Bermuda Sail Grand Prix to go ahead

SailGP and the Bermuda Tourism Authority have been working closely following the Bermuda Government’s tightening of Covid-19 protocols to ensure that the forthcoming Bermuda Sail Grand Prix can take place.

SailGP applied for exemptions to continue its operations at Cross Island, including the on-water safety trials, during the Government’s seven-day stay at home order. Yesterday, these exemptions were granted and SailGP can continue to operate. This includes the exemptions for the athletes to have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with all the new systems that have been recently implemented on their F50 boats.

Working with the Government, SailGP has pared down its operational requirements over the stay at home order period, which concludes at 5am on Tuesday April 20. Measures include reduced numbers of people onsite to only those essential to finishing the preparations of the eight boats and the on-water safety trials, a reduced training programme from eight race boats to four boats, plus the reduction of onsite hours as much as possible.

SailGP is also further revising aspects of its event programming next weekend, including changes to its hospitality programme to comply with latest government protocols and the cancellation of the ticketed tour boat spectator experiences, which will be refunded in full.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts says: “We are extremely sympathetic to the current situation in Bermuda and our thoughts are with everyone that has been affected by this terrible global pandemic. We are really pleased that we can return to our operations to ensure the safety of the event next weekend. We thank the government for their assistance and the people of Bermuda for their understanding. Bermuda’s ability to deliver world class sporting events while facing unprecedented circumstances has helped to position them as a leading global sports destination with an administration that is able to diligently and efficiently manage these difficult circumstances. We look forward to showcasing the island of Bermuda on April 24-25 and putting on a great show for not only the local community but also for our worldwide audience.”

Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Charles H. Jeffers II said: “Showing the world how Bermuda can navigate its way through a crisis is a valuable building block to a strong tourism recovery, particularly in the sporting world where the racing next week will be seen in 175 broadcast territories—including live in the United States on CBS. The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess will bring a smaller economic return to the island than the original forecast back in November, but we still expect a healthy return from $5 million direct spending on-island and media exposure around the world.”

The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix takes place on 24-25 April.

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