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Regatta is hailed big success

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The island’s first gig regatta has been hailed a great success, surpassing the expectations of the scores of international rowers that took part in it as well as the organisers.

Crews from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States took to the water at the end of last month to race against local pilot gig teams

Organisers say they hope to build on the success of the Bermuda Invitational Gig Regatta and host another similar event in the future.

Rick Spurling, the chairman of the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club, hailed the work of Carol Ferris and the Regatta Committee she chaired.

“As to next year the board of the BPGC will be addressing the question of the next International Invitational Regatta,” Mr Spurling said.

“Many people were involved in this regatta and it was a huge commitment to pull this off by many of our members, who are all volunteers”

“We will see about next year; we will definitely do another but the question is when and how many can we manage.”

He added: “To expand this, and most are chomping at the bit to come back, we will need more gigs.

“We are hopeful that with the publicity of this regatta and the excitement and fun we all had the Corporations will begin encouraging corporate teams and will invest in a gig which the BPGC will manage and use.

“By all accounts this regatta far exceeded my expectations and our international rowers. It went exceedingly well.”

About 90 international rowers along with 50 local rowers took part in the regatta, which saw races take place across the island.

Phil Hayward, from Lyme Regis in England, described the event as one of the best experiences in his life.

He said: “We have been treated as though we were visiting royalty and I shall never forget the warmth and hospitality that you gave to us.