By Rick Thompson
Bermuda International Invitational Regatta starts on May 2nd with registration and will continue until the evening of May 8th with prize giving. For the IOD’s racing will consist of 10 races in the Great Sound. This year we have 13 participants, 11 from overseas and 2 from Bermuda. Geographically, the participants are from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Bermuda.
The Regatta will be hotly contested as usual, as 3 former IOD Bermuda Race Week champions headline the list of competitors. The most recent race week winner is past champion from the Chester Nova Scotia fleet Peter Wickwire who won the event last year on his first attempt and is keen to get another Bermuda Race Week victory. Perennial competitor Jan Petter Roed from Norway is back to see if he can repeat his fine form over the past two years and perhaps make it back to the winners circle having almost done so in 2013 and 2014. Bermuda’s Patrick Cooper will be flying the flag for Bermuda. He won this event in 2012 and will be among the contenders.
There will be eight other experienced and quality veterans in the event. From the San Francisco IOD fleet is Paul Zuppan who is returning after an absence of a couple of years. If the wind blows he could do very well. Bermuda’s George Cubbon is the other local competitor and should place well up the leader board for the week. With his experienced crew and knowledge of the Great Sound he could contend for the Cup. Scott Redmon a perennial champion of the North East Harbour, Maine IOD fleet is returning to Bermuda in hopes of taking home the trophy. He has done well here in the past. From Sweden we have Bjorn Wahlstrom. He participated the past two years and is looking to improve his position in the standings. Veteran Jeremy Preston of the Cowes, England Daring fleet has a very experienced crew and is expected to do well in the regatta. Pierre Crosby from the Nantucket fleet is returning to Bermuda and we expect him to be in contention again this year. Henry Arnold representing the Royal Thames Yacht Club is back having participated last year for the first time and had a creditable second place overall finish. He will certainly give reigning champion Peter Wickwire a run for his money. Finally a veteran of many race weeks in Bermuda and elsewhere Herb Motley from Marblehead rounds out the group of previous attendees.
There will be two new competitors this year sailing in Bermuda. New blood is always good for the regatta. Representing Norway’s Oslo fleet is Fred Olson. A contemporary of Jan Petter Roed his vast racing experience in IOD’s should have him well placed in the standings. This will be his first time sailing in Bermuda and he is looking forward to the event. Although Stewart Cutler from Fishers Island is new to Bermuda Race Week he will have a veteran crew which will be invaluable in guiding him around the Great Sound during the competition. All competitors will find a warm welcome from Bermuda and the host Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.