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Argo Group Gold Cup - Williams and Ainslie tie

by Talbot Wilson on 9 Oct 2013
Berntsson defeated Canfield in early action in the Group 1, stage 1 Qualifying round-robin at the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 5 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, in Hamilton BERMUDA. © Talbot Wilson / Argo Group Gold Cup http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
In Argo Group Gold Cup action Tuesday, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion and current leader on the Tour, has had a top day in Group two racing. He stands undefeated at 4-0. Ainslie, fresh from the super fast, high flying Oracle AC72, is locked at the top with his countryman at 4-0 as well. They will meet Wednesday on the course.

From the first race of the first flight in Argo Group Gold Cup, penalty flags flew fast and furious. The biggest penalty was on Bermuda’s Lance Fraser (BER) Digicel Business Match Racing in his first race. He fouled Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing after rounding the weather mark, got a yellow flag, a red flag and another yellow before getting a DSQ black flag for not taking his penalty turn promptly. That was a tough end to his first race.

The 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup is a minefield of talent: The top 11 ISAF Match Race sailors plus Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) BART, Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX, and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa who are outside of that group, have the talent and past history to be ranked near the top. Both groups are filled with past Gold Cup winners and lots of young talent. Every win in Bermuda has and will be tough.

In Stage one there are 11 four-race flights per group and one more one-race flight for each group. That’s a lot of opportunity to win or loose. Only the top four in each group move on to the Quarter Finals.


To say any one team is winning in either group would be a guess at this point since the round robin isn’t half finished. But some teams are doing better than others.

In Group, one, Adam Minoprio has three wins, Bruni and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team are on two wins and no losses, but have sailed one less race because of a bye and boat damage for Berntsson, and a bye plus a boat damage problem for Bruni. The match they missed was to be against each other. That is coming up later. Simone Farrarese (ITL) Ferrarese Racing Team has 2-1. Defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone has a 2-2 record.

Group two started racing later than expected because of repairs to boats damaged in the heavy morning squalls. They got five full flights in on Tuesday while the first group only got in three and a half flights. Group 1 had been delayed earlier because of damage and a torrential downpour and high winds from a passing squall. For racing, winds were 15-18 out of the South Southeast with higher gusts here and there.


Racing begins again at 9:00 ADT Wednesday with racing in Group two. Group one races in the afternoon. The Round-Robin concludes Thursday morning if racing goes as planned.
Bermuda weather forecast

Wednesday - Winds southeasterly 10 to 15 knots, veering southerly 8 to 12 knots in evening...

Thursday - Winds south-southwesterly 8 to 12 knots, veering southwesterly 5 to 10 knots later...

Friday - Winds southwesterly 5 to 10 knots...

Saturday - Winds southwesterly 5 to 10 knots, becoming variable 5 knots later

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