Quarterfinals set at Match Racing Worlds
Published on October 28th, 2020
Hamilton, Bermuda (October 28, 2020) – While the top six teams rested, a pair of Scandinavian crews – Jeppe Borch’s Borch Racing Team from Denmark and Johnie Berntsson’s Berntsson Racing Team from Sweden – advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship after placing first and second, respectively in today’s Repechage Round.
Borch and Berntsson are somewhat on opposite sides of the ledger at this regatta. The upstart Borch, 23, sailing his first Bermuda Gold Cup, is the youngest skipper remaining in the regatta. Berntsson, 48, is one of the event’s grizzled veterans: a 12-time competitor, six-time finalist, and two-time winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. In the lightest winds of the week, a 4- to 8-knot westerly, they shared one common thread – they won enough races to advance to the quarterfinals.
Berntsson’s two losses in the seven-race Repechage Round were to the two youngest skippers, Borch and 23-year-old Matthew Whitfield of Great Britain. But he shook them off and put forth a dominant performance against 25-year-old Jelmer van Beek’s Team Dutch Wave in the final race to stamp his ticket to the quarterfinals.
“You’re always nervous in light air because you never know how things will turn out, but we were quite calm onboard,” said Berntsson, who won in 2008 and ’14. “We were confident in our speed. Of course, there can be windshifts after we choose a side, but generally we were quite confident. Anders, my tactician, did a very nice job today. We made one tactical mistake in seven races, 14 upwinds, that’s a very good record and I’m proud of my team.”
Borch also seemed calm and collected in the light winds. His crew stormed out of the gate to win their first five races and finished the round at 6-1 for the top spot. Now, the skipper who placed third overall at the 2019 Youth Match Racing World Championship finds himself in the quarterfinals alongside multiple world champions and event champions.
“It was difficult for us to set a goal coming into this regatta,” said Borch. “The other teams are really good and have been in the game for so long. We’re coming in as underdogs and especially now in the quarters, we’re in the big boys’ game now.
“It’s a dream come true of mine. I don’t know how many videos I’ve watched online of those guys, to be in the quarterfinals against them is huge.”
But Borchn’s dream could quickly turn nightmarish, as the event’s top-ranked skipper, Chris Poole of the U.S. and his Riptide Racing Team, chose to race Borch’s team in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. As the next top ranked skipper, Ian Williams of Team GAC Pindar selected Eric Monnin’s Capvis Swiss Match Race Team.
That left two teams for Phil Robertson’s China One Ningbo to select and they opted for Torvar Mirsky’s Mirsky Racing Team, which left Taylor Canfield’s Team Stars+Stripes to race Berntsson Sailing Team.
Regarding the matchups:
• Canfield’s two victories at the Bermuda Gold Cup in 2012 and ’18 came at the expense of Berntsson, who lost the two series by a combined score of 6-1. Can Berntsson turn the tables on Canfield this time?
• Robertson, from New Zealand, versus the Australian Mirsky continues the trans-Tasman rivalry at the Bermuda Gold Cup. In years past New Zealander Russell Coutts took on Australians Peter Gilmour and James Spithill with some great success, while the final in 2015 saw New Zealand’s Adam Minoprio defeat Australian Keith Swinton.
• Williams, the reigning champion and six-time world champion, and Monnin are familiar foes at the Bermuda Gold Cup with a combined 25 appearances, although their head-to-head record through the years was unavailable at press time.
• Poole, 31, versus Borch represents the next wave of match racers. Just five years ago Poole finished the Bermuda Gold Cup with a 1-9 record in last place. For him to turn that performance around is a testament to his own growth as well as his new crew, featuring Sam Baron-Fox, Matt Cornwell and Chris Draper.
The first warning signal is scheduled for 0930 tomorrow morning.
The King Edward VII Gold Cup, awarded to the winner of the Bermuda Gold Cup, is the oldest trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts. First presented in 1907 by King Edward VII at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Va., honoring the 300th anniversary of the first permanent colony in America, the trophy is the only King’s Cup ever to be offered for competition in the United States which could be won outright.
Stage One – Qualifying (single round robin)
1. Chris Poole (31, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) – Riptide Racing, 6-1
Crew: Sam Barron-Fox, Matthew Cornwell, Chris Draper
2. Phil Robertson (33, Auckland, New Zealand) – China One Ningbo, 6-1
Crew: Bradley Farrand, Peter Nicholas, Johanna Thiringer, James Williamson
3 Eric Monnin (45, Immensee, Switzerland) – Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team, 5-2
Crew: Simon Brügger, Hugo Feydit, Mathieu Renault, Ute Wagner
4. Nicklas Dackhammar (30, Gothenburg, Sweden) – Essiq Racing Team, 4-3
Crew: Nils Bjekås, Björn Lundgren, Jakob Wilson
5. Johnie Berntsson (48, Stenungsund, Sweden) – Berntsson Sailing Team, 4-3
Crew: Herman Andersson, Anders Dahlsjö, Eric Malmberg
6. Anna Östling (36, Lerum, Sweden) – Team WINGS, 2-5
Crew: Julia Lines, Annie Wennergren, Linnea Wennergren, Janel Zarkowsky
7. Matthew Whitfield (23, Plymouth, England) – Dragon Racing Team, 1-6
Crew: Quentin Bes-Green, Max Brennan, Carson Crain
8. Kelsey Durham (26, Smiths, Bermuda) – Triangle Racing Team, 0-7
Crew: Alex Ellis, Charlie Lalumiere, Edward Lebens
1. Ian Williams (43, Lymington, England) – Team GAC Pindar, 6-1
Crew: Christian Kamp, Gerry Mitchell, Richard Sydenham
2. Torvar Mirsky (34, Sydney, Australia) – Mirsky Racing Team, 6-1
Crew: Nick Blackman, Kinley Fowler, Mal Parker
3. Taylor Canfield (31, Miami, USA) – Team Stars+Stripes, 4-3
Crew: Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger, Eric Shampain
4. Jeppe Borch (23, Copenhagen, Denmark) – Borch Racing Team, 4-3
Crew: August de la Cour, Seabastian Pieters, Nikolai Rasmussen
5. Jelmer van Beek (25, The Hague, Netherlands) – Team Dutch Wave, 2-2
Crew: Robin Jacobs, Jorden van Rooijen, Rutger Vos
6. Mati Sepp (52, Tallinn, Estonia) – Gleam Energy Sailing Team, 2-5
Crew: Ago Rebane, Karl Tagu, Aleksei Zigadlo
7. Lance Fraser (27, Toronto, Canada) – Team RCYC, 2-5
Crew: Andrew McTavish, Rob Scrivenor, Katrina Williams
8. Pauline Courtois (31, Brest, France) – Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 0-7
Crew: Cédric Chateau, Thierry Douillard, Sophie Faguet, Maelenn Lemaitre
Note: In each group, the top three advance to the Quarterfinal Round, places 4 through 7 advance to the Repechage Round, and the last place crew is eliminated from further competition.
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