By Rick Thompson
Bermuda International Invitational Regatta starts on April 29, 2018 with registration for the International One Designs. That same day will see the start of two days of racing for E22s and J105s. The IODs will begin racing on Sunday, April 30, and race the full week until May 4, when prize giving takes place. For the IODs racing will consist of 12 races in the Great Sound among 13 entries—12 from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden and one team competing from Bermuda.
The Regatta will be hotly contested as usual. Former three-time winner of Race Week from Chester, Nova Scotia, Peter Wickwire is returning this year. He will be one of the favorites to lift the Vrengen Cup at the end of the week. Stiff competition however will come from former IOD world champions John Burnham and sailing partner Peter Rugg. They will be representing the Fishers Island IOD fleet.
There are seven other experienced and quality veterans in the competition. From Northeast Harbor, Maine will be Nick Schoeder. He has competed in the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta in November for the past two years and therefore has a good idea of the tricky wind conditions in the Great Sound. Martin Seise will represent the Bermuda IOD fleet. He will have on board the current Bermuda IOD reigning champion Patrick Cooper as tactician, so they will be a favorite to be on the podium. Peter McCausland from the Nantucket fleet is returning to Bermuda, and we expect him to be in contention again.
From St. Mawes in Cornwall, England is Mike Conlin and John Bingham who are returning to Race Week after a brief hiatus. They will co-helm during the week. Our other returning veteran is Oli Dix from the Royal Thames Yacht Club who has competed for the past three years in Race Week. With him is Henry Arnold as tactician, which will make them be a strong contender too. From the San Francisco IOD fleet is a co-skippering team of Rob Vellinger and Danielle Lawson. Both have raced in Bermuda before and will give a good account of themselves. The final veteran team represents the Ida Lewis Yacht Club of Newport, RI, with Chris Gould helming and Phil Cox as tactician. Both have competed here many times and will be looking for a high finish for the week.
There will be four new competitors this year sailing in Bermuda. Tim Dittrich will be representing the Marblehead fleet but he will have a seasoned crew on board. Former Race Week and world champion Bruce Dyson is his tactician. Representing the Daring fleet from Cowes England is John Corby—a well-known sailor and boat designer. This is his first time racing IODs in Bermuda but we are expecting that he will be a contender for a top finish. Also from England representing the Haven Port Yacht Club in Suffolk is Mark Wincer. He has done well in his home waters and is keen to test his skills in the international arena. Our final participant from Sweden is Lars Johansson, sailing for the first time as a helmsman in Race Week.
All competitors will find a warm welcome from Bermuda, the host Royal Bermuda Yacht and our sponsors Bacardi International.
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