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International Sailing Sports

Organisers to Decide on Bermuda Gold Cup by August

The fate of this year’s Bermuda Gold Cup, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s prestigious regatta, will be decided by 31 August 2020.

The possibility of the event taking place as scheduled is becoming slim due to the pandemic COVID-19. The organisers have set a deadline of 31 August 2020 to decide on going ahead or cancelling the event.

In a letter addressed to the participants of the regatta, Leatrice Oatley, the chairperson of the competition said, “Our primary concern is the safety and health of the participants, the Club members and staff, Bermudians as a whole, and of course we defer to the Bermuda Government and their health experts to help frame those standards and protocols.”

Speaking about the deadline, he added, “We have decided that 31 August will be our BGC ‘Go/No-Go’ date to make a decision based on the COVID criteria.”

Originally scheduled in May, the Agro group-supported Gold Cup was all set to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the regatta. A grand event was in the works, with a shimmering line-up of world sailing champions, past champions of the event, and the world’s top-ranked skippers hitting the Hamilton Harbour, to make this an event worth remembering.

However, fate had a different plan. As the Novel Corona Virus hit the western hemisphere, the authorities had to enforce the standard preventive measures, wiping out every chance of this gala event from taking place.

As the situation is slightly easing out and the efforts to contain the spread of infection is showing results, Bermuda has moved to Phase 1 of reopening. If everything falls in place, the sailing buffs can expect good news. The organisers are eyeing to conduct this event in October this year.

Oatley said, “The Gold Cup has a history of surviving through hurricanes, but this is probably the most fluid and uncertain situation we’ve ever had to contend with.”

Regarding the re-organisation of the event in October, Oatley stated, “The coronavirus is unlike anything the world has ever seen and its effects are startling. We’re planning to hold the 70th Gold Cup in October, but there are a number of obstacles still to overcome. We certainly hope they’ll all be met and we’ll enjoy close racing come October.”

The possibility of the October plan depends heavily on the success of containment of the infection. Phase 1 grants permission only for limited activities. While Phase 2 allows expansion of business and services, Phase 3 denotes that the country is inching towards normalcy. Moving to phase 4 is very crucial because L.F. Wade International Airport will be allowed to resume its operations only in Phase 4.

Regarding the phases of reopening and its time frame, Oatley shared, “Given the time frame of each phase, we probably won’t know what travel will look like until late June.”

Keeping his hopes up, Oatley added, “So, although we’re still in a holding pattern, we are eager to welcome all to our beautiful Bermuda blue halo for the 70th Gold Cup in October.”

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