something chosen by a public relations team. In the end, it may also be that the European referendum last June destabilized the British political scene even more than we thought possible. Suddenly, a huge host of questions has been opened up, from the future of Northern Ireland to the future of London’s financial services industry. For nearly a year, no one in public life has really attempted to answer any of them. May campaigned to stay in Europe, then announced a tough-sounding plan to leave Europe; at no time has she offered any details, or even a sense of what the choices might be. The economic impact of Brexit hasn’t yet registered — Britain hasn’t left the EU and will not do so for nearly two years — but there is plenty of nervous activity, as companies and people argue about whether to stay or leave. Sooner or later, the British were bound to ask who created all of this uncertainty, and sooner or later the blame was bound to fall on the Conservative Party, whose leaders launched the referendum and who have run the country since it happened. Perhaps that moment has simply arrived earlier than expected."

June 6. A 29-year-old American visitor caught with cocaine and methamphetamine on board the Anthem of the Seas has been fined $600. Appearing in Magistrates’ Court this morning, Akeem Thompson, from Brooklyn, admitted possessing 0.04 grams of cocaine and 0.51g of methamphetamine on June 3. The court head that the drugs were discovered after the head pool attendant found an iPhone on deck 14. When he pulled off the case to check for the model number, he found a small plastic bag containing a white powder and another bag containing a grey powder. He alerted security and a review of the CCTV footage showed the defendant with the phone minutes before it was found by the pool attendant. Thompson was questioned by security and told them that while he had lost his phone, the one they had in their possession was not his. Police officers attended the ship yesterday and Thompson again told them that the phone did not belong to him. He was arrested and taken to Hamilton Police Station. In court today, defence lawyer Susan Mulligan said her client was an “occasional user” of the drugs but had forgotten that they were stashed behind the phone case. She said this was evident in that he had reported the phone as lost and that the “penny dropped” when the police confronted him about the drugs. Ms Mulligan also said that Thompson, who was on the cruise with his parents, “meant no disrespect and did not mean to violate any laws”. Thompson also apologized, attributing the offences to negligence on his part. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo handed him two $200 fines, which were both increased to $300 because the drugs fall under Schedule 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act and are subject to an increased penalty.

June 6. A US citizen has been jailed for 18 months for money laundering after being caught with more than $40,000 of hidden cash. Zoe Bennett, 24, from New York, was found guilty by a jury of conspiring to remove criminal property from Bermuda. The court had heard that she was caught carrying $40,870 American and $100 Canadian on August 4 last year. During a sentencing hearing yesterday, prosecutor Alan Richards called for a sentence of two years behind bars, noting in her favour that Bennett had no previous convictions. But, while he said she may have been on the lower end of the conspiracy, the jury found she had knowingly agreed to unlawfully remove the money from the country. Defence lawyer Mark Daniels meanwhile argued the incident was a “one-off scenario” and that a two-year sentence would be manifestly harsh. Bennett herself told the court that she wanted to be able to be back with her family, saying: “I never meant any harm to anyone and I’m sorry. I pray the court finds it in its heart to send me home to my family.” Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said that money laundering is a serious matter in Bermuda, but noted Bennett had carried out charitable work and had no previous convictions anywhere. In the circumstances, she sentenced Bennett to serve 18 months in prison, ordering that the time already served be taken into account and that the seized funds be forfeited.

June 6. The One Bermuda Alliance is likely to call a General Election rather than “suffer a humiliating defeat” at the no-confidence vote looming this Friday, Senator Renée Ming predicted. With both parties gearing up for election, Michael Dunkley, the Premier, has hinted merely that the occasion “won’t be long” — telling this newspaper he had “many options” to consider. Ms Ming’s remarks came at a press conference alongside Opposition MP Jamahl Simmons, and Ernest Peets Jr, who was declared last month as the Progressive Labour Party’s challenger for Mr Dunkley’s constituency of Smith’s North. Attacking Mr Dunkley’s support in Parliament, the Opposition Leader in the Senate called on eligible voters to register, adding: “This may well be the most important election in our lifetimes. It’s about what it means to be Bermudian.” In response, the OBA’s chairman Senator Lynne Woolridge accused the Opposition of seeking to “divide Bermuda with misinformation and alternative facts”. Referring to the departure from the ruling party by Shawn Crockwell and Mark Pettingill, who now sit as independents, Ms Ming said: “It is clear that the OBA has lost control of the House of Assembly and no longer holds the confidence of even two of its founding members. The OBA faces two choices: suffer a humiliating defeat in a no-confidence motion, or dissolve the House and move towards a General Election.” Appealing to the young, Ms Ming said voters were concerned about employment, Bermuda’s high cost of living, and increased protests and “civil unrest in our island home”. Dr Peets said the election would centre on “Bermuda’s future, and what that future is going to look like going forward”. He added that one of the OBA’s first moves as Government had been to “break their promise on term limits”. In the build-up to the 2012 General Election, the OBA had campaigned on a two-year suspension of term limits for a review of the policy. Senator Michael Fahy, then Minister of Home Affairs, declared in January 2013 that term limits were holding back economic growth. Dr Peets also accused the OBA of swiftly moving to “limit opportunities to young Bermudians by giving the same opportunities to guest workers” — a reference to the proposal in work permit reforms, put forward in February 2013, to allow dependent children of non-Bermudians under 19 years old to work during the summer without a work permit. That proposal was subsequently dropped. Asked about the Government’s claims that the economic recession was being reversed, Opposition MP Jamahl Simmons said that only “children of privilege and wealth can feel that way. There is one Bermuda where they have hit a speed bump on the road to prosperity. The rest of Bermuda has been derailed.” Hitting back, Ms Woolridge insisted that the OBA represented “not one person or faction” — and called the Opposition narrative of two Bermudas “a simplistic attempt to pit Bermudians against each other”. Branding it “sad and pathetic”, she added: “We know our history and we are moving forward with our future together, not back. The One Bermuda Alliance is focused on uplifting all Bermudians, continuing to progress and providing opportunity and hope. However, we do agree with the Opposition on one point; this is an important election and one in which people must decide if they want Bermudians to move forward together and continuing the progress we are making — or going back to the failed policies of the past that simply didn’t work for anyone but those who were in power.”

June 6. Now the OBA has rolled out 25 per cent of its candidates, Premier Michael Dunkley said “it won’t be long before people have the opportunity to go to the polls”. Exactly when remains unclear. “Time will have to tell — I have many options,” Mr Dunkley told The Royal Gazette when asked if he intended to make the call ahead of Friday’s sitting of Parliament, in which the Opposition plans to challenge his Government with a vote of no confidence. “Premiers always keep their cards close to their chests.”

June 6. Businessman Nick Kempe is to fight for Opposition leader David Burt’s seat at the next General Election. Mr Kempe was among four One Bermuda Alliance candidates for Pembroke unveiled at a press conference by Michael Dunkley, the Premier. Senator Andrew Simons stands as the OBA challenger for Constituency 17, Pembroke Central, now held by Progressive Labour Party MP Walton Brown, while health minister Jeanne Atherden and Government whip Susan Jackson are incumbents in their seats for constituencies 19, Pembroke West, and 20, Pembroke South West. Praising the “high-calibre team”, the Premier commended its “experience, fresh new faces, and certainly the ability to get the job done”. Mr Dunkley portrayed the island as having come far since the OBA’s victory in December 2012, when it faced “serious challenges — and certainly with government finances. Slowly but surely, the OBA has turned this country around,” the Premier added, saying his party would be “excited, when the General Election is finally called, to talk about our record”. For Mr Kempe, yesterday’s announcement signals the return to Constituency 18, Pembroke West Central, after losing there in 2012 to Mr Burt by 332 votes to 415 — a contest in which independent Phil Perinchief took 87 votes. Saying his focus in 2012 had consisted of building relationships, Mr Kempe stressed his role in the five years since of providing assistance to neighbours on matters such as financial assistance, and pursuing government departments to deal with issues ranging from dangerous roads to overgrown bus stops. Mr Simons was also returning to old ground: Mr Brown edged past him in 2012 by 353 votes to 347. He ran unsuccessfully for the OBA in Devonshire North Central in 2016. “I believe I am even better as a candidate now,” Mr Simons said, calling himself “still passionate about public policy”, particularly on debt, the ageing population, and healthcare. Ms Atherden, meanwhile, recalled wondering on the night of her election victory if the OBA had won the battle but lost the war — adding that she had pitched in with “whatever I could to help Bermuda right the ship. I want to be part of the team that continues expanding opportunity for Bermudians,” the minister added. Introducing Ms Jackson, the Premier said the candidate was starting to take up the same cause as her late mother, Louise Jackson — seniors. Ms Jackson touched upon her time as the appointed receiver for the Summerhaven home for the physically challenged, saying she wished to provide more opportunities for seniors to age at home. She also spoke of tackling local issues from paving roads to setting up neighborhood watches. Ms Atherden claimed 530 votes in 2012, while the PLP’s Vincent Ingham took 275 and independents Erwin Adderley and Meredith Stapff ended with 28 and 25 votes. In 2012, Ms Jackson garnered 654 votes, ahead of 127 for Marcus Jones of the PLP and independents David Petty, with 31 votes, and Jonathan Starling, with 24 votes.

June 6. Comparatively safe, quiet and easy to drive — they’re the “unique” new way for visitors to get about Bermuda. Renault Twizy, the all-electric minicars, were officially on the road as of yesterday, and available for rent at Current Vehicles, a new company stationed at the Hamilton Princess. The business hopes to expand and offer Twizys at the Fairmont Southampton and an East End hotel, CEO of Current Vehicles, Piers Carr, said at a press conference. Mr Carr described the micro cars as “fully electric” and able to hold two passengers at a time. The Twizy is easy to drive and nearly soundless, he said, providing tourists with a “unique driving experience” on the island. He said that he was inspired to start the project while working during summer renting scooters to tourists and spotted a need for an alternative. “Tourism is increasing and there’s a great outlook; we need a transportation option to match,” he said. Designed by the Renault Sport Formula One Team, a division of Renault that designs and builds optimized engines, the micro cars are billed as a safe, independent driving option for visiting tourists. They bring “the stability of four wheels and operate like a car”, Mr Carr continued. Prices for renting are varied, however Mr Carr stated that it is $85 to rent one for a day, adding: “Weekdays are less than weekends; winter is less than summer.” For bookings and more information, go to currentvehicles.com

Monday, June 5.  Challenger Play-off Semi-finals races and results to-date

June 5. As this Bermuda Government confronts its toughest challenge yet, all eyes are on Michael Dunkley — with a showdown brewing for this Friday’s sitting of the House. With Opposition leader David Burt’s motion of no confidence guaranteed support from independent MP Shawn Crockwell, the One Bermuda Alliance and the Progressive Labour Party would both wield 17 votes — leaving fellow independent Mark Pettingill, or Speaker of the House Randy Horton, as the deal maker or breaker. The Royal Gazette discussed scenarios with a constitutional consultant, who declined to be named, on what might auger for the days ahead. While many might assume the Premier would call a General Election ahead of Friday, the drawback for Mr Dunkley would be “looking as though his hand was forced by the Opposition”, the source said. “It doesn’t bode well for a leader to be forced into doing something he more than likely wasn’t minded to do. Even though he might have pre-empted the no-confidence vote, it would suggest that he was running scared.” While the OBA can tout a successful America’s Cup, “this would in large measure diminish this — it would have been better meeting jointly or separately with Mr Pettingill and Mr Crockwell”. But last week’s unveiling of Senator Jeff Baron as a candidate for Warwick North East, where Mr Pettingill is mulling running as an independent, muddies the waters. “Why would he foreclose on Mr Pettingill by running Mr Baron in his seat so early? I don’t see that as politic. What’s the rush?” Mr Dunkley appears more popular with the average voter than with his own party, the source noted: “He hasn’t done enough to bring his colleagues on board, and so we get periodic rifts and departures. While the OBA might not be ready for an early electoral call, Mr Dunkley would likely set it for earlier rather than later. Even if Mr Dunkley were to successfully face down a vote of no confidence, for Mr Burt it would still be a politic move, to test Mr Dunkley. That’s why you might hear a certain calmness from Mr Burt. He would simply say, this one failed — but there will be others.” However, with Mr Crockwell backing the motion, Mr Pettingill would stand to be “the kingmaker — if he votes with the Government, that would defeat the motion. He can win it for the Opposition or for the Government. That’s why it was stupid, politically, for Mr Dunkley to throw a jab at Mr Pettingill at this point. And if Mr Pettingill abstains, the Speaker has to make the decision.” On the question of the Opposition wooing the independents into joining the PLP, the source described the present mood within the PLP as one of “cautious optimism and a great deal of reticence. Some would relish taking the OBA out of the equation, but some will wonder at what price.” Offering the two safe seats or ministerial positions would have its own knock-on effect, he said. The Leader of the Opposition “keeps a poker face” — but the inclusion of both independent MPs’ names last month on a brief countering the Government’s civil suit against the Lahey Clinic could be telling, and the suit would be doomed by the PLP retaking the Government. If the PLP were able to present the Governor with a parliamentary majority, it would serve the Opposition well, the source noted: the House could sit until well into next year before an election would have to be called, leaving the PLP with a considerable spell in power. A PLP ascent would not guarantee Mr Burt as Premier, however: under section 58(1) of the Bermuda Constitution, Governor John Rankin is tasked with appointing the MP who “appears to him best able to command the confidence of a majority”.

June 5. Counterfeit Bermuda $5 and $2 notes have been found in circulation, according to the Bermuda Police Service. They made the discovery following their investigation into counterfeit Bermuda $50 notes, reported last week. In a press release this afternoon, officers reminded people to be vigilant of Bermuda $50 notes bearing the serial number 705727. Bermuda $5 and $2 notes with the serial number 000000 are also noted as being counterfeit, particularly Bermuda $5 notes clearly marked ‘SPECIMEN’ in red. Employees and residents are advised to take time to examine the money they receive, especially notes of larger denominations. Particular attention should be turned towards the paper quality and embedded BMA watermark, which is visible in light. Employees receiving counterfeit money are urged to hold onto the bill, note the description of the previous handler, and contact the police immediately. Others who receive fake notes should contact the nearest police station to report the matter as soon as possible. It is a criminal offence to possess, distribute, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency, punishable by up to five years in prison. Suspicious circumstances regarding suspected counterfeit currency should be reported directly to detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.

June 5. Hamilton Re has launched its first special purpose vehicle with backing of $65 million. Turing Re will provide collateralised capacity for its parent firm’s global reinsurance portfolio. Kathleen Reardon, CEO of Hamilton Re, said: “This transaction represents an exciting next step in the evolution of Hamilton Re as a diversified company meeting the needs of our current and future clients.” The vehicle was capitalized with $65 million raised in a private placement syndicated among multiple investors. Turing Re will provide support for Hamilton Re’s property treaty book of business.

