2011 Gold Cup News

oct10_finaltalbotBy Talbot Wilson- Argo Group Gold Cup

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, October 8, 2011: The new name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy is Torvar Mirsky (AUS). Mirsky (AUS) and his team The Wave Muscat won the 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup three races to two over 2006 Gold Cup champion Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team. Entering the Gold Cup, Mirsky was #3 on the World Match Racing Tour.

His position will improve going into the Monsoon Cup, the final event on the tour.

In the Bermuda finals, Mirsky won the first and third flights and Berntsson won the second and fourth. Then in the sudden death, final flight that would bring one of the teams to three points and a win, Mirsky took the start. In spite of constant pressure from Berntsson, his lead was never threatened.

“It is over the moon to win over Johnie today,” Mirsky said following the match. He sailed so fast in both boats used in the match. He kept putting on the pressure.”

This is Mirsky’s second Tour win in a row. “ Winning two events in a row is a great feeling,” he said, and the $50,000 first place prize doesn’t hurt either.” This is Mirsky’s first Gold Cup finals in his third try. He quipped, “This prize helps pay for all the times we tried to win the Gold Cup.”

Berntsson won $20,000 for his second place performance. He remarked, “Maybe next time we will get more points than flags.” He was referring to the large numbe of penalties he got during the week.

In the first race Berntsson copped a penalty at the first weather mark for failing to keep clear of Mirtsky. He got another penalty on the subsequent downwind leg in a luffing duel. When he made the required immediate turn, the umpires ruled that he hadn’t lowered his spinnaker below the level of the boom. So it was turn again for Berntsson. He never recovered from that and Mirsky took that contest going away.

The second race was all Berntsson. He had great speed off the line and a lead to windward. He took control in a tacking duel up the first beat and rounded ahead. He extended that lead down wind and kept control for the whole race.

Race number three was back to the penalty box for Berntsson. He got a penalty in the dial-up for the start, but took the lead upwind off the line. He extended the lead twenty seconds at the last weather mark. Earlier in the week he had executed perfect turns around the pin end of the finish line against Francesco Bruni to win races. The third time wasn’t a charm… He completed his turn but came out on port tack and forced the starbord tack Mirsky to alter course, Bernstsson got another penalty and lost the race.

Race number four was all Berntsson again but when race number five came around Mirsky was back in the groove and took the start and the finish for a clear win.

Earlier in the day the Petite Finals were sailed to determine third and fourth places. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing showed why he is the #2 ranked skipper on the WMRT and defeated Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-0.

Bruni takes a $10,000 check and Robertson takes $7,000.

Robertson also won the new Jordy Walker Trophy awarded by the Match Racing Association as the most improved young match race sailor who competes in World Match Racing Tour events or other events that automaticlly qualify a skipper for a Tour event.

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

Live coverage of Argo Group Gold Cup action will be available daily, starting Wednesday afternoon 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.

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: 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