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

America's Cup in Bermuda 

Amlin International Moth Regatta

2016. December 10. Rob Greenhalgh held off the charging Dylan Fletcher-Scott to retain his MS Amlin International Moth Regatta title in the Great Sound yesterday. The regatta remained wide open heading into the 12th and final race with Greenhalgh, the overnight leader and defending champion, desperately clinging to a one-point advantage over nearest rival and compatriot Fletcher-Scott after the second drop came into play. What ensued was another classic match race between the two men for all of the marbles. Both sailors split tacks coming off the start with Greenhalgh opting for the right side of the course and Fletcher-Scott the left. Fletcher -Scott held a slight advantage after the two sailors crossed midway up the first beat. However, Greenhalgh snatched the lead near the top mark after nailing a wind shift and kept clean air on his sail the rest of the way to successfully defend his title and claim the $5,000 winner’s purse. “I was ahead going into the last race and basically either had to make sure he was third or worst or beat him,” Greenhalgh said. “I lost my rudder just at the start so I had a bad start. But I was going quick so I charged through to go ahead of him maybe at the top mark and then kept my eye on him and covered him up the next beat. Luckily, Goody (Moth World Champion Paul Goodison) and Hivey (David Hivey) were away so it was unlikely he was going to do better than third.” Greenhalgh finished third in the final race and Fletcher-Scott fifth, securing the former regatta honours by a three-point margin. “To see the tussle at the top between Rob and Dylan was excellent,” said David Campbell-James, the principal race officer and father of Land Rover Bar wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James. “It was pretty gripping for anyone watching.” Greenhalgh’s victory almost never happened as Fletcher-Scott came agonizingly close to clinching the series. A 1-4 finish in the day’s opening two races put Fletcher-Scott back on top after discarding his two worst scores and he was on the way to extending his lead in the third race before the wind dropped out, forcing the race committee to abandon the race. “I think if that had carried on he’d probably would have had it sealed by then,” Greenhalgh said. “That got canned and the wind got back in, which was good.” Greenhalgh regained the lead of the regatta after finishing two boats ahead of his nearest rival when the third and penultimate race was finally completed and then closed the deal in the regatta finale. “It was awesome fun this week and I pushed Rob,” Fletcher-Scott said. “I’ve never been so hard in the Moth. Rob and I have a huge amount of respect for each other. We are good mates and it was awesome to be hammering that close to each other all the way around the track. Today the results weren’t as good but that was only because we were match racing. The last race we sailed the complete wrong side to everyone else because it was just who beat who. It was basically who beat who and he was just a little quicker than me today.” Hivey rounded off the podium in third while Benn Smith was the top local sailor and 28th in the overall 50-boat fleet. Narrowly missing out on the podium was Ben Paton, a sailing coach at regatta hosts the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, who finished fourth competing for England.

Amlin Moth regatta participant

Moth racing

Moth racing

2016. December 3. Paul Goodison intends to capitalize on his wealth of local knowledge during the MS Amlin International Moth Regatta. The Olympic gold medal-winner and world champion has spent the past year training in the Great Sound with his Artemis Racing team-mates and, as such, will be quite familiar with the conditions which could give him the edge as he guns for Rob Greenhalgh’s title. “I think we’ll have a bit of an advantage having done a bit of sailing here,” the British sailor said. “It is quite a big difference when you switch from the big turbos [AC45S] to the Moths. The biggest thing is how much more maneuverable these small boats are so you can tack and gybe where you want obviously not limited by course boundaries. It is very different but at the end you’re still on the foils and still on the Great Sound.” Goodison finished third at this event last year and now hopes to go two better to claim bragging rights and with it the lion’s share of the $10,000 in prize money. The Artemis helmsman will renew rivalries with compatriots Chris Rashley, the UK Moth champion, and Greenhalgh, the defending MS Amlin champion, whom he got the better of on the way to capturing a maiden Moth World title in Japan in May. “I haven’t done much Moth sailing, to be honest, since I came back from the worlds in Japan because we’ve been super busy,” said Goodison, who won a gold medal in the Laser dinghy at the 2008 Olympics. “The priority here for Artemis Racing obviously is the America’s Cup and it’s quite an important period right now where we’re making some big decisions about how the 50 is going to turn out and the actual America’s Cup boat. I’m really looking forward to doing some Moth sailing. It’s going to be extra special with all the other boats here to train with. I’m very excited to get out on the Great Sound and do some racing.” Goodison is among a trio of Artemis sailors competing in the Moth Regatta as team-mates Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen are also among the 52 strong racing fleet. Outteridge is also a past Moth world champion and Olympic gold medal-winner, having topped the podium in the double-handed 49er at the 2012 Games in England with Jensen. Carrying local hopes are Nathan Bailey, James Doughty, Richard Graham-Enoch, Josh Greenslade, Christian Luthi and Brett Wright. The regatta is hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and begins today with the MS Amlin Dash for Cash in Hamilton Harbour and runs until December 9.

2016. June 21. The MS Amlin International Moth Regatta will be returning this year and will take place from December 3 to 9 in the Great Sound. “Last year’s regatta was such a success that everyone wanted a repeat, and that has now become a reality thanks to our sponsors,” Cox added. “Bermudian hospitality and our sailing conditions make this a unique venue for these high-performing foiling boats.” A fleet of about 75 will challenge for the title and the $10,000 in prize money on offer. Rob Greenhalgh, of Britain, is back to defend his title, while the field will also boast compatriot and newly crowned 2016 world champion Paul Goodison, of Artemis Racing. Goodison is one of several America’s Cup sailors participating, as members of Oracle Team USA, defender of the “Auld Mug”, and challenger SoftBank Team Japan will also be among the racing fleet. The regatta is being organized and hosted by RBYC and sponsored by MS Amlin, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Gosling’s.

2015. December 15. The inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta proved to be a huge success and organizers hope to stage a similar event next year. Nearly 60 sailors from 14 countries took part in last week’s regatta which was won by Britain’s Robert Greenhalgh, who came from behind on the final day of racing in the Great Sound to pip compatriot Chris Rashley. “The regatta has been a tremendous success and we are certainly looking forward to putting this on again next year,” Andy Cox, the regatta chairman, said. “The sailors want to come back, and we are going to make sure we do everything we can to make sure it’s on again. We know we have the demand and the best sailing venue in the world for these Moths. That’s what the sailors want to come back for, and it’s looking encouraging.” Last week’s regatta featured several world champions, Olympic gold medallists and America’s Cup sailors, such as Chris Draper, of SoftBank Team Japan, who is also keen to see the event held again next year. “It would be brilliant if we could do this again next year and I hope the people will come here and sail their Moths a lot over the winter, because it’s a great place to sail,” Draper, who finished fourth, said. “You get a good mix of weather and that’s good for training.” Rashley, who led most of the regatta before faltering on the final day, can hardly wait to return to Bermuda early in the new year to train in the high performance Moth dinghy with some of the America’s Cup sailors already based here. “The conditions here are great and I will back out here probably in February or March to do some Moth training with the Cup guys here,” he said. The Moth has become popular with America’s Cup sailors as they learn the nuances of hydrofoiling in advance of the 35th America’s Cup, in Bermuda in 2017. “Each guy on the boats nowadays has to be tactically sound, and has to think and make decisions on his own as well, as being aware and up to speed with what’s going on, so sailing Moths is a big part of our preparations,” Rome Kirby, of Oracle Team USA, said. Flying Bermuda’s banner alone last week was James Doughty, who finished 45th on his racing debut in the high-performance foiling Moth dinghy. Also competing was Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sailing coaches Ben Paton and Nathan Bailey who placed sixth and 47th representing Team Britain.

2015. December 12. Rob Greenhalgh ended the Amlin International Moth Regatta just as he had started, on top of the leaderboard. The British sailor came from behind to win the championship with a dominant display on the final day of racing yesterday. Greenhalgh was simply unstoppable as he won the last three races to finish eight points clear of Chris Rashley, who had led the fleet most of the week. Paul Goodison, of Artemis Racing, rounded off the podium. Yesterday’s 6-12 knot breezes played to Greenhalgh’s strengths, and he took full advantage to overhaul Rashley, the overnight leader, and claim the $5,000 winner’s purse. Greenhalgh underlined his dominance by leading all but one leg in all three races, which he won comfortably to end the regatta with a bang. “I was one point behind Chris going into today, and it was all going to be on whoever had the best day, and I was going well in those conditions and came away with three wins,” Greenhalgh said. “There was pressure, but I didn’t really put too much pressure on myself to do well. I just knew that if I sailed well and sailed sensibly I’d come out on top. It was one of those days were you have to be a bit patient and let the boat speed do its thing. The boat was going well and if you are going fast it’s hard to be beaten.” Rashley had to settle for second as poor boat handling in the conditions took its toll. “I was really happy with how I sailed in the windier conditions, but I’ve got some improving to do in the mid-range to lighter conditions,” he said. “I need to do some work on my equipment in those conditions.” A poor start in yesterday’s first race didn’t help Rashley’s cause either. “I made a mistake on the start in the first race not being on the foil,” he said. “There was a left hand wind shift just before the start, and I couldn’t get up on my foils.” Finishing an impressive seventh was Ben Paton, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sailing coach, who signed off on a high note. “I sailed well at times and went out and put in a really good set of results,” said Paton, who also represented Great Britain at the regatta. “Today I had a 2-3-7, so I’m really happy to finish on a high. It’s about fifteen world champions in this fleet and God knows how many America’s Cup sailors and Olympic gold medallists, so any result in the top ten is highly respectable.” Nathan Bailey, who also works at the RBYC as a sailing coach, and also represented Team Britain, finished 47th, one spot adrift of Tom Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA helmsman, tactician and sailing team manager. Flying Bermuda’s banner alone was James Doughty, who placed 45th on his racing debut in the high-performance foiling Moth dinghy. “I was mixing it up with some of the top guys, but I have a lot to learn about keeping up with pace,” Doughty said. “It was definitely a learning curve and every day you learn something new.”

2015. December 11. Rob Greenhalgh, 38, of  Hamble, England, Great Britain, today stamped his dominance on the inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Lying in second overall entering the day, Greenhalgh won all three races to win the championship and the winner’s share of $5,000 of the $10,000 prize purse. He said afterwards: “The week has been fantastic. It’s been good to come to a new venue. Everyone’s been very hospitable. I hope it keeps going.” “Amlin is very proud to have supported this year’s successful Moth Regatta, which featured world class sailors in a world class sailing destination, Bermuda, the home of the 2017 Americas Cup,” said Rob Wyatt, CEO of Amlin’s Bermuda Branch. “We have been involved in specialist [re]insurance for over a hundred years and supporting exciting events like this enables us to reinforce our connection with the marine industry and with Bermuda.” With the wind 6- to 12-knot winds right in Greenhalgh’s wheelhouse, he dominated the three races. His first victory was by nearly 1 minute and the second was by 1 minute, 30 seconds. He left little doubt as to who the best sailor was this week. “Sailing is a game of boatspeed, there are no two ways around it,” said Greenhalgh. “If you can go faster than the other guys, then you’re halfway there.”

Amlin Moth Regatta

December 11. The Amlin International Moth Regatta has come down to a straight fight between British sailors Chris Rashley and Rob Greenhalgh. Three races are scheduled for today, and with only one point separating the two it is anyone's guess as to who will come out on top. Light winds prevented any races on Wednesday, but with the wind blowing 18 to 25 knots yesterday, Rashley retained the overall lead, but only after Greenhalgh capsized in the day's third race. Greenhalgh had opened a two-point lead in the overall standings after placing first and second in the day's first two races, compared to Rashley's second and third. In the third race, Greenhalgh found himself out of control after the end fitting on the push rod controlling the main foil broke. “I was going really well in the first two races,” Greenhalgh said. “I won the first race going away, and had great speed in the second race. I probably could've won that one too, but had to do an extra jibe and that allowed Goody [Paul Goodison] to win. I'm not sure when the fitting broke, maybe between the second and third race. After it broke I could go upwind all right, but had a massive capsize on the run near the leeward gate.” Greenhalgh finished thirteenth in the third race, which is one of his discards, while Rashley won it. The day started off with those who have a choice of rig set-ups debating what to go with. The forecast called for the wind to build, but some doubted it, believing that forecast heavy rain would dampen the wind strength. “I used my flat sail, soft mast, large main foil and small rudder,” Rashley said. “It was an odd set up, but I thought there would be a lull in the wind before the storm. As it turned out the forecast was spot on.” For others, such as Chris Draper of SoftBank Team Japan, there was no choice. He only has one mast but he was left wanting a softer one. “I'm lighter than those guys [Rashley, Greenhalgh] so I could use a softer mast,” Draper said. “A softer mast would allow the sail to depower more. I can't quite hike with those guys.” Draper had been the top scoring America's Cup sailor in the fleet, but after dropping to fifth yesterday that honour now belongs to Goodison of Artemis Racing. Goodison, who was third at the European Championship last summer, placed 3-1-3 yesterday and now holds down third overall, eleven points behind Rashley. Six points further back is Simon Hiscocks, another British sailor, who had finishes of seven, five and a second yesterday on the Great Sound. Today's forecast is calling for ten- to 15-knot winds from the northeast, which should be ideal for another Rashley-Greenhalgh showdown. Rashley has revenge on his mind after Greenhalgh wrested the European Championship away last summer in the final race. Rashley had led from the start. “Greenhalgh is stronger than me in the conditions that are forecast, so I just have to sail my best. That's all I can do,” Rashley said. James Doughty, Bermuda's only sailor in the competition remains in 46th place after another tough day on the water. Doughty finished 45th and 48th in the first two races of the day, and did not even start the last race, racking up his third “did not compete” of the week. After eight races (with one discard).

2015. December 8. Rob Greenhalgh laid down a marker during yesterday’s opening day of the Amlin International Moth Regatta in the Great Sound. The British sailor coped best in the variable and shifty breezes, posting two bullets, to return to the clubhouse perched atop the pecking order, if only just. Yet rather than get carried away with the day’s performance, Greenhalgh choose instead to keep things in perspective. “It’s day one with three races of fifteen done, and so you can’t read too much into it,” the reigning European champion said. “It’s just about chipping away and trying to be consistent over the next several days, and then try and seal it off towards the end. But if you can build up a little points gap it is useful.” With better fortune in the second race, Greenhalgh might have completed the sweep. The pre-regatta favourite led heading up the first beat, before his fortunes took a turn for the worst when the breeze died out after a rain squall swept across the 1.3 mile windward-leeward course. Getting up on the foils is by no means an easy task in gentler breeze, particularly for heavier sailors such as Greenhalgh, who virtually sat still with his parking brake on as some of his rivals surged ahead of his bow. Greenhalgh finished fourth in the second race, giving him six points for the day. “There was this big right wind up first beat, and then it all went a bit wacky and all sorts of stuff was going on, and then as the clouds went away it went very light and it just got away from me unfortunately,” Greenhalgh said. That proved to be the only real setback on an otherwise fruitful day for Greenhalgh, who managed to stay up on the foils for the most part, while executing gybes and tacks at both ends of the course to maintain good boat speed. Greenhalgh is one of three British sailors who occupy the top three spots on the leader board. A point off the leader in second is Paul Goodison, of Artemis Racing, followed by Chris Rashley a further two points adrift. Also representing Great Britain is Ben Paton, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sailing coach, who would have been satisfied to end the day sitting in fifth. Further down the pecking order is James Doughty, Bermuda’s sole representative, who ended the day in 42nd among the 54-boat fleet. Doughty had finishes of 48, 35, and 38 to finish the day on 121 points, although he fared better than Tom Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA’s team manager, who failed to finish the first two races, before posting a fifth-place finish in the last race of the day. “It was a very good day,” said Doughty, who is competing in the high-performance dinghy for the first time. “I had brilliant starts in the second and third race, and so I am happy with my performance. I was a little shaky getting used to what it’s like racing in a fleet and gauging myself against other people in the first race. But I got better throughout the day, and was definitely up in the mix with some of the Oracle boys.” Among those suffering the misfortune of breakdowns was Slingsby, who damaged his primary foil while leading the first race. The regatta continues today.

2015. December 7. Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis Racing skipper, won the Amlin International Moth Regatta “Dash for Cash” race in Hamilton Harbour yesterday and then dropped a bombshell after revealing that he is not competing in the main event which starts today. The two-times Moth world champion and Olympic gold medallist has been ruled out through conflicting commitments with Artemis Racing, Swedish challenger of the 35th America’s Cup to be held in Bermuda in 2017. Outteridge, who placed second at last month’s 49er World Championships in Buenos Aires competing with Artemis teammate Iain Jensen, pocketed $500 and a bottle of Gosling’s Gold Seal Rum for winning the final practise race held on Hamilton Harbour. The Australian sailor generously donated the prize money to the America’s Cup Endeavour Community Sailing Fund which Tom Herbert-Evans, the programme’s manager, graciously accepted. “We’re very appreciative of Nathan’s donation,” Herbert-Evans said. “We’ll put about 1,000 kids through the programme this year and we’re trying to make sure that we give the kids an opportunity to continue the curriculum after the America’s Cup, so every dollar is welcome.” The Endeavour Programme aims to provide a pathway to success for youth in Bermuda across all backgrounds as they experience an interactive curriculum labeled STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), water-safety knowledge and an opportunity to develop life skills through a community sailing programme. The Amlin International Moth Regatta begins proper today with up to three races on tap in the Great Sound, sailing venue for the 35th America’s Cup. The regatta promises exciting racing in the one design foiling Moth dinghy which can reach speeds of more than 30 knots. The final list of entrants includes 58 sailors from 14 countries. Among the notables are Rob Greenhalgh, the reigning European champion, Anthony Kotoun, the US champion, and a slew of America’s Cup sailors including Dean Barker, Francesco Bruni, Chris Draper, Paul Goodison, Kyle Langford and Tom Slingsby. Flying Bermuda’s flag alone is James Doughty, who is competing in the Moth for the first time in front of the home crowd. Peter Burling, the Emirates Team New Zealand skipper and ISAF Rolex World Male Sailor of the Year who is not competing in Bermuda this week, is the reigning Moth world champion.

2015. December 5-11.  The Amlin International Moth Regatta, the first of its type, began in Bermuda's Great Sound. Organized and hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC), it will give sailors an opportunity to battle it out in what should be ideal racing conditions for these foiling boats. A fleet of 60 sailors will be competing, all aiming to take home apart of the $10,000 purse along with the title of champion sailor. The early entry list includes Nathan Outteridge who will be looking to recapture the form that gave him two Moth World titles (2011 and 2014). America's Cup teams are also featured with both Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing taking part. Other notable entries include Chris Draper, currently ranked 5th in the World and now sailing with Softbank Team Japan as well as current UK National Champion Chris Rashley. The Regatta will be run over five days with two races per day and will be overseen by Principal Race Officer David Campbell James. There will be daily video uploads to the event website and social media platforms.  While the RBYC will be open to the public as usual, the best place for the action will be on the water and everyone is welcome to come out and watch. The Amlin International Moth Regatta is sponsored by Amlin plc, a FTSE 250-listed independent global insurer and reinsurer with operations in the Lloyd's, UK, continental European and other markets (but not Bermudian). Amlin's CEO of Bermuda Branch Rob Wyatt said, "Amlin are proud to continue our support for Bermuda by sponsoring the Amlin International Moth Regatta. It is a very exciting prospect, and an early chance to see some of world's best sailors racing against each other in advance of the America's Cup." Additional sponsors include the Bermuda Tourism Authority, EFG International, Gosling's the Official Rum of the Regatta and Kaenon Polarized.

Aon Youth World Championships

And Bermuda’s Campbell Patton and siblings Cecilia and Michael Wollmann will look to sign off at the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, on a good note today. Patton enters the final races 37th in the 57-boat boys Laser Radial while the Wollmanns are tenth in the 20-boat Nacra 15 fleet.

2016. December 20. Bermuda’s Campbell Patton and siblings Cecilia and Michael Wollmann will look to sign off at the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, on a good note today. Patton enters the final races 37th in the 57-boat boys Laser Radial while the Wollmanns are tenth in the 20-boat Nacra 15 fleet.