June 5. Lovitta Foggo has pledged that the Progressive Labour Party will introduce permanent oversight committees to oversee parliament if elected, accusing the One Bermuda Alliance of “hypocrisy”. In a statement Ms Foggo, the PLP spokesperson for government reform, said Michael Dunkley, the Premier, had failed to act on promises to improve good governance. Ms Foggo took aim at government MPs Bob Richards and Jeff Sousa, who had come under fire for their decision not to declare interests before the 2012 General Election. “As much as Premier Dunkley wants to rewrite history in the election season, he can’t. To the people of Bermuda, actions speak louder than words, and the reality is that the Premier has had nearly five years to address the Register of Interests and campaign finance reform and all the other promises made by the OBA in 2012 that they failed to keep. Only now, on the eve of a no-confidence vote and eve of an election, does the Premier make vague overtures to do something — but can’t say what. It has long been clear to the people that he will never bring real and meaningful campaign finance reform forward.” Noting allegations made during “Jetgate” regarding a $350,000 of donations made by American developer Nathan Landow and others to an account set up by the Bermuda Political Action Club, an OBA-lined grass roots organisation, Ms Foggo said that campaign finance reform is a necessity. “Opposition leader David Burt and the PLP are on record supporting campaign finance reform,” she said. “The next PLP government will introduce legislation to regulate political campaign finances to ensure a level playing field and reduce the risk of corruption at a political level. We believe that the best policy ideas should win — not the political party with the biggest war chest. We see the introduction of campaign finance laws as a long overdue safeguard for our democracy. We will introduce Integrity in Public Office legislation to modernize our laws surrounding the buying of votes, voter fraud, conflicts of interest and other aspects of our electoral and political process subject to abuse by those who would seek to use wealth, influence or intimidation to obtain political or economic power. The PLP will also ensure that changes are made to the Register of Interests to facilitate more disclosure of the financial interests of MPs and senators. On good governance, the PLP will go even further. We will implement that Sage Commission recommendation, rejected by the OBA, to establish three permanent oversight committees to oversee the work of Parliament. Democracy is meant to represent the people, and the people’s representatives should have the ability to provide the oversight that leads to better outcomes.” Ms Foggo said the PLP is committed to bringing transparency to the issue of political party financing, adding: “The people of Bermuda deserve to know that their elected leaders are working for them, not working to benefit themselves at the people’s expense.” Responding, Senator Lynne Woolridge, One Bermuda Alliance chair, said that the party had made ensuring good governance a “guiding principle. Where the PLP talks about good governance, the OBA has acted — making Pati a reality, getting audit approvals in all its financial statements and transparency measures for drug testing to online reporting of ministers’ travel expenses. Anyone considering today’s pre-election statement on campaign finance reform should consider a few information points that come to mind: The PLP Government’s last five financial statements could not be endorsed by the Auditor-General, its leadership engaged in pay-to-play, and its administration of government contracts remains the subject of police investigation.” The PLP, Ms Woolridge said, had never explained or apologized for its “ethical lapses” or its “financial dealings” while in power. ”In the meantime, the OBA reversed the PLP recession and got the island on a path of recovery that is expanding opportunity and pay cheques in hotel developments, returning cruise ships, growing visitor numbers, (bringing the) America’s Cup — making a real difference in the lives of Bermudians.”

June 5. Gary Phillips has been given France’s highest award. The former civil servant and teacher was presented with the Legion d’Honneur — Order of Legion of Honour — in front of family and friends at the Bermuda National Gallery, where he is chairman. Anne-Claire Legendre, the Consul General of France in New York, gave Mr Phillips the medal, describing him in her speech as an “eminent member of the Franco-Bermudian community in Bermuda” and an “influential, larger-than-life personality”. She told him: “A Bermuda native, you demonstrated, at a very young age, a deep attachment to France, to its language and culture.” Ms Legendre detailed how Mr Phillips “brilliantly studied” French during his school years, before heading to Paris in 1964, as part of a programme at the British Institute. His achievements there, she said, included graduating from the Sorbonne, and teaching at both school and university level. Mr Phillips returned to Bermuda to teach French at the Berkeley Institute, his alma mater, and later helped to found the Alliance Française des Bermudes, of which he was made president in 1974. “Throughout the ten years you held that position, your contribution to the spreading of the French culture and language in Bermuda and in the Caribbean was priceless,” said Ms Legendre. She added: “For your unrelenting devotion to developing the French language and culture in Bermuda, for your outstanding career within the government of the island, and for all the extraordinary achievements of your life, it is my honour to award you today, on behalf of the president of the French republic, the distinction of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.” Mr Phillips told The Royal Gazette he was fascinated with France from a young age. “I cannot now remember a time when France and things French did not have great significance to me,” he said. “It helped having great teachers at the Berkeley but I knew there would be no substitute for hard work and passion. In a sense, I decided to create for myself an image of what it could mean to be a person who did not just speak French but in a sense, somehow who was French. It continues to be a fun journey.” Mr Phillips is a former Postmaster-General, director of tourism, and acting Cabinet Secretary, who is now involved in labour relations as a negotiator for the Government of Bermuda. He received an OBE in 2010.

June 5. A woman has launched a scathing attack on the island’s legal system after the man whose dog killed her pet dachshund was given an absolute discharge and allowed to walk free from court. Amy Ponnampalam said she felt “no sense of justice” after John Tomlinson was sentenced having pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the fatal dog attack on November 2014. For more than two years and over several hearings, Tomlinson had maintained not guilty pleas to the charges, but last Thursday he changed his plea on the day he was due to stand trial. Magistrate Archibald Warner imposed an absolute discharge allowing Tomlinson to walk free from court and imposed no sanctions on the dog responsible for the attack. “I find it an absolute disgrace that a man who has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges under the Dogs Act 2008, which resulted in death and severe injury to two dogs respectively, has been allowed to walk away unpunished for his crimes,” Ms Ponnampalam said. “As the victim I have received no sense of justice, and have not even been fully compensated for the veterinary bills I incurred in the treatment of my surviving dog or the loss of a purebred dog, not to mention the emotional impact that this tragic attack has had on me.” Tomlinson’s three boxers escaped from his Jennings Road property in November 2014 and roamed on to Ms Ponnampalam’s property, where one of his dogs attacked her two dachshunds, Annie and Briea. Annie died as a result of the attack, while Briea sustained serious injuries that required emergency treatment. Tomlinson was originally charged with keeping or being in control of the dog responsible for the attack that caused the death of Annie, as well as the injuries to Briea. When he first appeared in court his lawyer, Saul Dismont, argued that the case had not been brought in time and the case was dismissed. But prosecutors successfully appealed against the decision of the Magistrates’ Court in February 2016 and the prosecution was reinstated. Over the past 15 months, several trial dates have passed as the case has been repeatedly delayed until Thursday, when Tomlinson admitted the charges. Ms Ponnampalam, who has since left Bermuda, said: “I have to question whether the Bermuda judiciary and Department of Public Prosecutions have acted in the public interest in enabling an absolute discharge to be granted to Mr Tomlinson. They have set a very dangerous precedent whereby irresponsible dog owners may not be held accountable for their crimes which is entirely misaligned with Bermuda’s desire to promote safe and responsible dog ownership. This case has taken over two years to come to trial due to a catalogue of procedural issues and delays on the part of the DPP, the Bermuda judiciary and Mr Tomlinson. The entire prosecution process has provided a disturbing insight into the Bermuda justice system and has left me, my family and friends horrified that such an outcome has been made possible.”

June 5. Moving from its usual slot in June has given organisers of the Bermuda Captive Conference an extra three months to fine-tune and promote the second-largest conference of its kind in the world. And the 13th edition of the four-day event, to be held in September, is on track to match and possibly surpass last year’s record-breaking attendance. The reason the conference was shifted further back on the calendar was to avoid clashing with the America’s Cup. It means more time to attract attendees, and an opportunity to lock in competitive hotel room rates outside the peak summer months. Hot topics at this year’s event include cyber-risk, medical and healthcare, and innovations. Getting captive owners and perspective clients to visit the island is highly desirable, according to David Gibbons, conference chairman. “They get to see the large presence of insurers and reinsurers in Hamilton, they get to meet people from the Bermuda Monetary Authority,” he said. The event also brings together captive owners who have operations in Bermuda, and service providers connected with the sector on the island. Bermuda is the world’s top jurisdiction for captives, with more than 780 on the island. The captives support mostly Fortune 500 companies in the US and generate more than $55 billion in annual gross written premiums. Last year, 13 captives were formed in Bermuda, down from the 22 in 2015. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Captive activity remains high, with the size of existing captives growing and cell captives being added. “We see people expanding some of the captives and using innovations,” said Mr Gibbons. The conference will be a platform for the exchange of ideas and innovations among captive owners and clients, with some sessions solely for captive owners. Jereme Ramsay, of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, said: “The captive owners will be talking to one another about innovations, and learning from one another. Mr Ramsay, who is a business development manager, said: “We will have the excess carriers in the room, the brokers, and the service managers. We can showcase the island and the level of talent we have here." Additionally, organisations including the Bermuda Insurance Management Association, and the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, will be at the conference." There is a collaboration and a synergy like no other,” said Mr Ramsay. He added that there are captive formations “in the pipeline” for Bermuda, and the September event should be an opportunity to secure further business. Last year’s conference attracted 800 delegates. Organisers are aiming to beat that number. Mr Gibbons said: “We have more than 500 room nights signed up, and 300 attendees. We are on track to go over 800 attendees." The BDA has been at the forefront of promoting Bermuda and its captive solutions, attending forums and organising roadshow tours in Canada, the US and Latin America. In April, at the Risk and Insurance Management Society conference in Philadelphia, the Bermuda booth featured a more than 6ft high wraparound promotion for the Bermuda Captive Conference. There was further promotional imagery on the shuttle bus that guests from the Rims conference, the insurance industry’s biggest annual event with 10,000 delegates, to the Bermuda reception." The Rims wraps and the roadshows created a lot of interest,” said Mr Gibbons. The conference, to be held at Fairmont Southampton, starts on September 10 and ends on September 13. A number of activities outside the conference rooms are planned, including a golf tournament, yoga, an explore Bermuda fitness walk and opportunities to play tennis, which are expected to generate revenue for island’s economy. Philippe Rouja, principal scientist, marine heritage and ocean human health, for the Bermuda Government, is the keynote speaker. He will give a talk on the island’s shipwreck history. Details on the conference can be found at https://bermudacaptiveconference.com

Sunday, June 4. No racing.  Winds too light. The beautiful Bermudian sunshine was out in full force for Sunday’s scheduled first set of races in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, but unfortunately the required winds for racing were not. America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) confirmed just after 4.00pm ADT that the four scheduled Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs races planned for Sunday, June 4th, had to be postponed until Monday, June 5th as the winds across the Great Sound were below the minimum six knot limit America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats compete in. Despite the postponement, thousands of fans enjoyed the magnificent entertainment on offer within the America’s Cup Village. Speaking about the decision to postpone Sunday’s scheduled races to Monday 5th June, ACRM Regatta Director Iain Murray, said, “Whilst we tried hard to race, we unfortunately had to postpone the four races planned for Sunday until Monday because the winds simply didn’t reach the required six knot strength. This is how it is sometimes in sailing - here in Bermuda we have been spoilt for action so far, and today was just one of those days. Tomorrow the conditions look better so we’ll look to restart at around 2.00pm on Monday with Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand vs Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR first, then Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan against Nathan Outteridge and Artemis Racing.”

Sunday, June 4. Times Newspaper, London. Three terrorists wearing fake suicide vests were shot dead by police last night after a van and knife rampage on London Bridge, in which at least seven people were killed and at least 48 were injured. The terrorists, driving a white van, had ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge before crashing the vehicle and then stabbing people at random in nearby Borough Market. Among those stabbed was a British Transport Police officer who received “serious but not life-threatening injuries” to his head, face and leg. In a statement outside No 10 this morning, Theresa May said that 48 people were being treated in several hospitals across London following the “brutal terrorist attack”.

Saturday, June 3. At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers yesterday evening (Saturday), ORACLE USA took the overall win to-date with two victories, to top the leaderboard. ORACLE TEAM USA won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and go into the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with a valuable point already on the board. However, with ORACLE TEAM USA’s place in the America’s Cup Match already assured as the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, Emirates Team New Zealand, one point behind  ORACLE TEAM USA, were handed the opportunity to select their opposition in the next stage after finishing as the next highest seeded team from the final America’s Cup Qualifiers standings. Emirates Team New Zealand, given the choice of taking on Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan or Land Rover BAR, will take on their closest opponents Land Rover BAR as their opposition in one of the two America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals, which starts today (Sunday). In the other semi-final, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan will race each other.

America's Cup June 4 standings

The pre-race pressure was high with the winner of the monumental clash not only taking the bragging rights, but also importantly topping the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers table which means taking a vital point into the showpiece America’s Cup Match. presented by Louis Vuitton. However, if they were under any extra pressure, Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA were not showing any nerves in the early stages of the race as won the pre-start duel and made their way off the start line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis’ task was made harder as they were handed a penalty as a result of the pre-start fight which allowed ORACLE TEAM USA to build a slight lead by the gate 2 turn. Emirates Team New Zealand recovered superbly to close the deficit completely by gate 3 as the teams headed into the turn together. ORACLE TEAM USA once again won the battle, with their opposition appealing and failing with a penalty protest. The pressure looked to have told on Emirates Team New Zealand on leg five of seven as they were handed another penalty, this time for sailing out of the racecourse boundary, resulting in another penalty. That penalty all but ended their challenge as ORACLE TEAM USA rounded the final mark and raced to the finish line 29 seconds ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand.

That is the end of ORACLE TEAM USA’s competitive action until Saturday 17th June when they will race the first two rounds of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The second race of the day, (Round Robin 2 race 13) saw Land Rover BAR and Sir Ben Ainslie put on a dominant display in their first of two races, as they overcame Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan. An aggressive but perfectly executed and legal pre-start from Sir Ben Ainslie allowed Land Rover BAR to race clear of SoftBank Team Japan from the start line. It was an early advantage that the British team built on steadily over the first three legs of the race, with smooth sailing keeping them clear of Dean Barker’s team. Land Rover BAR’s cause was helped further at the third gate as SoftBank Team Japan were handed a penalty, meaning the Japanese team had to fall further back behind the British team. Despite the setback, SoftBank Team Japan recovered brilliantly to close the gap to their rivals ahead of the next gate as the two teams crossed paths before the turn. However, Sir Ben Ainslie once again prevailed in the battle with Dean Barker as the Land Rover BAR boat came out ahead into the fifth leg, maintaining a slender lead. SoftBank Team Japan refused to give up their pursuit and the teams came close together again in the sixth and final gate. It proved the crucial moment of the race with Land Rover BAR coming out on top for a final time as they raced for home, crossing the finish line first with a 13 second advantage.

In their final race of the 35th America’s Cup, Groupama Team France failed to achieve a fairytale send off and give their fans one final victory as they ended their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers campaign with a disappointing defeat to Artemis Racing. Having failed to progress to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, Franck Cammas’ team would have hoped to cause one last shock and beat the Swedish team for a second time. However, it was not to be as Artemis Racing continued to find their form with what proved a relatively routine victory. Groupama Team France were ultimately punished by two penalties during the race, one after the pre-start and another on leg 3, ending any chance of a real challenge, as the Swedish team coasted home comfortably ahead of their French rivals.

