Focussed: Ian Williams and his team will once again do battle in Hamilton Harbour for the Argo Group Gold Cup. *Photo courtesy of WMRT
Focussed: Ian Williams and his team will once again do battle in Hamilton Harbour for the Argo Group Gold Cup. *Photo courtesy of WMRT

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5: For a minute it was touch and go whether this year’s top ranked sailor Ian Williams would actually make the Argo Group Gold Cup.

Sitting in Gatwick Airport on Monday afternoon he was told the original aircraft had been grounded and BA was in the process of getting a replacement sorted.

The flight left late and arrived on island at just after 9pm.

Twelve hours later Williams and his British team were at the Bermuda Yacht Club in driving rain waiting for the competition to get underway.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s torrential downpours meant there were no races in Williams’ pool — but it gave his team a little more time to prepare for the action which is due to begin today.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “We are just keen to get out on the water.

“Our preparation has not been ideal as I only arrived on Monday night.

“Normally I would have liked to arrive on Sunday before the regatta but I was competing in Nice.

“Then there was problems with the plane so we were late getting in on Monday night.

“There is a bit of apprehension that the early runs might be a little harder than we hoped for but we are reasonably confident.”

The two-time world champion is currently top of the World Match Racing Tour.

And he believes the pressure is all on his opponents going into this year’s Argo Gold Cup.

He said: “It’s been a while since we have been top of the leader board.

“Particularly for this regatta our situation is quite comfortable.

“If we were to win we can only go up seven points over all.

“Our nearest rivals have much more to gain.

“But having said that there is more pressure on them too as they have more to lose if they don’t do well.

“We know that when we come to the last round in Malaysia we will be in contention. So the pressure is off us a little.

“But there is no getting away from the fact we would like to win this regatta.

“It is a historic one to win and we have not done so since 2006.”

Williams says he is here to win and relishes the challenge that the heavier Bermuda boats pose.

He said: “The goal is to win the regatta but we have to focus on one race at a time and try and win each one.

“The early runs are always the hardest.

“Once you get into the course it gets slightly easier.

“Last year we had 11 races and we won eight and lost three and we still found ourselves on the plane home.

“The boats here are very different and heavier to what we are used to.

“But I really enjoy the challenge of sailing them. You get rewarded for good sailing.

“There are a lot of former winners here that you need to be wary of. It is always a strong field in Bermuda.”