2016. December 19. Cecilia and Michael Wollmann are continuing to hold their own in the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. The local sailing siblings are eighth among the 20-boat Nacra 15 catamaran fleet after nine races and one drop. French duo Tim Mourniac and Charles Dorange are the leaders, followed by Gianluigi and Maria Giubilei, of Italy, in second, and Romain Screeve and Ian Brill, of the United States, in third. The Wollmanns got their campaign off to a flyer, posting a bullet in the second race, their best finish to date, to top the leaderboard after Friday’s opening day of racing in gusty and shifty breezes on the Hauraki Gulf. However, the local pair fell off the pace in the lighter breezes that followed on Saturday and yesterday. The teenage brother and sister, the first siblings to represent Bermuda at a leading regatta since brothers Jesse and Zander Kirkland competed in the 49er at the London 2012 Olympics, will now look to make a final push heading into the two race days remaining. Skipper Cecilia, 18, who is competing with her 16-year-old brother, has enjoyed a stellar year having made her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in August, competing in the Laser Radial. She is the only local athlete to have represented Bermuda at senior and junior Olympic levels having also competed in the Byte CII class at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in 2014 and is a member of Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team. The Wollmann siblings are no stranger to this event having both competed in the Laser Radial at last year’s Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia. Also representing Bermuda at this year’s championships in New Zealand is Campbell Patton in the boys Laser Radial. After six races Patton, who is making his debut at this level, is 42nd among the 57-boat fleet. Finnian Alexander, of Australia, leads the boys’ Laser Radial fleet. Denmark’s Patrick Doepping sits in second followed closely in third by George Gautrey, of New Zealand. Nearly 400 sailors from 65 countries in nine separate classes are competing at the Youth Sailing World Championships, which conclude tomorrow.

2016. December 17. Bermudians Cecilia and Michael Wollmann are in the lead after the first round of their event at the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships. The siblings were the most consistent team on a gusty and shifty Hauraki Gulf, in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday. They posted a record of 8-1-6 in the opening three races, to carve out a two-point advantage at the top of the leaderboard in the 20-boat Nacra 15 fleet. “Still a long regatta so anything can happen,” Cecilia, 18, said. “Conditions were mid-teens, low twenties wind which made for some challenging conditions. “If you look, also, most teams are two boys.” The Bermudians warmed up for the regatta by training in a Nacra 17 owned by the Bermuda Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, of whom Cecilia is a member. They also trained on a Nacra 15 during clinics in Weymouth, England and Newport, Rhode Island in the lead-up to this year’s Youth Sailing World Championships. The Wollmanns are the first siblings to represent Bermuda at a leading regatta since brothers Jesse and Zander Kirkland competed in the 49er at the London 2012 Olympics. Cecilia, who is competing with her 16-year-old brother, has enjoyed a stellar year having made her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in August, competing in the Laser Radial. She is the only local athlete to have represented Bermuda at senior and junior Olympic levels having also competed in the Byte CII class at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in 2014. In second, behind the Bermudian pair, are Romain Screve and Ian Brill, of the United States, with Jackson Keon and Tom Fyfe, of the host nation, a further nine points adrift in third. The Nacra 15 is a semi-foiling catamaran which is making its debut at the championships this year. Also representing Bermuda in New Zealand is Campbell Patton, who is making his debut at the event competing in the Laser Radial boys fleet. As one of the lightest sailors in a fleet of 57, Patton found the going tough in the 18-25 knot breezes, posting a 45th and 46th in the two races contested to finish day one in 47th. Patrick Doepping, of Denmark, leads in the Laser Radial boys followed by New Zealand’s George Gautrey in second and Poland’s Jakub Rodziewicz in third. The Youth Sailing World Championships and involve nearly 400 sailors from 65 countries competing in nine separate classes off the waters of Waiake Beach in Auckland.

Argo Group Gold Cup

History of the King Edward VII Gold Cup: The oldest match-racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts. It was given at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1907 by King Edward VII in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America. C. Sherman Hoyt won the regatta and was the first to accept the now historic cup. After three decades of holding the Cup, Mr. Hoyt gave it to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and proposed a regular one-on-one match-race series in 6-Meter yachts. In his letter he expressed the propriety of "my returning a British Royal trophy to the custody of your club, with its long record of clean sportsmanship and keenly contested races between your Bermuda yachts and ours of Long Island Sound, and elsewhere..." The first winner of the Cup in its new format was the celebrated Briggs Cunningham, who was also the first skipper to win the America's Cup in a 12-Meter. In the post-war years, the Club placed the Cup in competition in 1956 for match-racing in yachts of the International One Design Class. Bert Darrell had the honor of being first to defend the Cup in this class and won it a total of six times. By winning his seventh championship in 2004, Russell Coutts surpassed Darrell to become the event's all-time winner. Through the years Bermuda has won the Cup 21 times, the United States 17 times, New Zealand 10 times, Australia 5 times, the United Kingdom twice, and in 2002 Denmark claimed the King Edward VII Gold Cup for the first time.

2016. December 31. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is set to resume discussions with the World Match Racing Tour over the future of the Argo Group Gold Cup early in the new year. The match race spectacle was cancelled this year after discussions over the new Tour format between the RBYC, the hosts, title sponsor Argo Group Limited and the WMRT ended without agreement. However, Andy Cox, the Gold Cup chairman, confirmed that the RBYC “will be speaking to the WMRT” as early as next month. The King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts, while the RBYC is a founding member of the World Match Racing Association. The future of the event has been hanging in the balance ever since the World Match Racing Tour switched to M32 catamarans from the International One-Design racing sloop last year. Organizers had been hoping to find a way to hold the regatta, with Peter Shrubb, the RBYC rear commodore, saying in April that he was “hopeful the Gold Cup will carry on”. Hakan Svensson, the Tour’s owner, also visited the island to “thrash things out”, but even then there were too many questions that had yet to be answered. In the interim, Argo has committed to sponsoring Artemis Racing in their challenge to win the America’s Cup next year, and Cox said that was where the sponsor’s priorities presently lay. New Zealander Adam Minoprio, helmsman of America’s Cup challenger Groupama Team France, won the last Gold Cup event staged in Hamilton in 2015 after edging Australian rival Keith Swinton 3-2 to lift the prestigious trophy, whose origins date back to 1907.

2016. June 17. There will be no Argo Group Gold Cup this year. The future of the event has been hanging in the balance ever since the World Match Racing Tour switched to M32 catamarans last year, from the one-design yachts that were used previously. Organizers had been hoping to find a way to hold the regatta, with Peter Shrubb, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club rear commodore, saying in April he was “hopeful the Gold Cup will carry on”. However, discussions between the WMRT, the RBYC and Argo Group Limited, which has sponsored the event for the past eight years, have come to an end without agreement. Hakan Svensson, the tour’s owner, was scheduled to visit the island to “thrash things out”, but even then there were too many questions that had yet to be answered. “There’s too many things up in the air at the moment with the World Match Racing Tour,” Shrubb said at the time. “There haven’t been any decisions made as to whether the yacht club can actually move forward with a decision on whether we can hold the Gold Cup this year in the same format as last.” Argo has also committed to sponsoring Artemis Racing in their challenge to win the America’s Cup next year, and Andy Cox, the chairman of the Gold Cup regatta, said that was where the sponsor’s priorities presently lay. “With Bermuda playing host to the America’s Cup next year, the focus and energy is on that right now,” Cox said. Mark Watson, the Argo chief executive, said he was proud to have formed a partnership with Artemis, when his company’s sponsorship was announced in mid-April. “We are excited to work with Artemis Racing and particularly pleased to be involved in a series that will see the best sailors in the world compete right here in Bermuda during the America’s Cup,” Watson said. There is no suggestion, however, that this one-year hiatus signals an end to the regatta, and Cox is hopeful it will return to the match racing calendar next year. “We are looking forward to meeting with Argo Group and Mark Watson in the spring of 2017 to plan for upcoming Argo Group Gold Cup regattas. It’s great to have a partner that is committed to the Gold Cup and sailing in Bermuda.” The King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts, and former winners have included America’s Cup trio Sir Russell Coutts, Jimmy Spithill and Sir Ben Ainslie.

2016.  April 1. Organizers of the Argo Group Gold Cup remain “optimistic” that the regatta will be held this year. The annual sailing spectacle has remained in limbo since the introduction of the one-design M32 catamaran at all World Match Racing Tour events this year. Despite ongoing talks between Gold Cup organizers and Tour officials that have dragged on for months it has yet to be determined whether the Gold Cup will toe the line and swap the International One Design sloop for the M32 and retain its Tour status, or sever ties and stick with the IOD which have featured in the regatta since the late 1950s. “We’re hopeful the Gold Cup will carry on, but under what format is a bit undecided,” Peter Shrubb, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club rear commodore, said. “But we are optimistic the event will continue. It’s been going on for 25 years and were hoping it will go on for another few years.” It was announced after Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the ISAF-sanctioned World Match Racing Tour last July that all events on this year’s Tour would be contested in the one-design M32 high-performance catamaran. “There’s too many things up in the air at the moment with the World Match Racing Tour, so there haven’t been any decisions made as to whether the yacht club can actually move forward with a decision on whether holding the Gold Cup this year in the same format as last. We can easily have a Gold Cup but just not really sure what format it will be in; whether it’s going to be under the World Match Racing Tour in the M32, whether it’s going to be on the Tour in IODs, whether it’s going to be an event in IODs not on the Tour, we just don’t know what we are going to do at the moment. The owner [Hakan Svensson] of the Tour is coming to Bermuda in April and we’re hoping that Mark Watson [the Argo Group president and chief executive officer] will be here at the same time to be able to get all the stakeholders together and thrash it out.” The King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts. Adam Minoprio, the helmsman of 35th America’s Cup challenger Groupama Team France, won last year’s Gold Cup.