With top spot in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers already secured, ORACLE TEAM USA further highlighted their pedigree with an impressive victory over Land Rover BAR in the final race of this stage of the competition (Round Robin 2 race 15). The initial pre-start duel was won by Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA and from there victory never looked in doubt. Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR sailed smoothly throughout the race but, having fallen behind their opponents at the start, the British team could never quite close the gap as the race progressed. By gate 5 ORACLE TEAM USA’s lead was 25 seconds and in the final stages of the race they managed to increase that advantage slightly, ultimately crossing the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Land Rover BAR. The victory capped off a thrilling Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers which ended with ORACLE TEAM USA topping the standings with nine points. Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan all secured their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, while Groupama Team France bow out of the 35th America’s Cup with their heads held high.

June 3. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, believes the bonus point they earned after beating Emirates Team Zealand to win the qualifiers could prove “incredibly important”. Oracle punctured Team Zealand’s hopes of topping the standings and now have a one-point advantage heading into the first-to-seven series, starting on June 17. In what may have been a dress rehearsal in the race for the “Auld Mug”, Oracle responded superbly to the challenge posed by their much-fancied rivals and ruthlessly punished the Kiwis string of mistakes. Team New Zealand had built some momentum entering the winner-takes-all affair, leading Oracle by one point, but came off second best in their scrap in the final round-robin phase of qualifying. The defenders now have a fortnight to tweak their boat in search of greater speed, while the Kiwis — who earned the right to pick their opponents as the best challenger — take on Land Rover BAR in the semi-finals. “It was great to be under some pressure,” said Spithill, whose team completed a sweep of wins over the Kiwis in the qualifiers. “We had to win that race and it was great to see the team’s response.” Spithill emphasized the contribution of Tom Slingsby, Oracle’s tactician, in the victory while taking a dig at Team New Zealand’s tactical set-up. “One thing that is pretty powerful in our boat is we’ve got a dedicated technician in Tom Slingsby and Kyle Langford is also included,” he said. “The other boat — they don’t have any of that. You can hear that in their communications.” Spithill also claimed there was a leak in the Kiwis camp, saying he had prior knowledge that they would chose BAR as their semi-final opponents. Asked whether Oracle will add to the cycle station at the rear of their boat to bring them in line with the Kiwis’ pedal power, Spithill said his team’s hybrid system was “working just fine"." The shore guys still think there’s quite a lot of gain to be had there,” Spithill said. “Every system in the boat will get a re-look. “We need to be faster to win this America’s Cup. There’s a lot left for the taking and we will be making all the steps to make sure we are more efficient in every way.” Peter Burling, the Team Zealand helmsman, made several uncharacteristic errors to hand Oracle the win. Oracle seized control at the start after forcing Burling into a penalty, and while the Kiwis pegged their opponents back, briefly taking the lead, two more penalties followed to end their chances. Team New Zealand return to the Great Sound tomorrow for the first two races of their Challenger Playoffs against BAR. “We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through,” said Burling, who took the opportunity to pass on his condolences to the family of New Zealander Mary Elizabeth McKee, who was killed in a boat crash in Hamilton Harbour on Thursday night. Ben Ainslie, the BAR skipper, who steered his team to victory against SoftBank Team Japan before losing to Oracle today, said the British syndicate were up for the challenge. “It is going to be a close race, but to win the America’s Cup you have to beat all the teams,” said Ainslie, whose team finished third in the qualifiers. Emirates Team New Zealand have certainly proved through this qualifying round to be sailing really well. They are very fast and so for us it will be a real battle. However, we are up for it and looking forward to it.” In today’s other race Artemis Racing comfortably beat Groupama Team France, who had already been eliminated. The Swedes will now meet Team Japan in the semi-finals.

June 3. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Different boats, different location, and four years down the line, Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand will face each other again in a winner-takes-all affair. And while the “Auld Mug” itself is not at stake in race 12 of the second round robin in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, there is still plenty riding on the outcome this afternoon on the Great Sound. A win for Team New Zealand would cement their place at the top of the standings and put them on their way to earning a point’s advantage going into the America’s Cup Match. It would also maintain the serious momentum that Peter Burling and his team have built up over the past several days, which was highlighted by near-perfect wins yesterday against SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Fast starts, ever faster speeds, and two races with close to 100 per cent foiling gave New Zealand an aura of a team destined to progress to the later stages of the competition. Burling, too, has the look of a man at peace with himself and his surroundings. “The boys were sailing really well today and at times it does allow me to get my head out of the boat and look around, and try and make some smart decisions. One thing today, the course was a little more skewed than it normally is, so it was actually a pretty easy day tactically with not a lot of passing lanes. For ourselves, we managed to get off the start well a few times and that made life a lot easier the other way.” More importantly, as far as the rest of the field is concerned, a win for New Zealand would deny Oracle the advantage they would dearly love to take into their title defence starting on June 17. The likes of Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis Racing skipper, his Land Rover BAR counterpart Sir Ben Ainslie, and Dean Barker, of SoftBank Team Japan, will no doubt be cheering on Burling today; much like Burling was cheering for Outteridge as Artemis condemned Oracle to only their second defeat of the Qualifiers. “We’re really happy with how we went today,” Burling said. “We’ve been learning a lot and improving a lot, and feel like we’ve got a lot left. Today, we felt like we stepped it up a level to what we’ve sailed in the past. It’s fair to say we were definitely cheering for Artemis in that race, and it’s great that we have that opportunity to go into that race with a bit more pressure [on Oracle] tomorrow — that’s what we’re really excited about. We enjoy those opportunities to put ourselves under a bit more pressure and learn from it.” There is no doubting that New Zealand are the favorites to be challenging Oracle once again in two weeks’ time, although Burling said his team would prepare for it “like any other race”. For Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, the disappointment of a second defeat by Artemis was offset by the pride in his shore team, who got Oracle back out on to the water after the boat.

June 3. Emirates Team New Zealand are looking the team most likely to loosen Oracle Team USA’s grip on the America’s Cup, but there are fears that victory for New Zealand would throw plans for the event’s future into disarray. New Zealand looked close to unstoppable yesterday, as they beat Softbank Team Japan and Groupama Team France in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, but there is a worry that if they win the Cup, much of the work that has been done to build America’s Cup sailing will go to waste. Traditionally, the winner of the Cup decides the rules for the next renewal, as well as choosing the location. Five of the six teams in Bermuda, including Land Rover BAR, have signed a framework agreement for the future, which would mean the next race taking place in 2019 with an expanded America’s Cup World Series, featuring races around the globe. New Zealand are the only team not to sign and Sir Russell Coutts, the chief executive of the America’s Cup Event Authority, admits that he does not know what their plans are. The uncertainty has delayed plans to restart the World Series in September, while teams are unable to plan for their own future. “From Day 1 they have been invited to be part of the process, but have chosen not to,” said Coutts, who was skipper when New Zealand won the Cup in 1995 and 2000, before switching to Alinghi, who won the Cup from New Zealand in 2003. “I’ve got to think that whoever wins, they would want to put on the best event they could. “It is all very good to say we’ll tell everyone what’s going on after we see who wins. That is what has been done in the past. It’s a much better solution to pre-agree a lot of these things prior to someone winning because you get a much more balanced view from all competitors. It’s not just the teams that have to plan, you need key media partnerships in place for broadcast, you need your key sponsorships in place. You need the venues, you need to set that schedule way in advance. Whoever wins would benefit more from an existing path.” The teams that signed up to the framework agreement hope to see the event turn into a circuit along the lines of Formula One, leading to an America’s Cup every two years. The interest in sailing has increased globally in recent years and some fear a return to the stop-start nature of the event in the past. Coutts believes the Cup needs a successful World Series to make it work. “An event in Auckland alone wouldn’t work these days, both commercially for the teams and commercially for the sponsors,” Coutts said. “It is hard to promote just a one-off event. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series created a tremendous amount of value for all of the stakeholders, teams, sponsors, venues and media partners. That was great. We more than doubled our viewership compared to the previous edition of the America’s Cup. We are on track to vastly increase our viewership to the end of these finals. Most people are saying that this is beginning to work, but I think if they [New Zealand] did win, regardless of what they may have said in the past, they will want to put on the best event that they can. You can’t have an event without good teams and you can’t have an event without good broadcast partners, or without sponsors. The framework moves that forward a lot. If you talk to Louis Vuitton or BMW or some of the others that are involved, they all want to continue. They like the product; they all want to know what the future plans are.” Yesterday was a day off for Land Rover BAR, but they face Oracle and Softbank Team Japan today, the final day of racing in the round-robin qualifiers before taking their place in the Challenger Play-offs that begin tomorrow.

June 3. If the world knew nothing more about Bermuda than its mysterious triangle and even more mysterious shorts, it certainly does now. Bermuda’s pink sand beaches have every reason to blush as the island’s best attributes attract wall-to-wall coverage from the world’s biggest media empires thanks, for the most part, to our winning 35th America’s Cup bid. The island’s booming hotel and tourism industry take centre stage in the likes of high-end globe-trotters’ bible Conde Nast Traveller; esteemed international business publication Forbes features an in-depth review of the Hamilton Princess and Beach Resort’s world-class art collection while the New York Post highlights Bermuda’s “big wigs” including Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot and Michael Douglas. The island has been voted as one of the world’s top island destinations in an editorial from leading US cable news network CNN, which also featured a film series over an entire month in the run-up to the Cup and let’s not forget our visit from the Today Show which, until earlier this year, was the US’s most watched morning show for 16 years running. Whatever your stance on the America’s Cup being hosted here, there is no denying the millions of advertising dollars this unprecedented coverage amounts to. Here are just a few highlights from recent weeks. June 1. Forbes: John Oseid, a contributor to the magazine, offered an in-depth review of the “major art collection” at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club. Mr Oseid writes: “When you come back to the Hamilton Princess, look out for a beautiful Shepard Fairey print of the great Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It hangs in front of a geometric sculptural piece on the floor called Untitled (Divina Proportione). That one is by Ai himself. By then, you’ll have come full circle with the hotel’s fine collection. And then you may just want to start all over again.” He also recommended the “fine little institution” Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art for viewing great art. Since May 26. NBC Sports: Dedicating more than 40 hours of coverage to the sailing spectacle. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are providing comprehensive streaming coverage. Alastair Eykyn (play-by-play) and former America’s Cup Helmsman and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read (analyst) are providing race commentary. Veteran announcer Todd Harris is anchoring NBC Sports Group’s pre-race and post-race studio coverage on-site from Bermuda’s Great Sound during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and the America’s Cup Match And for the second consecutive time, the channel is employing the Emmy Award-winning AC LiveLine graphics package to provide viewers “real-time on-course” information throughout the event. May 26. Wired: The magazine ran a piece on how Sir Ben Ainslie geared up for the Cup. The article focuses on how seriously Sir Ben takes his sailing, earning him the moniker “terminator face” by his crew mates. May 26. BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation of course had to give props to the great Sir Ben Ainslie — the multiple Olympic champion Brit at the helm of Land Rover BAR. Ainslie was quoted saying: “I guess you could say the America’s Cup becomes a life obsession.” But. much to the chagrin of many a Bermudian, he seems pretty determined to take the Cup to Britain should his team take top prize. “Look at our sporting maritime heritage and it’s the one thing that’s missing,” he told the BBC. “It would be huge if we could bring the cup home.” May 25.  Conde Nast Traveller: The leading travel magazine featured a promotional film covering ten of the best things to do in Bermuda. The film included footage of cliff jumping at Admiralty House Park; Bermuda’s forts, including Fort Scaur dating back to the 17th century; Unesco World Heritage site St George’s; Front Street, which highlighted our Gombey Dancers in their colorful regalia; and, of course, every tourist’s dream beach — Horseshoe Bay. May 26. USA Today: Oracle Team USA sailor Andrew Campbell was featured in USA Today after his twin babies were born in Bermuda. Highlighting the island, Mr Campbell wrote in a letter for his babies to read in the future: “We came all the way out here to win the America’s Cup. It’s the oldest trophy in international sport, every sailor’s dream.” Mr Campbell joined Oracle in 2014 during a training camp in Sydney and moved to Bermuda in April 2015. The twins were born in July. May 23.  The New York Post: The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club; food including Bulli.Social, the Maree at The Loren and “celebrity-helmed restaurant” Marcus’; the America’s Cup; our Zika-free status; and Bermuda’s “sophistication” were all listed as reasons to visit in a New York Post article. “A British overseas territory, the 20 and a half square-mile island is booming this year, no doubt in part to the chichi America’s Cup yachting competition, which the pink sand-destination shelled out $77 million to host.” “Bigwigs” including Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot and Michael Douglas all get a shout out for their association with the island. May 23.  CNN is giving the America’s Cup reams of coverage including a rundown of the AC racing rules. One article describes the competing sailors “super humans”, while champion yachtsman Sir Russell Coutts is quoted saying: “People have asked why Bermuda is such a good venue for the America’s Cup and one of the main reasons is the Great Sound. It provides a relatively smooth water venue for foiling but it also allows people watching close up a view of the racing from all around the Great Sound.”  May 18.  NBC’s Today Show co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb brought the popular morning show here in the build-up to the official start of the America’s Cup. The hosts shot two one-hour shows in Bermuda. Our top celebrity resident Michael Douglas gave the hosts a personal tour of the island, Bermudian jeweler Alexandra Mosher was featured as was the Harbour Front, where Mr Douglas dined with the hosts. “The Today show’s interest in coming to Bermuda is clear evidence of the value of the 35th America’s Cup in drawing mainstream media coverage to the island not just the traditional media that cover sailing events,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas. May 23. Reuters: “Bermuda’s crystal clear waters are a far-cry from the murky south coast of England where the cup was first won in 1851 by the US schooner ‘America’ in front of Queen Victoria, who was told there is no second’ when she asked about the runner-up,” writes Reuters’ Alexander Smith. APRIL 26 Forbes: "The island’s skyrocketing hotel and tourism industry was highlighted in the coveted Forbes magazine with props given to the likes of Marcus’ of “Red Rooster Harlem renown”; the “lively” Pickled Onion, the “see-and-be-seen bar” Harry’s; the “lovely little” Rosedon Hotel; the “urban looking” Loren at Pink Beach; the Ritz Carlton Reserve “with a hint of colonial era motifs”; St Regis Resort; and the Bermudiana Beach Resort. Locals featured include artist Graham Foster, whose historical mural at the Bermuda National Museum is described as “stunning”, and “fount of knowledge” Bermudian-American Spencer Wood. 

