By Talbot Wilson
At right: Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa defeated Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) BART/Argo Group in finals of the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton, Bermuda. Ainslie came back from 2 nil to tie the final. Bruni won the last race and defeated Ainslie 3-2. Photo by Talbot Wilson
Hamilton BERMUDA, Feb 9 - The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Argo Group have set the dates for the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup sailed for the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and a $100,000 prize purse. The penultimate event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour starts October 21st on Hamilton Harbour in Bermuda.
Twenty teams will enter the fray. Only two of them will reach the final match on Sunday October 26th. After the finals, the last team standing will put its name on the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup and take the $50,000 winner's check at the prizegiving on the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club terrace.
Piers Wedgwood, a British lord and fifth-generation great-grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, creator of the distinctive blue and white pottery that embellishes tea tables and china collections, died Wednesday, Jan. 29, of cardiac failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Lord Wedgwood, who was an avid sportsman, donated the Wedgwood Heritage Trophy to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in 1990 to be presented first at the 1990 King Edward VII Gold Cup competition to the sailor who best represents the traditional values and history of sailing. The award, a classic blue and white Wedgwood piece, is on display along with the King Edward VII Gold Cup in the Rotunda of the Yacht Club. Lord Wedgwood often came to Bermuda to present the trophy in person and enjoy the racing at the Gold Cup.
Past Commodore Brian Billings, Chairman of the Argo Group Gold Cup said, “ We will miss Lord Wedgwood’s charming personality, his wit and his continuous support for the Argo Group Gold Cup. We look forward to continuing to present the Wedgwood Heritage Trophy in memory of the man and the family that donated it to honor those who have stood for the traditional values of sailing.”
It was a battle of the America's Cup teams for a shiny old cup, but it wasn't on San Francisco Bay. The match racing action for the King Edward VII Gold Cup took place in Bermuda's Hamilton Harbour in October, and it came down to a battle of America's Cup tacticians, with Italy's Francesco Bruni and team Luna Rossa beating out Oracle's Team USA's Ben Ainslie racing as team BART/Argo Group.
It came down to the final race, with the teams tied 2-2 when Bruni sailed flawlessly in the final race to win the cup and the $50,000 prize purse. Bruni had great pace at the start of the final race in the light north- easterly breeze, when he took Ainslie all the way up to the wall. When they tacked for the obstruction, Bruni was clearly ahead and gained all the way to the finish.
Bruni and his crew, Pierluigi de Felice, Xabi Fernandez and Nick Hutton celebrated the first time an Italian has ever won the Gold Cup.
"To win every start against Sir Ben Ainslie in the finals is pretty big," said skipper Francesco Bruni. "It has been a really great return to the world tour."
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