Monday, April 24, 2006

Our man in Bermuda

Rod Gilmour kicks off the first installment of his Bermuda diaries by taking a look at island life, although for one Australian it hasn't been all that rosy.

Before setting off by plane from New York to the capital Hamilton on Friday, I was still unsure as exactly where Bermuda was.

It sounds distinctly Caribbean and I was always thought it an offshoot of one of the Windward Islands. But it seems my geography is not entirely useless as not even the experts can make their minds up as to where the island lies.

According to one of the island's papers, the Royal Gazette, the Encyclopaedia Britannica says Bermuda is 570 miles east of Cape Hateras, the World Almanac states 580 miles east of North Carolina, while the American Automobile Association figures it at 650 miles and 753 miles miles southeast of New York City.


April is a great time to be here if you are a sports enthusiast. The Bermuda Squash open has just been hosted, with the world's top players in attendance, while the island's tennis Open was completed today.

And SW19 may be a long way from Bermuda, but the island's distinct Britishness landed Mark Philippoussis, the Australian Scud, into trouble during the week when he turned up in a bright yellow shirt.

The Coral Beach Club's all-white policy led to some ruffled feathers although the Aussie was eventually allowed on court, after he promised to abide by club rules in the next match. He didn't need to; he lost.


Bermuda Day will be celebrated 18 days early in the UK this year when island legend and perhaps its biggest export, Shaun Goater, plays the final game of his career on 6 May.

The Goat is currently plying his trade at Southend United, with the Shrimpers final home game against Bristol City set to be a Bermuda extravaganza. The Island is flying over a traditional Gombey troupe dance band while the club will hold a best Bermudan shorts competition for the sell-out crowd.


The Get Fit Foundation, the organisers behind the World Cricket Classic, are keen to promote everything the charity's name suggests this week.

So it was with some amusement when I walked through the health village to get to the ground to overhear a family conversation. The husband, looking around at the activities, asked his slightly portly wife if she would be staying healthy today. She replied: "I'm at da cricket, and when I'm at da cricket, I want to drink my beers and eat bad food."


Spot of the day: Former England batsman Robin Smith snoozing in the pavillion prior to opening the batting against India.

The Bermuda blogs form the inaugural World Cricket Classic (for over-35s) which will run all week.