June 3. A total of 51 boats will compete in the 40th anniversary of the 21st biennial Marion Bermuda Race. The start of this blue-water classic is on June 9 from Marion. The race finishes in the midst of America’s Cup activity in Bermuda some four or five days later. Entries are up slightly since 2015 when 48 boats took the Marion challenge, racing the 645 nautical-mile race from Marion, Massachusetts, south out of Buzzard’s Bay to the finish line of St David’s Lighthouse. In 2013 the race had 35 entries. The 2017 edition of this classic will see boats ranging from Selkie, GJ Bradish’s Morris Ocean 32½ footer from Boston to the Hinckley SW 59 Pescatore sailed by George Tougas of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, with a Youth Trophy team. Nine of the boats, including Selkie will sail in the Celestial Navigation Division. In its true Corinthian spirit, the Marion Bermuda Race is the only ocean race to Bermuda that offers a celestial navigation prize. Marion Bermuda also offers a prize in honour of past Commodore Faith Paulsen for the fastest corrected time by a boat with an all female crew. The Commodore Faith Paulsen Trophy was initiated in 2011. Since that time it has been won twice by Anne Kolker and her all-female crews aboard Etoile, her Stellar 52. Kolker recalls, “My first MBR race was in 2009 on Maren Erskin’s Cayenne with an all-female crew. We started the race but turned back due to weather considerations. Since then I have done subsequent races on my boat Etoile. This race, 2017, will be my fourth on Etoile. The biggest challenge of the race is finding competition for our all-female team. We would love more competition. I have no problem finding crew. Although one might think there is a strength issue for dealing with a 52 foot boat, Etoile is equipped with power winches and roller furling main and jib. We have had our share of mechanical problems. We have either fixed them or found a workaround solution. I insist that all crew members are intimately familiar with the boat including sail handling, crew overboard and generator function to charge the batteries. Etoile is a complex boat with sophisticated electronics and multiple battery banks and leisure furl main sail. In 2013, we won the Ancient Mariner Award for the oldest average age crew. The special reward for sailing to Bermuda is arriving there. Over 600 miles of sailing is a thrilling accomplishment that is never the same as any prior trip. In addition to increased competition for us, I would love to see more women get involved in offshore racing. Although I do not dedicate the race to a specific cause, I hope to inspire other women by example to sail offshore and join the race. There is a great camaraderie in the Marion race as I have come to know many of the people who run and organise the race. I am a member of the Blue Water Sailing Club, one of the cosponsors of the race. Additionally, I was recently asked to join the Board of Trustees of the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association.” All of the Etoile crew are experienced offshore sailors returning for another voyage on “their” yacht. Watch captain, Deb Gale-Malone has done eight Marion Bermuda Races and two from Newport. This will be her eleventh ocean race to Bermuda. Gale-Malone has sailed twice with an all female crew on Cassiopeia as watch captain, once on Cayenne with all women and this will be her fourth all-girl voyage on Etoile, co-skipper with Kolker in 2011 as it was her first race. The rest of the crew will be watch captain Pat Marshall, the navigator Garet Wohl, and crew members Solvej Freitas, Katherine Ainsworth and Deb Watson. Gale-Malone commented on sailing to Bermuda: “I’m always excited about sailing offshore, you get the best and worst of conditions in one sail. However, I think having the America’s Cup on the ‘Rock’ adds a great deal of excitement. There will be so much activity at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and on the island. The AC racers are the rock stars of the sport of yacht racing. The AC committee has tried to market it to a diverse crowd. The dynamics of the two events are so different. I know the Cup races are a big draw. But what we are doing is pretty darn cool as well. There is nothing like being offshore, experiencing the elements and surroundings, especially on the 0200 watch.” The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, the race host, is also Bermuda’s home away from home for the America’s Cup defenders, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, and their defending team, Oracle Team USA. The club will be a hub of activity not to be missed. Actual racing in the America’s Cup Match start June 17, the day of the Marion Bermuda prize-giving. While Marion Bermuda Racers are in Bermuda, the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta runs from June 13 to 15. The J Class Regatta is June 16, 19 and 20. And Red Bull Youth America’s Cup races are spread from June 12 to June 20.

June 3. Opinion, by Leah Scott, Junior Minister of Education and the government MP for Southampton East Central (Constituency 30). "There has been a lot said about progress the One Bermuda Alliance has made during its term versus the past. People hold and share many opinions about whether or not we have made positive inroads. Has progress been made during the OBA’s tenure as the Government? Despite the alternative facts that make their way around, I would state, unequivocally, that the OBA government has made incredible progress, and the accomplishments speak for themselves. On April 24, Caroline Bay Marina, at Morgan’s Point, held a “dock wetting” to celebrate the completion of phase one of Bermuda’s newest superyacht marina, which includes the structural completion of the 110 berths and mooring spaces. You can see the YouTube video that highlights the development and progress. On April 27, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new 277,300 sq ft airport terminal, and marked the start of a redevelopment project that will be one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Bermuda. There is a video on YouTube, memorializing that development. On May 4, developer Hotelco Bermuda Holding, together with Marriott International, broke ground for construction of the 240,000 sq ft St Regis Hotel and seven condominium buildings. On May 27, the 35th America’s Cup got under way — the first time the United States as defender has held the races outside of American waters, and in a place the size of Bermuda. The eyes of the world are on us and we should all be proud of this history-making event. The economic stimulus that is taking place in Bermuda could and would not have occurred but for the confidence placed in the OBA government by our local and international business partners, investors and companies. However, on May 19, Opposition leader David Burt tabled a motion for a vote of no confidence in the OBA government. Does that motion have any merit? In terms of fiscal management of the government purse, has the OBA performed better than the Opposition did during its tenure? Based on the following facts, I invite your thoughts. In November 2010, Paula Cox, premier at the time, appointed David Burt to the Senate and to serve as Junior Minister for Finance, Environment and Planning, Infrastructure Strategy, and as her Chief of Staff. In a Bermuda Sun article at the time, Ms Cox paid tribute to Mr Burt, saying that he would work closely with her on reviving the economy and boosting business development. In an interview after his appointment, Mr Burt told the Bermuda Sun: “Bermuda has important decisions to make over the next few years and I am happy to play a part. I am gratified by the Premier’s confidence in me. When someone like Paula Cox asks you to step up and assist, it is hard to say no. I am going to assist to the best of my ability.” The Report of the Auditor-General on the consolidated fund of the Government of Bermuda for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial years is a telling indicator of whether the former premier’s confidence was well placed. In Ms Cox’s National Plan for Government, which was released on October 10, 2010, it was promised that “under transparent Cox leadership the PLP government will restrain growth in spending by spreading disciplined and effective fiscal management across all ministries and departments to achieve savings of at least $150 million in the first year.” As the Junior Minister for Finance, it is assumed that David Burt would have been part of the fiscal management process. Further, David Burt is a person who is a stickler for procedure, detail and accuracy. However, in her report, the Auditor-General Heather Jacobs Matthews said: “There were numerous cases — 69 per cent or $43 million of expenditures greater than $1 million in 2011 — which violated the requirement for prior Cabinet approval. In both 2010 and 2011, expenditures tested for the following departments did not have prior Cabinet approval. It is evident that the policies, procedures and rules pertaining to capital expenditures are being violated to such an extent that it has now become the norm for which there are no consequences. Compliance with the required procedures for the procurement of goods and services reduces the risk of non-performance, fraud and misappropriation. Persons with signing authority should be held accountable for breaches of compliance of the relevant financial instructions and rules.” In that same 2010 PLP National Plan for Government, it was promised again “under transparent Cox leadership” that all government tenders would be published in full on its website. Ms Jacobs Matthews states in her report: “Tendering is required for any contract where the value of goods and services exceeds $50,000. Financial instruction 8.3.1 requires ministries and departments to obtain quotations from suppliers of goods and services. The minimum number of quotations to be obtained and the rigour of the evaluation and awarding process depend on the size of the purchase or contract, as well as the potential cost/benefit of administering the tendering process. Despite the requirements of financial instructions, the 2010 audit revealed that 55 per cent ($16.8 million) of expenditures tested were not tendered. In 2011, an estimated $62 million of expenditures tested (76 per cent) were not tendered in compliance with financial instructions, PFA 2000 and PFA 2002.” Yet in his “statement overruling the Office of Project and Procurement regarding the airport project should concern all taxpayers”, Mr Burt criticised the OBA government, stating that “the OBA have been in office for 29 months, and during that time they continue to bypass the rules that were put in place by the PLP following the recommendations of the Auditor-General to strengthen the tendering process.” The Opposition’s 2012 General Election manifesto stated that it was committed to fiscal fitness. But in stark contrast to that commitment, the Auditor-General of the day, writes: “In the past five years, Government has more than quadrupled the amount of public debt to revenue. This is important because when this indicator significantly increases for an extended period of time — assuming relatively stable interest rates — it means that Government has consistently chosen borrowing over increases in taxes, customs duty, fees and fines to meet its financial and service commitments. This eventually has an effect on Government’s flexibility, since higher debt generally impairs the ability to borrow money at reasonable interest rates and to roll over existing debt. Public debt is defined as any debt owed or guaranteed by the consolidated fund which is due and payable. It excludes the sinking fund, which is money set aside to repay government loans. At March 31, 2012, public debt stood at $1.2 billion, representing a 344 per cent increase in five years.” In his 2017-18 Budget, the Minister of Finance reported that the overall deficit is budgeted to be $135 million, a drop of $64.6 million or 32.3 per cent when compared with the 2016-17 original estimates. That is a far cry from the reported 344 per cent increase in the public debt in 2012. The Minister of Finance and this team have managed Bermuda’s fiscal purse with integrity, and it is undeniable that our economy is beginning to turn around. These things could not take place if there was no consumer confidence or confidence by international business and foreign investors in the Government’s ability to facilitate, manage and maintain projects of the magnitude that they have invested in and that are now moving forward. It has been said by many that the best social welfare programme is a job, and the truth is that the OBA is creating greater employment opportunities for Bermudians. Confidence is a combination of courage and competence. It has been a huge challenge for the OBA government to be able to suss out the most efficient options, in terms of policy, programmes and projects that will result in the highest benefit to Bermuda and Bermudians. However, the OBA has had the courage to make the tough decisions and the competence to carry those decisions out because the ultimate goal is to provide people with opportunities and to create a prosperous society by eliminating social exclusion, poverty and income disparity. The OBA is confident that it can achieve this for the Bermudian people."

June 3. The new owners of Rosewood Tucker’s Point are confident in the future of tourism in Bermuda beyond the America’s Cup. Alessandro Colantonio, who led the purchase of the property for Miami-based investment firm Gencom, said that the company had been looking at investments on the island for several years, but now felt the tourism industry was moving in the right direction. “I would like to say we have always presented ourselves as being a very opportunistic investment shop. As we spend a lot of time in this space, over time, we have learnt to really identify assents in the market where we see long-term potential, be it in the form of investment in tourism or airlift. Bermuda is a location we have looked at several times over the years, and this was the third time we looked at Tucker’s Point. We first looked at it in 2012 and at that time we were not comfortable with the direction of tourism. When we looked again in 2015, we started to see the start of the tide turning when it comes to the future of the destination.” In addition to the steady increase in visitor arrivals, he said Gencom noted the rise in airlift to the island and investments in the island by Ritz Carlton and St Regis, saying the island was showing renewed brand interest. “The America’s Cup is great, but we look at that as a launching point for a long-term boost for the market. Across the board, all things are pointed in the right direction for us.” Mr Colantonio credited the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Government with putting the island’s tourism industry on the right track, saying: “I would say the future has never been brighter, based on the last 15 months of data.” Asked about plans to develop further luxury real estate properties on the site, Mr Colantonio said the details were still somewhat of a work in progress, but stated that the company understands that there are concerns about construction density on the site. And he added that the company was focused on “quality over quantity” when considering any further development on the side, saying: “We don’t want to do so much on one side of the business plan that it affects the other side. The phase one plan that we have in mind contemplates 16 waterfront condos in a very low-density development. Other than that, it is about selling the existing unsold fractional ownership units.” He said the company was also looking at potentially selling a handful of SDO lots on the site, but added: “None of the lots are being looked at as multiple developments. It’s really single family homes. The only area that we really put a number on was the 16 waterfront condominiums. Phase two has a few different options that we are looking at.” Mr Colantonio also said that the company was not presently looking at changing the staffing levels at the resort, but he added: “If anything, we are going to need to add some staff.”

June 3. Four local firms have been taken on by the Aecon Group for the airport redevelopment project. OBM International will be responsible for the architecture and landscape architecture of the project, while Brunel has been awarded contracts for structural and civil engineering. On-site Engineering will be tasked with the mechanical engineering of the project and IAL will be responsible for electrical engineering. The construction phase of the project is expected to last until the first quarter of 2020. The Bermudian firms will be working with Aecon to review and provide input into the design development of the new passenger terminal. They will also oversee various inspections and testing activities during construction. “Local expertise is invaluable in every project and we’re delighted to be working with these Bermudian firms,” Frank Ross, Aecon’s executive director of infrastructure, said. “Having worked with them during the design phase, we know the local talent that they can bring to the table. We’re happy to have them as partners as we begin the construction phase of the project.” Under the contracts announced yesterday, Brunel, a consulting engineering firm, will provide input into all aspects of the design relating to wind loading and other environmental impacts. Brunel will prepare inspection reports and manage photographic records of inspections. IAL, an electrical engineering consultancy, will be co-ordinating and reviewing with the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, the design of the fire alarm system for the new airport terminal, and will be responsible for finalizing the design of grounding and lighting systems. Architectural and landscape design firm OBMI will be the principal liaison in Bermuda between the design and construction teams and ensure all conditions of the planning permissions are adhered to. Finally, Onsite Engineering, a specialist mechanical engineering firm, together with HH Angus will be responsible for providing the design of the groundwater heat-rejection system.

June 3. Former Clerk of the Legislature John Gilbert, who was deeply versed in parliamentary procedure and became a keen historian in retirement, has died at the age of 90. Stepping down in 1989 after 14 years at the post, Mr Gilbert went on to serve as executive director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda and then secretary of the Bermuda International Business Association. But Parliament and what it represented was seldom far from his mind. On retiring, he published a historical account of the House of Assembly, A Tale of Two Houses, which was followed in 1995 by the companion Whither Now Bermuda, at a time when the island grappled with independence simultaneously with the departure of United States forces from their local bases. “Party politics have to be put on the back burner and all our politicians must pool their collective wisdom,” Mr Gilbert said on that occasion. Aside from leading tours of the House of Assembly in his later years, Mr Gilbert remained a tireless observer of political affairs. He endured as a resource for MPs and the press alike on the sometimes arcane matters of procedure. “He was astute and forthcoming on procedures and practices relating to Parliament,” recalled Sir John Swan, the former premier. “Bermuda had worked through a difficult period of redefining its economic base, and was dealing with social and environmental issues. The process of Parliament was one of trying to pass legislation that gave people rights and benefits. Parliament had to find the appropriate economic basis and also work with fiscal responsibility. It’s not what we want — it’s what we agree upon.” Mr Gilbert was a notorious stickler for decorum as well as the rules, and in 2004, dissatisfied with the standards of debate, he recommended new MPs take training courses at Westminster. He was educated at Saltus Grammar School and went on to study at the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. He served in the British Overseas Administrative Service in Ghana before returning home to Bermuda. In retirement, he served as a volunteer at the Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda and Friends of Hospice, as well as writing a column for the Bermuda Sun. “John was first class, as a person and as a clerk,” said former MP and minister Quinton Edness. “He was brilliant in managing the House, with matters such as all the letter-writing that had to be done. He was brilliant as a clerk when it came to what could and couldn’t be done with parliamentary procedure. You have really got to have a special kind of nature to do that. It’s not an easy job. He became one of the best clerks you would ever hope to have. He was a scholar, very academic, and respected throughout the Commonwealth system. He used to attend conferences all over the world. He was very good at assisting Members and also kept up the parliamentary library. I just want to extend condolences to his family, and wish them comfort during this difficult time.”