2016. February 6. The Argo Group Gold Cup’s status on the World Match Racing Tour remains uncertain, with organizers of the prestigious regatta still engaged in discussions with tour officials. The tour announced last year that the M32 high-performance catamaran will be the featured class on this year’s truncated WMRT circuit to run from March to July. It still remains to be seen if the Gold Cup will be included in the next tour cycle to run from July 2016 to July 2017. In order to retain its tour status, Gold Cup organizers will have to amend the class rule from the existing classic International One Design sloop to the M32, which made its debut in local waters during the previous Gold Cup. The first official racing involving the catamaran took place during last month’s first stage of the M32 North American Winter Series being held in Bermuda for the first time this year. It has been suggested that the M32 has already been confirmed for the next Gold Cup. However, Andy Cox, chairman of the Gold Cup, has dismissed the claim." We have not yet agreed on the format or dates for this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup,” Cox said. “The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club are continuing to work with the World Match Racing Tour and our sponsors to finalise the details for this year’s regatta.” Adam Minoprio, helmsman of 35th America’s Cup Challenger Groupama Team France, won last year’s Gold Cup with his BlackMatch team-mates after besting Australian rival Keith Swinton and Black Swan Racing in the final. Meanwhile, Nicolai Sehested, a World Match Racing Tour card holder, has returned to Bermuda with his Trefor Match Racing team-mates to prepare for the upcoming season, which gets under way next month in Perth, Australia. Sehested has made several appearances in the Argo Group Gold Cup and also competed in the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup. “It’s been a great experience growing up sailing in Bermuda every year, and it’s always been the place where you see and meet the best sailors in the world,” the Danish sailor said. “We always enjoyed the monohull boats like the Bermudian IOD, but we have to accept and adapt the new changes quick, and that’s why we choose Bermuda as our training base, like the America’s Cup teams.”

2015. October 10. A new Argo Group Gold Cup champion will be crowned this year. Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing, the defending champions, were among the teams knocked out of the $100,000 regatta at the end of yesterday’s repechage, contested in gentle breezes in Hamilton Harbour. The Swede had been bidding to become only the third skipper behind Sir Russell Coutts, the Oracle Team USA chief executive, and Peter Gilmour to capture at least three titles since the Gold Cup was revamped in 1985. However, in the end, it was not to be as an “unnecessary penalty” against Eric Monnin and Team Sailbox, and Phil Robertson’s narrow come-from-behind victory against Joachim Aschenbrenner during the group qualifying stage, ultimately took their toll on Berntsson and his crew. Despite falling short of their objective Berntsson said there were plenty of positives to take away from the experience “Overall, I’m happy that all of the guys on board are fighting to do their best and we actually had some really good races,” said the 2008 and 2014 Gold Cup winner. “It was so close, which goes to show how tight the fleet is. We always love sailing in Bermuda. We have been sailing here for eight years and we still enjoy it a lot.” Also bowing out was local hopeful Blythe Walker and Team RenRe. “It was great to be back racing in the Gold Cup,” Walker said. “I love match racing and the excitement of it. The rustiness definitely showed but it was fun. We had three days of great racing and the team did a great job. They were more up to speed than I was. I was the one making the silly mistakes.” America’s Cup teams Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan, Chris Poole, and Riptide Racing, and Reuben Corbett, and Corbett Racing, were the remaining teams eliminated in the repechage. Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan will now turn their focus on preparing for next week’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Meanwhile, advancing from the repechage to the quarter-finals were Keith Swinton and Black Swan Racing and Chris Steele and 36 Below Racing. Swinton won the repechage with a 6-1 record while Steele was second at 5-2. “We felt like we were sailing well in the first round but had some bad luck that put us in the repechage, so we’re happy to go through,” Swinton said. Yesterday’s repechage was held up for several hours due to a lack of breeze. “It was a challenging day for everyone,” Swinton said. Swinton and Steele will now join Taylor Canfield (US One), Robertson (Waka Racing), Eric Monnin (Team Sail Box), Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar), Bjorn Hansen (Nautiska Racing) and Adam Minoprio (BlackMatch) in the last eight. Canfield, the 2012 Gold Cup winner, finished as the top qualifier with an unblemished 7-0 record to earn the right to pick Steele as his quarter-final opponent. “We’re not surprised,” Steele said. “We were the last qualifier and he was the first.” Today’s remaining quarter-final matches will pit Robertson against Minoprio, Monnin against Hansen while Williams will face Swinton. The semi-finals will also be held today with racing in the International One Design sloop to commence at 9am. Nacho Davilia leads the 2015 RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup fleet after eight races. The Spaniard holds a 13-point advantage over second placed Ryane Duff, of the British Virgin Islands, with Mathias Berthet, of Norway, a further point adrift of the lead pace. Christian Spodsberg, the defending champion, is further down the leader board in tenth. Jordan Etemadi leads the local fleet in twelfth overall followed closely by Micah Raynor in thirteenth and Campbell Patton in fifteenth.

2015. October 9. Taylor Canfield and US One earned the right to choose their quarter-final opponent after finishing as the overall top qualifier during day two of the Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton Harbour yesterday. The 2012 Gold Cup winners picked up where they had left off the day before, chalking up three additional points to finish atop Group Two with an unblemished 7-0 record that speaks volumes about the team’s present form. “We are thrilled with the result so far but we’ve definitely had some tight racing and the field is only getting better from here,” Canfield, the 2013 world match racing champion, said. “The more time everyone spends in the boat throughout the week the harder it’s going to get. The goal is to make it through to the quarter-finals and we have achieved that first goal and now we have to see how it all plays out on Saturday.” It now remains to be seen which opponent among the remaining quarter-finalists Canfield will choose to tango with. One skipper he may want to avoid is Ian Williams, the five-times world match racing champion and 2006 Gold Cup winner. A loss to defending World Match Racing Tour champion and present leader Williams in the quarter-finals would see Canfield lose precious ground in his bid for a second world match racing title in three-years. “It will be interesting to see what Taylor chooses to do,” Williams said. “He’s often threatened to pick us but he never has and so we’ll see if he comes up with it this time.” Also advancing straight through to the quarter-finals from group two were Bjorn Hansen and Nautiska Racing and Adam Minoprio and Team Blackwatch. Chris Steele (36 Below Racing), Keith Swinton (BlackSwan Racing), Francesco Bruni (Artemis Racing) and Reuben Corbett (Corbett Racing) advanced to the repechage, while Nicolai Sehested (Trefor Match Racing) was eliminated. Phil Robertson and Waka Racing topped group one on a tiebreaker after finishing the qualifying stage tied with Eric Monnin, of Switzerland, whom he beat in the fourth flight the previous day. Williams, fresh from competing on the M32 Scandinavian Series in Europe, claimed the third and final quarter-final spot in group one. Advancing from group one to the repechage were Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing, the defending Gold Cup champions, Dean Barker and SoftBank Team Japan, Chris Poole and Riptide Racing, and local hopeful Blythe Walker and Team RenRe. Eliminated was Joachim Aschenbrenner and Aschenbrenner Racing Team. After the group qualifying had concluded the race committee decided to start the repechage earlier than originally planned. After three of seven flights in the repechage, Steele and Swinton are both on two points, Berntsson, Barker, Bruni and Corbett have one, while Walker and Poole have yet to get off the mark. The remaining flights of the repechage will be held today to determine the final two teams that will join the other six quarter-finalists. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held tomorrow, while the Petite final and final will take place on Sunday. The eventual winning team will pocket $35,000, second $16,000 and third $12,000.

2015. October 6. Organizers are hoping to refloat one of the spare International One Design sloops for this week’s Argo Group Gold Cup which sank during Hurricane Joaquin. The Privateer, owned by Michael Richold, sank on its Pitts Bay mooring during the hurricane on Sunday, leaving race organizers with only one spare boat on the eve of tomorrow’s official start to the penultimate event on the annual World Match Racing Tour circuit. “We have two spare boats but we are now down to one,” said Peter Shrubb, the rear commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club responsible for international events. “It was a privately owned boat that was being worked on and readied for the Gold Cup, and unfortunately during Hurricane Joaquin she ended up on the bottom.” Yesterday’s rough conditions ruled out any attempts to refloat the boat. “We are making efforts to have her refloated which is difficult at the moment because of the conditions,” Shrubb said. “The seas and wind are still quite high but the plan is to get her up as soon as possible and find out what condition she is in and hopefully there’s not much damage. It’s probably unlikely she will be able to sail in the Gold Cup unless we are very lucky and she can be put back in proper condition pretty quickly.” Most of the overseas teams were scheduled to arrive on Island yesterday ahead of today’s scheduled preparation sessions in Hamilton Harbour while regatta hosts RBYC came through the hurricane unscathed. “The yacht club [RBYC] didn’t sustain any damage, so the plan is to get the boats in the marina into their slips as soon as we can because tomorrow [today] is the practice day,” Shrubb said. Tomorrow’s scheduled start of the regatta will go ahead as planned. “Some of the crews have had to change their travel plans and won’t arrive until Tuesday night,” Andy Cox, the Gold Cup chairman, said. “But we’re still planning to start racing on Wednesday and we’ll adjust the schedule to accommodate any late arrivals.” The Gold Cup will include 16 teams divided into two qualifying groups of eight. The top three teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals while the teams that place fourth to seventh will face off against each other in another round robin to determine the remaining two quarter-finalists. Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar, the world match racing champions, are the top ranked team in group one which also includes Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing, the defending Gold Cup champions, as well as local hopeful Blythe Walker and Team RenRe. Bjorn Hansen and Nautiska Racing are the top-ranked team in group two, which also features past Gold Cup winner Taylor Canfield and US Sail One. Also competing are America’s Cup Challengers Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan. The Gold Cup will be held from October 6 to 11 in Hamilton Harbour.

2015. October 1. Johnie Berntsson will join an exclusive group of sailors if he claims victory at this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup. The defending champion is bidding to become only the third skipper behind Sir Russell Coutts, the Oracle Team USA CEO, and Peter Gilmour to capture at least three titles since the World Match Racing Tour event was revamped in 1985. Swedish skipper Berntsson and Stena Sailing won a second Gold Cup after beating Eric Monnin and Team Sailbox 3-1 in last year’s final and they will undoubtedly look to pick up where they left off in Hamilton Harbour next week. “Winning the Gold Cup a third time would be a fabulous achievement for us,” Berntsson, the 2015 WMRT Card Holder, said. “I am looking forward to race again in Hamilton Harbour with my excellent team-mates.” This year’s 16-team Gold Cup line-up features the world’s top seven match racers, America’s Cup teams Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan, as well as past winners Ian Williams, Taylor Canfield and Berntsson. “The set-up is always challenging and with the America’s Cup teams competing it will not make the event easier to win,” Berntsson said. “Ian Percy from Artemis has won the event before and knows what it takes to grip the Cup. To win means that you really have to be on your top performance.” Berntsson’s crew consists of Robert Skarp, tactician/bow, Jakob Gustavsson, trimmer, Carl-Johan Uckelstam, main, and Martin Berntsson, the team coach. This year’s Gold Cup could be the last featuring the International One Design sloop as there has been a shift in emphasis towards the high-performance M32 catamaran for next year’s WMRT championship. James Pleasance, the executive director of the WMRT, has made clear his ambition to extend use of the M32 across more events on the series, including the Gold Cup. Berntsson said the M32 will add another “fun dimension” to the WMRT racing circuit but would rather have the IOD remain as the class for the Gold Cup. “The IOD’s in Bermuda represent a classic way of match racing and are the oldest boats in the WMRT that still gives the audience some exciting racing to watch. Right now I would prefer to keep the IOD’s at the Argo Group Gold Cup and instead use the M32’s in other events where they get more space on the racecourse and where it is a better opportunity to build new traditions.” The Gold Cup will be held from October 6 to 11. Flying Bermuda’s banner this year is Blythe Walker. Walker secured the Gold Cup spot allocated to the winner of the Bacardi Bermuda National Match Racing Championships as SoftBank Team Japan, who won the national match racing title, had already gained entry to the Gold Cup via a wild card.

