We truly shone bright for the world
I'm writing your column once more, voicing my opinion, regarding the festivities of the weekend of October 16 to 18. There were so many to view that one could be part of it, if he or she felt the desire to do so.
Our Front Street in Hamilton was turned into a fun place to be. Throughout the long weekend, special events were staged to celebrate the Louis Vuitton Cup races in the Great Sound. Six catamarans representing six countries. The countries were United States, Britain, Sweden, France, Japan and New Zealand.
The Friday night was the opening night, with much fanfare on the actual harbourfront and the six catamarans moored centre stage for everyone to see them first hand.
Really special, with many of our sailing clubs sailing their boats around the harbour doing some sailing moves they are taught during the summer months.
We even had a parachute jump, high above the harbour, then spiral over the crowds, then land in the water in front of everyone.
There was a high-wire ride erected along a portion of the dock area and harbour, where children and their moms could ride about 100ft or so. It was well attended, with many smiles and laughter.
We had many vendors showcasing their goods and selling them as well. Our city restaurants put on special menu items, which was well received.
What got my attention was that everyone from child to adult was having an extremely good time. The smiles and laughter were contagious; each of us truly felt we were part of the Louis Vuitton race weekend. It made me very warm and fuzzy on the inside wanting to be part of what we were about to see here in Bermuda for the first time.
Everyone, from those who were involved from the start getting the America's Cup officials to use our little Island over the next three years to stage these events, to all the vendors, restaurants, shops, to the man in the street, we were working as one in making this operation a success.
We certainly achieved our goal. It made me a very proud Bermudian.
Then came the Saturday and Sunday with all the excitement in the Great Sound where the actual races were staged. Unfortunately on Saturday, we were faced with little to no wind, not enough wind to propel these special catamarans with the speed necessary to show their potential, along with the experienced crews that sail them.
People were more than ready to enjoy an evening on Front Street with the big concert featuring many local entertainers, along with the two main attractions, Maxi Priest and Shaggy. The rains tried to dampen things, but the evening was still enjoyed. Much fun was had by all.
Despite the races being cancelled on Saturday, everyone still managed to have a great time on our waters. I have never seen so many local boats or yachts in one area as I did on the Saturday and again on Sunday during the actual racing. What a show.
Sunday, the big day, the winds really improved from late morning to when they were needed in the afternoon. We were all treated to some exceptional sailing by these very professional crews. We had a crash between the Swedish catamaran and a local committee boat. This caused a slight delay to the second race, which the Swedish boat won by a very large margin. When the final race was finished, the cup belonged to Sweden.
Our Bermuda residents are still talking about what they had just witnessed over the three-day weekend. Most of all our little Island and our people really outdid themselves. We truly shone bright for the world. We did it.
H. GORDY GIBBONS