Steady breezes and crystal clear waters make Bermuda ideal for sailing—and for watching beachside. AFAR spoke with Jon Corless, Commodore at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, about his favorite springtime activities, by land and by sea.
Races and Regattas Bring Sailors and Spectators
Commodore Corless loves spring for many reasons—but most of all, because it means the boats are on the horizon. “After the winter, the seas calm down, the wind evens out, and it’s ideal for sailing,” says Corless. “Boats start transitioning from winters in the Caribbean to summers in Europe and many stop off in Bermuda along the way. Several choose to race.” As the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s ranking Flag Officer, Commodore Corless has a hand in all the Club’s races and regattas, many of which are world-famous. On May 8, the Bermuda Antigua Race will commence as part of the 2019 Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club hosting a party and prize giving. “Because Bermuda is surrounded by a barrier reef that protects us from big swells, we have flat water and excellent sailing conditions,” Corless says. “Everybody wants to sail here.”
Regardless of one’s sailing chops, Corless urges everyone to get out on Bermuda’s seas. “Our temperate waters are also perfect for sports,” he says. “Just setting out into the bay on a paddleboard and seeing turtles swimming by is a magical thing.” Travelers can also enjoy an array of private cruises around the island, ranging from DJ dance parties to sunset cruises with leisurely sit-down dinners and cocktails—with incredible views, of course. Spectators on shore can also enjoy the races and regattas of the season. Hamilton Princess Hotel offers fresh wahoo sandwiches, impeccable Rum Swizzles, and a front-row seat to the races on Hamilton Harbour. “Bermudians are known for their friendliness and hospitality, which makes the regatta scene enjoyable no matter how you experience it,” Corless says.
The Island’s Onshore Activities are Equally Enticing
When Corless isn’t planning races at the Club or out on the water sailing, he also likes to explore his island on foot. “The 18-mile Railway Trail runs from St. George’s all the way to Somerset Village and is beautiful,” he says. “It’s so peaceful.” Corless also suggests taking advantage of spring’s lower humidity levels to hit up the island’s many tennis courts and golf courses. But when he feels like doing nothing but staring out at the horizon, he plants his beach chair on Elbow Beach or Horseshoe Bay Beach. “The water is so blue here,” he says. “Even when I’m not sailing, I can’t help but admire the sea. It really is exceptional.”