Courtesy is defined as the showing of politeness, good manners, respect and consideration.
We are hurtling towards the final chapter of this great epoch in our history known as The America’s Cup. Every Bermudian has been asked to play a part in order to make this a very special event.
The “greatest race on water” begins on May 26 and ends on June 27, our island will be under a microscope to the rest of the world for 32 days, and viewed by more than a billion people on television worldwide.
The Bermuda Water Safety Council wants everyone to enjoy this phenomenal spectacle of men and machines, and all the events that make the show, keeping safety foremost in our conduct.
I have chosen the word courtesy as part of a theme for all of us to remember especially when things become fast and furious.
I think of Cup Match as an example of how well we as Bermudians can get along. The America’s Cup events will be like Cup Match on 10,000 steroids. It will demand our collective qualities of politeness in so many different ways. We can all work together on this and also make our visiting spectators feel most welcome.
We are a nation of people who use good manners. After all we are just a big boat in the middle of the ocean and we are its crew. Good manners help generate openness and alleviate tensions in times of stress. The excitement and sheer number of people out on the water will create a stressful situation, so let’s make it a collective effort that we will need to act under good manners.
This will be more exaggerated on the water when spectator boats want to get the best viewing spots at the expense of others. Please take your cue from the Marshals and comply with what they ask you to do.
In many ways we all know each other on the water, but our guests on boats don’t know us. The onus is on us to lead the way by example, and to accommodate those who brought their boats here and are spending money in our economy. We will get the benefits in the end.
This is the word that draws courtesy together, because without consideration courtesy cannot exist. Not only must we extend consideration to our guest spectators, but we must extend this to each and every person on the water. We must think collectively as Team Bermuda and all pull our oars together.
We can collectively make this the greatest America’s Cup ever if we all pull together and show courtesy.
Paul Doughty is a member of the Bermuda Water Safety Council, artist, professional sailing coach, RYA Power Boat Instructor, and a licensed Bermuda Pilot with more than 40 years of experience on the water.