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Sail-World.com : Ainslie early leader at King Edward VII Gold Cup

Ainslie early leader at King Edward VII Gold Cup

'Ben Ainslie’s Team Origin controls Mathieu Richard’s French Match Racing Team/French Spirit off the line in the second flight of racing in the King Edward VII Gold Cup presented by Argo Group.Photo Credit: Talbot Wilson'    WMRT ©    Click Here to view large photo

Ben Ainslie and Mattias Rahm were the first two competitors to go clear Tuesday at the King Edward VII Gold Cup being sailed on Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda. In conditions which featured blustery north breezes approaching 25 knots in strength, the action was fast and furious in the Round Robin racing.

Ben Ainslie and his Team Origin have thus far not only gone undefeated, but had most of their opponents today tied up in penalties as well. This is a far cry from his last-place performance at Match Cup Sweden, held just days before his departure for this past summer’s Olympic Games in Quingdao.

Also undefeated in is Group 1, Mattias Rahm of Sweden and his Stena Bulk Sailing Team who have not appeared in a Tour event since their win at Stage 4, Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand.

Current Tour leader Ian Williams and his Team Pindar also had an undefeated day, but due to damage sustained on rival Andy Horton’s (USA) boat in Group 2, the pair’s match today was postponed until Wednesday.

So besides Berntsson and Williams, no less than six other teams who frequent the Tour - Sebastian Col and his French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and his Alandia Sailing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing Team, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team, and Damien Iehl and his French Match Racing Team – are all on two points after the Tuesday's racing.

It’s all on for Minoprio and Koppernaes - King Edward V11 Gold Cup -  WMRT?nid=49575

Other teams on two points include Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) and Keith Swinton (AUS), while the remaining teams in the field are either on one point or are looking for their first win.

With 24 invited teams divided into three group of eight, this event has the largest field of competitors of any on the 2008 World Match Racing Tour, and after three flights of racing in each group the regular Tour team are emerging towards the top of the standings.

Round Robin racing resumes Wednesday with Group 2 starting in the morning, followed by Group 3 then Group 1.

Current standings, after 3 flights Tuesday:

GROUP 1

Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, 3-0
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 3-0
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit, 2-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 2-1
Takumi Nakamura (JPN) Team Albatross, 1-2
Chris Van Tol (USA) Van Tol Match Racing Team, 1-2
Brian Angel (USA) King Harbour Yacht Club, 0-3
Sally Barkow (USA) Team 7 Racing, 0-3

GROUP 2

Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 2-0*
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team, 2-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing Team, 2-1
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, 2-1
Andrew Horten (USA), 1-1*
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN), 1-2
Erik Koppernaes (CAN), 1-2
Jon Singsen (USA), 0-3

* match postponed until Wednesday

GROUP 3

Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge, 2-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 2-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, 2-1
Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) ETM Match Racing, 2-1
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch, 1-2
David Perry (USA), 1-2
Blythe Walker (BDA), 1-2
Donald Wilson (USA), 1-2

The two top teams from each group move on to the Quarter finals and the third and fourth place finishers in each group sail off in a 'repecharge' round robin on Thursday afternoon for their second chance to win one of the last two Quarter final slots. Following the Quarter finals on Friday, winners move into the semi finals on Saturday and the top two go to the finals on Sunday. There is a $100,000 prize purse with $50,000 going to the winner, $20,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Fourth through eighth divide the remainder.


About Argo Group:

Headquartered in Bermuda, Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII) is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in four primary segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Reinsurance. Information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com




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9:25 AM Wed 8 Oct 2008 GMT






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