Junior Tourism Minister Kenneth Bascome announced today that there are 196 entries for the Newport Bermuda Race this year – the “largest and most diverse fleet of monohull oceangoing boats since the event was founded in 1906.

In a Ministerial Statement he told MPs: “Only two other Newport Bermuda Races have been larger: the Centennial Race in 2006 with 263 boats, and the 2008 race with 197 boats. This will be the 50th Bermuda Race, and it will start on June 17th.

“The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, which runs the race for the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, expects that this large fleet will bring nearly 2,000 sailors from 26 countries to Bermuda,” said Mr Bascome.

“Please note also that although 2,000 sailors will participate in the race, there are many other family members and friend who will travel to Bermuda by air to participate in the post-race festivities in Bermuda.

“All of the hotels in Bermuda are usually full during this time, and it is anticipated that there will once again be high occupancy levels this year. Therefore both the economic impact of the Newport Bermuda Race, and most importantly, the longstanding friendships built over the years remain invaluable and greatly appreciated in Bermuda.”

Mr Bascome also noted that this year marks “another significant milestone” as the two organizing clubs celebrate 90 years of collaborating to run the race.

He concluded: “This Government congratulates everyone involved on this major achievement for the Newport Bermuda Race 2016.”

By Ceola Wilson