Nautical and cultural tourism activity intensifies in the east and central parts of the island this week with the Marion to Bermuda Race, Superyacht Regatta, J Class Regatta and Bermuda Carnival activities unfolding almost simultaneously, the BTA noted, adding that in addition, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup gets started in the Great Sound, featuring Team BDA.
“Of the busy six weeks we’re experiencing in tourism right now, this week will have the widest reach across the island,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas.
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“The action in the Great Sound and the buzz in the America’s Cup Race Village have been fantastic over the past three weeks and now we’ll see the level of excitement pick up in Hamilton and St. George’s, hopefully to the benefit of our tourism stakeholders in those areas.”
The BTA said, “The Marion to Bermuda Race will bring 50 yachts to Bermuda this week, carrying 500-plus visitors. Friends and family of those racing are expected to bring the total number of visitors to about 1,200. The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club is hosting the event and has a full line-up of Bermuda experiences around Hamilton Harbour, including gombeys, rum swizzle tasting and local musicians.
“No one can remember the last time the Marion to Bermuda Race had this level of enthusiasm surrounding it. Clearly it’s a result of the 35th America’s Cup and all the other exciting things that have put Bermuda back on world stage of sailing,” said Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club Commodore Neil Redburn.
“On June 12th, Team BDA begins its effort to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup on the Great Sound – the same racecourse as the pros. All twelve teams in the competition will race on the AC45Fs used in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events, run in 2015 and 2016 around the world. The team, made up of nine young Bermudian sailors, will compete in Group B, along with teams from Austria, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.
“About 20 superyacht owners visiting Bermuda will line up their massive watercraft for the Superyacht Regatta on June 13th, 14th, and 15th, taking place off the south shore of St. George’s. The America’s Cup official superyacht visitor programme has seen very high demand. Officials believe more than 80 superyachts – some in the superyacht program, some not – will visit Bermuda during the course of the six-week race calendar.
“On June 16th, 19th and 20th six J Class boats will race in Murray’s Anchorage, a throwback to the 1930’s and 40’s when these majestic vessels squared off in the America’s Cup. Spectators can view the race off the north shore from Fort St. Catherine.
“Additionally the Bermuda Tourism Authority-created, family-friendly celebration zone will take place in the Town of St. George on the afternoon of June 14th. The event is known as Pirates & Plunder. That evening Harbour Nights will take place on Front Street with a backdrop of superyachts.
“From June 16th-19th, Bermuda’s Caribbean cultural influences shine through with Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend Carnival, taking place in several places around the island including Shelly Bay and St. David’s Island.”
Mr Dallas said: “The Bermuda Tourism Authority has created or financially supported a host of diverse events this week because it’s important to us that we show America’s Cup fans and all visitors as much of the Bermuda island life as possible, that’s especially important when trying to turn first-time visitors into repeat visitors.”
Also this week, the 35th America’s Cup continues into the late stages of the competition.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority Events Calendar below [PDF here]: