Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup - All set for Bermuda battle

by Leigh Ireland on 2 Oct 2012
Berntsson will be looking to take a second title at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda this week © AWMRT http://www.wmrt.com
The 2012 WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup is set to take place 1st-7th October in Hamilton, Bermuda where Johnie Berntsson will line up against the nineteen other teams knowing that he must continue his impressive form at the event in order to secure his place at the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) season-finale, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. At one of his favoured events on the Tour, he’s confident that his team can succeed under pressure.

The 2008 event Champion faces a challenge to his automatic participation at the Monsoon Cup from young Australian William Tiller (AUS) Full Metal Jacket Racing, who has put himself within reach of a starting berth after a good set of results, which could see him placed as high as seventh in the overall AWMRT leaderboard next week. Tiller needs to finish significantly ahead of the Swede to give himself the best chance of a place at the season-ending event but Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team suggested that he won’t be drawn into a head-to-head battle, saying: '[Will] Tiller might be looking at our team if he needs to beat us to go to Monsoon Cup and maybe it could make the choices interesting if we have a chance to pick each other in the knockout stages.

'We’ll both have it [overall leaderboard] in mind I think but during racing it will not be a focus at all. We’ll concentrate on our own team and see where that takes us.'

His focus will remain on his own team and there is confidence in the camp that they can secure strong late-season results as they did in 2011, when going on to achieve a third-place podium position. Berntsson, continued: 'It is an important event to ensure our place Monsoon Cup but we don’t think so much about the overall Tour result. So far we’re definitely not happy with the season but here in Bermuda, we know we have the potential to go all the way. We’ll deliver some good sailing and in the past, that has brought wins.'

Berntsson has competed at the Bermuda Gold Cup five times, his first appearance coming in 2007. In that time he has become one of the favourites for the island spectators who turn out to see the world’s top match racers do battle from their base at Hamilton Harbour. Speaking of his history at the Argo Group Gold Cup, Berntsson, said: 'We won the event in 2008 and came second to Torvar [Mirsky] last year so it is certainly a regatta that we enjoy and do well at. We’ve done this event for a few of years so we’re familiar with the boats and enjoy the challenge of the shifty winds. It’s not the easiest place to find a fast way around the race course.

'The special thing about this event is that there are 20 teams here, making it much tougher to get the win. You don’t know what you’re facing with some of the guys because there are a few you won’t have met before.

'It [Argo Group Gold Cup] attracts great sailors. Some of the best up and coming guys go up against the best in the world. I remember the first time we came here we got a top eight and that was a real surprise. It’s a challenge to keep making it to the latter stages.'

Tiller fancies his chances of causing an upset and feels that his team have done enough this season to deserve a crack at the Tour’s showcase event. He said: 'We just missed out on a Tour Card this year to Laurie Jury so we’ve been competing at a lot of grade 1 and grade 2 events, including anything we could go to qualify for Tour events.

'If we’d done a full season on the Tour this year, we’re confident that we could have done well and that’s been proved with some of our results so far.

'We’ve got some good notes on the Argo Group Gold Cup from the old professionals Chris Dixon and Russell Coutts and we’ve put in some good training so we shouldn’t be too far off the pace.'

The other competing Tour Card Holders, Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, also have their own head-to-head battle lined up for Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda. A win at last week’s Match Race France in Marseille propelled Williams back into the AWMRT title race and back into contention for a record fourth ISAF Match Racing World Championship.

The pair both already have a strong sets of results which will count towards their final score but having won the bigger point scoring events - Korea Match Cup and Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen’s Mekonomen team will take a slight advantage from the average points calculated after the AGGC in Bermuda. As a result of the Portimao Portugal Match Cup withdrawal from the calendar, which Hansen had allocated as one of five point-scoring events, a score for that regatta will be attributed as an average of all of his other point-scoring events.

Despite not adding any points to his own total for the year at the Argo Group Gold Cup, Hansen will be looking to prevent his opponent from bettering his record by progressing to the event Final. However, as the Tour-experienced skipper knows from previous encounters with the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion, that is quite a task.

The local challenge will be led by Bermuda National Champion Blythe Walker (BER), who first competed at the Gold Cup in 1988 and is the most experienced in the field at sailing the IOD boats. He will be joined by 19 year-old Lance Fraser (BER) Fraser Digicell Match Racing Team who competes for a third consecutive year, having been the youngest ever competitor in 2010.

The Argo Group Gold Cup first Qualifying Session will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 2 October from 0900AM local time (GMT-3).

Alpari World Match Racing Tour Standings – After six Stages:

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar – 102
Björn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 93
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing – 79
Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing – 71
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team - 71
Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing – 65
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team – 56
William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing – 37
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – 35
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team – 29 Bermuda Gold Cup World Match Racing Tour 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
Barz Optics - FloatersKilwell - 1Schaefer 2016 660x82