2015. September 10. Match racing around Hamilton Harbour in the International One Design sloop will be a far cry from the high-performance foiling catamaran for America’s Cup challengers Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan who are among this year’s stellar Argo Group Gold Cup fleet. “It is about as far away from the new look America’s Cup racing as you can get,” Dean Barker, the skipper and CEO of Team Japan, said. “The IOD is a classic sailing yacht stepped in history. They are long, narrow boats with a serious lack of maneuverability. In contrast, the foiling catamarans are incredibly fast, require split-second decision-making, and punch you for every single mistake.” Team Japan and Artemis Racing, the Swedish challenger, are using the World Match Racing Tour-sanctioned event as a warm-up for stage three of the 2015-16 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series to follow on the heels of the Gold Cup. “It is a great opportunity for SoftBank Team Japan to get out on the water in Bermuda and enjoy the sailing conditions,” Barker said. “The style of match racing that we have been doing in the catamarans is certainly very different to the World Match Racing Tour style of sailing. I cannot remember the last event that I raced but it was a long time ago. I am sure I will be incredibly rusty and will make plenty of mistakes, but it will be great to get back out there and race against the guys who have been doing this for the last few years.” This year marks Artemis’ second straight appearance in the Gold Cup. The America’s Cup racing syndicate failed to advance from the round-robin stage on their first attempt at winning the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one design yachts and are keen to improve on that showing. “The competition is always tough on the World Match Racing Tour, but we have a couple new sailors this year and are hoping to improve on our results from last year,” said the team in a statement. “The team are very much looking forward to coming back to Bermuda and back to the Argo Group Gold Cup. Plus, any extra-time sailing and in particular match racing on the Great Sound is always a bonus in the lead up to the America’s Cup.” 

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta

2015. November 21. Chequemate remained on course for a clean sweep of honours on the penultimate day of the 2015 Bacardi Keelboat Regatta in the Great Sound yesterday. After eight races Chequemate leads the overall, Bermuda and International fleets in the J-105 XL Catlin Series. Chequemate has simply dominated, winning all but two of the eight races sailed so far and finishing now lower than third. Topping the leader board in the International One Design fleet after seven races and one throw out is Blythe Walker with six points. In second with 13 points is Patrick Cooper followed by Philip Crain in third a further six points adrift. Somers Kempe, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore, leads the Viper 640 fleet after four races with six points. Breathing down Kempe’s neck in second is Rockal Evans with ten points. “This is my first time skippering a Viper in Bermuda Race Week,” Evans said. “I have had some pretty good results for my first time and I am very pleased. It was very tricky conditions but we managed well. Tomorrow [today] is the last day and we are still in contention and also having fun.” Presently third in the Viper 640 fleet is overseas skipper Justin Scott with eleven points.

Beaches

By sea from a boat, you can access private beaches legally, up to the high water mark. Inshore waters like the Great Sound, Castle Harbor and Hamilton Harbor have many little beaches, coves, grottos and islets. 

Bermuda Pilot Gig Club

2016. October 24. Rowing crews from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States took to the water yesterday to race against local pilot gig teams. More than 80 international rowers are participating in the Bermuda Invitational Gig Regatta — the first event of its kind on the island. And the first of three events to be held this week got off to a successful start, with teams making the most of the good weather and fun atmosphere at Mangrove Bay in Sandys. “It’s been fantastic, great competition and lots of fun,” said Laura Lyons, of Sandys, who took to the water with the Spanish Point Admirals ladies’ team. “This is our teams’ first race, so we just came out to have fun and see what we can do. And we made it into the finals. We’re super chuffed about that.” The team had only been rowing for a few months and Ms Lyons only joined it a few weeks ago, she said. Chris Hastings, who has traveled to the island from Somerset in England, said: “It’s sensational. We’ve been made to feel so welcome.” The Clevedon Pilot Gig Club team member added that “it’s just a blast” to race in such an idyllic setting. He was also delighted to act as a coxswain for the Spanish Point Admirals, remarking on the passion, joy and commitment of the local teams. Ann Boaden, from Bristol, was rowing with team Appledore, and described the event as “an amazing experience”. Although she has been rowing socially for about five years, it was Mrs Boaden’s first regatta. Her husband, Jerry Boaden, was taking part with team Jurassic Coast and added: “It’s beautiful. I’m Bristolian and this is traditional rowing in the West County, so I like the history side of it as well.” Allan Craske, who was rowing with the Lyme Regis team, also remarked on the island’s hospitality, which he said was “100 per cent”. Mr Craske has been river rowing since 1965 and took up gig rowing two years ago. “It’s very therapeutic,” he said of the sport, adding that rowers have to keep a clear head. “If you think about anything else while rowing, you make a mistake.” The Bermuda Pilot Gig Club has seen an explosion of interest since it began promoting the sport as a proud reminder of the island’s heritage a year ago. Sandys Boat Club and Spanish Point Boat Club took up the sport after the introduction of three 32ft pilot gigs to East End Mini Yacht Club in July. With more than 150 members on the island, participants have competed in Cup Match contests and even international events such as the World Pilot Gig Championships at the Isles of Scilly. Carol Ferris, chairwoman of the Bermuda Invitational Gig Regatta committee, told The Royal Gazette: “This is pretty amazing, to do something so soon in our history.” She said there had been some doubt as to their ability to pull it off, which was why the organizers made it an invitational event. But she said they had been overwhelmed by the amount of people that wanted to take part. “Today has gone extremely smoothly,” she said, adding that the event has potential to expand and run again if it proves to be a success overall. Yesterday’s event, which also featured a privateers race in which crew members were chosen randomly, was the first of three regattas to be held this week. “These consist of a series of races, men’s and ladies’, from which we determine finalists and who goes into the plates,” Ms Ferris explained. The next event will be held at Spanish Point Boat Club on Wednesday from 1pm to 6.30pm, and the final will take place at the East End Mini Yacht Club from 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

2016. October 23 to 29. Bermuda Invitational Gig Regatta. Rowers from the United States, Britain and the Netherlands are to descend on the island for an international gig racing festival. Organized by the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club, which has seen an explosion of interest since it began promoting the sport as a proud reminder of the island's heritage a year ago. Following the introduction of three 32ft pilot gigs to East End Mini Yacht Club last July, gig racing has spread to Sandys Boat Club and Spanish Point Boat Club, with 150 members across the island. Participants have held Cup Match contests and even competed internationally at events including the Gloucester Harbour Race in Britain last month, and the World Pilot Gig Championships at the Isles of Scilly in May. Now, about 80 seasoned overseas rowers will visit the island for six days for a friendly but fierce series of races around the island. Rick Spurling, president of the St David's Island Historical Society which helped bring gig racing to Bermuda, told The Royal Gazette: "It's grown beyond all our expectations. This gig regatta is something we had planned for some time, but a lot of people thought it's too early and we would never know how to do it." Mr Spurling said much of the sport's success comes from its heritage that goes back centuries, when gigs were rowed long distances to help bring ships into the island. "A lot of people have families that used to row gigs in St George's, St David's and Somerset," he said. "It's a thrill to go out there and row pilot gigs and feel the thrill of what their predecessors did. There are people now, interested in researching more about pilot gigs, putting together albums. It's stimulated a lot of interest in history." Mr Spurling also pointed to health and social benefits, saying: Many people don't have the opportunity to go out on boats. This is a great way to travel around the island. These boats don't go too quickly, so you can see turtles and birds, you are getting some exercise and you are enjoying the water. It's really nice seeing St David's and St George's from the water. You can see so much from a different vantage point than the land. " The regatta will include a race from Mangrove Bay on Sunday, October 23; from Spanish Point Boat Club on Wednesday, October 26; and from St George's Harbour on Saturday, October 29. Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, which is backing the event, said in a statement: "As the sun sets on summer, we ramp up to Bermuda's peak season for sport and adventure activities. The first ever Bermuda Invitational Gig Regatta is an excellent fit into that strategy. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is proud to support the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club as it attracts visitors from the United States and Britain for a unique visitor experience that will touch the east, west and central parts of the island."

Boats and licensing 

BoatSailboats or yachts are shown separately. All types of small boats are available for rent at various sites all over Bermuda, from Boston Whalers to jet ski craft. They are fun to rent but expensive, partly because boats - and the fuel they use - attract a very high rate of import duty imposed by the Bermuda Government

A boat that costs US$10,000 in the USA - for example, a 19 ft sailboat from a boatyard in Florida (such as Noble's Marine in Leesburgh) - will cost as much as $34,000 in Bermuda if bought locally. If bought yourself from Florida, the additional cost to get it to Bermuda for a boat of this size will be about $5,000 for shrink-wrapping, hauling to the docks and ocean freight; duty will be 55% and there will be other costs. Buying directly from the USA offers a much bigger choice but buying locally may have fewer headaches over servicing and warranties. There are no restrictions on size or type. All motor boats must be registered and licensed by March 31 by the Bermuda Government's Department of Marine and Ports. Transfers of ownership must be documented.  All must show decals. Regulations apply for classification and safety equipment. Supply a boat photograph when registering. Some require a mooring, handled privately. Note Bermuda Government Licensing fees for boat trailers. 

