Bermuda battle between Williams and Canfield
Published on October 21st, 2014
Four time Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew take to Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda for the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup (October 22 -26), holding a narrow lead over Taylor Canfield (US One Sailing Team) in the Tour season standings.
With just two events remaining on the 2014 Tour, Williams (GBR) remains at the leader board summit on 94 points, with Canfield (ISV) in hot pursuit on 88. This season Williams has been in exceptional form, having made the finals in all five Tour events, including victories in Germany and Poland.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Bermuda – the venue for our first win on the Tour in 2006,” commented Williams. “Unfortunately, results there since have not been great, so we’re looking to use it a stepping stone before we head to the all-important final event in Malaysia.”
The final tour event is the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia on November 25-29.
Canfield is hoping to continue his climb up the standings, having won the most recent Chicago Match Cup (Sept. 17-22) and the Dutch Match Cup (Sept. 24-28) events. “We just have to continue sailing how we have been in Chicago and Holland,” assessed Canfield. “We have already put ourselves in a spot to have a chance at the title in Malaysia. It’s now up to Williams to not screw it up.”
Twenty teams representing 13 countries will be competing this week in one of the most lucrative events on the World Match Racing Tour calendar with a $100,000 purse. The oldest match racing trophy in the world – the King Edward VII Gold Cup – is also on the line.
As a result of Hurricane Gonzalo passing over the island last Friday, the start of the Argo Group Gold Cup had been delayed one day to allow for recovery. The event will now be compressed to five days of racing, with strong winds expected this week.
The teams have been divided into two groups of 10 for the Qualifying Session round-robin knockout matches:
Group 1 features Tour leader leader Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team, Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa , Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Equipe de France, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena sailing Team, Arthur Herreman (FRA) Match the World, David Storrs (USA) Pequot Racing Team, Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics, and Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NED) Opportunity Team.
Group 2 is led by 2nd on the Tour Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team One, Mathieu Richard (FRA) Luna Jet, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour, Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team, Marek Staqnczyk (POL) www.470sailing.org.pl , Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing, Lance Fraser (BER) DigiCel Bermuda, and Nathen Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing.
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 in the Argo Group Gold Cup… 12 teams are beached at the end of the Round-Robin Qualifying matches.
Background: Argo Group Gold Cup (October 22-26) is the sixth stop on the seven event Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points culminating in the crowning of the “ISAF Match Racing World Champion”. Tour website: http://www.wmrt.com