Preparations are ahead of schedule
The Cup Match build-up gained momentum yesterday as the presidents of the two clubs, Alfred Maybury of champions Somerset and Neil Paynter of St George's, got together with Richard Moseley, CEO of lead sponsors HSBC Bermuda, to promote the Island's major sporting event.
Mr Maybury said that plans at his host club are well ahead of schedule, with scaffolding for additional seating having been erected for the last three weeks and work being carried out around the grounds.
This year the club will also be having a competition to recognise the best decorated spots at Cup Match.
“I wanted it [scaffolding] done early because we knew we were going to have this competition and I expect that by next Wednesday the scaffolding will all be done so that on the Saturday [day of the final trial] people can start doing their decorating of camp spots,” Maybury said.
“People are bragging that they can make it look pretty so we want them to show how pretty they can make it. The committee will go around on the Wednesday before Cup Match and make their decision.”
While the team selection takes care of itself, preparing for Cup Match is a constant for the clubs.
“This Cup Match ends August 1 and we start preparing on August 5 for 2016,” Maybury said.
“There is so much nowadays that has to be done. The work that you see happens in January but the leg work is ongoing, never stops.”
A month ago the lack of rain left Somerset and other club grounds dry, but recent rain has transformed the field. “We've put a lot into the field, fertilised it and the rain has been a perfect godsend,” said Maybury who is in his fourth year as president.
“I really want to thank the guys from Port Royal who have come up on their time and worked on the field. They've done a great job and we really appreciate the work that they've done.”
Maybury said there is nothing quite like Cup Match in Bermuda, a popular two-day holiday that dates back to 1902 in celebration of emancipation of slavery. “I think it is one of our greatest products when it comes to tourism,” Maybury said.
“Last year, I met two tourists in Cup Match in St George's and already one guy has come back and brought his whole family. If return visitors are what we are looking for, then Cup Match is the greatest way. Through Cup Match we've been able to show people what Bermuda has to offer.”
Both presidents expressed their gratitude to HSBC for again serving as lead sponsors of Cup Match.
“It's truly a privilege to have HSBC come back on-board with sponsorship this year, they've done a tremendous job over the last few years and we look forward to continued support.”
The bank is planning two promotional events in the build-up to Cup Match, with a motorcade on Front Street on Monday at noon when Somerset and St George's car flags will be distributed to the public. On the Wednesday before the match, HSBC will hold pre-event celebrations in their branches when they will serve snowballs in the teams' colours.
“HSBC is proud to be the lead sponsor of this year's Cup Match Classic,” said Moseley. “The two days of Cup Match are a very special time on Bermuda's calendar.”