Powerboat season brought to premature end amid Covid surge
The Bermuda Power Boat Association has opted to call an early end to the season due to the latest Covid-19 spike on the island.
“The executive have met and discussed the Covid developments, community impact and government regulations,” Robert Cardwell, the BPBA commodore, told The Royal Gazette. “We feel it wise to end the season. As such this decision has been made.”
The season was scheduled to conclude tomorrow with all but the D class title, won by Shawn Butterfield and co-pilot Jermal Woolridge, still up for grabs.
Despite being confronted with a number of challenges brought on by the pandemic throughout the campaign, Cardwell said there are still positives to take away.
“Although we had somewhat of a hit-and-miss season with the various restrictive Covid regulations through the season, we made every effort to make the most of it,” he added.
“We saw our juniors debut this season. We are very pleased with how the juniors did and we saw evidence of them going from strength to strength. They have come a long way in a short time.
“Jet-ski racing also made its debut this season. We had several hiccups with starts but think this has now been resolved. This was new to us.
“Jet-ski racing is very fast and provides quite the viewing thrill.
“We are glad jet skis are back on board with the BPBA and we look forward to this class growing significantly into the 2022 season.
“Kudos to Dakari White [Bermuda Personal Watercraft Association president] who was the point man for jet skis and he did very well pulling it together.”
Cardwell conceded the number of entries among the powerboats did not meet expectations, something he also partly attributes to the pandemic.
“Powerboats did not quite get off the ground with the numbers we wanted,” he said.
“Teams suffered many mechanical issues and shipping delays brought on by Covid prevented them getting parts in quickly.
“Round the Island was a resounding success. This was a day full of powerboat racing which included juniors, jet ski and powerboats.
“The usual thrill of this event was certainly provided. We saw some strong competition and records broken.
“We are now putting together our prize presentation night to reward our teams for all of their efforts.
“We plan to open the 2022 season strong and hopefully without the Covid restrictions.”
The global Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the BPBA’s entire 2020 season being cancelled. The first three races of this campaign were also cancelled after a spike in the number of positive cases on the island led to a government shutdown of sporting activities on the island in April.