Please select your home edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Argo Group Gold Cup - Game of snakes and ladders

by Alpari World Match Racing Tour on 13 Oct 2013
Umpires at the Argo Group Gold Cup, Bermuda, part of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. ©onEdition
For the Semi Final round of the Argo Group Gold Cup, the penultimate round of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, today English conditions prevailed on Hamilton Harbour as a trough passed over Bermuda bringing with it ultra-light winds and drizzly rain.

Matters were made no easier for the Race Committee when in the middle of proceedings, the wind turned inside out and there was a 180° wind shift. As a result only the first flight of Semi Finals racing was sailed.

Racing got underway with the races to determine fifth to eight place. These culminated with Bjorn Hansen’s eWork Sailing Team coming out on top after beating Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing and Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar teams.

'We were happy with today for sure,' said Hansen. 'It was extremely tricky out there, but we had a little bit of luck and we managed to make the best of the situation.'

The conditions resulted in a game of snakes and ladders across all the matches. In his one against Swinton, Hansen was ahead by four to five boat lengths, but conditions were so light on the right that the Australians were able to come back into them.

'Then we got a penalty just before the top mark,' recounted Hansen. 'We sailed past the top mark and tacked, and he tacked on the inside and wanted mark room, which he didn’t have and he had a penalty there.' This left both boats with penalties and Hansen with a red flag. 'He was very focussed on shouting at the umpires, so we could get up and increase the separation and then got down behind him to take our penalty. Now we were behind and he had a penalty.'

While the Swedes went to get the point, Swinton felt that Hansen hadn’t taken his red flag as ‘immediately’ as he should have, but admitted: 'We made a mistake and we paid for it.'

Swinton went on to dispatch Phil Robertson in the inter-Antipodean dust-up to decide seventh and eighth places, where his Aussie team came out on top. 'We managed to keep good speed in the boat in the pre-start and he went back to the line a bit early and we had some speed and that was that,' said Swinton of how that panned out.

Meanwhile Hansen went on to beat Ian Williams in the match to establish the fifth and sixth placed finishers.

Williams was still bemoaning his team’s Quarter Final performance yesterday, where, having come out on top in Qualifying and picking Taylor Canfield as his opponent, he then lost to the US Virgin Islander, 1-3.

'It was all about yesterday for us,' the GAC Pindar skipper admitted. 'We needed to get third or better here to count this result, so once we weren’t in the Semi Finals we were kind of done. In hindsight there were some key moments we didn’t quite get right. In both those last two races yesterday we just couldn’t get the boat quite locked in.'

After the massive wind shift and a delay, the Semi-Finals got underway. Ben Ainslie’s team got the better of Adam Minoprio’s Team Alpari FX. 'It was very frustrating,' recounted Minoprio. 'The wind was light and shifty and as soon as the gun went it got even lighter and shiftier to the point where it was almost a bit of a drift-off.' Ainslie got the right out of the start and proceeded to extend away from there, with the Kiwi team having no chance to get back into the match.

The first Semi Final race between Francesco Bruni’s Luna Rossa team and Taylor Canfield USone was a nail biter with the Italian team just pipping the US Virgin Islander to the post.

'Normally light wind races are boring, but today was anything but boring!' said Bruni. 'We were ahead and they passed us and then we were ahead to head and then we got a penalty. But we picked up a couple of good shifts down the final run and we were head to head again and in the end I think we won by maybe 20cm. We were very excited when we crossed the line!'

Bruni felt that the Race Committee had made the right decision to stop racing after just one Semi-Final today. 'To decide the semi-finals in good conditions tomorrow is for sure the right call.'

With the forecast for the breeze to fill in to 10-12 knots from the northeast, the plan for tomorrow is to complete the Semi-Finals races before going into the Finals.

Meanwhile the Alpari World Match Racing Tour card holders are contemplating what effect the Argo Group Gold Cup results will mean for the leaderboard going into the final event of the 2013 circuit, December’s Monsoon Cup.

