Although the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy sail boat used for competitions between yacht clubs has only existed as a class for about 130 years, the boats continue the tradition of Bermuda ship design which stretches back to the 17th Century.
Dinghy racing was developed as a cheaper alternative to sloop racing in the 19th century. When the Bermuda Dinghy first appeared is uncertain, but the design is scaled down from the earlier Bermuda-designed sloops.
The first race was held on the 26 August 1880 and in 1882 the Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Association was formed, holding its first races on the July 28. This association ultimately became the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club [RHADC].
In 1883 Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, visited Bermuda, and she donated a trophy which was awarded to the winner of a dinghy race held on the March 8 of that year.
Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Racing Trailer
Dinghy racing today is an inter-club activity fought between the RHADC, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club [RBYC], the St. George’s Dinghy and Sports Club and Sandys Boat Club.
An episode on the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy is to be included in the upcoming “Bermuda Folklife” documentary series being produced by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and Somers Isle Productions,
Founded in 2010 by Bermudian filmmaker Kalilah Robinson, Somers Isle Productions teamed with Community & Cultural Affairs last year for the ongoing film project documenting Bermuda’s rich cultural heritage.
The result of this partnership explores the lives and work of the men and women who keep our island’s unique traditions alive.