Argo Group Gold Cup - Williams out, Robertson in

Argo Group Gold Cup - Match Racing Championship - Bermuda. Day 4 - Phil Robertson (NZL) advances to the Semi-final round of the Argo Group Gold Cup defeating #1 ranked Ian Williams 3-0 in the quarter finals. Credit: Talbot Wilson/RBYC/PPL
Talbot Wilson - Copyright
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing knocked off #1 seed Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar/Argo Group yesterday with a perfect performance in the Quarter-finals of the 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup.

The World Match Racing Tour leader and #1 ranked ISAF open match racer went down 3-0 to the young Kiwi. Robertson and WAKA team mates Sam Bell, Garth Ellingham and James Williamson. They led Williams around the course in each match.

The second Semi-final berth went to Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat. He also had a perfect run of three bullets against Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners. Mirsky was overpowering in upwind work and skilfully handled the 25 knot puffs downwind in the rock 'n roll conditions on Hamilton Harbour.

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team defeated Staffan Lindberg’s (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 3-1 in the Quarters to be the third team ito make the Semi-finals. He came through to the Quarter-finals the hard way, coming out in the top two from a three team sail-off tiebreaker in the morning Repechage. Berntsson won a thrilling Repechage sail-off match with Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing. Berntsson, who took an early penalty, led at the last windward mark by 18 seconds and extended that further going downwind in the big gusts. He made his penalty turn around the pin and crossed the line just a bow length ahead of the Italian for the big win. Berntsson kept his winning way in the Quarters, defeating Staffan Lindberg’s (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 3-1.

Racing on Friday was intense. The wind was 12-25 knots from the northeast, so it was slicing right throuth Hamilton’s waterfront buildings and the Hamilton Princess Hotel. Big puffs were roling down the course and sailors were forced to sail with what wind they had at the moment. Picking shifts wasn’t easy. The favored side varied depending on the timing of the big gusts.

The six–team Repechage (second chance) round-robin turned out to include a ‘re-repechage’ as well. This was the second Gold Cup in a row to have a three-way unbreakable tie at the top. The tiebreaker included Berntsson, Bruni and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and it was resolved on the water, not by a count back. Berntsson and Bruni were drawn first. Then Bruni, the loser, sailed a match with Hansen. Bruni won that to move on to the Quarter-final matches.
In the Quarters, Bruni’s match against Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team stood at 2-2 when twilight fell to darkness. The deciding race is delayed until this morning.

That single race will fill the Semi-finals and the draw for opponents will be held after its conclusion. The Argo Group Gold Cup ativities today, includes a sponsor’s Pro-Am, racing in the semi-finals and the 5-8 competition. The winner of the Gold Cup takes $50,000 of the $100,000 prize purse. The remainder is divided among the second through eighth place teams.

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More information about the Argo Group Gold Cup here

Exciting live coverage of Argo Group Gold Cup action is available daily at The ‘WMRT Morning Show’ and ‘WMRT Today. Show’ with Hannah White are also shown on, providing a preview and wrap up of the racing each day from Hamilton Harbour.

The Argo Group Gold Cup schedule, skipper bios, groups and pairings for the Qualiying Rounds are posted on the web at

Daily press conferences at the Royal Bermuda YC are open to the public and start at 5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday.

The Argo Group Gold Cup is followed on the World Match Racing Tour by their prestigious season ending finale, The Monsoon Cup, sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.