One of Bermuda’s most popular sports takes centre stage during the much-anticipated Bermuda Cup Match Cricket Festival held every year.
For a thorough immersion in Bermudian sport and culture, you really can’t go wrong with Cup Match. Held at the end of July or beginning of August every year, the cricket tournament is easily Bermuda’s biggest event. For the uninitiated it is quite an experience to watch the whole island virtually shut down for two days as the residents take a holiday to follow the action live or on television.
Much like baseball, cricket is a game played between two teams who take turns at bat and turns at trying to score runs. Given its English origins, the game has a long history in Bermuda. The Bermuda Cricket Club was formed in 1845, and Cup Match was established in 1902. The event proved to be so popular that many residents missed work to watch it, so in 1947 two public holidays were officially enacted to accommodate it. The first day is Emancipation Day and officially marks the end of slavery on the island. The second is Somers’ Day and celebrates Admiral Sir George Somers’ discovery of Bermuda in 1609.
Whilst 15,000 spectators gather at the field where St. George’s Cricket Club battles it out against Somerset Cricket Club, many more simply join the activities taking place around the stadium or set up tents and tables throughout the island. A number of public spaces — including beaches and parks at Chaplin Bay, Ferry Point, Higgs and Horseshoe Islands, and Coney Island — are designated as event areas, and thousands gather to celebrate. Others simply park themselves wherever there is enough grass or sand to place a cooler and a few chairs.
The 2015 Cup Match is scheduled for July 30 and 31. Since the match is always held on a Thursday and Friday, festivities often begin the Wednesday prior and carry on well into the weekend.
Visit bermudacupmatch.com for more information.
Bermuda to Host the 2015 America’s Cup World Series
The America’s Cup World Series — a racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world — will be coming to Bermuda in October 2015.
A longtime top destination for sailors, Bermuda is sailing into history after having been declared the host country of the 35th America’s Cup, set to take place in 2017. Billed as “the world’s premier sailing event,” the America’s Cup — cosidered the most difficult trophy in sport to win — is expected to bring elite sailing teams, global media coverage and thousands of visitors to the island.
The first leg of the competition, the America’s Cup World Series, will be held October 16–18, 2015. Featuring all of the America’s Cup teams racing in one-design AC45 catamarans, the circuit is an early opportunity to put points on the board that carry forwards into the next stage of the competition. Overall ranking position in this event determines the starting points score of the teams in the America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017.
The race will take place on The Great Sound, whilst the team bases and public race village will be located on the waterfront in Hamilton.
“The waters of Bermuda are ideal for racing, as anyone who has sailed here can attest,” states Premier, the Honourable Michael Dunkley, JP, MP. “We’re very excited to have our island be a part of the next America’s Cup and to have an opportunity to showcase our maritime heritage and first-class hospitality to the America’s Cup teams.”
The America’s Cup is just the latest sailing competition to take place in Bermuda. It joins the popular Newport-Bermuda race, which will celebrate its 50th edition in 2016, and the Bermuda Gold Cup, the oldest one-design match racing event in the world, dating back to 1937.
How to Get a Taste of Bermuda
Sample the island’s best food and drinks for free.
Once a week, in the Cooperage Atrium in Royal Naval Dockyard, you can sample some of the local culinary delights, free of charge. Then, once you decide which tasty bites you liked best, you can head to The Bermuda Craft Market to buy what you sampled. There you also get the opportunity ask vendors who make, and sometimes grow, these products questions or get suggestions for delicious recipes.
“It is an opportunity, as the name suggests, to taste a little bit of Bermuda,” says Tim Rogers, chairman of The Bermuda Craft Market. “You can find food products and beverages, everything from pepper jams and pepper sauces to rum cake, local beer and fish chowder.”
Whilst it’s not a large event, you are greeted with a variety of flavours at each stall, as vendors commonly showcase an array of products. It is not uncommon to try a sweet saltwater taffy and a savoury barbeque sauce at the same stall.
Taste of Bermuda runs all year, but the days vary depending on the season. Stop in to try something new from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on any Friday between May 8 and October 30. Visitors who are heading back from their excursions at about that time can make one last stop to pick up a few authentic Bermudian products, after they’ve sampled and savoured their way to a final decision.
If you visit at any other time of the year, then stop in on a Sunday between 1:30 and 3:30 and let your adventurous spirit run wild.
Bermuda is Home to the 35th America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport and dates back to 1851. Now, it’s coming to Bermuda.
The America’s Cup features the fastest boats and the very best sailors in the world, with names like Jimmy Spithill, Ben Ainslie, Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Franck Cammas and Max Sirena amongst the brightest lights in the sport.
Bermudians and visitors will be able to meet these sailors soon, as some of the teams will be moving their bases to the island as early as the spring of 2015. The first racing in Bermuda will take place with the America’s Cup World Series Bermuda from October 16–18, 2015.
In 2017, the heart of the America’s Cup action will be at Dockyard, where the teams will be based, along with a purpose-built public race village area, full of activities, hospitality areas and entertainment. For the America’s Cup World Series in 2015, more of the shore-based activities will be located in Hamilton.
In both cases, the racing will take place out on the Great Sound, a perfect, amphitheatre-shaped race course, where spectators will be able to enjoy the racing from up close as the crews tackle the challenging conditions.
Six teams have taken up the challenge of the 2017 America’s Cup, including the defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA. The American defender has an automatic berth in the Finals in June 2017 but will participate in the America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 and 2016 as well as the opening round Qualifiers in 2017.
Challengers include the other finalist from 2013, Emirates Team New Zealand, as well as Ben Ainslie Racing, Luna Rossa Challenge, Artemis Racing and Team France.
There are two types of boats involved in the 2017 America’s Cup: the one-design AC45 and the AC62. Both are extremely light and quick foiling catamarans, powered by a highly efficient wingsail.
The AC45 is used in the America’s Cup World Series and is built to a one-design rule, meaning all of the boats are identical. It is up to the crews to distinguish themselves as the best on the water to win the race. Both boats are extremely physical to race, requiring the athletes who sail them to be in top physical condition.
The AC62, which will be used in 2017, is the big brother to the AC45. It is built to a design rule which allows designers and engineers some leeway to express their ideas in the final design of the boat. This is part of the DNA of the America’s Cup, where the winning team has to be the best across the multiple disciplines of designing, engineering, boatbuilding and sailing.
Both the AC45 and AC62 have the capability to lift up out of the water and to “fly” on hydrofoils. This increases their speed potential dramatically, with the AC62 expected to reach speeds well in excess of the Bermuda speed limit of 35 mph.
The America’s Cup has a legacy that is unrivalled in modern sport with a story that stretches back deep into history. Now Bermuda will add its own chapter. Come and be a part of it!