Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, both ended the Stage 1 Qualifying matches with 8-1 records in their groups. By rule, as the top seed in Group 2, Williams got first pick of the skipper he would race in the Quarter Finals. Williams surprised everyone by choosing to race Argo Group Gold Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone who had finished with a 7-2 score and two days unbeaten in Group one.
Bruni moves into the Quarter finals after racing in the final flights of the qualifying stage of the Argo Group Gold Cup.
Williams explained his choice by saying that he wanted to go all out to protect his standing on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. He is currently leading the tour by nine points over both Canfield and Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate event on the Tour.
Canfield passed Minoprio at the finish to win and finish first in Group 1. He made his score 7-2 racing in the final flights of the qualifying stage of the Argo Group Gold Cup.
When asked about this matchup of top skippers, Canfield quipped, 'We’re ready… Bring on the challenge.'
The second pick then went to Francesco Bruni who had finished tops in Group one at 8-1. He said he didn’t want to follow suit and chose Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) BART/Argo Group, so he chose Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing who finished Group two at 5-4.
Robertson remarked, 'No drama. We’ll take it as it comes.'
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX who finished Group one at 7-2 went next and chose Keith Swinton for a New Zealand-Australia match up. Swinton had to win all 3 of his last qualifying races to make the cut for the quarters.
Commenting on Minoprio’s choice he said, 'Fantastic, We’ve been chirping at him all week every time he sailed past us.'
Canfield took a penalty to get inside and into the 2 boat length circle. He got a red flag by taking the inside advantage. He passed Miniprio at the finish in the final flights of the qualifying stage of the Argo Group Gold Cup.
As the last teams unchosen, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team and Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) BART/Argo Group will sail each other in the quarters. Hansen said it will be good to race Ainslie and his team. 'We want to knock him out of the competition.' Ainslie answered, 'It will be great racing.'
Quotes of the Day:
Taylor Canfield: 'We sailed very well in our last race of the round robin against Adam Minoprio today. We had a great start and although we pushed them over early, we had a convergence and we got a red flag penalty. We did our penalty turn and throughout the race we eventually gained on them and in the last downwind leg we managed to pass them. We started this regatta at 1-2 and we came back to finish out the round robin at 7-2 so we are feeling pretty good about our comeback. We are looking forward to the quarter-finals now.'
Ian Williams seen here on Wednesday racing in Group 2 Qualifying Round Robin of the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup. He finished Stage 1 at 8-1.
Keith Swinton: 'We had to win all three races to go through to the quarter finals and we managed to do that today. All of our races have had their moments. Over the week, we’ve been sailing pretty well but sometimes the boat draw did not go our way. We have had really good starts and we came from behind to get here but today we really hit our struts, we are finding our feet and we are feeling good now.. It is always great to go into the quarter-finals and we are looking forward to tomorrow.'
Phil Robertson: 'Our last race today was pretty much the decider. We had to race against Richard in the first race and we lost to him so points-wise we had to win the final race against Morvan. We were behind for most of the race but fortunately for us Morvan got a red flag penalty. He infringed on us and we won that race. It is extremely hard to get into the quarter -finals but we are battle-hardened now and ready to race tomorrow.'
Keith Swinton took his match with Eric Monnin to take a place in the Quarter finals in racing in the final flight of the qualifying stage of the Argo Group Gold Cup.
Ian Williams: 'We had a tough loss to Hansen. All the flags were green [no penalty] or yellow, a penalty on us.'
Ben Ainslie: 'We were behind in the last race and were lucky that Will Tiller missed the 3 lap signal flag. He sailed through the finish line after just two laps and so we won.'
Quarter Final racing begins again at 10:00 ADT Friday.
Bermuda weather forecast
Friday - Winds south-southwesterly 8 to 12 knots, increasing 10 to 15 knots by afternoon...
Saturday - Winds southwesterly 8 to 12 knots
Sunday - Winds northwesterly 5 to 10 knots
Robertson defeated Morvsn in the final flight of racing in the Group 2 Qualifying stage 1 of the Argo Group Gold Cup.