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Surely Bermudians Know The Etiquette Of Partying?

15th July 2022
Not so much a race winner, more of a trade mission - the out-of-sight-ahead Clipper Race leader Bermuda arrives in Derry
Not so much a race winner, more of a trade mission - the out-of-sight-ahead Clipper Race leader Bermuda arrives in Derry

Bermuda is officially famous in world sailing as the finish point for the biennial CCA Newport-Bermuda classic ocean race. But among crews in that great event, Bermuda is unofficially famous and revered as being the home of the Dark & Stormy, that lethal mixture of the locally-distilled Gosling's dark rum with a particular ginger beer and various spices.

Even the most austere New Englander seems to find it irresistible after battling the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and its sometimes extreme weather variations on the rough haul from Newport. Thus in a place where the Dark & Stormy is regularly consumed in unfeasible quantities, you'd think they'd know the etiquette of partying, in which the Number One Rule - indeed, perhaps the only rule - is that you don't arrive early.

Yet up in Derry where they're preparing for the Foyle Maritime Festival starting on July 20th with the arrival of the Clipper fleet into the heart of the city being the highlight, the leading Bermudian boat has rather put things out of kilter by arriving early with a horizon job lead.

So do the locals now keep the winning crew busy by getting them to help with making the sandwiches? On the contrary, we think the Bermudians are being crazy like a fox. By the time all the fleet is in, the entire Maiden City is going to be necking Dark & Stormies like there's no tomorrow, and Bermuda's exports industry will be thriving.

WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.


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