The event has been running in its current form since 1962, and the exact course that will be used was first run in 1976. The event itself can be traced back all the way to after World War II.
Race director Ernie Mello said in an interview: “The appeal of this prestigious event is that it is over 50 years old.
“It’s the largest spectator sport here simply because it encompasses the whole entire island by land and by sea.”
The race starts and ends at Ferry Reach, and there are several points throughout the island for spectators to watch the racing from.
The racers will head west, round Spanish Point and head into the harbour, meaning there will be excellent views on Front Street.
They will then race along the entire length of Harbour Road until they reach Five Star Island, where they will turn and make towards Commissioners Point.
They will round Dockyard and travel down the length of the South Shore, meaning there will be great vantage points from the beaches. Fort St. Catherine’s will be the place to go to watch the tail end of the race as the boats enter the home stretch and return to Ferry Reach.
The race will feature eight separate classes: A, B, FB, SD, D, C, E, and S, that will be launched in waves from Ferry Reach between 2pm and 2:26pm on Sunday to prevent overcrowding.
Last year two records were broken in the FB and SD classes: in the FB Class brothers Tonka and Stacey Simpson, driving an FB55, won in a record time of 47:10, while in the S Class Andy and Anthony Stoneham in an S22 finished in 33:35.
One of the key elements the Bermudian Power Boat Association wanted to emphasize for this year’s race is water safety.
Mello said all members of the public in or near the water on race day should be especially vigilant and cautious between 2pm and 3pm: “My biggest message to the public is ‘water safety, water safety, water safety’. These powerboats travel and exceed speeds of 80 and 90 miles an hour. There are no brakes.
“We ask that all people on the water be vigilant of these race boats including swimmers, personal watercraft, and those attending the event in their boats.
“Please respect all course marshalls, safety boats, and marine officials, i.e., Bermuda Regiment and the Bermuda police maritime service. This is a very important message.”