Even if you don’t participate in Bermuda’s recreational scene, you’re spoiled for choice as a spectator. From road races to cycling, fitted dinghies to pony-racing or kitesurfing, you can enjoy any number of sporting events from the sidelines year-round. The island’s truly “national” sports are soccer and cricket, and you can savor the essence of Bermudian life at any weekend game, where a festive atmosphere prevails.
Cricket matches featuring local teams are played on weekends April through mid-September all over the island. The highlight, of course, is the annual Cup Match Cricket Classic, played over two days in July or August since 1902. For more information, contact the Bermuda Cricket Board (tel. 441/292-8958).
Introduced by British military garrison soldiers in the 1800s, the game of football (soccer) has become the island’s winter obsession. Matches are played on weekends and some weeknights in season (September through April). Contact the Bermuda Football Association (tel. 441/295-2199, info [at] bermudafa [dot] com, www.bermudafa.com) for details.
Rugby (Bermuda Rugby Football Union, bermudarugby [at] ibl [dot] bm, www.bermudaarfu.com) is also a highly popular sport and weekend matches are well attended. The not-to-be-missed World Rugby Classic every November features former top players from around the world playing in 11 international matches.
The Bermuda Bicycling Association (tel. 441/291-5435, info [at] bermudabicycle [dot] org) organizes road races, mountain bike trail races, time trials, and other special events throughout the year. Amateurs and visiting professionals compete in September’s Bermuda Grand Prix, with a weekend of events including a time trial, circuit race, and criterium.
For a more leisurely spectator experience, drop by Elbow Beach in Paget on a windy day and watch the growing troupe of local kitesurfers (www.bka.bm, info [at] bka [dot] bm) catching air in apparent slow motion as they criss-cross the rollers for hours on end.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition