In Hamilton, Bermuda, Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) 2009 Champion, Adam Minoprio and US Virgin Islands’ Taylor Canfield, each topped their qualifying groups at the Argo Group Gold Cup today. With Quarter Final opponents chosen for tomorrow, the pair hold the early advantage in the race for the historic King Edward VII Gold Cup.
Taylor Canfield finished off a fine Qualifying Round at the Argo Group Gold Cup
Minoprio (NZL) Team Argo Group continued his strong run of results into the third session and made good on yesterday’s promise to finish Qualifying with an 8-1 record, remaining unbeaten since his very first match of the event. He said: 'It was an interesting day for us and we didn’t have everything go our way and we made a lot of things a lot harder than we needed to but we managed to cross the line first all three times.
'You can’t beat time sailing together so with a new team like ours, we’ll get stronger as the regatta goes on. It’d take 10 or 15 regattas to get to the stage you’d really want with communication on the boat. It’s not perfect now but we’re improving and will need to keep doing so if we want to come away with the Gold Cup.'
Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing was the man to beat once again in Qualifying Group 1, recording his sole loss at the event so far to Brit Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar in his first match of the day. He said: 'We had a couple of collisions today. One with [Ian] Williams, which he should have got a penalty for, and one with [Marek] Stanczyk in the last match of the day. We actually locked rigs with Stanczyk for about 25 seconds and the penalty went against us but we opened up a lead after and were able to come back from a penalty down, which felt good.
'The knockouts should be good. We’re happy with our pick and now just have to keep pushing hard.'
Reigning Tour Champion Williams won the Gold Cup in 2006 and feels that his team are playing their way into contention for the title once again. After finishing third with six wins and three losses, he said: 'We thought that the win over [Taylor] Canfield would have put us into a good position to go through but actually it was the one against [David] Chapman that could have been crucial, we didn’t realise he was still in the tie. Maybe we were a bit more relaxed in that match than we otherwise would have been.
'These boats always take a bit of time to get used to and a few of the guys have been on the road for a while now. We’re trying to ease our way in slowly, keeping relaxed and rested and now we’ll go away and fire ourselves up for tomorrow.'
There was disappointment for the spectating locals as Bermudian National Champion Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenaissanceRe was eliminated on count back, having finished the session on 5-4, leaving him equal to David Chapman (AUS) Flying Wasp Racing. A win for the Australian in the day’s head-to-head meant progression for the Australian and heartbreak for Walker, who said: 'We had a couple of exciting races today and hopefully they were good to watch. It was unfortunate against [David] Chapman because that was the crucial one we needed to win and we couldn’t get the boat speed going after being late pushing him towards the start line.
'We made our fair share of mistakes this week and when you look back, they cost you in the end. We won more than we lost but the tie breaks didn’t go our way. We knew we had to win both today to decide our own fate and it was a painful one to lose.
'We’ll see how it goes for competing next year. With guys like Lance [Fraser] coming up and if we can bring another couple of Bermudians through from down below, I’d like to go into more of a coaching role. If we don’t see that, we might be back.'
The Argo Group Gold Cup Quarter Finals will take place tomorrow, Friday 5 October from 1000AM local time (GMT-3).
Argo Group Gold Cup, Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda – Quarter Finals:
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Argo Group vs. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing vs. David Chapman (AUS) Flying Wasp Racing
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team vs. Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team vs. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Argo Group Gold Cup, Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda – Final Qualifying Standings:
Taylor Canfield (ISV) 8-1
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 7-2
Ian Williams (GBR) 6-3
David Chapman (AUS) 5-4
Blythe Walker (BER) 5-4
Stratis Andreadis (GRE) 4-5
William Tiller (NZL) 4-5
Marek Stanczyk (POL) 3-6
Peter Wickwire (CAN) 3-6
Magnus Sandberg (SWE) 0-9
Adam Minoprio (NZL) 8-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 6-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 6-3
Eric Monnin (SUI) 5-4
Sally Barkow (USA) 5-4
Henrique Haddad (BRA) 4-5
Lance Fraser (BER) 4-5
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) 4-5
Sergy Musikkin (RUS) 3-6
Jurjen Feitsma (NED) 0-9
World Match Racing Tour website