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New additions for Argo Group Gold Cup

Published on March 20th, 2019

Hamilton, Bermuda (March 20, 2019) – The addition of four of the world’s top match racers, including Women’s World No. 1 Pauline Courtois of France, heightens the field for the 2019 Argo Group Gold Cup match race regatta.

Courtois and World No. 3 Harry Price of Australia, World No. 5 Maxime Mesnil of France and World No. 15 Chris Poole of the U.S. are recent entrants to the regatta, scheduled May 6-11 and awarding $100,000 in prize money.

They join a field that already features World No. 1 Ian Williams of Great Britain, No. 2 Eric Monnin of Switzerland and No. 4 Ettore Botticini of Italy, as well as Women’s World No. 6 Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain. Macgregor had a magical run at last year’s Gold Cup to place fourth overall, the best finish ever by a women’s crew.

Also entered is World No. 7 Nicklas Dackhammar of Sweden, No. 8 Toravr Mirsky of Australia and No. 13 Johnie Berntsson of Sweden. 2013 champion Francesco Bruni (ITA), who had previously been announced as a 2019 competitor, is no longer an entrant.

In total, the field includes two crews each from Australia, France, Great Britain, and Sweden and one each from Italy, Switzerland, and the U.S. The final entrant will be the Bermuda National Match Race champion.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the way the lineup has filled out,” said event chairperson Leatrice Oatley, a past commodore of host Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “To have two of the best women’s match racers alongside the top five male skippers shows the appeal of the Gold Cup and racing in Bermuda. We’re very happy to have such a diverse and international field.”

Courtois, Price, and Mesnil are all making their debuts at the Argo Group Gold Cup. None of the three has been to Bermuda before, although their knowledge of the Gold Cup is steeped in its tradition.

“We’ve never been to Bermuda before but we know that the Argo Group Gold Cup is a prestigious regatta with many famous winners,” said the 30-year-old Courtois, who won the 2018 Women’s International Match Racing Series with two firsts in the five-event series. “The Gold Cup is one of the major match racing events and it’s an honor to be invited.”

Price’s Down Under Racing team from Sydney, Australia, enters the Argo Group Gold Cup as the youngest crew alongside Botticini’s CNVA Sailing Team from Italy. Both skippers will be aged 23 during the Argo Group Gold Cup. Price won the Youth Match Racing World Championship in 2017, over Botticini, and has since gone on to post some top finishes on the world tour, including third place at last year’s Regata de Portugal.

“The Gold Cup is a very prestigious event,” said Price. “It will be a great challenge both on and off the water to maintain a high standard of professionalism. I’m really excited to partake in the event.”

The 29-year-old Mesnil, who has been match racing for the better part of the past 10 years, has climbed to No. 5 in the world based on steady results. Similar to Courtois and Price, Mesnil is looking forward to the challenge of Hamilton Harbour’s tricky conditions.

“I think the Gold Cup is one of the best match race events in the world,” said Mesnil. “It’s our first time in Bermuda and our first goal is to get to the quarterfinals and to have fun.”

With the 69th edition of the event coming up, the Argo Group Gold Cup is pre-dated by only the America’s Cup. The Gold Cup trophy was first presented in 1907 by King Edward VII at the Tri-Centenary Regatta, in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America in Jamestown, Virginia.

The crew-on-crew racing in International One-Design (IOD) sloops will be held on Hamilton Harbour, directly in front of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club docks where the pre-start circling action is often played out within feet of the docks.

The Argo Group Gold Cup is sponsored for the 10th year by Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is the Host Sponsor.

Current entry list:
• Johnie Berntsson (SWE) – two-time past champion (2008, ’14)
• Ettore Botticini (ITA) – reigning Youth Match Racing World champion
• Pauline Courtois (FRA) – Women’s World No. 1, first Argo Group Gold Cup
• Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) – sixth place in 2018
• Lucy Macgregor (GBR) – reigning Women’s Match Racing World champion
• Maxime Mesnil (FRA) – World No. 5, first Argo Group Gold Cup
• Torvar Mirsky (AUS) – past champion (2011), reigning Match Racing World champion
• Eric Monnin (SUI) – World No. 2-ranked match racer (as of Jan. 25, 2019)
• Chris Poole (USA) – World No. 15, fifth Argo Group Gold Cup
• Harry Price (AUS) – World No. 3, 2017 Youth Match Racing World Champion
• Ian Williams (GBR) – past champion (2006), six-time Match Racing World champion
• Bermuda National Match Racing champion – to be named

Event details:

The Argo Group Gold Cup is pre-dated by only the America’s Cup. The Gold Cup trophy was first presented in 1907 by King Edward VII at the Tri-Centenary Regatta, in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America in Jamestown, Virginia. The Gold Cup was awarded as a match racing trophy in 1937 and 2019 marks the 69th running of the event organized by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Source: Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

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