Field confirmed for World Match Racing Tour in Bermuda
Published on October 6th, 2014
Twenty teams will compete in the penultimate stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour – the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup – in Bermuda on October 21-26.
Leading from the top will be current Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) number 1 skipper and 2006 Gold Cup winner Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar, the 2013 Gold Cup defending champion Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa, and 2012 Gold Cup winner and defending Alpari World Match Racing Tour Champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One.
Canfield has the hot hand having scored two straight tour event wins over Williams, but Williams has five straight podium finishes this year. Bruni has been off the Tour since competing in the first two stages, busy with the Luna Rossa America’s Cup challenge. He is a proven competitor who is defending his Gold Cup crown from last year. He will definitely be a factor.
These three are part of the elite group of eight skippers who hold AWMRT Tour Cards giving them automatic entry into each of the seven events on the Tour. Rounding out the card holders group are Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team, David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour, Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, and Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX.
In addition to the Tour Cardholders the fleet also includes the top-ranked skippers from the ISAF Open Match Race Rankings. Ian Williams leads that group in the #1 spot, Canfield follows at #2 and 2007 Gold Cup winner Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets is ranked #3. Eleven of the 20 skippers are in the ISAF top 20 slots, including another previous Gold Cup winner from 2008 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team.
Two teams that are unranked by ISAF have excellent skippers backed by top-quality teams. Artemis Racing boasts Olympic Gold medal winners Nathan Outterridge (SWE), Iain Percy, and Iain Jensen as part of the crew along with past Gold Cup winner and ISAF World Championship winning trimmer Christian Kamp.
Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics is the winner of the Bermuda National Match Racing Championship and is one of Bermuda’s top keelboat skippers. Kempe is Commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, but his hospitality to island guests won’t dull his competitive edge.
Thirteen countries are represented in the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup. Lance Fraser (BER) Digicel Bermuda is the lowest of the ranked skippers at #57. He has sailed in the Argo Group Gold Cup three times and knows the shifty winds and local tricks almost as well as Commodore Kempe. Maybe Fraser’s fourth time will be the charm.
The 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup will be sailed with the same 20-team format used in 2013. This Argo Group Gold Cup format is unique on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It starts with Qualifying in two 10-team groups. Skippers in the groups are ranked and divided by Alpari World Match Racing Tour officials and the organizers at the RBYC.
Seedings in the groups are based on AWMRT and ISAF rankings and other performance factors. Teams sail a 10-team Round-Robin knock-out elimination within their group. Then the top four teams from each group move on to directly to the knockout phases with Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals scheduled. There is no second-chance Repechage sail-off. 12 teams are beached at the end of the Round-Robin Qualifying matches.
Source: Event media