Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 5

A look back at the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup

by Laurie Fullerton/RBYC on 4 Oct 2012
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) a former Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup skipper beat Bjorn Hansen in their Qualifying round robin match Group 2 sailed on Day 1 of the Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 7 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. © Talbot Wilson / Argo Group Gold Cup http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup is set to get underway this Thursday, October 4th and already most of the sixteen international competitors from fifteen countries and many of the 22 Bermudian competitors have been out practicing on the Great Sound. While the site of a fleet of Optimist dinghies heading out to deep water is always impressive, the myriad of countries represented on the boats really offers a glimpse as to how wide ranging Opti sailing is.

Yet, for these Junior Gold Cup sailors –this may also be the start of a legacy of competitive sailing. The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup is now celebrating its 10th year with Renaissance Re as its title sponsor. Some of the sailors who first came here as youngsters are back. As adults Lance Fraser of Bermuda, Taylor Canfield of the USVI and Nicolai Sehested of Denmark are all racing here in the Argo Group Gold Cup. All three are skippers racing now for some of the $100,000 in Gold Cup prize money and a spot for their name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

That is the legacy of an event that has consistently invited promising young sailors who are 13 or 14 years old to compete and make their first real debut in professional level sailing where they meet sponsors, professional competitors from their home country racing in the Argo Group Gold Cup. They also get the rare opportunity to race in the warm waters of Bermuda – something that is hard to forget.

'We are delighted to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Junior Gold Cup – an event for which RenaissanceRe has been the founding and sole sponsor since its inception. The event draws young sailors of the highest caliber from all over the world, while showcasing Bermuda and celebrating a sport that has long been a part of the island’s heritage,' said Neill Currie, CEO of RenaissanceRe. 'It has been particularly rewarding over the years to recognize some of the sailors we sponsored as juniors taking part in the adult event.'

Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested still recalls his time as a youngster sailing here in the Junior Gold Cup in 2003.

'To this day I still talk about coming to Bermuda and sailing here when I was 13, said Sehested, who is sailing in his first ever Argo Group Gold Cup this year as skipper. 'I never forgot meeting Danish sailors Jasper Radich and Jes Gram-Hansen who were my sailing heroes back then and today I actually compete with them in various regattas.' Sehested is also coaching youth sailors himself and is keeping a close eye on the two Danish sailors competing here in the Junior Gold Cup.

'I tell the junior sailors to pay attention while they are here because they might find themselves coming back in 10 years to match race,' Sehested said.

Taylor Canfield of the USVI has now sailed in three Argo Group Gold Cup competitions. He first came here and raced against young Nickolai in 2003. At that time, his sailing hero was USVI sailing legend Peter Holmberg who has remained a mentor and a good friend.

'I sailed here at age 13 in the Junior Gold Cup and it was kind of a life altering experience because I started to really want to become a match racing sailor,' said Canfield, 23, who heads up the Chicago Match Racing Center in Chicago. Canfield also hopes that during this week’s Gold Cup that he qualifies for a wild card spot at the Monsoon Cup, the final event on the World Match Racing Tour. 'If you want something enough or like it enough, it is important to follow your passion and I really began finding that out when I came here as a youngster,' Canfield said. 'Talent is important but doing something over and over again helps you win.'

For Bermudians Lance Fraser and 2012 Olympian Jesse Kirkland who are competing now in their third Argo Group Gold Cup, starting as Junior Gold Cup Opti sailors had a big impact on them. I think young sailors should take advantage of every opportunity in sailing.' Lance Fraser said. 'It didn’t seem quite real to me then but it is really a great experience. What is cool for me now is that people like Taylor and Nickolai are now people I sail against in different regattas, they are colleagues and now friends, too.'

There is no doubt that after 10 years, the Junior Gold Cup is shaping futures and leaving a lasting impact on young people – who seem to never lose their love for Bermuda.

RenRe Junior Gold Cup website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Schaefer 2016 660x82Southern Spars - 100Naiad