Over the past few years, there’s been one place to go to witness Bermuda’s spectacular boating culture: the St George’s Marine Expo.
The annual event, organised by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Bermuda Yacht Services and the Corporation of St George, celebrates our links to the ocean and keeps families entertained with a series of demonstrations, displays and races.
More than 2,000 people enjoyed the thrills and spills at the last Expo, in 2022, with 70 businesses and organisations taking part – providing a welcome boost to East End businesses into the bargain.
Dennis Carter, micro, small and medium enterprise officer at the BEDC, said: “The Expo encourages activity in the Town of St George by targeting boating and marine enthusiasts from across the island.
“Bermuda’s history leading back to the ‘New World’ has put Bermuda and St George’s specifically on the map as a transatlantic destination for generations. There is really no better place to host a marine event in Bermuda!”
The Olde Towne’s marine history goes right back to the island’s first settlement in 1609, when British sailors, attempting to travel to Jamestown, Virginia, aboard the Sea Venture, were hit by a storm and became shipwrecked on the island.
Crew members decided to stay in Bermuda, and Jamestown was later abandoned – meaning St George’s is the oldest continuously occupied British settlement in the New World.
And while St George’s has become a tourist destination thanks to its historic sites, forts and picturesque streets, that marine heritage plays a crucial part in the East End story.
It’s not just about history though. Since those early days, Bermuda’s marine culture has evolved in tandem with the industry, so that charter boats, sailing, diving, snorkelling, fishing, jet skis and watersport events all have a role to play in today’s island experience.
The Marine Expo gives dealers the chance to show off their latest products, as well as enabling people to sign up for sailing sessions, visit demonstrations on handling lionfish or simply enjoy the entertainment, kids zones and food stands.
Mr Carter said: “The benefits of the Expo have been highlighting Bermuda’s ocean history and while doing this increasing the foot traffic significantly for the restaurants and brick and mortar stores who participate in the day.”
The next St George’s Marine Expo is planned for spring 2024.
Bermuda marine facts
- Bermuda has more than 300 shipwrecks dating back to the 1600s
- The Sea Venture shipwreck of 1609 is believed to have inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest
- Bermuda’s location between Europe and North America has made it a vital location for the British Royal Navy and other military activity. British troops were deployed from Bermuda to take on Washington, DC and Baltimore during the War of 1812 between the US and the UK. Warship repairs and refurbishments took place in Bermuda during the first and second world wars
- Rum was smuggled to the US from Bermuda during Prohibition
- Bermuda’s coral reefs help create a diverse marine life including humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles and porpoises
- When you’re in Bermuda, you are never more than one mile away from the ocean
- In 2017, Bermuda hosted the 35th America’s Cup, the prestigious yachting event which is the oldest international competition in still operating in any sport