www.thebermudian.com 18 | THE BERMUDIAN
From the Crow’s Nest | THE SCENE
THE LANDLUBBERS GUIDE TO THE AMERICA’S CUP:
AC Endeavour Programme
The one-of-a-kind programme is taking young Bermudians out of the classroom
and onto the water, giving birth to a new generation of sailors in the process.
WRITTEN BY W. C. STEVENSON
Take a look at the Wikipedia page titled “Bermuda at the Olym- pics,” and you’ll come across an interesting statistic. Bermuda has sent athletes to every summer Olympics since they began
in 1936, save for when we joined the boycott in 1980 protesting Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Many of those athletes have been sailors.
The only Olympics we haven’t sent sailors to, at least in recent memory,
was the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when Peter Bromby narrowly missed
out on qualification. For an island where sailing is a year-round sport
and a national pastime, it’s somewhat of a curiosity that Clarence Hill is
the only athlete to have earned a medal, and in boxing no less. Com-
pared to the performance of young Bermudian sailors at international
regattas throughout the years, the lack of national Olympic achieve-
ment becomes even more curious.
The issue is far from a simple one, but there is one limiting factor a
sport like sailing faces when it comes to producing world-class talent.
Unlike track and field, or soccer, or cricket, anyone who wants to sail
must first be able to afford a sailboat, or at the very least afford to attend
one of the many sailing programmes around the island. Even those who
can afford to get into sailing at its most basic level must then be able to
finance their own progression in the sport, graduating into new sailboat
classes and paying for top-level coaching. These financial hurdles only
get bigger the more a sailor progresses, and are a much-bemoaned bug-