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Authorities take wind out of cabbie’s sails

Dampened spirits: Local cabbie, ferry boat pilot and sailing fan Paul Trew has been told to take this image down from the back of his taxi (Photo David Skinner)

A local cabbie’s innovative scheme to promote the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda has been scuttled by Transport Control Department authorities.

Paul Trew has been ordered to remove an image of Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72 catamaran spread across the rear window of his taxi.

“A TCD traffic officer approached me earlier this week and said I have to take this image off the back of my window,” Mr Trew told The Royal Gazette. “I understand the law is the law but I don’t feel I am breaking the law because the image on my taxi is very similar to what you see on the back window of the buses.

“Yes, you cannot see what’s going on in the inside from the outside. But I can see what’s going on outside from the inside through the image which matters most.”

When contacted, a Transport Control Department source confirmed that Mr Trew had been ordered to remove the image from his car. “He was basically advertising and you are not permitted to advertise,” the source said.

Mr Trew, who is also a ferry boat pilot, admits the ordeal has dampened his spirits.

“I am little disappointed because here you have a patriotic Bermudian trying to promote something I think is really good for Bermuda and this is what I have been hit with,” he said.

Mr Trew’s innovative scheme has been well received by many, including Sir Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority director, who led Team New Zealand to its first America’s Cup victory in 1995. “I had Russell Coutts in the car and he thought it was awesome and took pictures of it,” Mr Trew said. “He didn’t see the image until he got out of the car and I didn’t say anything to him so when he saw it he was just over the moon.

“Everybody that I’ve had in this car loves it and I have had people from all walks of life give me the thumbs up. They are amazed and get blown away and I’m amazed at their reaction. I have even had people who don’t know me come to me out of blue and tell me this is an awesome idea and give me props.” Mr Trew is a big supporter of the America’s Cup while his ten-year-old son Ahzai sails out of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Youth Sailing Academy.

“I’m a big fan of the America’s Cup and when we got awarded the 35th America’s Cup I was over the moon because I think it’s an awesome event and really great for Bermuda,” he said. “As a ferry boat pilot I have a passion for the water, so this America’s Cup thing has me totally overwhelmed.

“This is something that Bermuda has never seen before and it has been a joy watching the 45s (wing-sail foiling AC45S catamarans) run up and down in the Great Sound. I can only imagine what seeing four or five of them out there is going to be like.”