Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Team Origin’s Ben Ainslie to defend Argo Group Gold Cup title

Match Racing for the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy
October 5-10, 2010 • Hamilton, Bermuda
World Match Racing Tour: Stage 9

Eight of nine World Match Racing Tour Card teams set for Bermuda
2010 Notice of Race posted at http://www.argogroupgoldcup.com/

Hamilton, Bermuda, July 7, 2010: Team Origin’s Ben Ainslie (GBR), the 2009 Argo Group Gold Cup champion, has now confirmed his entry to defend his title in the October 5th World Match Racing Tour event in Hamilton, Bermuda. Ainlsie, the three time Olympic gold medal winner and winner of one silver, too, took the 2009 finals 3-1 over Adam Minoprio. He etched his name on the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy along with a host of match race sailing legends. Can he make it two in a row? Come Watch the action in Hamilton Harbour October 5-10 this fall.

“Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is excited to have Ben in the Argo Group Gold Cup again,” said event chairman Brian Billings. “Ainslie is a fierce competitor who chooses his events carefully. We always like having him race in Bermuda. His being from the UK makes him almost a local in Bermuda.”

“Of course,” Billings continued, “Ben will have some tough competition from Minoprio, Mathieu Richard and the other World Match Racing Tour card holders and from the up-and-coming young racers we add with our unique 24-team format. Upsets can happen if one of the youngsters hits his or her stride in the Argo Group Gold Cup.”

Ainslie is currently tied for 7th place on the tour and 3rd in the ISAF rankings. The only Tour Card holder not entered in Bermuda’s Argo Group Gold Cup is Peter Gilmour.

Twenty-one teams have accepted invitations to the 2010 Argo Group Gold Cup. The three winners of the Bermuda National Championship, the Knickerbocker Cup and the Detroit Cup will fill the last three places of the twenty-four slots in this unique ISAF World Match Racing Tour event.

Topping the entry list is number one ranked ISAF World Match Racing Tour skipper Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) and 2nd ranked Adam Minoprio (Black Match Racing) lead the field of entries. Richard in 1st place tops the World Match Racing Tour standings while Minoprio is ranked 1st on the June 9th ISAF list. Richard is 4th in ISAF Rankings. Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) 2nd ranked on the ISAF list and 3rd on the tour will also be in Bermuda for the Gold Cup classic.

Other Tour Card holders who have entered are 5th ranked Ian Williams (Sail Bahrain), 6th ranked Francesco Bruni (Team Azzura), 10th ranked Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Team), and 14th ranked Bertrand Pace (Aleph Sailing Team).

In addition to card holders a group of sailors ranked high by both ISAF and the WMRT and some who are active America’s Cup or the Louis Vuitton Series are on the card. Those skippers include 9th ranked Paolo Cian (Team Italia), 16th ranked Johnie Berntsson (Berntsson Sailing Team), Dean Barker (Emirates Team New Zealand), Gavin Brady (Royal Hong Cong YC), and Damian Iehl (French Match Racing Team).Other skippers now included in the slate are Dave Perry (USA), Phil Robertson (NZL), Terry McLaughlin (CAN), Taylor Canfield (USVI), Reuben Corbett (NZL), Alvaro Marinho (POR).

Two top Ranked women’s sailors will join the fray. The ISAF number one ranked women’s team skipper, Lucy McGregor (GBR) will compete as will US Olympic Laser gold medal winner Anna Tunnicliffe, hopefull to win another gold in 2012, but in match racing rather than the Laser. Both women’s teams are eagerly preparing for the new Women’s Olympic Match Racing discipline.

The Argo Group Gold Cup is the 9th event of the eleven-stage World Match Racing Tour. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in niche areas of the property and casualty market, returns as title sponsor for the third year.

In addition to Argo Group, key sponsors include The Bermuda Department of Tourism as official host, Renaissance Re, Guy Carpenter, and AON. The Hamilton Princess Hotel is offering special packages for Argo Group Gold Cup Week.

Renaissance Re will once again sponsor the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup International Optimist Dinghy regatta sailed in Bermuda’s Great Sound and Hamilton Harbour.