Invitations to Argo Group Gold Cup sent to Tour Card teams
2010 Notice of Race posted at http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
Hamilton, Bermuda, April 16, 2010: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Argo Group have issued invitations to the 2010 Argo Group Gold Cup to the nine teams holding 2010 World Match Racing Tour Cards and to a select group of match race sailors. The Argo Group Gold Cup has a unique 24-team format.
The Tour Card holders are priority applicants and will be joined by the winners of two qualifier events in the United States and one in Bermuda. The format allows other skippers to request an invitation before May 25th. The Organising Committee plans to notify skippers of their acceptance by mid June.
The Notice of Race and applications are in <Event Information> on the web site. http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate event of the ten-stage World Match Racing Tour. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in niche areas of the property and casualty market, returns as title sponsor for the third year.
The 24-team format of the Argo Group Gold Cup is unique on the World Match Racing Tour. Nine of the team slots are available for World Tour Card holders, three are selected from qualifying events, the Knickerbocker Cup and the Toyota Detroit Cup in the USA, and the Bermuda National Match Race Championship.
The remaining teams are selected by application and invitation from among the top international match-racing sailors on the ISAF ranking list and leading and up and coming sailors identified by the RBYC. By having 24 entrants, room is available for young competitors to take on the world’s best match racers.
The 2010 World Match Racing Tour Card Holders who have been invited to the Argo Group Gold Cup are Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch, the ISAF Match Racing World Champion (2009), Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team who Finished 2nd in 2009, Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, 3rd in 2009, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzura, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team, Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Sail Bahrain.
In announcing Argo Group’s third year of title sponsorship, Mark E. Watson III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Argo Group said, “Argo Group is proud to announce our continued sponsorship of the Argo Group Gold Cup match race tournament. The Gold Cup and Argo make a perfect match as we both strive for excellence at an international level. Racing for the King Edward VII Gold Cup is a great tradition in Bermuda and attracts some of the world’s best crews.”
“Building on the success of the past two years, we look forward to working in partnership with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to make this year’s event one of the best ever. We will also be supporting the Family Festival of Sail that takes place on the finals weekend of the Argo Group Gold Cup. The Festival is designed to reach out to the broad Bermuda public and introduce them to the fun lifestyle of sailing”
Commodore Peter Shrubb, a match race umpire himself, thanked Argo Group for its continuing support and said, “Match Racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the premier event on the World Match Racing Tour. It has always been a highlight for sailors and attracts the top sailors in the International Sailing Federation’s and World Tour match race rankings as well as top America’s Cup skippers. In 2008 we introduced sailing to all Bermudans with the first Festival of Sail. That will be bigger and better in its third year in 2010.”
The prize purse for 2010 will be $100,000, with $50,000 going to the winner. Match racing sailors throughout the world are invited to apply for an invitation by contacting Audrey Pope at the RBYC Sailing Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Argo Group, key sponsors to date include The Bermuda Department of Tourism as official host, Renaissance Re, Guy Carpenter, and AON. Renaissance Re will once again sponsor the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup International Optimist Dinghy regatta sailed in Bermuda’s Great Sound and Hamilton Harbour.
About the Argo Group Gold Cup: http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/ <http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/>
Stage 9 of the World Match Race Tour
The Argo Group Gold Cup, sailed for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, is now stage 9 of the World Match Race Tour, the ISAF match-racing world championship. The Bermuda classic is the oldest match-racing competition in the world for one-design yachts. The trophy presented to the winning team was originally given at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1907 by King Edward VII in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America. C. Sherman Hoyt, a renowned American sailor, won the regatta and was presented with this now historic cup.
Through the years Bermuda has won the Cup 21 times, the United States 17 times, New Zealand 10 times, Australia 5 times, the United Kingdom 4 times, and in 2002 Denmark claimed the King Edward VII Gold Cup for the first time. The 2006 winner was Ian Williams (UK) who defeated a fleet including the 2005 winner, Luna Rosa Skipper James Spithill, who in that year had shut out Russell Coutts’ incredible string of wins. Mathieu Richard of France became the third consecutive first-time winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2007. In 2008 the cup went to Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson and his Berntsson Racing Team in the final 3-1 victory over Adam Minoprio’s Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Team. In 2009, Team Origin skipper Ben Ainslie etched his name on the coveted Gold Cup.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is the 9th out of 10 events on the 2010 World Match Race Tour’s World Championship schedule. It is sailed in Hamilton Harbour adjacent to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The venue brings world-class match racing close to shore where spectators can easily see the competition.
