Social distancing and global travel restrictions conspire against youth regatta
HAMILTON, Bermuda (Aug. 3, 2020) – With great regret the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club announces that the 18th annual RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup has been postponed to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
First held in 2002, the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup brings together male and female sailors aged 12 to 15 from around the world for a multi-race series in the Optimist dinghy. The regatta was founded as a means to give Bermuda’s youth sailors a taste of international competition, and it has proven valuable in forging lasting friendships as the international sailors are housed with Bermudians.
Given the importance of social distancing in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the various travel restrictions that are in place around the world, the decision was made to forgo this year’s event. The obstacles proved too challenging to warrant inviting 15 to 20 teenagers to Bermuda given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Rush, the 14-year-old from the Wakatere Boating Club, previously competed in 2017 and placed 13th overall. This year he stormed out of the gate, won three of the first four races and never looked back. Rush finished with the low score of 32 points in the 12-race regatta and had the championship wrapped up before the final race on Hamilton Harbour.
“It feels great to win,” said Rush at the awards ceremony. “When I got here, I didn’t expect to win. And then after the first day I thought it was possible.”
VIEW RenRe Junior Gold Cup Final Results
Bermudians to take on world’s elite youth in Optimist dinghy on Great Sound
HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 7, 2019) — The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup returns for the 17th year of forging friendships and testing seamanship for youth sailors around the world.
The goal of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club organizers and sponsor RenaissanceRe was to create a world class youth regatta in Bermuda to give local sailors the opportunity to race against some of the best in the world on their home waters alongside the world’s best match racers sailing the Argo Group Gold Cup.
The entry criteria mirrors that of the Olympics where only one entry per nation is permitted to race, making the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup more select than even the Optimist World Championship.
Due to this format the young sailors make new friendships that might not otherwise happen when travelling with a team of compatriots.
“The uniqueness of the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup means that friendships are forged that last well into the sailors’ lives,” said event chairwoman Dede Cooper, who has run the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup since 2009. “The sailors forge friendships and carry memories that last well beyond their years in the Optimist.”
Professional sailors such as Taylor Canfield, originally from the US Virgin Islands, sailed the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup and now is in line to skipper and America’s Cup challenging syndicate. Another, Nicklas Dackhammar of Sweden, raced last year’s Volvo Ocean Race.