The Fleet Arrives in Bermuda

There was a fine welcome when I arrived at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for the first time. When the 75-footer Titan XV pulled in Monday morning, the sun was shining, the bar was open and a few sailors were quietly sipping their first dark ’n stormy. I thought, “This could not get any better. This is paradise.”Then came Tuesday morning. As boats began to flow into the basin like
Author:
Publish date:
interior334
titan

There was a fine welcome when I arrived at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for the first time. When the 75-footer Titan XV pulled in Monday morning, the sun was shining, the bar was open and a few sailors were quietly sipping their first dark ’n stormy. I thought, “This could not get any better. This is paradise.”

Then came Tuesday morning. As boats began to flow into the basin like the Thanksgiving Day parade, colorful battle flags were flying, trays of drinks were carried down the pier by beautiful wives and girlfriends in sun dresses, and the patio overflowed with cheerful sailors, friends, and families. Now I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get that kind of greeting. Maybe sailing to Bermuda in a big, fast boat is not the be-all and end-all way to experience this race.

Offshore sailing is often more about the journey than arriving at the destination. When I interviewed Sam Davies, the British female phenom solo sailor, after her fourth place in the last Vendee Globe, she said that finishing an offshore race is a bit anticlimactic. I tend to agree. But the reception the sailors are getting here in Hamilton as the smaller boats trickle in is not at all anticlimactic. (Text continued below video)

In fact, it’s spectacular. Take the same scene I came into on Monday, add 10 times the number of boats and people, insert some fruity drinks and music, and you have the welcoming party that’s been going on since Tuesday morning, with people diving off the docks and greeting new arrivals with cheers. “By the time the small boats come in, the party is rockin,” said Sheila McCurdy, the CCA Commodore. “It’s a real celebration.”

I’ m here to see it, and I’m grateful for that. It’s just that I got here a little too quick. The little guys get more sailing time for their money, and one hell of a welcome. Next time, maybe I’ll come down in a smaller boat.

For more on the Newport Bermuda race, please click here.

Related

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more

05-TRANSPAC_71417_SG_055268

The Transpac Prepares for No. 50

Because modern yachting is in many ways an invention of the early to mid 20th century, in recent years sailors have been celebrating any number of milestone anniversaries. Now it’s the biennial Transpac’s turn, as it prepares for its 50th race from Southern California (following ...read more