The 24 invited crews include nine official “World Tour Card” teams and three winners of qualifying events, the Knickerbocker Cup, the Detroit Cup and the Bermuda National Match Race Championship. Teams will be divided into three groups of 8 to sail a round robin elimination series Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The leading 8 skippers go on to the Quarter and Semi Finals, to be sailed on Friday and Saturday respectively.
The Finals take place on Sunday with the top two teams in a ‘first to three points’ head to head battle and the losing semi finalists in a ‘first to two points’ Petite Final. Between the second and third races, the course is taken over for the final race of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, which will have been underway simultaneously since Thursday in the Great Sound.
The King Edward VII Gold Cup was a founding member of the World Match Racing Tour. The tour is a ten-race series of premier international match race events. It has extensive television coverage and worldwide promotion [PLC1] reaching more than 600 million households in excess of 100 countries. A summary video of tour events can be viewed at http://www.worldmatchracingtour.com/.
About the Argo Group: https://www.argolimited.com/index.aspx <https://www.argolimited.com/index.aspx>
Global. Powerful. Committed.
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. We offer a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in three arenas: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, and International Specialty.
Argo Group clients and shareholders alike benefit from our commitment to specialization, deep expertise and dynamic relationships, creating a winning combination for mutual success.
At Argo Group, we've built a company with a fundamental purpose of securing the future and a straightforward vision to achieve outstanding results realized together.
Yes, we specialize in the products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in International Specialty, Excess and Surplus Lines and Commercial Specialty. But what does it mean to us as an organization to be an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products?
It means creating a tangible excitement with our desire to excel. Holding to our deeply rooted ethics and trust of each other's potential, to give us the daily confidence to do the right thing. Maintaining unwavering interest in the clients we serve, to forge long-lasting connections. And never to lose our trademark combination of intellectual curiosity and creative zeal, which brings bold, far-reaching ideas to our clients as they evolve their own thriving businesses.
Organization-wide, our strategy—easy to define and rewarding to deploy—is to grow hand-in-hand with our clients.
About The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club: http://www.rbyc.bm <http://www.rbyc.bm>
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a private Club and is the third oldest club holding a Royal Warrant outside the British Isles. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was established on the 1st of November 1844 by a party of thirty gentlemen, consisting largely of officers in the British Army. There are now approximately 850 resident and non-resident members.
About the World Match Racing Tour: http://www.wmrt.com/ <http://www.wmrt.com/>
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series featuring 10 World Championship events across the globe, sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with “Special Event” status.
The World Tour awards over US$1.5million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the “ISAF Match Racing World Champion”. In addition, an incentive to compete in the world’s premier sailing series just got bigger. A US$250,000 overall prize pool for the top nine teams with a $50,000 bonus for the outright winner of next year’s World Match Racing Tour is now on offer.
Events utilize the same “match race” format used in the America’s Cup with racing in event supplied identical, one design racing yachts to focus action on team work and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore for the general public to follow the races as virtual on-the-water stadiums.
Media and television highlights coverage reaches over 600 million households in excess of 100 countries around the world.
Mathieu Richard tops entry list For Argo Group Gold Cup
Seven of nine World Match racing Tour Card team to meet in Bermuda
2010 Notice of Race posted at http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
Hamilton, Bermuda, June 3, 2010: With the Argo Group Gold Cup final entry deadline looming on June 15, French Match Racing Team Skipper Mathieu Richard and Adam Minoprio of Black Match Racing lead the field of entries. Richard tops the world Match Racing Tour standings while Minoprio is ranked #1 on the ISAF list. Richard won the King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2007. Minoprio has finished in second place twice and hopes to move up in 2010.
Other Tour Card holders who have entered are Francesco Bruni (Team Azzura), Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Team), Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team), Bertrand Pace (Aleph Sailing Team), and 2006 Gold cup winner Ian Williams (Sail Bahrain).
In addition to card holders a group of sailors ranked high by both ISAF and the WMRT and some who are active America’s Cup or the Louis Vitton Series were invited. Those skippers who have accepted to date include Dean Barker (Emirates Team New Zealand), Johnie Berntsson (Berntsson sailing Team), Gavin Brady (Royal Hong Cong YC), Paolo Cian (Team Italia), and Damian Iehl (French Match Racing Team).
The skippers who have applied for an invitation have been advised that a selection committee will review all applications and select the teams to complete 21 of the 24-team field on June 18th. The remaining three entries will go to the winners of three qualifier events, the Knickerbocker Cup, the Detroit Cup and the Bermuda National Match Racing Championship.
Bermuda showdown looms in ARGO GROUP GOLD CUP
October 5-10, Hamilton Bermuda
Twenty-four teams representing fourteen countries match up in this classic battle October 5-10 in Hamilton, Bermuda. Five winners of the King Edward VII Gold Cup from 2006-2009… Ian Williams (GBR), Mathieu Richard (FRA) Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Ben Ainslie (GBR) and the 2002 winner Jesper Radich (DEN) return to Bermuda for this 2010 Argo Group Gold Cup.
Dateline - Royal Bermuda YC - 15 September 2010: With the European phase of the ISAF World Match Racing World Championship now complete, all eyes are now on Bermuda’s Argo Group Gold Cup where twenty-four teams representing fourteen countries are set to match up in this classic battle.
The competition, which takes places from 5-10 October in Hamilton, Bermuda, will have added spice as all four winners of the King Edward VII Gold Cup from 2006-2009 and the 2002 winner will take to the water in Bermuda. Seven of the Tour’s nine Cardholders will do battle in the penultimate event of the 2010 Tour season. These Tour skippers are also seven of the top ten in the ISAF match race rankings. Seventeen other teams join them in the Argo Group Gold Cup’s unique 24-team format.
“We think we have one of the Tour’s top slates of world class sailors,” said Brian Billings, Argo Group Gold Cup Chairman and Past Commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “Any one of the seven Tour Cardholders could win, but then again there is plenty of new talent to challenge them in Bermuda.”
“Sailing in Hamilton Harbour is always tricky with winds gusting between islands or rolling down the hills from the south. And when the wind comes through town from the north, it’s always a wild ride,” Billings continued.
“RBYC is open to all visitors for Argo Group Gold Cup Week, offering a ringside seat on the club’s marina bulkhead for six days of top flight sailing. Match racing in Bermuda is really a spectator sport. The Fairmont Princess Hotel, right on the harbour, offers special Argo Group Gold Cup rates. Balconies offer a Bermuda Longtail’s view of the action.”
Looking forward to action in Bermuda will be Tour leaders Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/Black Match Racing and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team. Each team has just fought hard matches at the Danish Open where in the semi-finals Minoprio handily defeated Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzurra 3-0 whilst Mirsky made an astounding comeback from two down to defeat Richard 3-2. Minoprio then took the finals off Mirsky 3-2. History suggests it will be compelling action as Richard won the Bermuda Gold Cup in 2007 and Minoprio was runner-up in both 2008 and 2009.
Richard, with 105 points, still appears to have a firm grip on the lead in the Championship standings going into the Argo Group Gold Cup. Minoprio stands second with 88, Mirsky is third with 76. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, who sat out the Danish Open, is fourth with 72. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN and Bruni are 5th and 6th.
Click here for the latest ISAF 2010 World Match Racing Tour Championship standings.
The top four from Denmark will be joined for the Argo Group Gold Cup by last year’s Argo Group Gold Cup winner Ben Ainslie, who did not make the medal rounds in Denmark. Francesco Bruni, 2006 Gold Cup winner Ian Williams, and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team are all elite Tour Cardholders and will be competing in Bermuda.
The rest of the teams for Bermuda are topped by Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team (who won in 2008), Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing - a hot young Kiwi who has been on his game all year and Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team,who just won the Knickerbocker Cup. Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team ISV has looked impressive in Chicago match racing this summer, and Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team (winner of the 2002 Gold Cup) is finding his form and is 8th on the Tour. Blythe Walker (BER), Bermuda’s perennial match race champion will return and youngster Lance Fraser (BER) will take off from school to make his first Gold Cup attempt. The world’s top ranked woman match racer Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and third ranked Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) Gus, both Olympic women’s match racing contenders, cap off the fleet.
In Bermuda, teams are racing to put their name on the famous King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and to take a share of USD$100,000 in prize money. The winner takes half of the purse, so it pays to be first in Bermuda.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is followed by the prestigious season ending finale, the Monsoon Cup, from Nov 30 - Dec 5, in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, where the ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be crowned.
Biographies of skippers, details of the 24-team format for the Argo Group Gold Cup and a full schedule of events are posted online at Argo Group Gold Cup web site
For more information on WMRT, please visit the WMRT web site.
Sunrise practice for Argo Group Gold Cup locals
by Talbot Wilson- Argo Group Gold Cup
Royal Bermuda YC, October 1, 2010: It was up early again and sunrise practice for the two crews representing Bermuda on their home waters next week in the 2010 Argo Group Gold Cup. Blythe Walker is the reigning Bermuda National Match Racing champion and Lance Fraser, the young challenger sailing in his first Argo Group Gold Cup. The pair has been matching up this week before work for Walker and most of the crew and before school for Fraser, who is still in high school. Fraser will be the youngest sailor to ever skipper a boat in King Edward VII Gold Cup competition.
Sailing with Walker for Team RenRe will be his regular crew of Adam Barboza, Somers Kempe and Will Thompson. Fraser’s TOP's Ltd team will have Gareth Williams, Jorge Chiaparro and Bermuda’s Olympic hopeful Rockal Evans. They have been getting in early practice this week before the island invasion by the world’s top ranked international
professional sailors coming for stage 8 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour. Racing starts Tuesday October 5 and concludes Sunday October 11.
Tour leader Mathieu Richard will also be on the water Friday for his first practice in IOD’s this year. Over the weekend before racing starts on Tuesday, he will be joined bymany of the other Tour leaders who arrive early to get dialed in to sailing the International One Design sloops used in the Bermuda classic. The IOD’s are very different from the agile speedsters sailed in the other eight Tour events. These full-keeled boats designed after the original 6-Meter boats take special handling skills, requiring anticipation, teamwork and a deft touch on the helm to execute maneuvers for the most
speed and tactical advantage.
In Bermuda, twenty-two teams are racing to put their name on the famous King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and to take away a share of USD$100,000 in prize money. The winner takes half of the purse, so it pays to be first in Bermuda.
The top five sailors in the ISAF ‘open’ rankings, who are also the top five on the World Match Racing Tour, and Lucy Macgregor, recent winner of the ISAF Women’s World Match Racing Championship, will all be on hand for this Bermuda spectacular. For the Qualifying “round robin” matches the twenty-two teams will be divided into three groups. Based on Tour and ISAF rankings, each group has a top seed heading their list and then the remaining group teams follow up and down the ladder in the groups. Qualifying rounds within these groups, scheduled from Tuesday until mid-day Thursday,
select six of the quarterfinalists directly, the top two in each group. The remaining two quarterfinalists are selected in a repechage of the next two in each group in a six-boat qualifying “round robin”. The finals are scheduled for October 11 along with the final race of the Ren Re Jr Gold Cup, the international junior invitational Opti regatta held in
conjunction with the Argo Group Gold Cup.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is followed on the World Match Racing Tour by their prestigious season ending finale. The Monsoon Cup sailed for the Tour Championship in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia starts 30 November.
Biographies of skippers, details for Argo Group Gold Cup and a full schedule for events are posted online at http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/.
For more information on WMRT, please visit: http://http://www.wmrt.com/
Groups announced for Argo Group Gold Cup
Mathieu Richard heads group 1
Adam Minoprio - tops Group 2
Torvar Mirsky - top seed in Group 3
Action on Hamilton Harbour
By Talbot Wilson- Argo Group Gold Cup
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, October 3, 2010: The match is on! The top three sailors on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) head up three groups for the qualifying ‘round robin’ competition in the Argo Group Gold Cup. Group 1 top seed is #1 ranked Mathieu Richard (FRA) of the French Match Racing Team. In the #2 slot on the Tour, Adam Minoprio (NZL) Black Match Racing leads Group 2 and #3 ranked Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team top off Group 3. The three won’t meet here until the quarterfinals… providing they can get past the tough field set for 2010 racing in Bermuda.
The next three teams in the WMRT rankings are placed in the groups climbing back up the order. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group is ranked #4 and slots into Group 3, Ranked #5 Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin lands in Group 2 and ranked #8 Jesper Radich (DEN) goes into Group 1 with Richard.
The rest of the selections for each group were decided by the Argo Group Gold Cup Organizing Committee, led by Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Peter Shrubb, and Craig Mitchell, the Director of the World Match Racing Tour.
“After we placed the tour leaders by rank, we divided the rest of the competitors based on their ISAF rankings and performance in recent match racing regattas,” said Commodore Shrubb. “Craig Mitchell and I had long discussions over this and the groups as we have structured them are as balanced as possible. We have twenty-two teams instead of the usual twenty-four. It makes two of the groups have a ‘bye’ but we’ll work around that.
The sailors in each group will match up against each other in the qualifying rounds, Tuesday to Thursday, sailing a scheduled round-robin format. After each team in the group has sailed each other team once, the top two teams move directly into the quarter-finals. The third and fourth place teams in each group enter the repechage sail another six boat round-robin with the top two going on into the quarterfinals.
The finals are scheduled for October 11 along with the final race of the RenRe Jr Gold Cup, the annual international junior invitational Opti regatta held in conjunction with the Argo Group Gold Cup.
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, starts 30 November.
Click here for biographies of skippers, details for Argo Group Gold Cup and a full schedule for events.