Visitors should not venture beyond inshore protected waters.

Boat clubs. See under Employers in the heading "Yacht and Boat Clubs." 

Water Safety Council. Bermuda Government appointed under the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968, Section 61. For members, under Bermuda Government Boards.

Caving

Remarkable efforts were taken to secure stunning Bermuda underwater cave footage for a 2010 four-part mini-series on the Island produced by Discovery Channel Canada. Five five-and-a-half-minute mini-documentaries highlighted the Island's caves, cahows, roof rainwater systems and research into ocean algae biofuels.. Cave diving specialists spent ten days practicing for the underwater filming assignment. They strapped air tanks under their arms rather than on their backs in order to squeeze through tiny spaces to capture never-before seen pictures of the Island's mysterious submerged caverns and labyrinths. Divers explored the dark waters of the 2,000m long caves around Castle Harbour. The magnificent formations of stalagmites and stalactites provided evidence the Island was once 400 metres above sea level. Bones of long-gone birds and creatures that lived on the Island before it was settled by man were uncovered in the submerged caves, while sponges and plant life that cling to the rocks exhibit antibacterial and even anti-cancerous properties. The divers were part of a wide-ranging collaborative effort instigated and directed by the newly formed Bermuda Environmental Alliance that brought together an extensive group of scientists, conservationists, wildlife experts and film technicians to create the mini-series for Discovery Channel Canada. 

See more details under "Scuba diving" and "snorkeling."

D-6 Flying Phantom Series

Features more than 13 teams from Europe and the United States.

2015. December 1. D-6 Flying Phantom Series finale starts in the Great Sound on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Artemis won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda at the same venue last month, and will be looking for a second straight regatta victory. “It’s great for us to go back to Bermuda,” Outteridge, the Olympic gold-medal winner, said. “The last time I was there was for the World Series regatta and we all have very fond memories of Bermuda and enjoyed the racing there, so we are hoping to sail just as well as we did then.” Artemis, the sole America’s Cup team registered, have entered two teams in the four-day regatta with Outteridge teaming up with Iain Jensen, and Luke Parkinson and Ayden Menzies sailing the team’s other Phantom. 

Etchells World Championships

2016. September 10. Local sailors Tim Patton and Jesse Kirkland will be looking to finish the Etchells World Championship in Cowes, Isle of Wight, on a positive note with their respective teams during today’s final day of racing on the Solent. Patton, who is making his 26th appearance at the event, is the island’s sole representative and is competing with Tom Herbert-Evans, the America’s Cup’s community sailing manager, and Richard Percy, the brother of Artemis Racing tactician and sailing team manager Iain Percy, on Thrash. Kirkland, who represented Bermuda with brother Zander in the 49er at the 2012 London Olympics, is serving as tactician on American Jane II, helmed by skipper Scott Kaufman, of the United States. With one race remaining, Patton sits in eighth in the Corinthian Division and 46th overall while Kirkland and his team-mates, who posted a victory earlier this week, are fifteenth overall.

Helmet diving

Hartley Helmet Diving

A great place for this in Bermuda is Hartley's Undersea Walk Bermuda at http://www.hartleybermuda.com/. It's a unique Bermuda experience by an organization with decades of expertise in the business. For those not used to the ocean such as non-swimmers, this is an adventurous and far less strenuous than snorkeling way to enjoy the wonders of the deep. Even those physically handicapped but ambulatory or not fit or not good swimmers or who don't swim, can really enjoy this marine aspect of Bermuda if they are capable of getting on and off the vessel concerned. Shallow-water helmet diving will amaze and delight you. The diving helmet protects you yet lets you see everything. Fresh air is pumped into the helmet via a hose. See underwater and colorful fish in the reefs. Return home with memories and photographs of an unexpected but fantastic highlight of your visit that you never thought you would experience.

Kayaking

Kayaking in Bermuda

A kayak or canoe offers the opportunity to explore places even many Bermudians don't know exist, such as in Hungry Bay, Paget, or Paradise Lake - some of the islands of the Great Sound. Plus, for those in search of marine life, mangroves and quiet coves are easily accessible by kayak. Check to see which water sports outlets rent or sell canoes or kayaks.

M32 Series North America

2016. January 11. Don Wilson and the crew of Convexity came from behind to win stage one of the 2016 M32 Series North America in the Great Sound yesterday. Wilson and his team-mates trailed Sally Barkow, the former Olympic sailor and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and crew of The Magenta Project for the lead at the top of the five-team leaderboard on a tie break after the first day of racing was completed. However, the Chicago-based skipper struck form when it mattered most on the final day of racing to pip Barkow by a solitary point. Charlie Enright, the Volvo Ocean Race skipper, and crew of 11th Hour Racing rounded off the podium in third. Conditions throughout the regatta ranged from 20-14 knots, which kept the racing fleet on their toes. Wilson and Barkow each posted six bullets. However, Barkow’s fourth place finish in the eighth and final race on Saturday proved decisive as it gave her rival just enough room to go on and claim early bragging rights in the 2016 M32 Series North America, which is being held in Bermuda for the first time this year. “What a great event the M32 Series Bermuda turned out to be,” read a post on the M32 Series Facebook page. A huge thanks to the organizers, the volunteers, staffs, umpires, race committee and more that make the M32 Series Bermuda a success.” Organized by the M32 North America in conjunction with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the 2016 M32 Series North America comprises of four stages that will run from January to April with one event per month. The fleet will return to Bermuda next month for the second stage of the series to be held February 19-21. The third stage runs March 11-13 and fourth and final stage April 15-17. The M32 Series was formed to create a professional sailing series on a regional level and is contested in 32-foot open, one-design catamarans sailed by a crew of four or five. The first M32 was launched in local waters last October during the World Match Racing Tour sanctioned Argo Group Gold Cup. Among the field for next month’s second stage of the M32 Series North America is Ian Williams and GAC Pindar, the past Gold Cup and five-times WMRT champions.

Moth World Championships 2018

2016. June 19. Bermuda will host the 2018 Moth World Championships after beating Argentina and Australia in the bid process, the International Moth Class Association announced today. The event featuring the foiling Moth dinghy will be held in the Great Sound, venue for the 35th America’s Cup, in May 2018. “This is fantastic news not only for Bermuda, but we know that the sailors are all keen to sail on the waters in the Great Sound, which is fast becoming known as one of the pre-eminent sailing locations in the world,” said Andy Cox, chairman of the regatta on behalf of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. 

Optimist sailing

2015. September 9. Bermuda’s Optimist sailing team returned home after spending nine days competing in the International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships in Dzwnow, Poland, where they narrowly missed a spot in the final 16. Most of the sailing was held in fluky and very light winds — six knots or less, which proved difficult for the Island’s sailors, most of whom are used to sailing in moderate or heavy winds. One race started in a breeze of just two knots and many others were abandoned because of the conditions. Bermuda were eliminated when they were beaten by Slovenia. Individual results for the Bermuda team had Campbell Patton finish 133rd, Tayte Stefaniuk 156th, Micah Thomas Raynor 164th, Camille Chin-Gurret 215th and Luke Madeiros 251st. The winner of the regatta was 14-year-old Rok Verderber of Slovenia who posted the low total of 18 points. Jodie Lai, a 13-year-old girl from Singapore, finished second with 41 points and Norway’s Mathias Berthet, 14, who placed third with 58 points. After two days of team racing Singapore emerged as winners. It was the last World Championships for Chin-Gurret and Patton as they will be moving on to different boats. Chin-Gurret is 15 — too old to compete with the Optimists — and Patton is sizing out. Bermuda’s sailors will be in action in next month’s Gold Cup and the Bermuda National Championships.

Parasailing

Protected inshore areas and harbors offer opportunities for able-bodied visitors to soar 300 feet or so. Parasailing for everyone at this fine location! Sit back and enjoy the view. There are several centers. 

Powerboat Racing

Takes place periodically, mostly at Ferry Reach.

RC44 Championship Tour

2016. March 2-6.  Bermuda hosts the 2016 RC44 Championship Tour opener. Competition in high-performance monohull racing yachts taking place in the Great Sound. The RC44 Championship Tour comprises of 12 international teams including two from Artemis Racing, challengers for the 35th America's Cup, that compete in one-design yachts at some of the most beautiful sailing venues around the world. The international racing circuit was founded by Sir Russell Coutts, the fives-times America's Cup winner and Oracle Team USA chief executive, who is delighted to have Bermuda host an event that has established itself as a key series since its launch in 2007. After the season opener in Bermuda, the Tour will move on to some of Europe's most celebrated sailing venues, including Spain, Britain, Portugal and Malta.

Rowing

2016. August 19. Bermuda’s Olympic rower Shelley Pearson, who studies at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University, believes her own sporting exploits could inspire others who want to pursue a business career. A sporting background can be advantageous for prospective employees, maintains Ms Pearson. “We have always been told employers like hiring rowers,” she said. “In rowing the harder you work, the more you get out of it, so the employer gets someone who knows how to work hard. I am rowing in singles this year, but in a team boat the sum of the parts is greater than the individual. That’s really valuable for learning how to work together as a team. I am a huge believer in being able to get back up from failure. My dissertation last year was on grit, or resilience. Essentially, it means passion and perseverance for a long-term goal. Athletes are a quintessential example of someone with one specific goal that they focus on.” The 25-year-old athlete progressed from the heats of the women’s single sculls at the Rio Games last week before being eliminated in the quarter-finals after rowing “the best race of my life”. Interviewed by the university’s PR coordinator Tom Pilsworth, the Bermudian told of the sporting passion that drove her to the Games, and the illness obstacles which she had to overcome. Her inspiration came from her father, Kevin Pearson, a former long distance runner who won the May 24 Marathon at his first attempt. “I was horrible at anything involving a ball but soon found a talent for endurance,” she recalled. Encountering rowing for the first time after moving to a boarding school, “my dad suggested I try it, and the rest is history”. However, the road to Rio was anything but straightforward. “I was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst in 2012, a condition in which the cyst eats away at the bone from the inside out. I’ve had nine surgeries for it since then, and four of those were in my senior year of college.” After a brief period of remission, the condition returned shortly before she went to Oxford, and her doctor told her to refrain from rowing. Another surgery followed, which resulted in complications including a fracture to her pelvis. Despite six months away from rowing, including two spent on crutches, she said she never lost sight of her goal of being in the first women’s boat race on the Tideway in 2015 — an historic event that saw the women’s races held on the same course as the men’s for the first time. After recovering, she began training to make the Oxford team in the Boat Race. “I hadn’t trained for six months,” she recalled. “I was so out of shape, I hadn’t done anything in so long, and I had four months to get myself into that boat.” She made it through the race successfully, and follow-up MRI scans showed that the cyst was now under control. It was then that her Olympic dream became a reality, qualifying at an event in Chile in March this year. Throughout her trials and tribulations, the Bermudian said she maintained her passion for social finance and behavioural economics that she had built upon at Saïd. She says she’s excited to join the world of business, but that she does not want to close the door on the 2020 Olympics. “I hope to keep fit for the next two years, and then I’ll make a decision about whether to go for 2020 or not.”

