This weekend, Bermuda’s National Match Racing Championship, the Bacardi Cup, will give sailing fans plenty of local talent to applaud when eight of the island’s best match racing teams take to the water for intense match racing.
The event, sponsored by Bacardi and hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC), will determine the winner of the Bacardi Cup Trophy, while the winner and runner-up also gain entry into this October's ISAF Grade one Bermuda Gold Cup as "Team Bacardi" entries.
The Bermuda Gold Cup, inaugurated 54 years ago, has developed into one of the strongest of the star-studded stops on the global nine-event Swedish Match Tour. The Bacardi Cup has been Bermuda's own unique qualifier for this event, giving up-and-comers as well as tested veterans of match racing a direct shot at making the cut for the Gold Cup's qualifying rounds and-if successful through to the finals, claiming a portion of $65,000 in prize money. With racing for both the Bacardi Cup and the Bermuda Gold Cup (12-20 October) planned for Hamilton Harbour, spectators are invited to view the action from the grounds of the RBYC.
"The Bacardi Cup was created as a way to give locals a way to qualify for the Bermuda Gold Cup,"
said Charles Tatem, RBYC's chairman of race management. "It now stands on its own, however, as one of Bermuda's most hotly contested match racing regattas."
Four of the eight Bacardi Cup entries are determined by results in Bermuda's well established annual one-design regattas: the International One-Design nationals, the J/24 and Etchells class match race championships, and the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Championship. Last year's Bacardi Cup winner gets an automatic invitation and the remaining three entries are determined by resume.
"We consider the Bacardi Cup important to the continued development of Bermudian sailors on the international match racing scene,"
said Richard Nwaobi, General Manager-Bacardi Brands Bda. "We are proud to sponsor the event and support the Bermuda Gold Cup at the same time."