June 3. The owner of a local charter vessel has described how his crew found the 62-year-old woman killed in a marine crash on Thursday night. Mary Elizabeth McKee, from New Zealand, was killed and two men, including her husband, were injured when two boats collided in Hamilton Harbour shortly before 11pm. According to police, a 26-year-old Bermuda resident was driving a 17ft boat from the Front Street Ferry Terminal towards White’s Island when the vessel collided with a 9ft Zodiac. The three people travelling in the Zodiac were thrown overboard. Denis Owen, owner of the ÜberVida, told The Royal Gazette that his boat had been used for a private event on Thursday night. It was docked in the harbour with the crew preparing for clean-up when they received a distress call indicating that someone was missing in the water, he said. The crew immediately went to assist in the search and the boat came across someone in the water. “Our team found her,” Mr Owen said. “One of our crew members jumped into the water with a rescue device.” The victim was brought back on board and CPR was performed, he said. Paramedics took over back at the dock, Mr Owen said. “She was unresponsive.” Mr Owen — who was not on-board the vessel at the time — said two other small boats were in the area searching when his staff members found the woman. The majority of ÜberVida’s crew members, he said, had the STCW — Standard for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping — an international accreditation to handle emergency situation such as this. While they were not able to save her, Mr Owen said he was very proud of the efforts of his crew, and said he had received praise for their response. “Unfortunately the result wasn’t what we wanted,” he said. “Everyone was pretty upset.” Ms McKee’s 69-year-old husband and a 26-year-old British man both received serious injuries in the crash, police said. As of late yesterday afternoon, both men remained in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. The driver of the other boat was arrested on suspicion of impaired operation of a watercraft. “He complied with a demand for breath samples and passed the test,” police said. “However, he remains in custody pending further enquiries.” Ralph Richardson, with the Bermuda Water Safety Council, described the death as sad, especially during a festive time. “My thoughts go out to the family of that individual,” he said. Mr Richardson stressed the need for boaters to exercise “extreme caution” when out at night. “It’s very difficult at night to tell how far away an object is from you,” he said. The harbour, Mr Richardson said, is presently very crowded. “Every boater that goes into Hamilton should do so at lower speeds.” Another important consideration, he said, was the hundreds of new boat owners the council had become aware of on the water “that have very little experience. I would implore anyone that has bought a new boat to become very aware of the rules,” Mr Richardson said. Operating a boat at night is a completely different experience from the daytime, Mr Owen echoed. Referencing the 10-knot speed limit in place for vessels in the harbour, he suggested that perhaps a five-knot limit at night was warranted. “If you can’t see properly, you shouldn’t be going fast,” he said. Jeff Baron, Minister of National Security, described the incident as “a sad and tragic event. We extend our sincerest and deepest condolences to the family of the victim and hope for a swift recovery of those injured,” he said in a statement on Friday. The safety of all on the island was of “paramount concern”, the minister said." We continue to encourage care and concern during this very busy time in Bermuda.” Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to contact 247-1744 or Crime Stoppers at 800-8477.

June 2/3. Blackwatch Pass was reopened to both motorists and pedestrians yesterday morning after weeks of work on dangerous slopes. The Ministry of Public Works commissioned the work, which included rock scaling as well as additional rock-face stabilization. The ministry noted that while the road is now open, there will still be ongoing fencing work and “shotcreting”, a process by which concrete is hosed on to a surface. The road linking North Shore Road to Hamilton opened in 1934 and has been subject to falling rocks. Plants growing in the stone work and gradual weathering of the exposed stone can bring down rubble. The road was closed during daytime hours for remedial work by a Canadian team Cimota Inc. They rappelled the slopes of the pass on high-strength ropes with pry-bars and pick to remove trees and rocks. Work began on April 3 and was reopened yesterday morning.

June 2, later. Today's Race results. 

Standings to date after June 2 races finished

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
New Zealand 8 1 8
United States 6 2 7
Great Britain 3 5 5
Sweden 4 5 4
Japan 3 6 3
France 2 7 2

 

June 2, early. Is today the day that the 35th America’s Cup says “Au Revoir” to Groupama Team France? Having suffered back-to-back defeats to SoftBank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR yesterday (Thursday), Franck Cammas and his team must beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the third race of today’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers Round Robin 2 (race 10), to keep their hopes alive of progressing through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals. “There is definitely a lot of pressure on us,” conceded Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France helmsman, with his team currently bottom of the standings on two points, ahead of the daunting task of trying to shock the high-flying Kiwis who sit comfortably in second place on six points. “Things are looking very tough but we are still alive and we will do the best we can. “Will we make it through? I’m not sure but we will keep fighting and so we will see.” Before that crucial race for the French, the day commences with an intriguing battle between Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan in Round Robin 2, Race 8. Peter Burling and his New Zealand team have already secured their passage through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals and opposition helmsman Dean Barker is now desperate to join them with points on offer against the Kiwis and Artemis Racing (race 11). ““It was a shame not to win both races yesterday,” said Barker after SoftBank Team Japan overcame Groupama Team France but then suffered defeat to ORACLE TEAM USA, leaving them on three points in the standings. “It was an important day and it was good to gain that point buffer over Groupama Team France, but our progression is far from assured.” Having sat out of the action yesterday, another team keen to claim some much needed points and seal their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals is Artemis Racing. The Swedish team currently find themselves fifth in the standings on the same points as Groupama Team France. However, with two scheduled races today against ORACLE TEAM USA (race 9) and SoftBank Team Japan (race 11), Nathan Outteridge and the rest of the team will know that their destiny is still in their own hands. Depending on the outcome of Groupama Team France’s race with Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing could secure their progression into Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Final today with a single victory, having finished above the French team in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. If the two teams end the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on level points, their final position in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will be deciding factor, with Artemis Racing having finished above Groupama Team France.

Race Schedule:

Friday, 2 June 2017 races schedule

June 2, early. With a pivotal day of racing scheduled, ORACLE TEAM USA, top of the table presently, will lock horns with rivals Emirates Team New Zealand in a mouth-watering clash of the top-two teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in tomorrow’s opening race (race 12). The winner of that monumental clash will not only take the bragging rights, but will importantly top the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers table and could take a vital point into the showpiece America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA head into the day, one place and one point behind Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand who currently have eight points. However, victory for the American team tomorrow would ensure their place at the top of the standings, even if they have equal points with their rivals, due to their superior finish in the final standings of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. “It is a big one tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it,” said ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill ahead of the monumental battle with Emirates Team New Zealand. “Being in a position where if we beat the Kiwis we get the bonus point is nice. We are all really pumped up for that one, it will be one hell of a race.” In reply, Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling is relishing the opportunity for his team to test themselves against the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’. “We are all really happy to be top of the standings,” said Burling. “I’m really excited for the race against ORACLE TEAM USA tomorrow. It is a big race for us and it will be great to test ourselves under the pressure.” Tomorrow also represents your last chance to watch the hugely popular Groupama Team France, who will not progress into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, after they suffered elimination from the the first stage of the competition. Franck Cammas and his team will sign off their 35th America’s Cup campaign with a race against Artemis Racing in the third race of the afternoon (race 14). After sitting out of racing on Friday, Land Rover BAR will also return to Bermuda’s Great Sound tomorrow in two races as they take on SoftBank Team Japan in race 13, before capping off proceedings against ORACLE TEAM USA in final race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

June 2. America’s Cup organisers have explained why the event village will remain shut on spare race days, even when postponed racing is taking place. On Thursday, the America’s Cup village remained closed despite a series of postponed races taking place on the Great Sound during the afternoon. Organisers told The Royal Gazette that spare race days provided the chance for “hundreds of staff working at the event to recharge”. “Spare race days are in the schedule to ensure that we can catch up with the race programme if we have to postpone racing for any reason, as we did on May 31,” a spokeswoman for the 35th America’s Cup said. “We have over five weeks of activities throughout the 35th America’s Cup and, throughout our planning, we have made sure that the health and wellbeing of all our staff is a priority, so we use the spare race days to ensure everyone has a chance to recharge. The decision to use a spare race day can only be made late on the day before, obviously because we want to give ourselves as much time as we can to try and go racing, but if the weather is against us then the decision is taken. At that point, it is obviously too late to then make last-minute adjustments to the planning and execution of all the America’s Cup Village activities by telling staff that they now have to come in, so, as planned, we keep the America’s Cup Village closed.

June 2. Tickets for the America’s Cup Village are selling quickly with weekend passes and Grandstand seating sold out for most weekends. However, General Admission tickets are still available from only $20. The Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar at the America’s Cup Village is also sold out for every weekend, except this weekend. Weekday tickets for the viewing areas are available, as are General Admission tickets for every day that the America’s Cup Village is open. They can be purchased from americascup.com/tickets and in person from the Sail Racing store on Front Street. Spectators wanting a luxurious VIP experience with complimentary food and beverage can book the Longtail Lounge by e-mail on hospitality@americascup.com Also those wanting to experience the America’s Cup on the water, can purchase Official Spectator Boat tickets for most days and a waiting list is in place for June 24 and 25. Transport must also be booked online and in advance for the Village ferries and parking. Motorbike parking is free at the Transportation Hub, near the entrance to the Village. People who want to drive a car must book parking in advance for the Park n Ride programme online at www.americascup.com/tickets. Each car is $25 when booked in advance ($30/car if booked within 24 hours of use). This includes a return shuttle service to the Village for all passengers in the car, by shuttle boat or minibus (includes accessibility). Ongoing transportation information and updates are available at: www.acbda.bm/transport and on twitter, follow America’s Cup Bermuda on Twitter @AC2017BDA.

June 2. Some 250 private jets have so far made reservations to land in Bermuda throughout the 35th America’s Cup. Some of the most sophisticated private crafts in the world are sitting on the tarmac at LF Wade International, with many wondering who they are owned by or who they are carrying. Included in the gathering are a high number of Gulf Stream private jets — “the best-performing business aircraft in the world” — Citation jets, which are part of several “families” of turbofan-powered aircraft, and Lear jets, which are billed as the most trusted light jets among Fortune 50 and 500 companies. The biggest aircraft to register to date is the Boeing Business Jet — a craft that might be used by someone who wants to accommodate friends or someone planning a long-distance flight. The opening of the America’s Cup attracted some 150 jets between May 24 and May 31. However, a significant number are also expected to come half way through the Cup races. Bob Withers, director of operations at airport operator Skyport said: “We have seen a lot of aircraft come in. We are tracking them on a daily basis. They tend to drop in on the weekends unless there is something special. Right in the middle of the month there is a bump. “Over 250 have a reservation, but one craft could make several reservations.” Mr Withers said he was confident that space could be found in the airport aprons [parking areas] to accommodate all of the craft. He added: “It was hard to predict how many would come. With the air carriers we know their load factors well in advance. We planned for 40 to 50 jets a day and it has not got that big — the biggest challenge has been where to park jets. We have three aprons where we designate for jets for overnight parking. We share apron number three with Longtail Aviation and they can put planes in the hangar and they have our two helicopters in there, filming for AC35. That is why we put out the reservation system — I can’t say that we can guarantee there will be space but we are confident we can accommodate them. Under the system, they are giving us 24-hour notice to have a guaranteed reservation number. We can still accommodate those who reserve in less than 24 hours. Most of them would be corporate share or a shared system, but there are lots of individually owned private jets that come in as well. We are going to take medical and military (jets) if they need to come in and any emergency, without a doubt, we are going to be able to provide necessary services.” Speaking on the potential economic benefits to Bermuda, Mr Withers said: “Certainly at the airport they are taking advantage of our services — landing fees, fuel fees, catering fees. All of these services are provided by our fixed-base operator, Cedar Aviation Services. They are fuelling here and we have a good fuelling system. Most people who come need a taxi to take them to their hotels or guest homes. I don’t think they will be leaving their wallets at home.” The high and the low for fuel uptake is between 300 to 2,000 gallons per jet aircraft. The average might be 500 gallons. The smaller Learjet’s may take the 300 gallons going to the USA and the large Gulfstream and Bombardier jets could take 2,000 gallons going towards Europe. A Cedar Aviation spokesman said that privacy was a “hallmark of the service. We are aware that the executive jet passengers will ‘assist’ the local economy since they will require accommodation if they do not have access to a luxury yacht,” he said. “In addition, they will utilise Bermuda’s restaurants and taxis and at least go to Hamilton and St George’s to see what unique shopping is available. Depending on length of stay, several will enjoy golfing, fishing and tennis and tour the island. As with all of Bermuda’s guests, they comment about our beautiful water, general cleanliness, beautiful beaches and very friendly people.” Some of those on the jets are likely to have visited the VIP Lounge set up at the airport, supplying complimentary drinks from Gosling’s. Mr Withers reiterated the message that privacy was of the utmost importance for high-profile visitors, but added: “We have VIPs on multiple levels, certainly politicians and government staff, VIPs associated with other countries, diplomatic VIPs and certain people attached to organisations or the racing teams themselves or large corporations that need extra help getting through efficiently. We don’t lessen any of the rules on security or immigration, but it is efficient.”

