Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Youth champions to compete in Bermuda

by Laurie Fullerton on 4 Oct 2013
Racing in the final race of the 2012 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup. Skippers from 15 countries and Bermuda, their host, sailed 11 races during Argo Gold Cup Race Week. In 2013, 13 National champions will compete with four other international champions and about 40 young Bermuda sailors. Talbot Wilson - Copyright
The 11th annual RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup, a fall classic, returns to Bermuda’s shores on Oct. 10-13 - a championship of champion’s event for the world’s top Optimist dinghy sailors. With 13 international champions from 17 countries overall, the world’s best will compete in a regatta that includes some 40 Bermudians ranging in age from nine to 15.

The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup, held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club ,not only offers many young Bermudians their first taste of international competition, this event is clearly emerging as fertile ground for future world-class sailors. Because it coincides with the Argo Group Gold Cup – the penultimate race on the World Match Racing Tour – the youngsters meet, watch and learn from the best match racing sailors competing today. And many are in fact alumni of past Junior Gold Cup’s including 2012 Gold Cup winner Taylor Canfield of the US Virgin Islands who is returning this year to defend his title.

This event is key to Bermuda’s sailors in that it gives them international experience. They are training in excellent sailing conditions all year round together with experienced, qualified coaches, but lack an extensive and varied group of other Optimist sailors to race against. It is always a huge learning curve for a young sailor to have the chance to line up against some top-level sailors from other nations.

This year’s RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup features top international sailors including Lukas Hesse, 14, of Germany who was seventh in the 2013 IODA World Championships. Additional top competitors include Milo Gill-Taylor, 13, the 2013 UK National Champion, Max Quirk from Australia, and Enrique Saavedra from Mexico. In keeping with this event, when last year’s first and second place competitors were from Ireland and Argentina respectively, these two countries have sent strong competitors in Harry Durcan of Ireland and Santiago Duncan of Argentina.

For Bermudians, this will be the last Jr Gold Cup event for Ceci Wollmann, who is moving to the Byte where Bermuda has just qualified for a spot in the in the Youth Olympic Games in China in 2014. Her ninth place finish at this year's IODA North American Championships make her one of this event’s top sailors. She will also sail in the Bermuda Nationals.

Additionally, young and upcoming sailor Campbell Patton, 12, is one to keep an eye on. He was second at the Canadian Nationals behind Canadian Jack Rieder, also here for Junior Gold Cup, and travelled all summer sailing regattas in Italy, UK and Canada.

There will also be something electric happening for Bermuda’s RBYC and Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association (BODA) Squad this coming Saturday with Sir Ben Ainslie of Great Britain – who has won this event twice –running a special clinic for the Bermuda Opti sailors the weekend prior to their Junior Gold Cup races.

'Sir Ben Ainslie is broadly recognized as the best sailor in the world. He has proved himself to be a winner at all levels of the sport starting at Optimists, progressing to Youth, National, International, Olympics and now the America's Cup. Five Olympic Medals was already an inspiring achievement, but now the America's Cup as well,' said Ben Nicholls, who is the chairman of Junior Sailing at the RBYC. 'Sir Ben and Bart Simpson grew up together sailing in Optimists, they went on to win Olympic Gold Medals and to compete at the America's Cup.'

'There will not be a child in the room who will fail to be inspired by this true legend of our sport. I believe Sir Ben will encourage the kids to believe in themselves and to believe that if there is something they want to achieve, it is up to them to go and achieve it,' Nicholls continued. 'A champion delivering that sort of message will inspire them to go off and sail their hearts out at the Junior Gold Cup.'

While Junior Gold Cup racing occurs for three days on the Great Sound, the final race of the event occurs on Sunday in Hamilton harbor in front of the large spectator fleet gathered for the finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup. After competing away from the crowds, the final race in front of the television cameras is unique to this event and sometimes life-altering. According to 2012 Gold Cup Champion Taylor Canfield, the final race of the Junior Gold Cup did give him a taste for match racing that has stayed with him to this day. It is likely that other Junior Gold Cup alumni will agree.

'Taylor Canfield – who is ranked number one in the world – is of course the most famous Junior Gold Cup graduate to date and is back to defend his title,' said Somers Cooper, who is the event director of the RenassainceRe Junior Gold Cup. 'And, closer to home, during this year’s Bermuda Match Race Nationals to qualify for the Gold Cup, the top three skippers were all graduates of the Junior Gold Cup.'

