WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup preview
by Talbot Wilson on 4 Oct 2011
Argo Group Gold Cup is the seventh and penultimate stage of the World Match Racing Tour and is being held from today, 4th October, to the 9th of October at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Williams vs Berntsson - Argo Group Gold Cup - World Match Racing Tour 2011 PPL Photo Agency - copyright http://www.pplmedia.com
Winning every race in the qualifying rounds of the Argo Group Gold Cup is of utmost importance. Only eight of the 24 teams will make the Quarter-Finals, and since there are eight teams in each of the three groups, even one or two losses will throw a top ranked World Match Racing Tour skipper into the six-team Repecarge round-robin. Worse, a big name can be eliminated altogether by their third day in Bermuda. Current World Match Racing Tour leader, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, has seen that movie!
During last year's Argo Group Gold Cup, Ben Ainslie, Adam Minoprio, and Ian Williams— all ranked at the top of the 2010 Tour— failed to qualify for the Quarter Finals and were pushed into the last chance Repechage. Only Minoprio and Ainslie, went up. Wiliams was knocked out along with two other of this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup contenders, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing and Bjorn Hanen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team.
In today's first match, Bermuda’s top match racer Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenRe faces Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee and Partners, last year’s runner-up and Gold Cup winner in 2002. Radich was narrowly defeated last year by Ainslie in one of ther most exciting battles in Gold Cup history. Walker’s best finish here as a skipper was a third. This should be an exciting match and set the pace for the week.
Racing starts daily at 09:00 ADT. Qualifying Rounds, scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, will decide the top two qualifiers from each group who move into the quarter-finals. Then third and fourth places in each group enter the six-boat Repecage round-robin on Thursday PM to select the final two quarter final slots. By Thursday, two-thirds of the teams will be sent packing.
The Argo Group Gold Cup schedule, skipper bios, groups and pairings for the Qualifying Rounds are posted on the event website.
Live coverage of Argo Group Gold Cup action will be available daily, starting Wednesday afternoon online. The ‘WMRT Morning Show’ and ‘WMRT Today Show’ with Hannah White are also shown on WMRT website providing a preview and wrap up of the racing each day from Hamilton Harbour.
Daily press conferences at the Royal Bermuda YC are open to the public and start at 5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is followed on the World Match Racing Tour by their prestigious season ending finale, The Monsoon Cup, sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
Argo Group Gold Cup website
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