Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

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
Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Barz Optics - FloatersZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Douglas Elmes emerges victorious
Hamilton harbor set the stage for the final race of the 2012 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup. Hamilton harbor set the stage for the final race of the 2012 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup. Swiss sailor Damian Suri besting the fleet of 38 international and Bermuda sailors to win the tenth anniversary Renaissance Re trophy for his first place finish.
Posted on 9 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Canfield sweeps the finals
In Hamilton, Bermuda, Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team Chicago Match Race Center swept the finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup. In Hamilton, Bermuda, Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team Chicago Match Race Center swept the finals of the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, etching his name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and taking home a check for $50,000 by defeating Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3-0.
Posted on 8 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Semi Finals continue in Bermuda
On Saturday morning at the Argo Group Gold Cup, skippers 5-8 from the Quarter Finals sailed a knock-out series. During competition Saturday morning at the Argo Group Gold Cup, skippers 5-8 from the Quarter Finals sailed a knock-out series to determine their finishes. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Argo Group got to choose his opponent and selected the young Aussie David Chapman. That left Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team to race Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team in the other consolation match.
Posted on 7 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Quarter Final pairings decided
At the Argo Group Gold Cup, as top qualifier in the round robin matches, Adam Minoprio should have had first choice. At the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, as top qualifier in the round robin matches, Adam Minoprio (NZL) should have had first choice of opponent in the Quarter Finals. But he left the Royal Bermuda YC before the draw and his choice went to the second placed skipper, Taylor Canfield (ISV). Now the New Zealander faces the top ranked British match racer Ian Williams.
Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - The stage is set in Bermuda
At the tenth annual Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, Thomas di Luciano of Argentina had a great start on day one. At the tenth annual Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, Thomas di Luciano of Argentina - who is in first place with ten points after one day of racing, had a great start to this Optimist Class Championship of Champions. 'Each race got better and better for me,' he said. 'At first, I was adapting to conditions, but by the last race I felt I was sailing well.'
Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Early advantage for Minoprio and Canfield
At the Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, Adam Minoprio and Taylor Canfield, each topped their qualifying groups. In Hamilton, Bermuda, Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) 2009 Champion, Adam Minoprio and US Virgin Islands’ Taylor Canfield, each topped their qualifying groups at the Argo Group Gold Cup today. With Quarter Final opponents chosen for tomorrow, the pair hold the early advantage in the race for the historic King Edward VII Gold Cup.
Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Intense day 2 in Bermuda
Day two of racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup, stage 7 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, was as intense as the first Day two of racing at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, stage 7 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, was just as intense as the first. Both groups sailed four more flights of four matches each. There were some shakeups from Tuesday's standings, but the cream is rising to the top.
Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Argo Group Gold Cup - Minoprio unbeaten on day 2
In Hamilton, Bermuda, former Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) Champion, Adam Minoprio, went unbeaten on day two. In Hamilton, Bermuda, former Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) Champion, Adam Minoprio, went unbeaten on the day two of racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup, an event he finished second at in 2008 and 2009. Now he is hoping to finish with a clean sweep tomorrow to secure the first pick of Quarter Final opponents.
Posted on 4 Oct 2012
A look back at the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup is set to get underway this Thursday, October 4th. 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.
Posted on 4 Oct 2012
WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup - The battle is on in Bermuda
At the Argo Group Gold Cup, Blythe Walker and youngster Lance Fraser have gotten their challenge off to a strong start. At the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, Bermuda National Match Racing Champion, Blythe Walker and youngster Lance Fraser have gotten their challenge off to a strong start on the first day of competition, as the local favourites went head-to-head against the world’s top match racers at the Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s (AWMRT) penultimate stage.
Posted on 3 Oct 2012