Periodic races include boys and men's singles and doubles; girls and women's singles and doubles;  mixed doubles and coxed fours in competition. A local rowing group has a fleet of fours, quads, pairs, doubles and single sculls. Holds an annual summer regatta for Men's Mixed Doubles; Women's Open Doubles; Women's Intermediate Doubles; Mixed Quadruple Sculls; Mixed Novice Doubles; Men's Novice Doubles; Novice Quadruple Sculls and Men's Open Doubles.

Bermuda Pilot Gig Club. Pilot gig rowing stems from the days when crews would row out to an incoming ship to guide it to shore. The first crew that reached the ship, got the job. This was common in Bermuda until the 1930s when government started paying a branch pilot to do the job. For more information visit the website bermudapilotgigclub.com.

Bermuda Rowing Association. Boathouse: White's Island, Hamilton Harbor. PO Box HM 3044, Hamilton HM NX. With a fleet of fours, quads, pairs, doubles and single sculls. Holds an annual summer regatta  for Men's Mixed Doubles; Women's Open Doubles; Women's Intermediate Doubles; Mixed Quadruple Sculls; Mixed Novice Doubles; Men's Novice Doubles; Novice Quadruple Sculls and Men's Open Doubles.

Sightseeing and sailing boats

Sightseeing boats, sometimes sailing boats as well, are licensed by the Bermuda Government and are numerous. Unlike Bermuda Government-owned ferry boats which are not sightseeing but commuting, these offer you much greater freedom of choice in where you want to go and when. Some are licensed to serve liquor aboard. There are two types of liquor licenses. One is for beer and wine only, the other more comprehensive. Types of vessels are many, from small to large. One service has a custom-built amphibious vehicle, a combined bus and boat, offering educational tours from Dockyard in Somerset. It was made for Bermuda's roads. Its engine can power the vehicle at about ten knots in the water and 19 mph on land. Once it leaves the water, the bus will take passengers on a three-hour tour of the Island.

Cruise boat

Scuba Diving

Bermuda scuba diving

Examining a wreck in Bermuda

It is magical, a wonderful experience, to be buoyant deep below the waves, gliding past coral and through shoals of fish. Before scuba diving, visitors should take care not to use sun screen lotions, commonly used by beach-going and reef-roaming tourists worldwide. It has been determined they are a major cause of reef coral bleaching, according to a 2008 study commissioned by the European Commission. In experiments, the cream-based ultra-violet (UV) filters -- used to protect skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure -- caused bleaching of coral reefs even in small quantities, the study found. Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation. The new study, published in US journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has now added sun screens to the list of damaging agents, and estimates that up to 10 per cent of the world's reefs are at risk of sunscreen-induced coral bleaching. Chemical compounds in sunscreen and other personal skin care products have been detected near both sea and freshwater tourist areas. Previous research has shown that these chemicals can accumulate in aquatic animals, and biodegrade into toxic by-products. Even small doses provoked large discharges of coral mucous -- a clear sign of environmental stress -- within 18 to 48 hours. Within 96 hours complete bleaching of corals had occurred. Virus levels in seawater surrounding coral branches increased to 15 times the level found in control samples, suggesting that sunscreens might stimulate latent viral infections, the study found. 

Several dive centers with certified dive masters take visitors down to Bermuda's depths, give lessons and test for certification. They also offer wreck and reef dives, and night dives for the certified experienced. Certain times of the year, weather or sea conditions are not conducive. Scuba divers who have the time take the Shipwreck Certificate program, with a parchment certificate upon completion of a dive on any of six most popular wrecks. Each certificate bears the name of the diver, dive operator and signature of dive master, with a history of the wreck. If with less time, cruise ship or other visitors can take preliminary training for an Open Water PADI Certificate by signing up for the basics. Price per person for a "resort course" was $135 in 2010 which includes use of equipment. Newcomers to scuba diving are first taught the scuba do's and don'ts. They can also try snuba, a cross between scuba and snorkeling, which involves a dive to 20 feet while oxygen tanks remain on dinghies or rafts. Sites include the Darlington, an English steamer that went down in 1896, a rotting wreck; an eerie but remarkably intact submerged US military aircraft that crashed in 1963, taking the pilot to his watery grave. In 1997, the one-time Chinese illegal immigrant smuggling ship Xing Da was sunk in local waters. She made quite a splash in October 1996 when she was arrested near Bermuda by the US Coast guard, boarded by US Marines, and brought into Bermuda under escort. She was then was loaded with Chinese nationals who had spent their entire fortunes to get to the USA. They were flown from Bermuda via the USA's military aircraft to an internment camp at the USA's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complex.

Overseas visitors should know that local waters are less than 64 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature from November through March. Bermuda has exceptionally salty water. So wear an appropriate wet suit and additional weights. Bermuda has 230 square miles of offshore reefs, 10 times the physical land area. There are wrecks from five centuries. They are ideal from May through September. There are 13 official major shipwrecks since 1940 alone. These wrecks do not include the numerous yacht wrecks, or between 4-6 big ship groundings that are believed to have happened during World War 2. 

Shipwrecks in Bermuda

See Scuba Diving above. Shipwrecks are one of Bermuda’s most important cultural resources. They are underwater museums offering the public, tourists, students and scholars a unique opportunity to investigate the remains of vessels that made our Western Hemisphere what it is today. Remnants of Spanish naos, English galleons, French frigates, American schooners, brigantines, paddle steamers, steamships, gunboats and (to name a few) can all be found on Bermuda’s ocean floor. They all show an extensive cross section of maritime technology and cultures over five hundred years, thus putting Bermuda on the map as the “Shipwreck Island” of the Western Atlantic.”

Bermuda shipwrecks map

Bermuda shipwrecks

Skiing

See Water Skiing. 

Snorkeling

Note the salty water. Bermuda is a great snorkeling location from late May to mid September. At other times, the waters are much cooler and attract mostly Canadians or Britons or Europeans. Prime areas include Church Bay in Southampton Parish and Tobacco Bay in St. George's. Rent masks, fins and snorkels. To snorkel with non-native dolphins see under "Dolphin Quest" in Sandys Parish.

Snorkeling in Bermuda

Snorkel in BermudaSnorkel in Bermuda

Snorkeling in Bermuda

Before snorkeling, visitors should take care not to use sun screen lotions, commonly used by beach-going and reef-roaming tourists worldwide. It has been determined they are a major cause of reef coral bleaching, according to a 2008 study commissioned by the European Commission. In experiments, the cream-based ultra-violet (UV) filters -- used to protect skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure -- caused bleaching of coral reefs even in small quantities, the study found. Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation. The new study, published in US journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has now added sun screens to the list of damaging agents, and estimates that up to 10 per cent of the world's reefs are at risk of sunscreen-induced coral bleaching. Chemical compounds in sunscreen and other personal skin care products have been detected near both sea and freshwater tourist areas. Previous research has shown that these chemicals can accumulate in aquatic animals, and biodegrade into toxic by-products. Even small doses provoked large discharges of coral mucous -- a clear sign of environmental stress -- within 18 to 48 hours. Within 96 hours complete bleaching of corals had occurred. Virus levels in seawater surrounding coral branches increased to 15 times the level found in control samples, suggesting that sunscreens might stimulate latent viral infections, the study found. Pesticides, hydrocarbons and other contaminants have also been found to induce algae or coral to release viruses, hastening the bleaching process. According to the World Trade Organisation, around 10 per cent of tourism takes place in tropical areas, with 78 million tourists visiting coral reefs each year. An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes of sunscreen are released annually in reef areas, with 25 per cent of the sunscreen ingredients on skin released into water over the course of a 20 minute submersion.

Spear fishing

Under the 1972 Fisheries Regulations, this is illegal in waters in or less than 1 mile from shore and offenders caught will be fined up to US$5,000. 

Sport fishing

grouper

fishing off Bermuda

Bermuda sport fishing

Full day and half day, group and individuals, fishing trips are readily available but expensive. Many of the International Game Fishing Association's World Record catches were once made in Bermuda waters. Over 650 species of fish inhabit Bermuda waters. Around and beyond the reefs, amber jack, barracuda, bonefish, chub, dorado or mahi mahi, hogfish, (most are 4-8 lbs but some are up to 30), mackerel, marlin (blue and white), shark, snapper (mostly grey), pompano, rainbow runner, tuna, wahoo, yellowtail are plentiful. There is legislation limiting the catches of blue and white marlin. Lobsters may not be caught by visitors, only by those licensed to do so. They need a special permit, with the catch seasonal and with a limit.

Residents and visitors should note that under Bermuda's Fisheries (Protected Species) Order 1978, the Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas), other conchs including the Harbour Conch (Strombus Costatus) are illegal to import, an offence to purchase and possess and illegal for boaters, skippers and clients or guests to take from Bermuda waters. Similarly protected are Atlantic pearl oysters, Bermuda cone shells, bonnet shells, calico clams, corals, dolphins, marine turtles, porpoises, sea fans, sea rods, scallops, top shells, turtles and whales.  

No charter boat captain will guarantee your catch. Fishing is a gamble. Experienced charter boat captains know where the fish are, but can't tell you whether they are hungry enough to take the bait. You could be very lucky and have an early strike, or you could wait for hours, or not make any at all. If on a charter vessel, you get space on a boat equipped for fishing, plus services of the Captain and his First Mate, lines and bait. Many captains take their vessels to where cruise ships berth. But they know where fish are most likely to be caught. If you're on a cruise ship, ask in advance for a boxed lunch and beverage. Dress lightly and casually, with a hat. Wear comfortable, rubber soled footwear for safety when moving about on the deck or bridge. Bring good sun block lotion, a camera and bottled water or your favorite other light beverage and food. An experienced charter boat captain may take you 10 miles or so offshore, for strikes.