A Junior Gold Cup winner in 2005, Josh Greenslade won a spot in the Argo Group Gold Cup this year, after sailing against Lance Fraser. Fraser, also a Junior Gold Cup alumnus, is now working at the Chicago Match Racing Center in Chicago with Taylor Canfield. The third sailor was Jesse Kirkland, 2012 Olympian in the 49'er class and Junior Gold Cup participant. All three of these sailors will be racing in this year’s Gold Cup.

This championship of champions event is continuing to be not only the first taste of international competition for some Bermudian youngsters it is also fast becoming a chance for our sporting legends to return and give back to the next generation. Whatever the outcome, watching young Optimist skippers at the top of their game sail with heart and soul put on the line is always a huge and unique part of this RenRe Junior Gold Cup website
Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Sails V GennakerBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

2016 RS800 European Championship - Day 4
Day 4 of RS800 European Championship was a simple affair: we launched, the Ora arrived and we sailed two fantastic races Day 4 of the RS800 European Championship was a simple affair: we launched, the Ora arrived and we sailed two fantastic races in a glorious 14-16 knot breeze and then came ashore and had a pasta party and a couple of beers. OK you want to know the detail? Well here goes...
Posted today at 3:14 am
2016 RS800 European Championship - Day 3
Day 3 of the RS800 European Championship gave the fleet the opportunity to catch up the race schedule Day 3 of the RS800 European Championship gave the fleet the opportunity to catch up the race schedule, so after a leisurely morning spent tinkering with boats and enjoying a light lunch (or late breakfast for some), the fleet entered the water just before 1300hrs to sail three races.
Posted today at 3:10 am
Tight battle for top spots on penultimate day of the OK Dinghy Worlds
Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. First out was Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Mats Caap (SWE). Caap led around the top mark, but Hansson-Mild took the lead offwind and led to the finish to find his sail number on the black board for a black flag starting penalty, along with five others.
Posted on 28 Jul
Smith and Needham take title by a squeak at 505 UK Nationals Regatta
Like a cat playing with a mouse, the wind knocked the fleet from side to side before showing a bit of tooth and claw With three races scheduled, the slightly earlier start time of 11am seemed to surprise a few competitors and many would have missed the start of the first race of the day and the third in the series had it not been for a short postponement due to a wind shift in the original starting sequence.
Posted on 28 Jul
Jake Lilley bridges the experience gap as he prepares for Rio Olympics
Lilley is one of the tallest and heaviest Finn sailors in Rio, but also, at just 23 years old, one of the youngest. An intensely physical sailor Lilley stands head and shoulders over most of the fleet and is beginning to show some of his huge potential on the racecourse, with several top results in the past year.
Posted on 28 Jul
RS Championships at Travemunder Woche
Several of the UK travellers had horrendous travelling tales, such as 18 hours to go five miles approaching Dover port. Our RS100 sailor from Australia had actually had a shorter travelling time than some! Hats off to the guys who showed real character and perseverence through such horrible journeys. Once here, everyone relaxed into the 30 degree sunshine and the amazing festival that is Travemunder Woche.
Posted on 28 Jul
RS Feva Worlds - Gold fleet closely bunched after Day 3
Beautiful day in Santander – perfect for sitting on the beach but wind was a premium commodity. Beautiful day in Santander for the 2016 PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds - perfect for sitting on the beach but wind was a premium commodity. Teams were focused, keen and eager but had to deal with the tough waiting for sufficient stable breeze to go racing.
Posted on 28 Jul
SAP 505 Nationals and Pre Worlds - Smith and Needham make early charge
Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried form shown in winning Keil Week last month into first two races of 505 UK Nationals The UK duo, Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried the form shown in winning Keil Week last month into the first two races of the 505 UK National Championships.
Posted on 28 Jul
Over 600 sailors from 43 nations to participate in Laser Youth Worlds
To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means in 2016 and 2017. This aid money can help to bring top events to Schleswig-Holstein.
Posted on 27 Jul
RS800 European Championship at Circolo Vela Torbole – Day 2
Day two of the RS800 Cup served up a hot and humid day, which would test both nerves and patience. Day two of the RS800 Cup served up a hot and humid day, which would test both nerves and patience. Race three started in an eight knots breeze, with the course laid down the middle of the lake, most of the fleet headed right using the knowledge gained yesterday, that right was breezier, however the wind gods had decided to switch sides and this time it was hard left which paid.
Posted on 27 Jul