All systems go at Match Racing Worlds
Published on October 25th, 2020
Hamilton, Bermuda (October 25, 2020) – After a year in which regattas were postponed or cancelled due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the specter of International One-Design (IOD) sloops thrashing about Hamilton Harbour begins for 16 teams tomorrow with the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing Worlds.
“Our schedule was affected quite a lot, like everyone,” said Eric Monnin of Switzerland, the world’s No. 1-ranked match racer and leading Bermuda Gold Cup veteran who’s making his 13th appearance. “We’ve done some sailing at home since June, but very little match racing. It’s very difficult to know where we stand with the others.”
In his first travel outside of Switzerland since the pandemic began, Monnin doesn’t feel threatened by the coronavirus. Everyone associated with the event had to get tested within one week of traveling to Bermuda and then again at Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport upon arrival. All 69 sailors, race officials, umpires and support staff have tested negative with the regatta set to begin.
“I’m impressed with the efforts, it’s above expectations,” said Monnin. “Here on the island, the testing is organized very well. It’s much better than I thought. We’ll see how the week goes, but I think we’ll show the world that if you do things responsibly, it’s possible to host a world caliber regatta.
“The prospect of having a world championship event is quite unique,” Monnin continued. “It’s been a long time since the world championship was one event in monohulls. That’s also why this event is so interesting for all of us.”
With racing scheduled for on October 26-30, the first warning signal is scheduled for 1030 with Monnin’s Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team taking on Bermuda’s son, 26-year-old Kelsey Durham and his Triangle Racing Team. Sweden’s Berntsson Racing Team, led by Johnie Berntsson, a six-time finalist at the Bermuda Gold Cup, races top-ranked American Chris Poole’s Riptide Racing in Match 2.
Match 3 sees young Matthew Whitfield’s Dragon Racing Team of Great Britain racing Nicklas Dackhammar’s Essiq Racing Team of Sweden while New Zealander Phil Robertson and his China One Ningbao Team, the reigning world match racing champion, races Sweden’s Anna Östling’s Team WINGS, a two-time winner of the Women’s Match Racing Worlds, in Match 4.
For schedule of races, click here.
In afternoon racing, the Bermuda Gold Cup reigning champion Ian Williams’s Team GAC Pindar of Great Britain races France’s Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, the women’s World No. 1-ranked match racer, in Match 1. Match 2 sees Denmark’s Borch Racing Team, led by Jeppe Borch, square off against Jelmer van Beek’s Team Dutch Wave of the Netherlands.
In Match 3 the Mirksy Racing Team, led by Australian Torvar Mirsky, a past event and world champion, races Mati Sepp’s Gleam Energy Sailing Team of Estonia. The final match pits the Stars+Stripes Team, led by Taylor Canfield of the U.S., also a past event and world champion, against Lance Fraser of Canada in Match 4.
• Johnie Berntsson (48, Stenungsund, Sweden) – Berntsson Sailing Team, Crew: Herman Andersson, Anders Dahlsjö, Eric Malmberg
• Jeppe Borch (23, Copenhagen, Denmark) – Borch Racing Team, Crew: August de la Cour, Seabastian Pieters, Nikolai Rasmussen
• Taylor Canfield (31, Miami, USA) – Team Stars+Stripes, Crew: Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger, Eric Shampain
• Pauline Courtois (31, Brest, France) – Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Crew: Cédric Chateau, Thierry Douillard, Sophie Faguet, Maelenn Lemaitre
• Nicklas Dackhammar (30, Gothenburg, Sweden) – Essiq Racing Team, Crew: Nils Bjekås, Björn Lundgren, Jakob Wilson
• Kelsey Durham (26, Smiths, Bermuda) – Triangle Racing Team, Crew: Alex Ellis, Charlie Lalumiere, Edward Lebens
• Lance Fraser (27, Toronto, Canada) – Team RCYC, Crew: Andrew McTavish, Rob Scrivenor, Katrina Williams
• Torvar Mirsky (34, Sydney, Australia) – Mirsky Racing Team, Crew: Nick Blackman, Kinley Fowler, Mal Parker
• Eric Monnin (45, Immensee, Switzerland) – Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team, Crew: Simon Brügger, Hugo Feydit, Mathieu Renault, Ute Wagner
• Anna Östling (36, Lerum, Sweden) – Team WINGS, Crew: Julia Lines, Annie Wennergren, Linnea Wennergren, Janel Zarkowsky
• Chris Poole (31, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) – Riptide Racing, Crew: Sam Barron-Fox, Matthew Cornwell, Chris Draper
• Phil Robertson (33, Auckland, New Zealand) – China One Ningbao, Crew: Bradley Farrand, Peter Nicholas, Johanna Thiringer, James Williamson
• Mati Sepp (52, Tallinn, Estonia) – Gleam Energy Sailing Team, Crew:
• Jelmer van Beek (25, The Hague, Netherlands) – Team Dutch Wave, Crew: Robin Jacobs, Jorden van Rooijen, Rutger Vos
• Matthew Whitfield (23, Plymouth, England) – Dragon Racing Team, Crew: Quentin Bes-Green, Max Brennan, Carson Crain
• Ian Williams (43, Lymington, England) – Team GAC Pindar, Crew: Christian Kamp, Gerry Mitchell, Richard Sydenham
The 16-skipper field is loaded with accolades and accomplishments:
• Four past winners of the King Edward VII Gold Cup trophy account for seven championships: Berntsson (2008, ’14), Canfield (2012, ’18), Mirsky (2011), Williams (2006, ’19)
• Four Open Match Racing World champions account for 10 championships: Canfield (2013), Mirsky (2017), Robertson (2016, ’19), Williams (2007, ’08, ’11, ’12, ’14, ’15)
• One Women’s Match Racing World champion: Ostling (2014, ’16)
• Four past participants of the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup: Canfield (2003), Durham (2004-’07), Fraser (2003-’04), Whitfield (2011)
• Two women skippers: Courtois, stling
• Three skippers age 25 or younger: Borch, van Beek, Whitfield
• Skippers’ average age: 33.7 years
• 11 returning skippers with cumulative 63 appearances since early 2000s – 3 returning skippers with cumulative 33 appearances: Monnin (12), Williams (11), Berntsson (10)
• 12 countries represented: Australia (1), Bermuda (1), Canada (1), Denmark (1), Estonia (1, first time), France (1), Great Britain (2), New Zealand (1), Netherlands (1), Sweden (3), Switzerland (1), US (2)
Source: Bermuda Gold Cup
The 70th Bermuda Gold Cup is an event on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) which promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organized and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, the top twelve teams from which compete in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
2020 World Match Racing Tour Schedule: click here
The WMRT takes place in identically supplied racing yachts which change for each event and has been awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing. The winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion.
Previous Champions include Bertrand Pace (FRA), Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Jesper Radich (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV), Phil Robertson (NZL), and Torvar Mirsky (AUS).
Since its launch in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. www.wmrt.com