2011 Gold Cup News

oct8_2011_talbot By Talbot Wilson- Argo Group Gold Cup

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, October 8, 2011: Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat was the first team to reach the finals at the 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup. The #3 skipper on the World Match Racing Tour met Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing in the semi-finals and put the Kiwis away three nil.

Earlier in the day Mirsky had a three nil win over 2010 Gold Cup runner-up Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners. Mirsky hopes to carry his momentum into the finals on Sunday to put his name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup for the first time.

“It went really good for us,” Mirsky said. “We had an edge to our game and everything just lined up. This is the best we’ve ever done in Bermuda.”

Phil Robertson thought that the first race was decided on a penalty call. “We made a move that was either going to go well or badly and it went badly. We were outsailed from there. Mirsky kicked our you know what in the end.”

In Quarter Final action earlier in the day, Robertson had defeated #1 ranked Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar/Argo Group 3-0. In the semis he couldn’t get a handle on Mirsky’s powerful starts and great downwind sailing. Mirsky’s crew includes Graeme Spence, Kinley Fowler and Kyle Langford.

The second finalist to qualify was 2006 Gold Cup champion Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team. Berntsson went 3-1 beating Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.

This was a rematch of the Repechage sail-off on Friday. Today, Berntsson was ahead on the last leg of their first match, but carried a penalty downwind. He had worked hard to extend his lead and gain precious seconds to execute his penalty turn at the finish line. It was deja-vu all over again for Bruni as Berntsson executed a perfect circle around the pin and crossed two feet ahead just like his win over Bruni in the repechage tiebraker.

In the fourth and final match, Johnie pulled a double gybe near the end of last downwind leg to take the flag and move into the finals.

“Being in the finals is the goal,’ Berntsson quipped. “We had to have great crew work with our hands full on that gybe maneuver. I had the main to control and the tiller between my legs. “ The wind was a gusty northeaster again and Berntsson’s crew— Johan Barne, Oscar Angervall, and Bjorn Lundgren.— were on their game today.

Gracious in defeat, Francesco Bruni commented, “Johnie did a fantastic job… stretching out when he was ahead and always pushing from behind.”

Berntsson had defeated Staffan Lindberg’s (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 3-1 in the quarters to be the third team in the Semi-finals. Bruni also came through the tiebreaker in the Repechage, and a 3-1 win over Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team to reach the semi-finals.

Fifth through eighth places were also decided today. In the first flight Match 1, Jesper Radich defeated Staffan Lindberg. In Match 2, Mathieu Richard defeated Ian Williams. The two winners matched off and Richard won handily to take fifth place and move Radich into sixth. In the loser’s bracket, Williams won the match for seventh. Lindberg was eighth.

The Petite Finals for third and fourth place and the Finals of the 2011 Agro Group Gold Cup and the youth Opti event, the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, are scheduled for Sunday. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club will also host the annual Family Festival of Sail at the club and Barr’s Bay Park next door.

The winner of the Gold Cup takes $50,000 of the $100,000 prize purse. Second place wins $20,000 and third takes $10,000. The remainder is divided among the fourth through eighth place teams.

Exciting live coverage of Argo Group Gold Cup action is available daily, at www.wmrt.com. The ‘WMRT Morning Show’ and ‘WMRT Today. Show’ with Hannah White are also shown on www.wmrt.com, providing a preview and wrap up of the racing each day from Hamilton Harbour.

The Argo Group Gold Cup schedule, skipper bios, groups and pairings for the Qualiying Rounds are posted on the web at www.argogroupgoldcup.com.

Daily press conferences at the Royal Bermuda YC are open to the public and start at 5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday.

The Argo Group Gold Cup is followed on the World Match Racing Tour by their prestigious season ending finale, The Monsoon Cup, sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

For more information on WMRT, please visit: http://www.wmrt.com

For more information about the Argo Group Gold Cup, go to
www.argogroupgoldcup.com

Argo Group Gold Cup Media Contact:
Talbot Wilson, Talbot Wilson & Associates, Inc.
Tel: +1 (850)432-8170 Fax: +1 (850)432-8050
Mobile: +1 (850)217-7138
Email:
SKYPE: talbotwilson

Argo Group Contact:
Lisa Scannell VP - Mkting & Communications
Email:
Tel: +1 (617) 478 5206
Mobile: +1 (857) 205 9668

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Contact:
Nicole Butterworth, Sailing Secretary
Email:
Tel: (441) 295 2214 Ex 105
Fax:(441) 295 6361

WMRT Contact:
Audrey Lakai
Mobile: + 6 012 502 2206 Email:

WMRT Press information:
contact Capitalize:
Rupert Hains
Tel: +44 (0) 207 940 1700
Mobile: +44 (0) 7887 993 240
Email:

About Argo Group:
Working Together to Serve Specialty Markets
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), is an international provider of specialty property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and managed risk solutions. The companies that make up Argo Group share a firm commitment to working together with our independent agents and wholesale and retail brokerage partners to deliver innovative products for niche markets.

Argo Group clients and shareholders alike benefit from our deep understanding of the markets we serve, our ability to manage through all insurance cycles, our well developed and prudent risk management practices and controls, and our track record of growth and profitability. Through our operating companies, we offer a comprehensive line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims-handling needs of our clients in four business segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, Reinsurance and International Specialty, which includes our Lloyd's syndicate.

At Argo Group, we've built a company with a fundamental purpose of securing the future and a straightforward vision to achieve outstanding results realized together.

Organization-wide, our strategy—easy to define and rewarding to deploy—is to grow hand-in-hand with our clients.

www.argolimited.com

About Bermuda
Although Bermuda is an Atlantic island paradise in its own right, many people mistakenly believe Bermuda is part of the Caribbean. In fact, the island rests hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas, a mere 650 miles east of North Carolina. Flights from New York and other eastern US cities are less than two hours. From London, direct flights are about seven hours. All of Bermuda fits in a cozy 20.7 square miles surrounded by 75 miles of dramatic coastline. Bermuda is famous for hospitality and sparkling pink-sand beaches. Activities include racquet sports, dramatic golfing, spectacular spas, and cultural festivals in all seasons. Of course Bermuda is famous for sailing as a destination for ocean races from Marion, Newport, and Charleston, for Cruising rallies for other East Coast ports and as host to many national and international competitive events.

From chic international cuisine in posh dining rooms to conch stew and local Rockfish at a roadside café, we have a taste to please every palate and budget. While Bermudians do value island tranquility, we like to have a bit of fun, too. From swanky clubs to friendly neighborhood pubs, these after-hours establishments satisfy every thirst. Cocktail in hand and warm sea breeze at your back, set sail on one of our evening cruises along our famous coastline.

For details on all the excitement and events Bermuda has to offer, call your travel agent or visit us at www.bermudatourism.com

About the ISAF World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series featuring 8 World Championship events across the globe, sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with "Special Event" status.

The World Tour awards over US$1.75million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". The prize fund includes a US$500,000 overall prize pool for the top nine teams in the Championship.

Events take place in identically supplied racing yachts to place the focus 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 in excess of 183 countries around the world.

For more information, please visit: www.wmrt.com