Three of world’s top five and two America’s Cup teams among early entries
HAMILTON, Bermuda – Argo Group Gold Cup reigning champion Johnie Berntsson has one message to his rivals: Be prepared for a repeat.
Berntsson, the No. 10-ranked match race sailor in the world (based on the July 22, 2015, ISAF rankings), is among a stellar group of skippers who’ve confirmed their entry for the prestigious Argo Group Gold Cup, scheduled Oct. 6-11, and hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Entries have also been received from world No. 1 Ian Williams of Great Britain, No. 3 Eric Monnin of Switzerland, No. 5 Björn Hansen of Sweden and America’s Cup teams Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan, which will be skippered by Dean Barker of New Zealand, who is a past match racing world champion.
Sailing with Warren: Pictured, from left, are (back row) Chummie White, Jay Kempe, John Wadson, Reid Kempe; and (front row) Malcolm Kirkland, Warren Brown, Paul Doughty. The crew are sailing in September 2003 on War Baby on her last major quest, the Classic Boat Series which he won. The hills of Monaco are in the background.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the entire Bermuda sailing community and indeed sailors around the world were saddened to learn of the death of Warren Brown. One of Bermuda’s greatest sailing icons, Warren died Christmas Day at King Edward VII Hospital in Bermuda after surgical complications.
Warren had a long and effective sailing career spanning six decades. Upon return from gaining his degree from Yale University he began working in his family retail business in Bermuda and racing in International One Designs. In 1960, he won the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup in his yacht War Baby.
Warren bought his first ocean racer in the early 1960s and named it Force Seven completing its first Newport Bermuda race in 1964. As a co-founder of the Onion Patch Series in that year, he was a member of the Onion Patch team sailing his yacht Force 7 for Bermuda.
The boat was being delivered back to Newport in early September when they encountered Hurricane Cleo in the Gulf Stream. They were faced with 50ft seas and 85-knot winds and survived.
He went on to sail over 300,000 ocean miles, 20 Newport to Bermuda races on eleven different yachts, and three different War Babys.
While Bermuda celebrated its historic America’s Cup success, one of the island’s finest sailors turned his thoughts to “the guy who made this whole thing possible”.
It is possible only a select few of the thousands that descended on Front Street last night would have known the name “Jordy Walker”.
But in the eyes of legendary local sailor, Warren Brown, Mr Walker is the reason why the Auld Mug will be handed out in Bermuda in 2017.
“The America’s Cup would not be coming to Bermuda had it not been for Jordy Walker,” he said.
“At a time when there were no shipwrights in Bermuda and the wooden boats were breaking up Jordy continued to make his yachts up in Dockyard for the Gold Cup teams.
“This meant that all these great sailors from the US kept coming back to Bermuda and learned how to sail here.
“If Jordy Walker had not built those boats and allowed the Gold Cup to continue the America’s Cup would never have come here.
“Those great sailors got a taste for Bermuda and got to know the waters through Jordy’s boats and through the Gold Cup.
“His work is the catalyst that brought the America’s Cup here.”
Walker, a former Olympic sailor and ex-Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore, died in December 2010 at the age of 71.
Full story by Simon Jones in the Royal Gazette
Williams and Canfield knocked out in Semis
by Talbot Wilson
Hamilton BERMUDA, October 26, 2014 - Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team has won the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup and $50,000 of the $100,000 prize purse. Berntsson defeated Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team 3-1 in brilliant match racing conditions on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour. This is the second time the jovial swede has won the King Edward VII Gold Cup, repeating his triumph of 2008.
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar and Taylor Canfield (IVS) US One were the two competitors who had reached the Semi Finals with the best record. Coming into the Argo Group Gold Cup they were ranked 1 and 2 on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. They lost to Monnin and Berntsson in the Semi Finals. In the Petite Finals, Canfield defeated Williams 2-1 to claim third place, leaving Williams in fourth.
The Final and Petite Final skippers had sailed in 32 Gold Cup events amongst the four.
Williams Through to Semi Final Round still Undefeated
by Talbot Wilson
Hamilton BERMUDA, October 25, 2014 - The 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup Quarter Finals were completed Saturday morning and the Semi Finals, Petite Finals and Finals will all be sailed on Sunday. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar and Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team came through the quarters with 3-0 scores. Williams, The Alpari World Match Racing Tour leader at 12-0 is undefeated in all his races.
Racing in the Quarter Finals was postponed from today’s schedule when what little wind there was dropped away completely. Sunday will be starting one hour earlier, almost dawn in Bermuda.
The Quarter Finals pitted Williams against Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing, Taylor Canfield US One against Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, Monnin against Pierre Morvan (FRA) Vannes Aggio Sailing Team, and an all-Swedish pairing of Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team against Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team.
The Quarter Finals were a first to 3-point knockout. The Four winners move on to the Semi Finals and four will go to the Consolation Round to decide places 5-8.
- 4 on 1 after First Flight of Argo Group Gold Cup Quarters
- Canfield and Williams first into Argo Group Gold Cup Quarter Finals
- Williams and Stanczyk lead Groups in Argo Group Gold Cup Qualifying
- Qualifying Groups set for Argo Group Gold Cup
- Argo Group Gold Cup Survives Gonzalo
- Hurricane Gonzalo Delays Argo Group Gold Cup
- Fleet Set for Bermuda's Argo Group Gold Cup
- AC34 Commentator Tucker Thompson Joins Argo Group Gold Cup Team for Royal Bermuda YC
- Artemis Racing adds America’s Cup flavor to Argo Group Gold Cup
- Fraser quick to accept invite for Gold Cup