June 2. The tall ships took over Front Street yesterday morning as they made their way from St George’s to the City of Hamilton in preparation for Bermuda’s second festival in their honour. A total of 18 ships are now lined up along the harbour with crews hailing from all around the world taking part in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. The atmosphere was buzzing in the capital as crews disembarked, some dressed in full sailors’ uniforms, to explore the island further. The crew from the Dutch ship Wylde Swan proved that their skills stretched beyond pulling the ropes to strumming the strings as they formed a music band while sailing to Bermuda. The crew gave The Royal Gazette an impromptu rendition of La Bamba that ended up attracting a group of passers-by. Captain Fosse Fortuin said he’d always wanted to learn an instrument so when a music teacher Martin Perooig joined his crew it was the perfect excuse to go for it. Mr Fortuin said: “It was an impulsive thing. Martin was here and he is a really good musician. For years I wanted to be able to play something and it never worked out so I thought this would be a good opportunity. So I bought a guitar, a piano — I came out of the shop with an entire band.” Band leader Mr Perooig said: “We have guitar, saxophone, ukuleles and anything you can make lots of noise with. We did covers but we changed the lyrics to things about sailing.” Halee Grimes is second mate on the Pride of Baltimore II, which arrived in Bermuda last Thursday following a sail from Charleston, Carolina. She said: “It was awesome. We did ten knots the whole way. We were trying to get ahead of a storm front that was coming through and thankfully got just far enough ahead of it that we had some decent wind. We did break a few things, but nothing too significant. We had a Bermudian on board so since we have been here he has been taking us out in his car and bringing us some nice produce. This is my first time here. I really liked St George’s – there are some nice beaches. The people are really nice and super helpful.” Ms Grimes explained a little history of the Pride saying: “The original was built in the 1970s to bring some glory to Baltimore. She sank in a storm in ‘86 and then the city wanted another ship and this was built in 1988. Our mission is to be a goodwill ambassador from the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore. The ship has been over 40 countries all over the world. We talk about its maritime history, sailing and we shoot off canons every now and again.” The Oosterschelde is the largest restored Dutch freight ship and was built in 1917 for cargo sailing. Her captain Maarten De Jong explained: “The ship was later sold to the Danish and Swedish. One by one they took the masts off but then it was too small to compete with the other ships and so they put it in a corner of a harbour. A Dutchman came along and he saw it was an old schooner from Holland. He started restoring it and now everything is how it originally was. We tried to create something in that era. We sail around the world with 24 guests and we also do corporate events. Society gave us a lot of money to help us restore it so every year we try to do something back for society — we sail with troubled children, terminally diseased people, handicapped people … Last year we were here out of Texas on our way home, and this was a logical stop. I like the colours of the houses and all the white roofs.” Bermudian David Andrade said his time on Oosterschelde was his first trans-Atlantic voyage. “I’ve never really sailed normally,” said Mr Andrade. “I just thought to myself that, as a born and bred Bermudian, it would be kind of cool to do a trans-Atlantic voyage on a sailboat.” Stormy weather hit the Oosterschelde shortly after leaving her port in Charleston, shortening her weeklong voyage to four days. As helpful as it was, according to Mr Andrade, the crew dealt with stuffy nights and “green faces” in return. “I don’t suffer from seasickness, thankfully, but there were others who were definitely not liking the experience the first couple of days.” Shift-work was also constant and required from guests and crew, making it likely for members to work in darkness at night. Other boats were not easy to come by, making awareness of his surroundings key to staying safe during these shifts. Despite these challenges, Mr Andrade found the experience thrilling and recommended people of all ages tried sailing at least once. “We had a guy about 73 years old, and he was probably doing more work than I was." After leaving Bermuda for Boston on Monday, the ships will sail for Halifax and then Le Havre, in France, where the race is set to finish on September 3. Trainees over the age of 16 can still sign up for other legs of the voyage by e-mailing trainee@tallships.bm

June 2. Two prominent politicians could be squaring off to represent Warwick North East at the General Election. Senator Jeff Baron was rolled out for the seat at a One Bermuda Alliance press conference yesterday — and incumbent Mark Pettingill, who quit the ruling party to become an independent MP three months ago, later said he had not ruled out running himself. Nalton Brangman, Sheila Gomez, Jeff Sousa and Robyn Swan were also unveiled as Warwick candidates at the Rubber Tree. Contacted by The Royal Gazette yesterday, Mr Pettingill said he hadn’t ruled out another run. “I have received a lot of support to run as an independent so nothing is off the table at this stage,” he said. After leaving the OBA in March, Mr Pettingill said that he would probably retire from politics at the next General Election. Speaking yesterday, he said he was “not surprised” by the announcement that Mr Baron would be running in the constituency. “There are a number of people who wanted that seat after I resigned and he was always the front-runner to get it,” Mr Pettingill said. Mr Pettingill’s win, Mr Baron said, was due to constituents in the area supporting the OBA. “It was not about personalities — it was about what the One Bermuda Alliance was offering, and what the One Bermuda Alliance ethos was for Bermuda.". Mr Baron, the National Security Minister, said that his approach would not be affected by who he might be squaring off against for the spot. “It doesn’t change my level of energy, it doesn’t change my strategy,” he said. His work as minister, Mr Baron said, had led him to walk the streets in Warwick “addressing antisocial behaviour issues on Morgan's Road” and “organising and meeting with neighborhood watch zones”. He described the OBA candidates as a diverse group. “It’s time to get to work,” he said. Meanwhile, Ms Gomez will run in Warwick North Central, Constituency 27, where the incumbent is OBA MP Wayne Scott, a former education minister. Last night an OBA spokesman confirmed that Mr Scott would continue to work “with the OBA. Former minister Scott has said he would work eight years in Constituency 27,” the spokesman said. “While he won’t run in that seat, he intends to continue to work with the OBA and provide leadership going forward.” Ms Gomez said the OBA was “getting the job done”. The former tennis player and coach described her work experience as “far reaching”, highlighting work in fields including accounting, international real estate, and entrepreneurship. She said she wanted to move the island forward, both socially and economically, and would advocate for tolerance and a greater focus on parents. “If you are a tolerant and respective community, it works best,” she said. Mr Brangman will run in Warwick South East, where Lawrence Scott holds the Constituency 24 seat for the Progressive Labour Party. “I’ve been around politics since 1968,” he told members of the media in attendance. A former education minister, Mr Brangman said he was pleased by the track record of the party. “We were able to move the bar forward for children and for young adults. We were able to see growth and development, and also to keep continuity.” Ms Swan will run in Warwick South Central, the Constituency 26 seat where she lost a by-election to Neville Tyrrell of the PLP last December. “After extensive surgery, Bermuda is finally on the recovery ward,” Ms Swan said. She said the party had proven its fiscal responsibility, re-attracted international business to the island, and displayed its ability to prioritize and execute projects. Ms Swan promised to support “responsible and comprehensive” drug reform, and said the next stage of the island’s recovery would focus on education and social reform. “Affordable education in a clean, safe and healthy environment, creating an economy that grants seniors the ability to retire in their own island, and also ensuring that every Bermudian is afforded the same opportunities. This is the leadership that needs to be at the helm of Bermuda.” Mr Sousa will run in Warwick West, Constituency 28, the seat he won in the 2012 election. He described serving the constituency for the last five years as “an honour”. Mr Sousa pointed to the positive work of the party in the visible construction taking place — including new hotel developments, road works, and the new airport — and the jobs that were being created as a result. “There is truly a tourism revival taking place at the moment, that will benefit each and every one of us,” he said. Mr Sousa said voters were in “very safe hands” with the party. Michael Dunkley, the Premier, introduced the group as a team “that brought all the ingredients together” that the party needed for success. The coming election, Mr Dunkley said, was the time for the people of Bermuda to decide “whether they wanted to continue to move forward or whether they wanted to step back”.

June 2. A Bermudian firm specialising in compliance and anti-money laundering has been signed up by the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission. ADL Compliance will work to make sure that the gambling industry on the island is clean. Lanan Bascome, manager of ADL, said it was “humbling and gratifying” to get the chance to work in “such an exhilarating industry as gaming from ground up as it develops”. She added: “Our enthusiasm was only enhanced by the fact that, from our very first meeting, the Commission and its staff have been most welcoming. From the outset they made us feel like part of the team and we that this would be a great organisation to collaborate with.” ADL has already carried out stringent background checks on people involved in the local gambling industry, including criminal, civil and credit checks, media and social media vetting as well as investigations into professional and social contacts and employment history. Ms Bascome said: “These background checks are of paramount importance because people employed in or working with the casinos and gaming industry in Bermuda will have access to financial assets and complex technology. As much as we can, we endeavour to ensure that these persons are honest. As the regulator, it is the Commission’s job to safeguard the industry from any possibility of corruption and robust employee vetting goes a long way towards that end. These protections will help Bermuda not only build a reputation in gaming but will also help safeguard our island’s hard-earned, distinguished reputation in international business and finance generally.” Ms Bascome has more than a decade of financial industry experience, having worked for Government, HSBC, the Bank of Butterfield and the Bermuda Monetary Authority. ADL is a consultancy which handles compliance, operational risk management, anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing. Staff at the firm have already signed up for classes at the University of Nevada in the US gambling capital Las Vegas involving regulation and background investigations into casinos. Ms Bascome said: “As casinos are new to Bermuda, we believe it is key that we also understand the casino business. This understanding will make the application of our compliance expertise more pointed and effective. We consider the development of a vigorous compliance framework to be a vital step towards ensuring Bermuda succeeds in casino gaming. To that end, we are dedicated to doing our part to help Bermuda to develop an internationally respected gaming industry that will eventually place Bermuda in company with other jurisdictions that are regarded as the gold standard.” Richard Schuetz, executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, said the organisation aimed to work with local businesses as much as possible. He added: “This firm in particular impressed us with their experience and expertise in providing services to a variety of regulated industries including law and accounting firms, banks, trust companies, investment firms, reinsurance and insurance companies.” And he said that local expertise would be invaluable in ensuring that gambling in Bermuda was properly managed and remained crime-free. Ms Bascome added: “It will also ensure that Bermudians are educated about the industry and fully trained so that eventually the proverbial training wheels can be taken off and we can successfully run it as our own. “In our view, the Commission’s decision to work with Bermudian-based firms will help to make the gaming industry sustainable and in doing so ensure employment opportunities for Bermudians in gaming, at all levels, for generations.”

June 2. Equal rights campaigners were celebrating yesterday after it was revealed that Bermuda’s first gay wedding had taken place. The marriage ceremony of Bermudian lawyer Julia Saltus and her fiancée Judith Aidoo was conducted at the Registry-General on Wednesday, followed by a reception at Café Lido at Elbow Beach, according to one guest who attended. The nuptials came less than a month after the landmark Supreme Court ruling of May 5 which enabled gay people to marry on the island. Former Cabinet Minister Renee Webb, who tried unsuccessfully to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation more than a decade ago, told The Royal Gazette: “I attended the wedding, along with many others.” Ms Webb earlier posted on this newspaper’s website that she had the “pleasure and honour” of being at the ceremony. “The professional staff carried out the marriage of the brides with professionalism and a great sense of duty,” she wrote. “The Assistant Registrar is to be commended in her giving of the marriage vows. The sky did not fall, nor did it fall when we attended the reception on the beach at Café Lido. Bermuda is indeed a beautiful place. I am pleased at how kind and compassionate we Bermudians can be. I am proud of my personal journey in helping to bring about same-sex equality. Congratulations on their marriage to the beautiful women for their courage and demonstration of love. Love wins.” Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé Greg DeRoche brought the successful civil suit against the Government which led to Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons’s ruling last month. Mr Godwin and Mr DeRoche have since married in Toronto, making Ms Saltus and Ms Aido the first gay couple to take advantage of the judgment and tie the knot here. Lawyer Mark Pettingill, who represented Mr Godwin and Mr DeRoche, said yesterday he was “thrilled” to hear about Wednesday’s ceremony. “I hope there will be many more to follow in short order,” said the independent MP. Marriage equality campaigner Tony Brannon, who launched a petition to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015, said he spoke to the newlyweds as they celebrated at Café Lido and could not have been more delighted for them. “I am so happy for this wonderful news,” he said. “I met both of them. They were so happy and they said the lady at the registry office who married them was brilliant. Renee Webb and I hugged in celebration.” He said it was noteworthy that the wedding took place on the day Opposition MP Wayne Furbert’s bid to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples was making headlines. “Wayne Furbert should hang his head in shame,” he said. The Rainbow Alliance, which works to create safe spaces for LGBTQ people and their allies, said in a statement: “The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda send our congratulations to the happy couple and wish them the best in their future together. Many other gay Bermudian couples have been waiting decades for the chance to marry their loved one and we’re excited to see people already take advantage of this move towards equality.” Ms Webb said the newlyweds were not interested in “being trailblazers”. She added: “They simply wanted to get married here.” The wedding was mentioned at a Supreme Court hearing yesterday regarding the ruling of Mrs Justice Simmons. The judge asked counsel if a same-sex marriage had taken place in Bermuda yet. Deputy Solicitor-General Shakira Dill-Francois, for the Government, and Rod Attride-Stirling, for the HRC, said one was held on Wednesday. Yesterday’s hearing was to determine the exact wording of the judge’s order declaring that gay marriage is legal. Mrs Justice Simmons took submissions from Ms Dill-Francois and Grant Spurling, representing Mr Godwin and Mr DeRoche, as well as Mr Attride-Stirling and Delroy Duncan, for the pressure group Preserve Marriage. The latter two entities were interveners in the case. The judge reserved judgment on the final wording of the order — and on costs — to a later date.

June 2. An Arizona woman denied a charge of smuggling almost a kilogram of cannabis into the island when she appeared in Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Kyla Smith, 20, from Mesa, pleaded not guilty to charges of importing around 900g of cannabis and possessing the controlled drug with intent to supply. Both of the offences allegedly took place in St George’s on May 21. The court heard that Ms Smith is an American citizen but has been staying at a Devonshire residence since her release on police bail. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo released Ms Smith on $30,000 bail with a like surety, ordering that she remain on the island and report to the Hamilton Police Station three times a week. The matter is expected to return to the courts next week to be mentioned.

June 1 late, results. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers burst back into action on the first day of June with all the America’s Cup teams, bar Artemis Racing, in action on the Great Sound.  

Standings to date after June 1 races finished

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
United States 6 1 7
New Zealand 6 1 6
Great Britain* 3 5 5
Sweden 3 4 3
Japan 2 5 2
France 2 6 2

Catching up with the previous day’s race schedule, postponed due to light winds, in the first race of the afternoon (Round Robin 2, Race 4), SoftBank Team Japan gained a much needed victory as they overcame fellow strugglers Groupama Team France. In light winds, the Japanese team made the better start, increasing their lead when their French opponents suffered a slight nosedive early on in the run up to mark 1. Helmed by Dean Barker, SoftBank Team Japan managed to stay up on their foils in the light winds for longer periods than the French and maintained a healthy lead throughout the first race of the afternoon. With the light winds in mind, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) took the decision to shorten the racecourse which meant that a victory for the Japanese team, rarely looking in doubt, was confirmed sooner than perhaps expected, as they crossed the revised finish line over five minutes ahead of Groupama Team France. “Ultimately it was a good day for us,” said SoftBank Team Japan’s helmsman Dean Barker, whose team also suffered a defeat against ORACLE TEAM USA leaving them on three points in the standings, a point ahead of bottom-placed Groupama Team France. “In the first race we did a fantastic job and to get that win was great. We also led in the second race against ORACLE TEAM USA but we made a bad decision at the fifth gate and that let them in, we just made the wrong decision. It was a shame not to win both races but today was an important day and it is good to gain that point buffer, but our progression is far from assured.” Land Rover BAR’s first outing in race 5 proved a forgettable one for Sir Ben Ainslie’s team, as they were soundly beaten by the impressive Emirates Team New Zealand. Having taken a welcome win over Artemis Racing on Tuesday, the British team were unable to build on the momentum of what had been only their second victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. They were overtaken by their rivals in the lead to mark 1 and, from that point, were unable to close the gap to the Kiwis. Things went from bad to worse for the Brits and, while jibing on leg two, they came off of their foils, touching down into the water and from that point there was to be no comeback. In contrast, Emirates Team New Zealand were problem-free, sailing off into the distance with their lead reaching a massive six minutes and 25 seconds on the fourth leg, a full lap ahead of their British opponents. With Land Rover BAR still out on the racecourse, Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line, leaving Sir Ben Ainslie to concede defeat over the radio to the umpires, confirming that his team were retiring from the race. In the post-race press conference, Sir Ben said that, to the best of his knowledge, that was the very first time he had retired from a race of his own volition. “We were really happy with our racing today,” said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling, whose team remained in second place in the standings, now on six points, assuring their progression into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals. “The light winds made things difficult and meant a lot of effort was needed but the guys did a great job. It was also good to have the opportunity to race in a different condition and that allows us to keep learning about our boat.” ORACLE TEAM USA once again showed their pedigree in race 6, as they denied SoftBank Team Japan a second win on the day, beating the Japanese team by 32 seconds. The Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’ had to do it the hard way however, after being handed a penalty in the pre-start sequence for not entering the entry box in time, allowing their opponents to take a healthy lead which they maintained for the first four gates. However, despite the initial setback, ORACLE TEAM USA remained in pursuit of SoftBank Team Japan, cutting the deficit on every passing leg. The pressure finally told at gate 5 as the American team not only cut the lead completely but also passed their rivals, building to a 35 second lead in the closing stages. It was an advantage they did not relinquish, crossing the finish line 32 seconds ahead of SoftBank Team Japan as they maintained their position at the top of the standings, moving on to seven points. Despite already having their passage through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals assured as the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill reiterated his desire to win these qualifying stages with a possible valuable point on offer to take into the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. “In difficult conditions, the guys sailed really well and we took another victory,” said Spithill. “That bonus point on offer is key and we are definitely going for it. It is a big advantage to have it and so we will being going all out to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.” The final race of the day, race 7, proved the closest encounter with Land Rover BAR claiming a very slender victory over Groupama Team France. Having suffered defeat to Emirates Team New Zealand in race 5, Sir Ben Ainslie’s team were handed an early advantage, as the French team were handed a penalty in the pre-start sequence. However, with light winds remaining over the racecourse, victory never looked assured for Land Rover BAR and the lead changed hands multiple times throughout the race. However, there was real drama as the teams headed for the finish line neck and neck. In the end it was the Brits who ultimately prevailed, crossing the finish-line narrowly ahead of their rivals to claim a victory which takes them on to five points, ensuring their progression into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals. “It has been a tough day all round and we struggled in the light-wind setup,” said Land Rover BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie. “We suffered a technical issue with the systems controlling our daggerboard against New Zealand but the guys did brilliantly to fix the issue ahead of the second race with Groupama Team France. We managed to hang in against Franck (Cammas) in that race and won by the smallest of margins. It is a relief to have got through to the next stage because that is the first goal for all the teams competing here. I’m very happy to be through but I’m also very mindful that there is a lot for us to improve on. “There is still a long way for us to go and so unfortunately there will be no party for us tonight.” While Land Rover BAR have secured their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals, Groupama Team France in contrast, remain precariously on a knife edge, needing to win both of their remaining Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifier races to stand a chance of progression. “There is definitely a lot of pressure on us,” conceded Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France helmsman. “Things are looking very tough but we are still alive and will do the best we can. We will make it through? I’m not sure but we will keep fighting and so we will see.”

