Ian Williams won the Argo Gold Cup in 2006 and will look to continue his winning form from the recent Chicago Match Cup
Hamilton, BERMUDA: July 27, 2012 – The top two skippers on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaderboard will headline the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, facing off for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, starting on October 2nd in Bermuda.
Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team is currently top of the Tour leaderboard with 81 points, whilst Great Britain’s Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar heads the chasing pack on 77. Along with the 22 other match racing teams in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s unique 24-team competition, he will face a tough task in matching the Swede’s dominant form this season.
Williams still tops the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings list, which was released on July 18th, beating Hansen into second. As the reigning Tour Champion and Gold Cup winner in 2006, Williams will hope to continue his winning form, having taken victory at the recent Chicago Match Cup in July.
Other Tour Card holders competing in Bermuda include Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team who is fourth on the Tour, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing who is fifth and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, currently sitting in 11th overall.
Of the non-Tour Card skippers looking to stake their claim to the Gold Cup, Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing) looks set to be a major challenger for the crown, the 2009 Tour Champion having finished in second on two occasions. Minoprio lost out to Ben Ainslie in 2009, whilst Johnie Berntsson secured top spot ahead of him in 2008, taking the $50,000 prize money of a $100,000 total purse.
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team and Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing are currently sitting in the top 15 of the World Rankings and have both already competed at Tour events this year. Both skippers have raced at the Gold Cup previously and will come with experience in sailing the classic International One Design (IOD) sloops. These full keel ‘meter’ style boats are totally different from other boat designs on the Tour and Canfield and Lindberg will be hoping to make that experience count as they bid for future Tour Card status.
William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket, Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team and Marek Stanczyk (POL) also feature in the top 20 ISAF Rankings, suggesting that the action on the water at the Argo Gold Cup will be some of the most exciting and competitive this season.
Nine places at the event are made available for Tour Card Holders, whilst three are selected from each of the qualifying events - the Knickerbocker Cup and the Detroit Cup in the USA, and the Bermuda National Match Race Championship. Remaining slots are filled by application and invitations issued by the Gold Cup Committee, of which three are still to be confirmed.
This year will mark the 62nd staging of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, with previous winners listing some of the greatest names ever to match race. Since the event was reformatted to be an event under the Match Racing Association in 1985, multiple winners include Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), and Ben Ainslie (GBR).
The 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup runs from October 2nd with Finals scheduled for October 7th. The spectator-friendly racing is held in Hamilton Harbour, adjacent to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Marina, a spectacular attraction for tourists and Bermuda residents alike.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate seventh stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, in which the teams compete for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Match racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the classic heritage events on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.