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SailGP: ‘It’s just amazing to be a part of it’

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Winners: Australia captain Tom Slingsby holds up the SailGP Bermuda trophy after leading his team to victory over Great Britain and Canada in yesterday’s final. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Supporters waved flags and cheered the teams on the water at SailGP yesterday.

Many people watched the fast-paced action from Cross Island where they soaked up the sun and the atmosphere while others enjoyed spectating from boats as Australia defeated Great Britain and Canada in the final.

Lazeka Richards, from Sandys, said: “It’s nice to be by the water, feel the breeze, the fresh air.

SailGP Spectators (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“It feels really good to be outside.”

Ms Richards was at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess for the first time but would happily return.

She said: “It’s done nice, it looks really good, everybody’s dressed up nice and everybody’s having a good time.”

Dante Dandridge, from Pembroke, wanted to see the racing up close instead of watching it on a screen.

He said: “I didn’t realise just how fast they go.”

Mr Dandridge added: “I definitely feel like it’s good for the locals and bringing in the tourists as well, because I know obviously that’s the main attraction.

“I think also it could spark interest in younger Bermudians if they want to go into sail boat racing like this.”

SailGP Spectators (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Spectators stood on seats or positioned them close to the water’s edge to get the best views before the final race was won yesterday afternoon by Australia.

Many waved the flags of competing countries – including Canada and the USA – as the F50 catamarans zipped across the Great Sound.

SailGP Spectators (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Carlene Rodney, from Devonshire, said: “There has been a lot of team spirit, it’s a beautiful day, perfect conditions for sailing.”

She added: “It’s put Bermuda on the world stage, to be able to host the event and for it to come off successfully.”

Komlah Foggo added that it seemed like many people were enjoying the chance to “get outdoors, socialise and have fun”.

Music entertained guests while a large screen and commentary broadcast through speakers helped to keep people informed about the races.

SailGP Spectators (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Angela Parry, from Warwick, said: “How fast they go is just unreal.

“I’ve got my family back in the UK, telling them to watch it on TV.”

She added that Sir Ben Ainslie, the helmsman of the Great Britain team, was an “icon” in the United Kingdom.

Sue Warwicker said that the event had a “party atmosphere” with “good music, good vibes”.

She said: “It’s just been spectacular, it’s just amazing to be part of it, to be lucky enough to live here.”

Joseph Furbert, from Devonshire, – who has two sailor sons among his five children – also enjoyed the atmosphere and “wholesome” fun.

He said: “The venue is great … even for the shortest in the family, they can see too.”

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Published May 16, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated May 16, 2022 at 7:54 am)

SailGP: ‘It’s just amazing to be a part of it’

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