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Conner to help send team to England

Esteemed skipper: Conner will raise funds during a dinner at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club next month to help cover the costs of sending a young Bermuda team to the ISAF Team Racing World Championships in England

Dennis Conner, one of the most decorated skippers in America’s Cup history, will be on Island next month to share his wealth of expertise and raise funds for a Bermuda team to compete at this summer’s ISAF Team Racing World Championships in England.

The multiple America’s Cup winner will help raise funds during a dinner/lecture to be held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on February 20.

“Dennis Conner has donated his time to do a dinner/lecture which is going to be a fundraiser for an overseas youth sailing team,” Tim Patton, the past Bermuda Sailing Association president, said.

“Bermuda will be sending a team to the youth racing championships and the BSA youth policy only goes to the age of 19. These kids are young adults and are older than that and fall outside of the normal funding window, so this America’s Cup dinner and lecture by Dennis Conner is specifically to raise funds for that team.”

During the lecture, Conner will relive past sailing experiences and also offer his views on the future of the America’s Cup.

“One of the messages he said that he would try to get across is something that doesn’t just pertain to sailing but to any sport, and that is commitment,” said Patton, who has competed against and worked with the legendary Conner in the International Etchells class.

“This is not just a fundraiser and talk to kids, it is something for everybody. The adults will get stuff out of it and he will be able to answer questions for them and be in the room having dinner with them.

“This is a wonderful opportunity and is an invitation to everybody. Dennis Conner is doing this out of the kindness of his heart because he loves Bermuda and he loves to help the youth.”

Often referred to as “Mr America’s Cup”, Conner has won the competition four times, successfully defending the coveted “Auld Mug” in 1974, 1980, and 1988 and winning as the challenger in 1987.

He is also an Olympic bronze medallist and two-times Star World Champion.

The 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship will take place in Rutland, England, from July 20 to 24.

The regatta will feature as many as 36 teams competing in double handed Firefly type dinghies across open and youth divisions.