Bermuda’s 2018 sailing tourism calendar taking shape

Racing in a previous edition of the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. Photo: Talbot Wilson/Bermuda International Invitational Race Week

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Two entirely new high-end sailing events headline the 2018 Bermuda Sailing Calendar, released this week by the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Oyster Regatta Bermuda and Atlantic Anniversary Regatta – scheduled for May and July respectively – were inspired to add Bermuda legs as a result of the 35th America’s Cup.

Meantime, the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week makes a return next year after a two-year absence. This will be the 88th time the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club hosts a spring invitational for keelboats. The Newport Bermuda Race will return for the 51st time, often considered the pinnacle of the sailing season when it arrives in Bermuda on even numbered years.

“Building on the legacy of Bermuda’s sailing heritage and her acclaimed hosting of the 35th America’s Cup, the 2018 Bermuda Sailing Calendar is turning out to be very exciting, a thrill for any sailing enthusiast,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority chief product and experiences development officer Pat Phillip-Fairn.

Thus far, eight international events are on the calendar, capturing the imagination of the world of sailing — including the Moth World Championships — and ongoing talks continue, potentially adding more events for 2018 and 2019.

Also returning in 2018, is the recently revived Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race. The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, Maryland co-host the biennial race between the United States east coast and Bermuda. The race dates back to 1979.

The race has grown significantly in participation since Bermuda was announced as host of the 35th America’s Cup. In 2016, 25 boats took part in the race. That was a 47 percent increase over the number of participants in 2014.

“Last year was the first time the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club was the Bermuda host of this event and it was a sensational inaugural for us and the participating sailors. We look forward to working with the Eastport Yacht Club once again to continue the great tradition of the Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race and continue the momentum for Bermuda as a major nautical tourism destination,” said Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club Commodore Neil Redburn.

The sailing events on the Bermuda Sailing Calendar are expected to bring thousands of visitors, made up of sailors, crew, race officials and their family and friends who come to Bermuda for race-ending or race-launching activities. This, in turn, stimulates economic opportunities for lodging, restaurants and transportation providers – including local tour boat operators who can provide spectator experiences during some of the races.

Additionally, the succession of events between early May and early July are designed to encourage boat owners and crew to arrive in Bermuda earlier and stay longer than they would otherwise, creating a greater economic impact on the island.

March 2018
• Moth World Championships

April 2018
• Bermuda International Invitational Race Week

May 2018
• Atlantic Rally for Cruisers | Antique Bermuda Race | Oyster Regatta Bermuda

June 2018
• Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race | Newport Bermuda Race

July 2018
• Atlantic Anniversary Regatta: Bermuda-Hamburg Leg



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