Bermuda’s hopes to host a leg of the 2019-20 Volvo Ocean Race have been dashed after organisers cancelled the event.
Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, confirmed that the organisation had “previously voiced an interest” in having the event make a stopover on the island during the next installment of the around the world race.
However, those plans have fallen through after Volvo Ocean Race organisers cancelled the 2019-20 event to allow for additional time to implement a raft of changes announced in May.
The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, now in its second stage, features local sailors Emily Nagel and Mustafa Ingham, who have joined racing syndicates Team AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic.
Nagel, who worked with SoftBank Team Japan during the America’s Cup, is a sail trimmer with Dutch entry Team AkzoNobel while Ingham is serving an apprenticeship with Turn the Tide on Plastic.
Ingham’s role forms part of an initiative between the Bermuda Tourism Authority and XL Catlin to build on the social legacy of the America’s Cup and promoting the island as a premier sailing destination.
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority’s support of Mustafa Ingham’s campaign to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race is about accomplishing two primary objectives: leverage the social legacy of the America’s Cup, specifically the sailing careers now available to our young people and deploying Mustafa as a brand ambassador for Bermuda because sailing is an intricate part of the island’s heritage, and hopefully, her tourism industry future as well,” Phillip-Fairn said.
Ingham represented Bermuda in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and was also a member of the team led by Alec Cutler, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club skipper, that won the M32 Chicago Regatta in the Windy City in September.
Ingham is scheduled to take a series of courses in Southampton towards his certification before rejoining his team-mates in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of the second leg of the 11-stage 45,000 nautical mile race Volvo Ocean Race.