The 35th annual America’s Cup, which began qualifying rounds on May 26th, and continues through the Championship Match presented by Louis Vuitton on June 17th, is drawing record crowds, and a record number of superyachts to the Island Nation of Bermuda.
Speaking to the Royal Gazette, an island Newspaper, Mark Soares of Bermuda Yacht Services said that not only were there already “around 70” superyachts traversing and docked among the island’s waters, for the races, but also, that he expects more to arrive over the course of the scheduled events, and that he anticipates the bulk of the superyachts will “remain in Bermuda until the racing concludes.”
“The majority of them will likely stay the full six-week period, and I think it will just get busier and busier,” he said. “You will see more activity towards the finals, but we anticipate the majority of boats will stay right up until the end of June, which is massive.”
In preparation for the Cup, Bermuda increased its capacity to accommodate yachts over 100 feet, with new marinas and dockage facilities specifically designed to cater to larger vessels of the super and megayacht classes. It looks like the investment has paid off.
Soares went on to say that the positive impact of these yachts on the island’s economy, was “massive.”
“Whether it’s provisions, fuel, flowers, transportation, the list just goes on and on. [The races] will have a huge impact that goes deep into the community through all aspects. The amount of service that we are providing already is really huge. Everybody makes out well. The freight forwarders, the florists, the taxi drivers, the people who have to service the yachts, it’s a win for all.”
The Superyacht Maltese Falcon, one of many currently in Bermuda’s waters
Speaking last week, ahead of the start of the qualifying rounds, Mr Soares said that the America’s Cup organizers have long wanted to attract more superyachts and superyacht owners to the races, but this year’s event could be the most successful in achieving that goal.
“The type of location and time of year has provided the perfect set-up to get the superyachts to participate,” he said. “The superyacht programs sold out. We have some of the best superyachts in the world here, some of the most iconic. We have the Maltese Falcon, which is an exceptional sailing yacht. We have Vava II, one of the largest motor yachts in the world. We have the likes of some of the beautiful classics such as Columbia docked over on Front Street.”
The Superyacht Vava II – in town for the races
When asked if demand for Bermuda as a superyacht destination could be maintained, he said that it would be unlikely that the island would see such large numbers once again unless we host another America’s Cup.
But he added that he believes that visits by superyacht owners will slowly increase thanks to the exposure Bermuda is getting from hosting the Cup. “We will definitely get more visitors who stay longer. Traditionally Bermuda has been a bunkering and transient fuel stop. Now, having owners on board and exposed to the island, they are more likely to come back and stay for a few weeks and enjoy the island.”
As of today, Team Oracle USA remains in first place, with 5 wins and 1 loss, with Emirates Team New Zealand a very close second. You can follow all of the results on the event’s official website.
Bermuda and the Yachting Life
Bermuda has been an upcoming yachting, and yacht charter destination for the last few years, and now that appeal is likely to move up another notch, as Bermuda becomes home to the 2017 America’s Cup.
Bermuda has always been a popular destination for yachts of both the sailing and motor variety. In the run up to the races, the unassuming island had been becoming even more popular with seafarers the world over.
Bermuda has had its share of ebbs and flows with tourism over the years. Once a playground for the elite, it has lost some of its luster to the Caribbean, but it is back on the upswing, thanks largely to hosting yachting’s signature international event.
According to Forbes Magazine, since landing the America’s Cup for 2017, visits to the island by 18-24 year olds were up “39 percent and government officials believe that many will become repeat visitors, returning for destination weddings, honeymoons, weekend getaways and vacations…”
The Superyacht Shadow docked in Bermuda
The quaint British Territory, once mainly known for its pastel colors and definitive shorts, is now trying to convince yachtsman and others alike that “this is not your father’s Bermuda.” The Island is now actively marketing its more adventurous side, promoting everything from scuba diving, snorkeling, and sport fishing, to parasailing and whale watching.
As part of the preparations for hosting the America’s Cup, the Island has had to create more dockage suited to luxury motor yachts, which is why Bermuda is seeing a resurgence as a charter destination.
Special America’s Cup Offers From 26 North Yachts
In support of this grand yachting event, 26 North Yachts would like to extend a special offer to anyone wishing to book a yacht charter from Florida to Bermuda for the Cup. You will receive 50% off of the delivery fee for any boat chartered to Bermuda for a week or more during The America’s Cup.
What could be a more exciting experience than the opportunity to see some of the best sailors in the world compete in their high-flying Catamarans from the deck of your own luxury motor yacht!
Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at 954-900-9988.
Main and some other images Courtesy Bernews