With Ian Williams being knocked out in the Quarter Finals, Taylor Canfield looks set to become the new leader of the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

'From here it all really hinges on how Taylor does here,' confides Ian Williams. 'If he wins here he’ll have a really big lead going into Malaysia, but if he comes fourth and he’ll have a small lead leaving Bjorn [Hansen], Adam [Minoprio] and us reasonably close overall.'

Semi Final Results (first to three) after one race

Ben Ainslie (GBR) beat Adam Minoprio 1-0
Francesco Bruni (ITA) beat Taylor Canfield (ISV) 1-0

Fifth to Eighth Place Final Results

5th - Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
6th - Ian Williams (GBR)
7th - Keith Swinton (AUS)
8th - Phil Robertson (AUS)

Zhik Yachting 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Exit interview with Josh Adams, US Sailing's Olympic boss, part one
I caught up with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing at US Sailing, for a two-part job-exit interview. While the USA is a historically strong sailing nation, the team suffered a medal-ceremony shutout at the London 2012 Olympics. A planned leadership change transpired and Josh Adams was named Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. Unfortunately, the job requires constant travel, which doesn’t mix with raising kids and Adams recently resigned. I talked with him for a two-part job-exit interview.
Posted on 26 Oct
Vendée Globe – Master of the School of Hard Knocks
Jérémie Beyou ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition. His two last attempts ended in early abandons. Triumphant in the summer's warm up New York – Vendée Transatlantic Race and three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, the incredibly competitive solo one design classic stage offshore race which is sailed each summer in 32-foot one design Bénéteau Figaro 2s, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Overall winner announced
The Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino is the overall winner This race crew was a mix of Italians and British sailors who have raced all over the world under the Mascalzone Latino banner and with great success.
Posted on 26 Oct
The Gitana Team Series – Awakening the senses – Smell
This week, Sébastien Josse has left the Vendée to hook up with his Breton way of life, at home, not far from Lorient. It is just eleven days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. In Port Olona, the public is out in force, the village and the pontoons are always full and the pressure mounts a little more each day for the twenty-nine solo sailors, who will set sail on 6 November 2016.
Posted on 26 Oct
Melges 24 World Championship in Miami – 30 days to go
This championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year. With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Will they, won't they?
Tension was heightened as the door opened by Rambler 88’s finish in the early hours was widened further by more arrivals It was a trickle of finishers rather than a flood, but there was drama all the same, where the battle to secure class wins and post a claim to the overall title raged throughout the day. With the forecast suggesting a period of fading breeze on the course area, the race pendulum was swinging in favour of the bigger, faster yachts. The incentive to keep pushing to the finish was evident.
Posted on 26 Oct
Spithill won tricky day at Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race
Australian long-time match racing skipper Katie Spithill prepared for her yearly Busan appearance by running a marathon. Australian long-time match racing skipper Katie Spithill prepared for her yearly Busan appearance by running a marathon. Her Wednesday on the waters outside Haeundae Beach was a bit less gruelling than that, with three straight wins and no losses.
Posted on 26 Oct
2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race - The big picture
107 yachts started 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy 107 yachts started the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy, awarded to the best yacht racing under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 26 Oct
Atlantic Cup is first sports event in U.S. to be ISO 20121 Compliant
The Atlantic Cup announced that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing announced today that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. In addition, the Atlantic Cup’s official carbon offset supplier, We are Neutral, announced it has calculated and offset the carbon footprint of the 2016 race.
Posted on 25 Oct
Vendée Globe – A fighting spirit
Just to be in Les Sables d'Olonne preparing for the start is in itself the realisation of dream he has held for 30 years Just to be in Les Sables d'Olonne preparing for the start is in itself the realisation of dream he has held for 30 years. His race will honour the legacy of the remarkable Yukoh Tada his mentor who gave up driving a taxi in Tokyo to race in the first BOC race around the world in 1982-3, winning his class, Class two when Philippe Jeantot won the race.
Posted on 25 Oct