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Regatta cancelled after shipping blunder

Oracle Team USA training in the Great Sound this week ¬ (Photo by Warren Jones of Oracle Team USA)

The Flying Phantom Series finale has been cancelled.

The regatta featuring 18-foot foiling catamarans, which was scheduled to take place on the Great Sound next week, was supposed to start on Sunday.

However, the start was postponed after a container housing ten Phantom catamarans from Europe arrived on the Island on November 16 on the Oleander cargo ship, but was mistakenly then shipped to New York the following day.

Despite efforts to salvage the event, including having the boats returned to the Island by Monday, the decision has been made to cancel the regatta.

Local organisers have yet to comment.

However, a spokesman for the Phanton International said: “Everybody is very disappointed, the sailors, the RBYC and all people that participated to the organization of the event. This mistake on the container management induced the cancellation of the event.

“We will evaluate with the class and RBYC to reschedule an event next year and would like to thank you and partners that supported the RBYC and the regatta.”

Yesterday, Warren Jones, the chief executive officer of Polaris Holding Company, the parent company of Stevedoring Services, apologised for his company’s mistake in sending the boats to New York.

“Certainly a mistake was made and they did go out, and we have made every effort to get them back as soon as we possibly can,” Jones said.

“I accept that responsibility and expressed my apologies to the organisers. We consider this as a very serious matter and take great pride in what we do. We are taking every effort to ensure that, as far as we can help it, that it doesn’t happen again.”

Jones said the container was mistakenly viewed to be an export.

“We’ve looked at what occurred, how it occurred and put steps in place to minimise it happening because in this business it can happen and does happen.

“Our business is serious and every mistake we make can cost thousands, so we are doing everything we can to ensure it doesn’t happen.

“There were other things that could have happened to mitigate this as well that have nothing to do with us. But the main thing is that if it didn’t go on the boat those things wouldn’t happened either.”

Phantom International and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the regatta hosts, considered bringing the container back by cargo plane. However, that solution was abandoned because of Thanksgiving.