We have our short work-week this week as today is a national holiday and the island comes out to celebrate Bermuda Day. The highlight being the traditional running of the 'Derby
' a 13-mile road race from Somerset in the west of the island to the capital of Hamilton that includes a lot of steep climbs and dips. The 1,200 or so runners will start to pass by our house at around 10.15, and we will be down there to see who we recognise and cheer them on.
A parade takes place later in Hamilton, as well as a cycle race plus the peculiar and often
hilarious Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Racing
begins its annual season. The dinghies are 14 feet lo
ng, 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 boat and increase performance. Today's first regatta is at St George's Harbour.
May 24th also marks the traditional start of the Bermudian summer, i.e the heat moves from warm to hot. Also for most locals today is the first day they venture into the water, the sea not the bath. Happy bank holiday Monday.