It’s bank holiday Monday in Bermuda as well, as the island celebrates Bermuda Day. The highlight being the traditional running of the ‘Derby,’ a half marathon road race that this year runs from the far east of the island in St George’s up and down hills to the capital of Hamilton. A record number of over 1,300 runners are expected to participate in 106th year of the race.
A parade takes place later in Hamilton, and the crowd have been gathering overnight mostly because the traditional spraying your name on your spot in advance didn’t cut it this year as those markings were removed by authorities.
There is also a cycle race today plus the peculiar and often hilarious Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Racing (photo) begins it’s annual season. The dinghies are 14 feet long, with 40 foot masts but with more sail than any other vessel of similar length.
Despite their small sizes, the dinghies are each normally crewed by six people, necessary to handle the large areas of sail, and also to continually bail water from the dinghies that are often capsized by powerful gusts. A unique rule to racing states that the number of crew to finish a race can be less than the number that started. This can encourage boats to have crew dive off into the water to help lighten the load and increase performance. Today’s first regatta is at St George’s Harbour.
Bermuda Day also represents the first day the locals accept the ocean is warm enough and dip their toes in the water, and that is where we are off to now.