Race to raise funds for Spirit of Bermuda
A sailing race is being organised to raise funds for the Spirit of Bermuda while celebrating maritime heritage and encouraging nautical tourism.
The Spirit of Bermuda Rally expects to attract vessels from Annapolis and Newport to the island next month.
It is open to any offshore yacht by invitation and has received the go-ahead from the Bermuda Government.
Vessels will leave America on July 6 in the race to St George’s, Bermuda, culminating in a Festival of Sail in the East End.
Glenn Jones, interim chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “We’re thrilled to support the Spirit of Bermuda Rally, which represents the first sports tourism event to be held as we reopen our economy.
“We applaud all the event’s organisers and look forward to the arrival of participating sailors, who will be a familiar, welcome sight again in our harbours and ports.”
Created by the East End Mini Yacht Club, in liaison with Bermuda Sloop Foundation and the non-profit Sailing Yacht Research Foundation, the rally sets sail from two locations: Newport, Rhode Island, and Chesapeake Light, Virginia, finishing at Mills Buoy near the Town Cut in St George’s.
The rally and sailing festival will pay tribute to Bermuda’s maritime past including the contributions and sacrifices of Black-Bermudian mariners over the centuries.
Rally chairman Mark Clarke, of the East End Mini Yacht Club which marks its 52nd anniversary during the festivities, said: “Sailing has been an integral part of the shared heritage of Bermuda. This includes the compelling stories of mariners like King’s Pilot James ‘Jemmy’ Darrell; the pioneering advent of the Bermuda Native Yacht Club; the defiant success of the International Comet Class in Bermuda; and the charter received by our own club on July 11, 1968.”
Alan Burland, rally coordinator, added: “It is a great honour for Bermuda Sloop Foundation to be a beneficiary of this innovative, inaugural event.
“The fact the Spirit of Bermuda Rally is both the first ocean race in the world and the first international event in Bermuda since the start of Covid-19 is a significant achievement, and one we’re proud to be a part of.”
Sponsored by Gosling’s and supported by the BTA, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Corporation of St George’s, and Bermuda Yacht Services, the rally incorporates eight days of sailing and special events, including an overnight offshore race in local waters before overseas yachts arrive.
Monday, July 6: Spirit of Bermuda Rally starts off the US East Coast.
Thursday, July 9—10: Spirit of Bermuda and other local vessels participate in the 75—100-mile Bermuda Triangle Race, exiting Town Cut and sailing up Bermuda’s South Shore to Argus Banks, returning down the North Shore to St George’s the following day.
Friday, July 10: Rally yachts arrive in Bermuda; welcome reception at East End Mini Yacht Club.
Saturday, July 11: East End Mini Yacht Club celebrates its 52nd anniversary.
Sunday, July 12: St George’s hosts Festival of Sail with gigs and Comet Class regatta.
Monday, July 13: Overseas yachts race back to respective US ports.
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