Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, October 10, 2010: Yesterday afternoon Denmark’s Jesper Radich and Ben Ainslie of Great Britain won their Quarter Final and Semi-Final matches to reach today’s finals in the 2010 Argo Group Gold Cup. Radich, who won the Gold Cup in 2002, defeated Eric Monnin of Switzerland 3-0 and defending champion Ainslie beat Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson, the winner in 2008, three points to one. The Semi-Final matches went to the first team to three points.
Tension will be high today as Radich and Ainslie battle for the $50,000 prize purse that goes to the winner. The runner-up drops $30,000 to take $20,000 for second. There are also valuable Tour points that the winner will carry into the final Tour event of the year, The Monsoon Cup sailed at the end of November in Malaysia.
Commenting on his performance so far in the Gold Cup Radich said, “We feel that we have been lucky to have moved through the round robin, quarter and semi finals so well and we do realize the final against Ainslie will be especially tough.”
“We gained confidence all week as we continued to win but Ainslie has really had to fight hard through some tough situations and tough matches, so this makes him really ready. We are feeling very sharp, too, and I personally am really enjoying being in this final."
"Actually, my wife encouraged me to come back and race,” Radich added. “I thought, well, it is a risk. You don't know how it will turn out. Somehow, I have to say, my wife gave me the push to be here and well, it turned out OK so far."
Ben Ainslie looks forward to today’s contest with Radich. "The final races against Johnie Bernsston were tough,” he said. “We were sailing so close to so many spectator boats that I do know now what it feels like now to be a footballer. There was contact, too in our races and it is very hard to judge with these boats. It was it was a tough series to the end.
“We do feel we have had some battles,” he added, “but we are battle-hardened. We feel lucky because we love this venue, we like the boats and they are challenging. The atmosphere is great and we have a lot of friends here. So, we are really looking forward to another Gold Cup final.
Radich who has sailed a near perfect regatta said, “It occurs to me that we have had only one loss, and over 13 races I think that is actually a pretty good statistic.”
Radich went 6-1 in the Round Robin to qualify. Then he went 3-0 to take his Quarter-final match. With his 3-0 win yesterday, he enters the finals with twelve wins and one loss. the sole loss came to event newcomer Mike Buckley back on Tuesday in his first race in Group 1. Ainslie came to the finals the hard way. He did not qualify for the Quarter-Finals directly. In Group 2, he had 4 wins and 2 losses and came out third. He had to sail in the repechage on Friday and won that in a three way-tiebreaker to advance to the Quarter-finals. Saturday morning he faced 2009 Tour champion Adam Minoprio of New Zealand and took the win having to sail all five races and finally take it 3-2.
In the afternoon, Berntsson was making a comeback. After being two nil down, he put on a strong showing to win the third race. At 2-1 Ainslie put Berntsson away by trapping him seconds before the start and forcing a double penalty. To add insult to penalties, Berntsson was also over the line early. Ainslie never looked back.
Matches were also sailed yesterday to determine fifth through eighth place. Adam Minoprio (NZL) was fifth, Taylor Canfield (USVI) was sixth, Reuben Corbett (NZL) was seventh and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) was eighth.
The RenRe Jr Gold Cup Regatta moves into Hamilton Harbour for its final race. The Optimist Dinghy skippers hail from Bermuda and thirteen other countries. They are some of the top ranked young sailors in the world. The race will be sailed between flights of the Argo Group Gold Cup finals in the afternoon.
Bermuda TV audiences can watch the Argo Group Gold Cup and RenRe Jr Gold Cup racing live on Channel 82 today. Commentary is provided by match racing expert Scott Dickson and his guests and is also broadcast on VHF 74 for on-the-water spectators. The program is also online at www.bermudasportsnetwork.com and www.wmrt.com and available on mobile phones, too.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club also plays host to the third annual Family Festival of Sail today from 10:00 to 4:00 in Barr’s Bay Park.
Match racing fans world-wide are invited to watch the Argo Group Gold Cup streaming live audio and videocourtesy of www.bermudasportsnetwork.com It is also available on the event website at www.argogroupgoldcup.com and on the tour site at www.wmrt.com
Today's programme of events
THE ARGO GROUP GOLD CUP FINALS
9:00 am Argo Group Gold Cup Skippers briefing, RBYC Terrace
11:00 am Argo Group Gold Cup Final Four Championships –
Petite Finals (first-to-three series) – Flights 1 & 2
10:00 - 4:00 pm Family Festival of Sail in Barr’s Bay Park
12:00 am* Argo Group Gold Cup Final Four Championships –
Finals (first-to-three series) and completion of Petite Finals
1:00 pm RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup Final Race
Finals (first-to-three series) continues
5;00 pm ** Press Conference and Prize Presentation
Argo Group Contact:
Lisa Scannell VP - Mkting & Communications Email:
Tel: 617 478 5206 Mobile: 857 205 9668
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Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. We offer a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in three arenas: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, and International Specialty.
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About the ISAF World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series featuring 9 World Championship events across the globe, sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with "Special Event" status.
The World Tour awards over US$1.5million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". In addition, an incentive to compete in the world's premier sailing series just got bigger. A US$250,000 overall prize pool for the top nine teams with a $50,000 bonus for the outright winner of next year's World Match Racing Tour is now on offer.
Events utilise the same "match race" format used in the America's Cup with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which places a focuses on team work and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore for the general public to follow the races as virtual on-the-water stadiums.
Media and television highlights coverage reaches over 2.1 billion households in excess of 183 countries around the world.