* Photo courtesy of the Bermuda Gold Cup. Head-to-head: Britain’s Ben Ainslie matches up with Christopher Van Tol of the U.S. in racing on Hamilton Harbour yesterday.

* Photo courtesy of the Bermuda Gold Cup. Head-to-head: Britain’s Ben Ainslie matches up with Christopher Van Tol of the U.S. in racing on Hamilton Harbour yesterday.

By Colin Thompson
Ian Williams is among those to have accepted early invitations to compete in October’s Argo Group Gold Cup.
The two time world match racing champion became the first Englishmen in nearly a decade to lift the King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2006.
To date five previous King Edward VII Gold Cup winners have accepted early invitations to compete in this year’s WMRT sanctioned regatta.
They include Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson, France’s Mathieu Richard, Denmark’s Jesper Radich and England’s Andy Green and Williams.
Other top ranked match racing skippers having accepted early invitations are Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen.
Strongest
It remains unclear whether reigning Argo Group Gold Cup and ISAF WMRT champion Ben Ainslie will be back to defend his title this year.
Ainslie defeated Denmark’s Radich 3-1 in last year’s Gold Cup final in Hamilton Harbour to savour a second title in as many years. No sailor has won the regatta three years on the trot since the match racing format was introduced in 1985.
Prior to the revised racing format local sailing legend Bert Darrell won three successive Gold Cups between 1952-54.
Peter Shrubb, commodore of Argo Group Gold Cup hosts Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, said this year’s racing fleet is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory.
“It’s still early days but every indication is that we will have one of our stronger fields than we’ve had in the past,” he told the Bermuda Sun.
“All the top guys are planning to come and so it’s all looking good. We have got tour card holders and many of them have already accepted invitations. We are also waiting to hear back from others.”
Last year’s Argo Group Gold Cup saw top ranked women’s match racing sailors Anna Tunnicliffe and Lucy MacGregor make their debut in the regatta.
Tunnicliffe won the Gold medal in the Laser Radials at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China while MacGregor is the reigning ISAF women’s match racing champion.
RBYC commodore Shrubb confirmed that the pair have been invited to participate in this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup.
“We have sent the invitations out but haven’t heard back from them yet. But we are hoping they will be here,” he said.
“We are months earlier than we’ve been before with invitations and so we are not really sure whether the people are focused yet that far down the calendar.
“We have had a bunch of people accept, but we are still waiting to hear from others.”The Argo Group Gold Cup will be held October 4-9. n

Ian Williams is among those to have accepted early invitations to compete in October’s Argo Group Gold Cup.

The two time world match racing champion became the first Englishmen in nearly a decade to lift the King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2006.

To date five previous King Edward VII Gold Cup winners have accepted early invitations to compete in this year’s WMRT sanctioned regatta.

They include Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson, France’s Mathieu Richard, Denmark’s Jesper Radich and England’s Andy Green and Williams.

Other top ranked match racing skippers having accepted early invitations are Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen.

Strongest

It remains unclear whether reigning Argo Group Gold Cup and ISAF WMRT champion Ben Ainslie will be back to defend his title this year.

Ainslie defeated Denmark’s Radich 3-1 in last year’s Gold Cup final in Hamilton Harbour to savour a second title in as many years. No sailor has won the regatta three years on the trot since the match racing format was introduced in 1985.

Prior to the revised racing format local sailing legend Bert Darrell won three successive Gold Cups between 1952-54.

Peter Shrubb, commodore of Argo Group Gold Cup hosts Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, said this year’s racing fleet is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory.

“It’s still early days but every indication is that we will have one of our stronger fields than we’ve had in the past,” he told the Bermuda Sun.

“All the top guys are planning to come and so it’s all looking good. We have got tour card holders and many of them have already accepted invitations. We are also waiting to hear back from others.”

Last year’s Argo Group Gold Cup saw top ranked women’s match racing sailors Anna Tunnicliffe and Lucy MacGregor make their debut in the regatta.

Tunnicliffe won the Gold medal in the Laser Radials at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China while MacGregor is the reigning ISAF women’s match racing champion.

RBYC commodore Shrubb confirmed that the pair have been invited to participate in this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup.

“We have sent the invitations out but haven’t heard back from them yet. But we are hoping they will be here,” he said.

“We are months earlier than we’ve been before with invitations and so we are not really sure whether the people are focused yet that far down the calendar.

“We have had a bunch of people accept, but we are still waiting to hear from others.”The Argo Group Gold Cup will be held October 4-9.