June 1. Day 5 of the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton. Racing resumes, with four races on tap, after yesterday’s unscheduled off day because of a lack of wind. The action starts just after 2pm with a battle between two teams fighting for survival at two points each — SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Today’s winds should be back to west-southwest at about 8-10 knots. The forecast will test the team’s light-air prowess should the breeze remain stable enough to conduct races. Racing schedule: RR2, Race 4: SoftBank Team Japan v Groupama Team France;  Race 5: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand;  Race 6: Oracle Team USA v SoftBank Team Japan;  Race 7: Groupama Team France v Land Rover BAR.

Standings to date before June 1 races began

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
United States* 5 1 6
New Zealand 5 1 5
Great Britain* 2 4 4
Sweden 2 5 2
Japan 2 3 2
France 2 4 2

June 1. At the time of the America Cup Race Management briefing yesterday morning, prospects for racing were not bright. They got darker as the afternoon wore on. No wind. No racing. Bermuda Weather’s early forecasts for race times warned of 3-5 knots at the 2pm first race time and predicted it would drop to 2-4 by 3.35pm — the scheduled start of the fourth and final race of the day. Race director Iain Murray had said that more recent forecasts provided by the teams were more optimistic. However, racing never got started at all. The four races scheduled for yesterday will be sailed today, a “reserve day”, wind willing. Those races, when they happen, will be crucial to SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Both sit on two points going into the day. They both sail in two matches of the next four. Land Rover BAR also are scheduled to sail two races. Artemis Racing, the form favourites coming into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, sit on two points. They have another day off to re-gather. Their next race is Race 9 against defender Oracle Team USA. Race 4 of this second round robin will see Japan and France matched up and battling for their America’s Cup lives. They meet first when sailing resumes, hopefully. Following on the day’s card, it is Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle v Team Japan, and Team France v Land Rover BAR. In yesterday’s briefing, Murray had hoped the breeze would get around to the east and that there might be enough of it to race. “We [the race committee] will go out on the course at 12.30 to see.” Murray said, “The wind strength determines whether we will race or not. Above seven knots the course would be a 4F [four legs and a finish] or more. At six knots of breeze, the course would become a 3F course.” But what wind there was, about 6-8 knots, started dying away about a half-hour before the 2.08pm scheduled start of the day’s proceedings. Murray had explained earlier that the wind is measured 5½ metres above the water and averaged over 30 seconds. The sampling period is between eight minutes before the start and three minutes before the start. If at any time in that period the average wind goes below six knots, the committee has to reset the sequence for the start. If the wind is stable in that five-minute sampling period, the sequence continues and the race is on. But yesterday it wasn’t. “At just above six knots,” Murray continued, “the yachts will foil on the reaching leg, but that’s where the trouble starts. They have to go [downwind] to the bottom mark. In six knots of wind, the boats will reach [go across the wind] OK, they will go upwind OK, but they will have a lot of difficulty going dead downwind ... When these boats gybe, they will probable turn 180 degrees. At seven knots, the boats pop up on their foils and off they go.”

June 1. The chances of racing on the Great Sound in Bermuda yesterday always looked slim, but despite his efforts of the day before, Jono Macbeth’s name was down on the crew list for Land Rover BAR’s scheduled races against Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama Team France. A three-times America’s Cup winner, Tuesday’s match against Artemis Racing had been the 44-year-old’s first competitive race since the final race of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, where he was part of the winning Oracle Team USA crew. Macbeth is the Land Rover BAR team manager, the first man Sir Ben Ainslie called three years ago when he set out to build his own team, but he was always ready to step on to the boat when needed. After four successive defeats, the decision to call him in came on Monday and both Ainslie, the skipper, and David “Freddie” Carr, the grinder, hailed the contribution of the man the rest of the crew like to call “The Bear”, even if Macbeth was keen to play down his own part in the victory. “Ben and I have been sailing together for a long, long time, there’s obviously an understanding there about how we deal with competition and pressure situations, so really I just got on board and did what I do,” Macbeth said. “I have been in this game a long, long time now. You’re obviously learning all the time. Also it probably coincided with the team really coming together and sailing a good race. Ben has been starting really well last weekend and into this week, and again he did that yesterday. Giles [Scott] had a really good race tactically. And all the guys managed to get the boat around the track in good shape. You need good people in teams, and we’ve got that. But unless everyone is working together, then you don’t really get far.” There are few more experienced America’s Cup sailors here than Macbeth. His career started when he worked in a kayak shop in New Zealand and was asked for help carrying a fridge freezer. The person who asked him was so impressed with his strength, he thought he would be ideal for sailing. That person was Sir Peter Blake, the head of Team New Zealand who had just won the America’s Cup. Macbeth sailed for New Zealand in the victorious defence of the Cup in 2000 and their defeats in the next two editions of the America’s Cup, but was then brought in by Oracle for their wins in 2010 and 2013, where he sailed alongside Ainslie in the American team’s remarkable comeback against New Zealand. As a grinder, the AC50s are the toughest boat he has ever had to sail; no surprise, then, that grinding is becoming a young man’s game — Neil Hunter, who has sailed in two races for BAR here is half Macbeth’s age. But Macbeth is still a crucial part of the crew. “The 72s were obviously a lot larger and more cumbersome, but on these boats the grinding is more continual,” he said. “It is a relentless beast to get around the track. If you slip up or make a mistake, you are really punished for it. You get down on oil and from there it’s all downhill real quick. These boats are super physical and I don’t think there are any secrets about my age — I’m in the autumn of my career. But we’ve got an incredible strength and conditioning team — Ben Williams and ‘Hoppo’ [Alex Hopson] — who have managed to keep the old boy rumbling along and got me to a level where it’s not a disadvantage physically to have me on the boat. This regatta is going to go on for a long time, and these boats are punishing physically, so we are going to need a strong rotation. We’re seeing that across the fleet, probably more so than ever before in an America’s Cup.” BAR’s two wins over Artemis have come in similar wind conditions, but Macbeth is confident that they can be strong in other conditions, too, with the key to being successful down to eliminating mistakes. “Either way up and down the range, we do have our strengths,” he said. “Not only did we have good boat speed [against Artemis], which we will be able to carry on down the range and up the range, but we just sailed well. I don’t know if you can see a pattern in the fleet at the moment; it is all over the place. But I’d say the real pattern that is there is the teams that are sailing well and making the least amount of mistakes are the ones that are winning. That is true all through the wind ranges. As this regatta is evolving, we are seeing sailing teams improving and identifying their own mistakes, which is certainly something that we have been not shy about doing. Everyone is making them and, if you don’t learn from them, you are not going to go as far as you want to in this competition.”

June 1. The ladies ruled the roost at the America’s Cup Village yesterday as they enjoyed an exciting day of music, fashion and relaxation. With the racing postponed due to lack of wind there were added activities throughout the day including photo ops with the coveted America’s Cup itself — the Auld Mug. The day started with a fashion show on the main stage including local designers Tabs, Hamec Bermuda and Dana Cooper. Madison Brewer came along with 15 of her friends to support designers Cary Butterfield and Patricia Borland of Hamec Bermuda. She said: “We are at the front because my son was just in the fashion show for Tabs. We all decided to take the day off and come up with our friends. All 15 of us wore their designs in support.” Margot Clarke was also with a group of women who were at the front of the stage watching her son model in the show. “We love dressing up and being the centre of attention,” she said. “My son Ethan was just in the fashion show for Tabs. He did fabulous — it is not his first fashion show. He has been modelling since he was six — he’s ten now. He would like to do it professionally. We wanted to come because it is Ladies’ Day and we like to dress up — any excuse to dress up. We plan to party, socialize and see who we can see.” Marcelo Thomas was giving massages in the sunshine on behalf of Exhale at the Hamilton Princess — the official hotel of the America’s Cup. Mr Thomas said: “I have had a constant flow from 11.30am. I have been enjoying meeting everyone and they are enjoying the work. This is the perfect day to do it ... every woman wants to be pampered. I am doing basic neck and back massage and trying to get as much relief and relaxation for the day as possible.” Veteran broadcaster Tucker Thompson interviewed Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Public Works, on the grandstand during the pre-show to discuss the new infrastructure at the Village. He told the crowd that more bottles of Moet had been sold than the number of people in the village. Mr Cannonier said after his broadcast interview: “It was a mammoth task to reclaim this nine acres of land but we were able to pull it off and the final result is what you see here. It got a bit hairy sometimes preparing for the deadline but everyone was working together.” Asked about his experience at the 35th America’s Cup, Mr Cannonier added: “I was here for the opening and several members of my family are already up here today. I will be up here throughout the month, we need to celebrate this. I would encourage Bermudians please come up — celebrate our history is in sailing. This is an opportunity to see the top level of sailing in the world and out of this will come a generation of sailors. I am sure — it is fantastic.” Local musicians entertained the ladies throughout the day with an exhilarating performances from the likes of Gita Blakeney, Cindy Smith and Cassie Caines. The lounges around the village were full despite the lack of racing. Martine Purssell, the organizer of Bermuda’s long held Round the Island Seagull Race, has been involved in Bermuda’s maritime traditions for years. Enjoying the exclusive setting of the Longtail Lounge, she said: “I think it showcases Bermuda and I am so proud of Bermuda that we have actually done it — I am in absolute awe. The fact that Bermuda youths are involved to me is an extra plus. I have been involved in various forms of racing for Bermuda and I love seeing the youth getting involved. This is Bermuda’s tradition. I am getting e-mails from ex co-workers at Marsh saying they are watching Bermuda on the TV. It reminds people of what Bermuda used to be like.” Gemma Wood, who used to live in Bermuda but left for her native England, was also in the Longtail Lounge enjoying drinks with a group of girlfriends. “It’s a UK holiday and it happened to coincide with this week,” she said. “Some of my girlfriends organised the day and it is one of our friends’ birthdays and she is out on the chaser boat. It has been buzzing up here. We have been here all day, done a bit of shopping. It has been amazing.” Bryan Schofield from Tampa, Florida is here on a mix of work in the insurance industry and America’s Cup. “We are behind the US team. It is my first time at any America’s Cup and my first time in Bermuda. It is beautiful — there are definitely worse places to be. This place is paradise, the people are very friendly. I am having a wonderful time here.” In the bustling Gosling’s Island Bar, Lyndy Thatcher and her friends donned Gosling’s hats she had decorated for her girlfriends. She said: “We have all been friends for 40 or 50 years and we are all Bermudian. Hello Bermuda — how wonderful is this? You look at the media across the world, we look absolutely wonderful.”

June 1. Superyachts visiting Bermuda will bring in millions to the island, according to Kevin Dallas. More than 70 superyachts are expected to visit the island during the America’s Cup, with Mark Soares of Bermuda Yacht Services saying that he understood most would stay throughout the six weeks of the event. According to the Bermuda Tourism Authority, an 80m to 90m superyacht spends approximately $50,000 a week, while that figure jumps to $127,000 a week if the owner is on board. Smaller superyachts bring less revenue, with 70m to 80m yachts spending between $35,000 and $119,000 depending on if the owner is on board. Meanwhile, the smallest superyachts, measuring between 30m and 40m, bring in a total of $7,000 to $18,000 a week of economic activity. Based on those estimates, the ten superyachts docked yesterday afternoon at the America’s Cup Village — ranging from the 87m Maltese Falcon to the 39m Safira — would bring a combined total of $184,000 of economic activity per week without their owners and $647,000 per week if their owners are on board. Mr Dallas, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said yesterday: “If you extrapolate the data in the chart using the 80 super yachts expected in Bermuda, it’s easy to see the huge financial impact the superyacht audience will have on our economy during the 35th America’s Cup. Many of the visiting superyachts are staying in Bermuda three, four, five weeks — some even longer than that. The Government temporarily relaxed the regulatory environment to allow these vessels to charter while they are here and that has been a huge incentive for them to stay longer and spend more.” Mr Dallas said the number of superyachts on the island continued to grow, noting the ships moored along Front Street, at the Hamilton Princess and at the America’s Cup Village itself. Asked about the economic impact of the ship’s owners not actually being on board, he said that factor did make a big difference in the level of spending. “Most of the boats here will be owner occupied for some of the time they’re here — but it’s impossible to say how often or for how long,” he said. “But even an ownerless boat is good deal for Bermuda.” He said comparisons with previous America’s Cup superyacht programmes were “irrelevant”, explaining: “One of the reasons Bermuda’s bid was successful was the potential to lure superyachts here. Unlike, say San Francisco, which is a massive detour for a boat that would otherwise be on its way from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean right about now. It’s clear evidence that, with the right event, Bermuda can attract superyachts at this time of year. For now, let’s enjoy having them here. Next up we need to figure out how to get them back again.” Mr Dallas also made reference to amend legislation regarding superyachts, particularly rules allowing visiting yachts to charter during the America’s Cup event. “It’s been slightly abused,” he said. “The goal was to allow term charter, not create competition for the local charter community, but done right and permanently it’s a key plank of making Bermuda a permanent stop on the superyacht calendar.” Asked for further clarification on what needs to be done to attract superyachts to the island in the future, he said: “Post-America’s Cup what Bermuda needs is the right legal framework that incentivises superyacht owners to come back year and year, while protecting Bermudian entrepreneurs who are already operating in this space. That’s the end solution we are working towards.”

