A belated thank-you to SailGP
I write once again, your column after a hiatus of a few months. I’m wishing to congratulate all who were responsible for the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess.
For the captains of each boat and crew representing their country on our shores in Bermuda. And the many hours and weeks of training on our Great Sound, leading up the event May 14 and 15. A magical presentation, for sure, which went without any major problems.
It was certainly be a topic of conversation for all who were lucky to be present on the water and for those who were seated in comfort in Dockyard at the many areas provided for perfect viewing and dining — enjoying good food and a festive cocktail to go with the event.
A flag in one hand, drink in the other, cheering on the boat and country of choice. People were enjoying the beautiful sunshine, nice summer breeze and each other’s company. A fun day had by all. Which, I may add, was well overdue because of the Covid conditions that seemed were never to end. People were ready for something special and Sail GP certainly provided that.
Another big part of these two special days was the advertising that accompanied the televised event. I truly believe the quality of the advertisements was very professionally done, giving Bermuda and her island people that needed boost towards reaching new visitor prospects, which Bermuda could surely use going forward in 2022-23.
A big thank-you must be given to all the individuals responsible for doing such a great job. Well done.
While watching the races being televised, the cameras were aimed at the flotilla of spectator boats — big, small and some very huge yachts. The smiles and cheering with joy said it all. Just being a part of the event over the two special days in the sun was a pleasure.
The same smiles could be seen throughout the many areas in Dockyard where people were enjoying the festivities being provided on shore.
I must congratulate Australia for their win in Bermuda and best of luck for all in the second series in Chicago in June.
Also, from the past, starting with the America’s Cup, which was amazing from start in 2015 to finish in 2017, we got to know these individuals on a personal basis. But the most special part of all these truly amazing yachtsmen is that they took time off to work with our youth — boys and girls of various ages, teaching them all about sailing.
If you would like to see how these individuals did, look across Hamilton Harbour in the summertime, in some cases even in the colder months. All you can see are sails on various sailboats, with our youngsters getting fine-tuned for future regattas. It warms my heart.
We have already made some headway in overseas regattas where we have managed to secure a medal or two. Much of the success of our youth gaining notoriety is from the programmes started by the yachtsmen from the America’s Cup in Bermuda, and from SailGP. Another big thank-you must be given.
I’m hoping the Government will continue support venues such as SailGP in the future. It can only get better. It certainly will improve our tourist figures, fill our hotel bed capacity, secure employment across our island, and add much needed dollars into an economy that is very fragile at the moment.
Until next time. We did it together.
H. GORDY GIBBONS