On the ocean, captains or first mates bait and cast lines on the port and starboard sides. Clients are assigned to a particular rod, or the fighting chair, in rotating order. If a strike is made when a client has the fighting chair, he or she is given the rod and instructed on how to use it to fight the fish, wear it out, and bring it alongside. Move quickly from any danger area when a struggling fish is caught, gaffed and manhandled aboard by the vessel's crew. It will go into one of the deck's large freezer chests.

Always check ahead to see if there are any restrictions like a tag and release policy or program. Some encourage it. But visitors get the thrill in catching a huge bill fish and may want to take it home for stuffing and mounting. Ask in advance the catch policy of the charter boat captain. He may let you take your fish home, in which case he can advise you on who to consult for stuffing and mounting. Other captains may feel the catch belongs to them and this should be well understood and accepted in advance of any charter.

Angling tournaments occur throughout the year, on charter and private fishing and sports boats. Most welcome visitors. Big Game Fishing involves fishing for the fierce fish like barracuda, blue marlin, dorado or mahi mahi, marlin, shark or wahoo. Light Tackle Fishing is for amber jack, bonefish, chub, hogfish, snapper, mackerel, pompano, rainbow runner, tuna or yellowtail. Local fishermen have made catches of groupers weighing 90 pounds or more. No license is required. Bring your own gear, or rent or buy locally. 

Fishing from shore

You can fish from any beach on the South Shore or North Shore that takes your fancy and has public access, but don't expect edible catches from shallow waters. 

Sunfish sailing

Popular in Bermuda. Bermuda has a former Sunfish World Champion, with Malcolm Smith having won the Sunfish World Championship title three years in a row.

Swimming

In competitive swimming, there are numerous local adherents and various significant competitions are held throughout the year. Visiting swimmers are always welcomed.

TeamBDA

2017. April 29. In July 2015 when the call went out for the island’s best young athletes to try out for Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, some of the members who are on that team today were at a crossroads in their lives. For them, TeamBDA was the right opportunity at the right time. Mustafa Ingham had bounced around to practically every sport offered on island and admits he was feeling “complacent”. Philip Hagen had reached a rough patch in his competitive swimming career; while Dimitri Stevens was almost at the point of giving up with sailing entirely. These were some of the powerful stories that emerged from a public meet and greet event at Liberty Theatre on Wednesday evening. Moderated by Glenn Jones, the sailors answered questions that highlighted the highs and lows of their journey so far. When asked about the sacrifices they make to compete at this level, Ingham admitted he’s had to drop “life as [he] knew it”. He, like many on the team, has put his education on hold as the team trains full-time for the June regatta. “None of us work; we don’t do anything other than sail. It takes a lot of time and dedication. [I’m training so much] I don’t spend as much time with my family as I’d hope to. I wake up early in the morning and get back home late at night. But what I’ve learnt about myself is I can actually be disciplined. Sailing has become a passion for me. Waking up and learning something new every day is great. It’s exciting doing 40mph going downwind. Plus, I like working out and I like the food.” Philip Hagen says TeamBDA has also given him a new lease on life. Asked what he’ll remember most about the TeamBDA experience, he said the friendships he’s made with his team-mates, which he hopes will last a lifetime; and the thrill that’s come from learning a new sport. Hagen said: “I was a swimmer from the age of nine and went away to university to swim. I was having a rough time in my swimming career when I left Bermuda and when this opportunity came up I had no desire to try out, but my physio kind of egged me on to go and just have fun. Now I absolutely love it — being with these guys and every aspect about what we’re doing.” For Stevens it was more about rediscovering the hunger for a sport he loves. Sailing since the age of ten, Dimitri competed in Optimist regattas in North and South America, as well as World Championships. “After that we did a Youth Olympic Campaign, however, with that I sort of got burnt out with the amount of time I was spending on sailing,” he said. “I did a little bit of fun sailing after that and then I quit. I didn’t sail that much two years before this, but with this opportunity I decided to get back into sailing and try my best at it again and I think it was a good decision.” Some attendees said they had a better understanding of what it takes to compete at this international level and left the event with even greater admiration for TeamBDA. Jess Meredith, an Alumni Development Manager at Warwick Academy, came out to support some of the school’s graduates. “It’s great to see people in Bermuda who you went through the education system with and they are representing their country in an event of this magnitude. Tonight I’ve seen the passion of the team and the community support that’s behind TeamBDA and America’s Cup in general. Zina Edwards Malcolm admitted she loved a good story and “the tale of Bermuda’s selection as host of the America’s Cup and the assembling of TeamBDA has really captured my imagination”. She found it fascinating to hear how a mix of non-sailors, and accomplished amateur sailors, including an Olympian, Ceci Wollmann, were assembled to compete against the world’s best. “I got more than I could have imagined with the fab video production telling the story of the women of TeamBDA, as well as [some of the black Bermudian sailors] Shomari [Warner] and Mustafa [Ingham]. I can’t wait to support them all in June.”

Water Skiing

Bermuda waterskiing

For water skiers, Bermuda's protected harbors are great. June through September are the warmest sea temperature times, but some go at it all year. Water temperature in August can be as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit, yet out at sea or even 200 yards offshore, it does not feel like a warm bath.  Local water ski centers have all the best equipment, including custom made craft. You can slalom, trick ski, knee board, skurf, or water sled if you're experienced, or take lessons from experienced skiers if you're not.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

One of the world's fastest growing sports, well represented in Bermuda. Rent boards from water sports centers. Staff give lessons. See colorful craft skimming over the waves at incredible speed. Warmer sea and air temperatures are from May through September. Locals with their own gear will find Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish one of the best sites in the winter months because of the frequent high winds.

Yachting

Bermuda yachts

Also see under Employers in the heading " Yacht and Boat Clubs." Larger vessels can venture beyond Bermuda's inshore protected waters. Every spring, International Race Week in Bermuda acts as a magnet for American, British, Canadian, European and local sailors. Every day of the year, Bermudians, residents and visitors can see splendid yachts from around the world moored in the city of Hamilton, or Town of St. George. Choice sightseeing spots to view the fleets at anchor, or when parading in the harbor, include Albouy's Point in Hamilton, or nearby Barr's Park. Events which attracted a large number of vessels, include the:

spaceBermuda 1-2 Yacht Race. A famous every-other-year yacht race to Bermuda.

Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race

space Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. Sponsored by Bacardi, headquartered in Bermuda. International invitational racing in the Great Sound, in boats including Comet, J105, Laser, International One Design (IOD), Optimist and Etchells. Sailors competing include those from Bermuda, USA, elsewhere overseas.

Bermuda International Invitational Race Week

Royal Gazette photo

Includes the annual Bacardi Keelboat Regatta in the Great Sound.

space Bermuda Cruising Rally. From Hampton, Virginia, to St. George's Dinghy & Sports Club
space  Bermuda Ocean Race (in even years) from Annapolis, MA, to Bermuda.
space  Caribe 1500 race that docks at the St George's Dinghy club between June 28 and July 3.
space Charleston to Bermuda Race. Every three years. Organized by the South Carolina Maritime Heritage Foundation in conjunction with the Charleston Ocean Racing Association and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
space D-6 Flying Phantom Series.
space  Daytona to Bermuda Race, from Ponce de Leon, FL, to Bermuda.
space  IOD World Championship.

IOD vessel in Bermuda

IOD vessel moored in Hamilton Harbour

space ISIF. Bermuda is involved in this international organization. See ADT events, above.
space King Edward VII Gold Cup. The Wimbledon of Match Racing. The oldest match race event in International One Design sloops. Annual. Inaugurated in 1937 when New Yorker Sherman Hoyt returned to its British tradition the prestigious King Edward VII Royal Trophy he won in 1911. He presented it to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. This ISIF grade 1 match racing competition is a tradition since 1948. Skippers from overseas have included many names known internationally for their sailing prowess. The teams race on 33 footer International One Design (IODs) match racing boats on Hamilton Harbor. The King Edward VII Gold Cup is held in Bermuda from October 6 to 11 every year (but not in 2016, due to a conflict with America's Cup races to be held in Bermuda at that time, but will resume in 2017.
space Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, from Marion, MA, to Bermuda. Every other year.
space North American Optimist Dinghy Championships. When in Bermuda, hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, International Optimist Dinghy Association and Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association. Teams come from Argentina, Bermuda. Brazil, BVI, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Uruguay and USA.
space Newport to Bermuda Ocean Race. (50th held beginning June 20, 2016). This June classic is held every other year in conjunction with the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. It is one of the most famous ocean yacht races, part of the Onion Patch series. It was first raced in 1906, from Gravesend Bay and except for the war years has been a continuous biennial event. The race moved to Newport in 1936. One of the world's leading blue water races, held every other year. Newport, Massachusetts to St. David's Head, St. George's. Host club, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Sailing Secretary, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Point Pleasant Road, Hamilton HM 11, tel 441 294 6716 or email secretary@rbyc.bm or website http://bermudarace.com/2014-race/. In 2016 over 200 yachts sail. The Newport Bermuda Race is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and sailed almost entirely out of sight of land and across the Gulf Stream. The race consists of five divisions: St David's Lighthouse Division, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Cruiser Division, Double Handed Division and Spirit of Tradition Division. No boats have entered the Open Division for racing boats with canting keels. The St David's Lighthouse Division, for multi-purpose cruising/racing yachts, is the largest division.
spaceOne Two Single Handed Race, from Newport, RI, to Bermuda.
space RC44 Championship Tour. 2016, March 2-4.
spaceSir John Cox Yacht Race. Annually, usually in October.
spaceSpanish Point Boat Club. Pembroke. Phone 295-1030. Fax 292-8024
spaceSunfish Sailing World Championships.
spaceSwedish Match Grand Prix. Bermuda is one of the places for this circuit.
space Women's Match Race Championship. Sailing in International One Design sloops, this second-time women's match racing competition is a unique, eight-team qualifier series to the ADT Gold Cup. Held in Bermuda periodically.

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Last Updated: May 25, 2017.
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