Charleston Bermuda Race Furthering A Unique Maritime Tradition

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (May 17, 2011) - Some sixty sailors will be on board the 11 boats that start the Charleston Bermuda Race Saturday afternoon May 21, and each of them will embark on an amazing adventure. They'll navigate busy shipping lanes and brave the always-fickle, often-formidable conditions of the Gulf Stream. They'll enjoy the beauty of life at sea where the nighttime sky is never more brilliant and sunrises and sunsets offer up unparalleled spectacles. In the process, each of their experiences will become part of a maritime tradition that has long linked the Carolina Lowcountry and Bermuda.

Bermuda and Charleston share much more than nearly identical latitudes. Their conjoined histories date back to the 17th century. After being colonized by accident in 1609, Bermuda became the birthplace of many of the residents who established one of South Carolina's earliest colonies in 1670 - Charles Towne. William Sayle, one of that colony's founders, initially sailed out of Bermuda. Nearly two centuries later, during the Civil War, Bermuda became one of the primary trading partners for Charleston-based vessels that successfully eluded the Union blockade. Since those early years, the connections between these two localities have deepened. For over three centuries, Bermuda and Charleston have been linked by maritime commerce. In recent decades, that bond has expanded in the form of the Charleston Bermuda Race.    

"We see the Charleston Bermuda Race as one of the premier opportunities for branding and exposure for Bermuda as a world-class destination," said The Honorable Patrice K. Minors, Minister of Business Development and Tourism in Bermuda.   "Bermuda has a long history as an international sailing destination and this prestigious event, with its top-notch audience, provides an opportunity to showcase our tourism assets and continue a rich tradition."

Along with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the island's Department of Tourism has been a supporter of the Charleston Bermuda Race since the outset. One of the "tourism assets" referred to by Minister Minors is Goslings Rum, a product synonymous with this idyllic island since James Gosling arrived in Bermuda and started his enterprise in 1806. Goslings Rum is also a longtime supporter of the race and, for the 2011 edition - a sponsor.

When the competitors in this year's race finish the 777-mile passage and arrive in Bermuda, they will be feted at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. On the veranda of this picturesque club, overlooking Hamilton Harbor, they'll hear speeches from Bermudian dignitaries and swap tales from the race. And in the process, they'll add their own chapters to an ongoing story centuries in the making.   

For race updates, additional information or photos from the Charleston Bermuda Race, log on to    

The 2011 Charleston Bermuda Race is presented by OnDeck Group U.S. in affiliation with the South Carolina Maritime Foundation and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. This race is part of an extensive maritime celebration in historic Charleston that includes the Antigua Charleston Race, the Velux 5 Oceans Race, and Charleston HarborFest. Over 15,000 people are expected to visit Charleston's waterfront Maritime Center the week before and during the start of the 2011 Charleston Bermuda Race. The arrival of the fleet in Bermuda will trigger a three-day celebration, with events sponsored by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the Bermuda Ministry of Tourism, Goslings Rum and OnDeck.  

Aside from Bermuda's Department of Tourism and Goslings Rum, other sponsors of the 2011 Charleston Bermuda Race include Bauer International, Chelsea Clock, Garden & Gun Magazine.

OnDeck Sailing and OnDeck Ocean Racing are part of the OnDeck group of companies with bases worldwide: UK: Gosport Marina and Cowes, Isle of Wight. Portugal (Vilamoura); Antigua (Falmouth); USA (Charleston, South Carolina).

From its newly-established US base in Charleston, OnDeck offers a comprehensive range of sailing services including adventure sailing and transatlantic crossings; racing in UK and Caribbean regattas; match racing and regattas organized for corporate and private groups; team building and leadership development and corporate entertaining as well as RYA registered sailing schools (US Sailing-registered at the Charleston office); charter; worldwide boat sales and boat management.