Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Argo Group Gold Cup - Elite return for battle

by Laurie Fullerton on 20 Aug 2013
Close downwind action - Argo Group Gold Cup © Talbot Wilson / Argo Group Gold Cup http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
For match race sailors, the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Argo Group Gold Cup, is a golden road to one of sailing’s holy grails, the America’s Cup. The legacy of this event has its unique rewards as we witness the return this year of Sir Ben Ainslie. He’ll join four other previous Gold Cup winners along with nine of the top ten skippers in the ISAF Open rankings and all of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour Cardholder skippers.

This year will be the 63rd staging of races for the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and the sixth with Argo Group’s support as title sponsor. Since the event was reformatted for match racing in 1985, the King Edward VII Gold Cup trophy has been held aloft by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts of New Zealand (seven times), four-time Olympic gold medalist Ainslie of the United Kingdom (twice), and the youngest America’s Cup winner- James Spithill of Australia.

Mark Watson III, President and CEO of Argo Group is understandably excited about 2013.'This will be our sixth year as title sponsor of this classic match race sailed for the spectacular King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy. Argo Group is proud to see this world class slate of skippers and crews coming to Bermuda again this year.

'Each year we have something new and this year we will move the Family Festival of Sail to the Sunday before racing starts. Skippers and crews will be registering, but the day’s focus will be on introducing young Bermudians and their families to our maritime history and watersports through the festival. The Argo Group Gold Cup finals will be the best and only show in town a week later. The younger generation of competitors always presents a tough challenge to the stars of the past during the Argo Group Gold Cup competition which makes this race especially exciting.'


Ainslie, who is the most successful sailor in Olympic history, won the Cup consecutively in 2009 and 2010. His classic approach to sailing Bermuda’s IODs, and his style and grace on and off the water have made him a true fan favorite here in Bermuda. The spectator fleet swells whenever he is on the racecourse. In a previous interview, Ainslie expressed his special affinity with the Gold Cup event, enjoying its traditions, the International One Design and especially the friends he has made here.

'We feel lucky because we love this venue,' said Ainslie. 'We like the boats and they are challenging. The atmosphere is great and we have a lot of friends here. We are returning this year to focus attention on the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) that has been established since Bart’s tragic death in San Francisco this year. The Ben Ainslie Racing Team, called BART, is racing in the Argo Group Gold Cup to raise awareness for this worthwhile cause in memory of our late friend and fellow sailor. Bart and the charity are the reason we are racing, as well as the reason we are getting the band back together.

Ainslie’s ties to Bermuda go back to junior sailing. He first competed in Bermuda in 1995 winning the ISAF Youth Worlds Single Handed title. During the 2008 Argo Group Gold Cup, Ainslie was the skipper and Simpson was the team advisor. The team spent a lot of time talking to the young Optimist sailors gathered in Bermuda from around the world.


Ben spoke of Bart in a recent article in the Daily Telegraph saying, 'Our friendship stretched right back to when we were boys coming up through the ranks. We started out against each other in Optimists… me, Iain Percy, Bart and a lot of the other sailors still going strong today, guys like Nick Rogers and Chris Draper. We grew up together.'

Ben's crew from 2008 returns to Bermuda once again and includes the current Skipper of the Artemis America's Cup Team and double Olympic Gold Medalist Iain Percy. Iain will be Tactician and Mainsheet Trimmer. Multiple Gold Cup Winner Christian Kamp will be jib trimmer and Ben's former Team Origin bowman Matt Cornwall, affectionately known as 'Catflap' throughout the yachting world will be aboard.

The return of Sir Ben Ainslie to Bermuda for the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup adds a touch of high drama to this star studded event. He has been off the Tour since 2010 and will challenge the fleet. It is a full slate of eight Alpari World Match Racing Tour Card Holders and the four other past Tour champions who will be on hand heading up the two groups of teams in the qualifying round robin. Joining them on the event ladder will be eight other top ranked skippers and some up and coming teams including four automatic qualifiers.

