Bacardi Keelboat Regatta To Start On Thursday

November 16, 2016

While the America’s Cup teams are away in Japan this coming week, the keelboat fleets are taking to the Great Sound for the Autumn Bacardi Keelboat Regatta, with international and local sailors set to compete in the J105, Etchells and IOD fleets.

The Bacardi Keelboat Regatta [BKR] is in its second year and was born out of the long tradition of the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week – historically held for a week in Spring.

Organisers, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club [RBYC] decided to split the dinghies and the keelboat racing into two separate events, with the keelboat regatta now taking place in November.

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (1)

“When we were scheduling the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta we looked at other regattas in the region [North East, USA, Canada, Europe], and most East Coast and European sailing is finished by early October, while spring is becoming more and more popular with events like Charleston Raceweek and various J105 and Etchells class events, “ stated Rear Commodore, Sailing Richard Hornett.

“November traditionally has great winds that allow for challenging courses. BKR is now a bookend event that compliments the Bermuda IOD Fleet’s spring event.”

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (2)

The RBYC is once again partnering up with long-time title sponsor, Bermuda Premium Spirits Limited, representatives for the portfolio of Bacardi brands in Bermuda.

“This is a great event to showcase the long tradition and passion for sailing in Bermuda,” said Vernon Pemberton, Portfolio Manager for Bermuda Premium Spirits Limited. “Bacardi understands and supports the passion of bringing people together for enjoyment, for camaraderie and for fun which is integral to the sport of sailing.”

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (5)

The IOD fleet has 13 boats competing this year with a mixture of local skippers: Patrick Cooper, Craig Davis, William Hutchings and Blythe Walker mixing it up with competitors from other IOD fleets across North America. Unlike the spring IOD event, local skippers get to race in their own boats for the duration of the regatta.

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (3)

The J105 class has a unique regatta in that half the crew is local and the other half is from overseas. This means there be a swap of skippers each race, thus there is a Bermuda prize, Overseas Prize and the overall XL Catlin trophy all up for grabs.

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (4)

Representing the Etchells fleet are long time competitor, Tim Patton sailing with Tom Herbert-Evans and Ben Lamb; Hal Kempe with Somers Cooper and ACBDA On the Water Ops director, Tom Miller; Andreas Andreas Josenhans and Dirk Kneulman sailing Mark Watson’s Tiberon.

Bacardi Keelboat Regatta (6)

Racing will take place daily from Thursday November 17 to Saturday November 19 in the Great Sound.

- Photos by Carol Feathers and Talbot Wilson

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