Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
The 91st edition of the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta starts today with 82 boats on the line ready to battle it out to conquer the prestigious trophy who was first held in Cuba in 1927.
This year this epic race begins with a much deserved tribute to one of the heroes of this legendary class, a man who wrote history for his Country and for the sailing world: Sir Durward Knowles passed away at age 100 on February 24th at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas. Today the whole Bacardi Cup Fleet saluted him with a special memorial.
Bahamian and Star class flag were hoisted by the ISCYRA President Hubert Merkelbach joined by past presidents Lars Grael and Jack Rickard, the two times Star class Gold Medalist Mark Reynolds and Paul Cayard at 9am before the competitors started docking out towards the racecourse. A touching moment for a past Star class commodore who won the first Olympic medal (bronze) for his country, Bahamas, in 1956, who then succeeded and won gold eight years later, in Tokyo. Sir Durward is also a Star World Champion, winning the title in 1947 in Los Angeles, and his name is written on the Bacardi Cup as he won it in 1951 with Ding Shoonmaker as crew.
While we are posting this, his funeral is being held in Nassau, and, in his honor, the Fleet sailed for one minute on that direction (100 degrees on the compasses) right before the first warning signal at 11,49. (Video will follow)
Fair winds to you Sir Durward, you will be missed and never forgotten.