The Argo Group Gold Cup has also benefited –over the past ten years – from RenaissanceRe’s sponsorship of the Junior Gold Cup Optimist dinghy event. The Junior Gold Cup is credited – in part – for inspiring the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup winner Taylor Canfield, Team USone. Canfield, 24, is a U.S. Virgin Islander who bested a field of 19-teams last year to become the first American citizen to raise the Cup aloft since his countryman Peter Holmberg won in 2001.


The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup was in its early years in 2004 when Canfield, age 13, was invited to attend and tagged along with the older and much revered Gold Cup winner Peter Holmberg of the USVI who was competing in the Gold Cup.

'I was competing on the last day of the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup and there was another competitor challenging me and we were going after a win. We started to really match race in our Optis – at age 13 – right here in Hamilton harbor. I got a taste of it then…and it did have a big influence on me as the Gold Cup was going on around us.' Canfield said.

Talented and congenial, Canfield is clearly following a passion for match racing that was ignited right here in Bermuda. He has carried that passion as a Tour Card Holder in the 2013 season. Canfield will defend his Bermuda title hot off a win in the Chicago Match Cup in his home waters. He had a second in the Korean Match Cup, a fifth in Match Race Germany but sank to eleventh in the Stena Match Cup Sweden.

Canfield stands second on the Tour coming into the Argo Group Gold Cup, tied with Adam Minoprio, Team Alpari FX (NZ). They are just nine points behind Tour Champion Ian Williams, GAC Pindar (GBR) and only one point ahead of Bjorn Hansen, eWork Sailing Team (SWE).

With this unique mix of teams from America’s Cup skippers, to past Gold Cup champions to rising stars, the battle will be on in Bermuda. Will a rising star or a seasoned salt hoist the Cup? Get ready for some fantastic match racing in the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup to tell the tale. WMRT website

Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 - Day 2
Six to eight foot seas off island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and mix of rain and sun all added to fun. The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) proved its reputation as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' by superbly delivering on its signature mix of round the rocks and round the buoy courses on the event's second day of competition. What's more, six to eight foot seas off the island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and a mix of rain and sun all added to the fun.
Posted today at 8:45 am
St. Thomas International Regatta - Day 2 action-shots by Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 8:27 am
St. Thomas International Regatta – Day 1 – Wind was the word
Competitors in the Large Offshore Multihull Class especially reveled in the afternoon breeze. These polar-opposite conditions plus the challenge of round the islands rather than strictly buoy racing proved the talk of why some of the best sailors in the Caribbean, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand put STIR on their list of must-do’ regattas each year.
Posted today at 6:36 am
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Gaëtan Thomas
This summer Gaëtan Thomas will make history as the first Belgian Skipper to lead a team around the world in Clipper Race This summer Gaëtan Thomas will make history as the first Belgian Skipper to lead a team around the world in the Clipper Race.
Posted today at 5:08 am
World Match Racing Tour - Images from Perth
Image gallery from the first round of the World Match Racing Tour sailed in Perth, Western Australia Image gallery from the first round of the World Match Racing Tour sailed in Perth, Western Australia
Posted on 25 Mar
World Match Racing Tour - Phil Robertson shows how it is done in Perth
Phil Robertson, the reigning world champion, made it look easy as he cruised to a 3–0 victory New Zealand’s Phil Robertson, the reigning world champion, made it look easy as he cruised to a 3–0 victory in the final of the Match Cup Australia, beating local skipper Matt Jerwood. “It was a very, very good day for us,” was Robertson’s description of the final.
Posted on 25 Mar
Bureau Vallée 2 back in the water in Brittany
The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water on Friday in Lorient (Brittany), with her new decoration in the colours of Bureau Vallée.
Posted on 25 Mar
Match Cup Australia – Home town bonanza
David Gilmour had gone through 3 – 1 against Taylor Canfield, and Torvar Mirsky similarly eliminated Yann Guichard. Local skipper Matt Jerwood certainly overplayed the anxiety card on his way to becoming the third Western Australian skipper to make it through to the semi-finals
Posted on 24 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Wendy Tuck
For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. And as a result, she’s set to make history in the Clipper 2017-18 Race as the first Australian skipper to complete the arduous ocean challenge twice.
Posted on 24 Mar
Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar