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Start your engines: powerboat season set to begin on May 23

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Hitting the water: the Bermuda Power Boat Association has signalled its intent to commence with the racing season on May 23
Hitting the water: the Bermuda Power Boat Association has signalled its intent to commence with the racing season on May 23.

The Bermuda Power Boat Association has signalled its intent to return to water and commence with the racing season on May 23.

David Selley, the association’s deputy commodore, previously raised grave concerns about the future of powerboat racing in Bermuda amid the Government’s “Return to Play” plan reverting back to phase one, throwing the island’s sporting calendar back into uncertainty.

The second regressive change to the guidance inside a week earlier this month came as a significant setback to the island’s sporting associations, including the BPBA whose season was originally scheduled to commence yesterday.

The move led Selley, and in turn, Andrew Cottingham, the association’s rear commodore, to raise questions of the guidance, particularly a perceived lack of distinction between separate sports, with each having to follow the same guidelines whether they involve contact or not.

However, despite the ongoing uncertainty; Robert Cardwell, the BPBA commodore, took to Facebook to provide the association’s members with an update regarding the race season.

Within the statement, Cardwell confirmed the association’s secretary, Janae Nesbitt, had submitted a newly drafted Covid-restricted race plan to the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, outlining its hope of returning to racing under tighter regulations including the proof of a negative Covid test prior to racing.

“Our plans are comprehensive so that we can return to racing,” Cardwell said in the statement.

“We want to get back to racing. This will require us all to give and take!

“Each member of each race team will submit to BPBA executive proof of a negative Covid test prior to racing. Each team will be responsible for roping off their pit area and there is absolute restriction on anyone passing that rope that is not pit crew. Temperatures will be taken at race briefing.

“Our first race of the season that we are highly anticipating will happen on May 23.”

The season was originally scheduled for nine races from April to September, which would also include the newly added junior programme and jet ski league.

While Cardwell conceded they may be forced to reduce the original race season with the loss of the previously scheduled second round on May 9, he reiterated his desire to see all aspects of the association’s programme return to the water.

“We will lose our planned second race scheduled for May 9 because it is so close to the heels of renewed government restrictions and doing battle to have it – we will lose,” he added.

“In the weeks coming, I will review the race schedule to see if we can add lost races to the end of the season.

“We want to get some good racing in this season and we want lots of boats and jet skis. Our junior programme is ready to go.”

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Published April 19, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 18, 2021 at 11:03 pm)

Start your engines: powerboat season set to begin on May 23

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