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Annual Festival of Sail to be held tomorrow

Ahoy maties, X marks the spot in Barr's Bay Park this weekend with the annual Festival of Sail.

The Festival of Sail celebrates Bermuda's maritime heritage with fun events for the whole family. The Festival of Sail is organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) and the Bermuda Sloop Foundation kicks off the Argo Gold Cup schedule.

“I think the highlights of the festival are the different things we have to offer a lot of different people in the family,” said Somers Kempe RBYC Commodore. “Kids dress up in pirate clothing, there are photo stations, and there is a power boat association display.

“There will be a DJ bouncy castle. There will be sailing demonstrations by the Rowing Association and the RBYC Sailing Academy and talks by the African Diaspora Heritage Trail.”

To introduce the joys of sailing three J 105 yachts will take adults and children accompanied by a guardian out on 30-minute sails around Hamilton Harbour.

During the harbour sail the skippers of the yachts will point out the Gold Cup regatta and explain the significance of the event to Bermuda.

Also, children between the ages of ten and 15 years old will have the opportunity to sail around the harbour with an experienced youth sailor under the guidance of a professional sailing instructor. There are also free boat rides in a rigid inflatable boat to zoom through the harbour.

He said one of the highlights for him would be a boat maintenance trouble shooting demonstration by Spar Yard KM Marine.

“I am looking forward to seeing that,” he said. “That should be cool to watch.”

Mr Kempe said it was events like the Festival of Sail that really brought families together.

“We think it is a good way to showcase sailing in general,” he said. “It can be a family sport. Anyone in the family can take part from kids to grandparents.”

He said last year people loved a display given by the model sailing boat club who often sail their model boats in the Ferry Reach area.

“They had so much fun last year, they are coming back this year,” he said. “It is a pretty inexpensive way to get into the sport of sailing.”

Mr Kempe didn't think there was enough emphasis on Bermuda's maritime heritage in the community.

“I am a little biased, but I would say no there isn't enough,” he said. “At RBYC we are trying to do a bigger push to get sailing into the forefront because it is such an important part of our heritage.

“We are doing massive outreach to the schools. We have after school programmes to get sailing lessons to children who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to go sailing. We are having great success with that.”

He said the festival was an opportunity for the parents of young people in the programme to see what they had learned, as sailing is often done out of view of spectators.

The Festival of Sail is this Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free and will be in Barr's Bay Park in the City of Hamilton next to the RBYC.

For more information see www.bermudagoldcup.com/family-festival-of-sail.

Come to the Festival of Sail this Sunday in Barr's Bay Park or walk the plank!

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Published October 05, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 04, 2013 at 6:54 pm)

Annual Festival of Sail to be held tomorrow

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