June 1. Cyber-risk is the top concern for Bermuda’s insurance market, followed by increasing regulation and political interference, according to a global survey. The island’s insurers and reinsurers have strong concerns about the threat of political interference in the form of efforts by Donald Trump, the US President, “to prevent the export of US insurance business to offshore centres”, the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation has discovered. The centre has published its sixth Insurance Banana Skins survey, a biennial report conducted with support from PwC that gauges the level of anxiety and preparedness of insurance practitioners and industry observers in 52 countries. Globally, the biggest concerns are change management, cyber-risk, technology and interest rates, according to the 836 insurance industry respondents to the survey. The top concerns in Bermuda were cyber-risk, regulation and political interference. The impact of Brexit was also of higher concern to the industry on the island than it was to those elsewhere in the world. “Bermuda was one of the few jurisdictions which expressed concern about Brexit because of its connection with the London market and passporting from there into the EU,” the survey noted. The soft market and resulting capital overcapacity was also a dominant worry for the 49 survey respondents in Bermuda. However, the island produced a lower than average score on the Banana Skins Index, implying a lower level of risk anxiety. Bermuda scored 3.09 on the index, almost identical to Denmark, while the list was topped by Taiwan, with 3.66. The global average was 3.31. Bermuda also beat the global average in the preparedness index, with a score of 3.11, implying a higher level of preparedness. The highest scorer in that list was Spain, with 3.56, while the UK and Germany were nearer the bottom on 2.71 and 2.70 respectively. The global average was 3.02. The self-scored survey, which was first conducted in 2007, asks insurers and industry observers where they see the greatest risks over the next two or three years. Arthur Wightman, PwC insurance leader, said: “The societal and economic contributions from insurance continue to be the stabilising force in the global capital markets. “That said, the complexity of running global insurance companies continues to grow amid increasing wealth disparity, blurring of industry boundaries, age demographic pressures, the breakdown of global consensus, and increasing nationalism and declining trust. There are huge opportunities for the market, but CEOs have a very challenging task with succeeding among this change.” Mark Train, PwC global insurance risk leader, said: “Both the challenges and opportunities presented by change underline the vital importance of being clear about where you’re best able to add value, and then being ruthless in targeting investment and management time at these priorities.” While David Lascelles, survey editor, said: “For the first time in six editions of this survey, operating risks pose the greatest threat to insurers. “Structural and technological changes to the industry could upend traditional business models. At the same time, insurers are grappling with a very difficult economic climate, which helps explain why anxiety is at an all-time high.” According to CSFI, the report raises concerns about the industry’s ability to address the formidable agenda of digitisation, new competition, consolidation and cost reduction it faces, “especially because of rapidly emerging technologies which could transform insurance markets, such as driverless cars, the ‘internet of things’ and artificial intelligence”. Cyber-risk anxiety includes the threat of attacks on insurers themselves, and the costs of underwriting cybercrime. According to survey respondents, overall, the climate for insurers is becoming more challenging. The survey can be downloaded at csfi.org. 

June 1. One Communications today announced that more than 1,000 of its customers have received a free automatic internet speed boost from the upgrading of the telecoms firm’s network. Work on the FibreWire network is ongoing and expected to be completed island-wide by the end of September, Frank Amaral, One’s chief executive officer, said. The customers benefiting are those connected with both the company’s access and internet services in the areas where FibreWire has already been installed. “With the recent tariff approval from the regulator [the Regulatory Authority], we are pleased to offer our new FibreWire Internet service to Bermuda,” Mr Amaral said. “Customers already attached to the new network are receiving an automatic speed boost without any increase in pricing. For example, customers with a 25 Mbps connection will now have access to 200 Mbps, a tremendous upgrade in value without any additional cost. Better yet, there’s no signing up or opting in process, it’s that simple. Our field teams have made significant progress with the roll-out in preparation for this announcement, with the first phase of deployment benefiting the central parishes. Only a few months remain till the project’s completion island-wide.” A spokesperson for the company added that a customer with an 8 Mbps service would be upgraded to 20 Mbps, when FibreWire reached their area. But One warned that while work continues on the new high-speed fibre-optic network, some customers may experience disruptions. One said customers would be warned of “minor disruptions” by phone or e-mail, to then be followed by a notice advising of the free internet speed boost. Brian Lonergan, One’s marketing director, said: “Notifying customers directly is the best way for us to give the most up to date information affecting specific areas. We encourage customers to keep their contact information with us up to date, including alternate phone numbers and e-mail addresses.”

June 1. Bermuda’s tourism industry continues to flourish with Bermuda Tourism Authority announcing today that the island has recorded the 16th consecutive month of growth. The BTA’s latest figures show that April’s year-over-year growth in leisure air arrivals climbed by 17 per cent. And year-to-date, leisure air arrivals are up 18 per cent through April 30, 2017 — a near 32 per cent increase for the four-month period when compared to two years ago. “The growth in leisure air arrivals for April came from all three countries that serve Bermuda with direct air service — the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,” said a BTA statement. “The largest year-over-year percentage increase came from Canadian visitors with a 23 per cent increase. The United States and United Kingdom both saw double digit percentage increases in April, as well. Visitors from the UK remain slightly off the year-to-date pace — down 7 per cent when compared to a year ago. The hotel sector continued to show solid improvement, growing occupancy levels by nine percentage points from 57 per cent last April to 66 per cent this April. At the same time, due largely to stronger vacationer demand, hoteliers were able to charge more for their rooms on average than they did a year ago.” Senator Michael Fahy, Minister of Tourism, welcomed the news and pointed out: “A strong performance in the hotel sector is very good news for hoteliers, hotel workers and good for attracting future hotel investment to the island. This is making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people working on the front lines of hospitality today. At the same time, consistent growth in visitor arrivals and spending helps us bring capital into Bermuda to further grow our tourism product. As more hotel rooms come online, more jobs are created across the island. We’re on pace to add 1,500 hotel rooms over the next ten years.” The full arrivals report for April 2017 is available on the Bermuda Tourism Authority website.

June 1. The tall ships fleet was welcomed to St George’s last night with hundreds turning up to see the spectacular vessels. And there will be another opportunity to see them close up tonight as they berth alongside Front Street which will host a Welcome Street Festival from 7pm to 11pm. Among the fleet is the Spirit of Bermuda which was sailing along North Shore this morning to take its place in Hamilton. The waterfront at St George’s was packed last night, with people wanting to see the ships but also enjoy the entertainment which ranged from a band, to dancing, guitar, violin playing and even a ducking stool. Cindy Campbell, event chairman Tall Ships Bermuda 2017, said: “The atmosphere was fantastic and people really seemed to enjoy themselves. “I hope as many people as possible can come and see the tall ships again in Hamilton, it is really a sight not to be missed.” The ships are visiting Bermuda as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a 7,000 nautical mile Trans-Atlantic race to six countries to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation through its founders and founding provinces. They started arriving from the Canary Islands earlier this week and are due to leave Bermuda on Monday to sail to Boston. Mrs Campbell added: “Their journey is not over, by any means. They go to Boston and then Halifax before crossing the Atlantic again to finish in LeHavre, in France, on September 3. There are still places available on these ships for the final legs and I would really urge people not to miss what is an opportunity of a lifetime and sign up now. Anyone interested can e-mail trainee@tallships.bm and there is financial help available.” One of the highlights of the many events being organised to welcome the tall ships is a concert by Bermuda’s own Collie Buddz tomorrow at City Hall car park, with part of the proceeds going to Sail Training Bermuda. People can get tickets from ptix.bm.  

June 1. An American visitor has been fined $300 for bringing more than 30 grams of cannabis on a cruise ship. Appearing in Magistrates’ Court this morning, 67-year-old Roberta McQueen pleaded guilty to having 33.12g of the drug in Sandys on May 27. The court heard that police were called to search her cabin on board the Anthem of the Seas after cleaners noticed a strong smell of cannabis. A ziplock bag containing 18 “homemade cigars” was found in the cabin safe and another bag containing eight one-inch pieces of plant material were also recovered. McQueen told officers that she uses the drug for her arthritis, adding: “It was a nine-day cruise and I use it for the pain.” In court today, McQueen said she did not have a medical prescription although she had told her doctor of her use. She said she comes from Delaware, where the possession of the drug has been decriminalized up to an ounce. Marc Daniels, who was acting as duty counsel, added that McQueen was on a family cruise and that she was only supposed to be in Bermuda for one day. He noted that McQueen uses the drug to cope with a series of medical conditions. Mr Daniels also pointed out that she had never been in trouble before, let alone arrested, and asked for “as much leniency as possible”. But Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said McQueen entered a contract with the cruise ship company and should have known that Bermuda is a jurisdiction that does not tolerate the possession of cannabis. However, taking her guilty plea and upfront admission into account, as well as her use of the drug for medical reasons and that she comes from an area where it is decriminalized, he handed her a fine of $300.

June 1. Counterfeit Bermuda $50 notes are currently in circulation, according to the Bermuda Police Service. Employees are advised that if counterfeit cash is detected during a transaction, the member of staff receiving the fake money should hold on to it, note the description of the individual who tendered it and contact police immediately. Members of the public should also take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive, especially the larger denominations. Police stress people should check for common security features such as the paper quality and embedded BMA watermark, which is visible in light. Anyone who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency is encouraged to contact the nearest police station to report the matter. It is a criminal offence to pass to another, possess, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency, punishable by up to five years in prison. Suspicious circumstances regarding suspected counterfeit currency should be reported directly to detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.

June 1. Shawn Crockwell will vote against the Government when the motion of no confidence takes place in Parliament next week, the independent MP stated yesterday. Mr Crockwell told The Royal Gazette the motion would be posed as a question on whether MPs had confidence in the Government and he would give an “honest” answer, consistent with his position since resigning from the Cabinet and the One Bermuda Alliance last year. “I’m not looking at the result,” he said. “I’m not here saying I’m advocating and hoping that this vote is successful. I’m saying that I will answer the question when it is put to me in an honest way and I will be consistent in my position over the past year, how I have viewed the way the Government has been managed.” Mr Crockwell cited a loss of confidence in the OBA under Michael Dunkley when he quit Cabinet in March 2016. In July that year, he left the party, again criticizing its leadership. Yesterday, he said: “Those sentiments have not changed. I can’t see how I can now take a different position. In summary, I will be consistent.” Asked if that meant he’d vote against the Government, Mr Crockwell replied: “Basically, yes.” His decision means that Opposition leader David Burt can now be assured of 17 votes in favour of the motion of no confidence, assuming all Progressive Labour Party MPs attend the House session on Friday, June 9. The Government has 17 MPs in the House, meaning the vote of independent MP Mark Pettingill will be critical to the motion’s success or failure. If he votes with the Opposition, the motion of no confidence will succeed. If he votes with the Government, it will fail. If Mr Pettingill abstains, it will be a tie — and Speaker Randy Horton, a PLP MP, will be called upon to cast the deciding vote. According to Bermuda’s Constitution, if the motion is successful, the Governor can revoke the Premier’s appointment or dissolve Parliament on the advice of the Premier, prompting a General Election. Mr Dunkley also has the option to announce a General Election before the motion of no confidence takes place i.e. within the next nine days. Mr Pettingill, who runs Chancery Legal law firm with Mr Crockwell, would not comment yesterday on how he planned to vote. He told this newspaper: “That is a matter for the debate. I am not prepared to comment on a vote that hasn’t been taken yet.” But he too was critical of the country’s leadership when he resigned from the OBA in March this year, describing himself as “diametrically and philosophically opposed” to the Government on various issues. The issues he cited when he quit included same-sex marriage, casino gaming and cannabis reform, with the former understood to be a particular bone of contention. Mr Pettingill vowed last summer that he would not rest until there was marriage equality in Bermuda and he has spoken of his disappointment with the OBA’s failure to lead on the issue. He represented the same-sex couple who won the landmark legal victory last month on gay marriage against the Government. Mr Burt tabled the motion of no confidence on May 19, after the PLP successfully passed two bills in the House. It calls on MPs to resolve “that this honourable House has no confidence in the Government”. Mr Crockwell said yesterday the island was already in “election season” and the motion would not “really upset things much at all. Should a minority government remain the government? I think a government that can’t ensure it passes its legislation has a substantial challenge and, therefore, that fact alone should precipitate an election. The reality is that when Mark Pettingill resigned from the party, from a numerical perspective, Michael Dunkley did not control the majority support in Parliament.” He claimed that made the Government an “illegitimate” one, which was “unable to execute its legislative agenda with confidence. I would have thought that the OBA Government would want an election itself. How can you continue to govern when you don’t have the numbers to pass your legislation?” Mr Dunkley said yesterday he viewed the situation very differently. He noted that on May 19 the Government passed two of its own bills, showing it was still able to legislate effectively. The Premier said he was “very confident” in the progress his Government had made and claimed Mr Burt’s motion “lacked substance. We’ll deal with the motion in an appropriate way,” he said, adding: “I understand the concern raised by members of the Opposition. I don’t expect them to support government in any way. We know there’s an election going to take place sometime this year. I think the Opposition is trying to play every card they can to put themselves in a better position and some of them are, in my humble opinion, disadvantaging the people we serve.”

June 1. Freediver Scott Amos has become the first Bermudian to break the 200ft barrier in an international competition. Mr Amos smashed his own previous record by 11 metres to reach an ocean depth of 61 metres using just a monofin. Mr Amos, who travelled to the Cayman Islands last month to take part in the Deja Blue 8 event, also set a new Bermudian record for the pool static breath hold of five minutes and 27 seconds. “From my point of view it was a case of job done at this competition,” Mr Amos said. “I have never been to 200ft before so to get into that club was a special achievement. I was elated and relieved at the same time. It was much more of a mental barrier than a physical one; everything in your body is telling you that you need to breathe but you just have to keep your calm and your concentration. The dive itself took two minutes and six seconds in total; so you’re travelling at around one metre per second as you go down and then go back up.” Mr Amos and Chris Duperreault were the only Bermudians to take part in this year’s freediving competition. As well as setting new Bermudian records in the static breath hold and the Constant Weight freediving category, where divers fin-kick to depth, Mr Amos also set a national record in the Constant Weight category with no fins by reaching a depth of 42 metres. Meanwhile, Mr Duperreault set a new Bermudian record in the free emersion category, where participants pull themselves down a long line, of 40 metres. Mr Amos added: “One of the main reasons I am competing is to get more people interested in freediving and enjoying Bermuda’s marine environment. I strongly recommend anyone that is interested should attend classes with a reputable freediving school to enjoy it safely. I have had several inquiries about classes but I still need to get my teaching certification which I’ll be working towards over the next year or so. Until then my personal recommendation is Performance Freediving International who are pioneers in freediving education and have the most respected system in North America. Their founder and my original instructor, Kirk Krack, has been to Bermuda on several occasions to teach locals and has also held breath hold and diving classes for very high-profile clients from Hollywood A-listers to US Navy Seal teams and even Oracle Team USA. It is through him that I will be seeking to achieve my certification.”

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Last Updated: August 19, 2017.
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