Steven Bridges and David Selley wary of potential storm threat
Steven Bridges and David Selley are keeping a close eye on the weather which could impact their debut at the Race World Offshore Key West Championships in Key West, Florida, this week.
The local pair are poised to compete in the Super Stock class aboard Bridge’s 32-foot twin engined Doug Wright catamaran Team Bermuda, but Florida residents have been urged by Government officials to prepare for a tropical disturbance that may impact the Sunshine State this week.
Racing is scheduled to begin on Wednesday and continues on Friday and Sunday.
“There’s nothing you can do about the weather, but it looks like a storm is rolling in and we’re just keeping an eye on that and hoping to get to racing,” Selley told The Royal Gazette.
The pair have had to be extra careful in treacherous conditions in preparation for the big event.
“We have a storm coming and it’s really rough so these guys go and break the boat up or an engine comes off and we’re done for the whole week,” Keith Bridges, the team manager, said. “These other guys we are racing against can always get another motor and put it on because they have the funds so we are just trying to keep it together.”
Steven Bridges and Selley impressed on their debut at this level after finishing fourth in their class at the Baystar Clearwater Offshore Nationals in Clearwater, Florida, in September.
The local team will now look to build on that encouraging display and look to again do the island proud at this week’s championships.
“It’s the world championships and we are super excited to be here,” Selley added. “We are just super proud coming from Bermuda and happy to represent the country.”
As well as the weather, the local team have their work cut out for them against formidable competition.
“It’s the pinnacle of offshore racing and it’s still kind of a little surreal that we are all here,” team manager Bridges said.
“We are out here in the big league and this is big-time stuff. The money out here is unbelievable and we are little fish in a big ocean but the hype is just unreal.”
The event officially kicked off on Sunday with the opening of the Truman Waterfront Race Village. The day’s activities also included the Parade Participants Line-up, which featured Team Bermuda receiving a warm welcome from race fans.
“We were on the parade and you got people just shouting ‘hey, you’re from the Bermuda Triangle’. So they know it and to see the boat and to see Bermuda, it’s just awesome,” Keith Bridges said.
“You got people even saying stuff in the background like ‘that’s the queen’s boat’ recognising we are a British colony.”
Selley was also blown away by the experience.
“It’s just surreal; being part of the parade and seeing all the fans and locals down here embrace it,” he added. “To me Key West is like no other, the atmosphere down here. It’s so many people from everywhere. It’s the pinnacle. A world championships and we are super excited to be here.”
Selley will again be at the wheel with boat owner Bridges on the throttle.