2012 Gold Cup News

Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team Chicago Match Race Center and Ian Williams Team GAC Pindar led the charge into the Semi Finals of the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup with perfect 3-0 wins. Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team will join them in the semis Saturday morning.

Hamilton, BERMUDA: Oct. 5, 2012 – Semi Final pairings have been drawn at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup for racing scheduled for Saturday at 11:00 AM Bermuda time. Taylor Canfield (ISV) with the best record in the finals four chose to race Eric Monnin (SUI). Top Alpari Match Racing Tour and and top ISAF ranked match racer Ian Williams (GBR) and Tour Cad Holder Johnie Berntsson (SWE) are the other pair in the first to three point matches. The two winners will move on the the Finals on Sunday.

The overall winner picks up $50,000 of the $100,000 prize purse. Second place gets $20,000, third gets $10,000 and fiourth takes $7,000 and the remainder is divided by the other four Quarter Finalists.

Canfield’s Team Chicago Match Race Center was the first Semi Final qualifier Friday morning in the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. He defeated David Chapman (AUS) 3-0 getting two early matches in while other matches were postponed or abandoned.

Canfield was seeded third in his qualifying group, but topped that field with 8 points. He clearly out-sailed the young Aussie today. Chapman, ranked 91 by ISAF, was the only lower seeded skipper to break into the Quarter Finals. Canfield played the shifts and puffs and kept his boat moving through the frightfully light air coming over the buildings of downtown Hamilton.

“We were comfortable in our pre-starts today. Canfield said. “We had our timing down well and we were able to get off the line ahead of Chapman and that helped us a lot today. It was shifty, but we kept a constant conversation going on the boat. The wind is always shifting on Hamilton harbor so you really have to stay on it constantly. The team did a great job.”

Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team was next to climb through defeating Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team by 3-1. After two matches they were even, but Monnin picked up the pace as the wind began to move to the right and stabilize somewhat. He took the next two matches to move on.

This is Monnin’s fourth trip to the Semi Finals. After the race he commented, “The conditions today we really challenging and we were lucky that the wind conditions just went out way against Steffan.”

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, currently the top ranked skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and top ranked by ISAF, was next through taking three straight from Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Argo Group. Williams was at the top of his form. He took all the starts, hit all the shifts, found puffs where they hadn’t been before and led from start to finish in all three races.

“It's never easy racing against Adam Minoprio,” Williams said. “We really feel we dominated the starts. And tactician Bill Hardesty did a great job calling every shift. Overall the team did a fantastic job. We did rely heavily on Bill to call the shifts. What the rest of us do is just keep the boat going fast… keeping us fast means we have a lot more options. So, sailing fast is key.

The closest action in the Williams-Minoprio match was in the pre-start. Williams led the kiwi on a tour through the mooring field behind the starting line. He went between two mooring balls and came so close to one boat that he almost hooked his backstay on the anchor of the bow a cruiser.

The two Swedish skippers Johnie Berntsson, Berntsson Sailing Team, and Bjorn Hansen, Mekonomen Sailing, had a rematch from their final race on Thursday. The pair exchanged wins to stand 1-1 but then Berntssen took the next two in a row.

Berntsson said, “It may have looked easy sometimes but we had many times where the control shifted today. It was very much about what came with the next shift. So, we had our work cut out for us today.”

Full listings of the results in each group, in the Quarter Finals and the pairings for the Semi Final matches that begin at 10:00 Saturday may be found at www.argogroupgoldcup.com

The Quarter Final matches are knock outs with first to three in each of the matches moving on the the Semi Finals on Saturday.

Tomorrow may be a little more dicy than today. Bermuda Weather predicts winds variable 5 knots, becoming southeasterly in the afternoon, then veering southerly late night..

The semi-finals and finals are live online and scheduled for 14:00 local time (ADT/GMT-3) Saturday and Sunday televised live and online. The schedule will be available pre-event at http://www.wmrt.com/live and on www.argogroupgoldcup.com

Argo Group Gold Cup Quarter Finals begin at 0930AM local time (GMT-3) on Friday 5th October with the event Final on Sunday 7th October. Full schedule and additional information and updates are available at www.wmrt.com.

To watch reruns and live action as it happens, visit www.wmrt.com/live.html

Tour regular Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/wmrt
Live event

Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/wmrt_liverace

October is a perfect month to vacation in Bermuda and the Argo Group Gold Cup is a showcase event culminating in the finals weekend October 5th-7th. Special rates for Gold Cup week are available at the Hamilton Princess Hotel. Please use the special code ARGO0912_001 when booking rooms. www.fairmont.com/hamilton-bermuda/

This year will mark the 62nd staging of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, with previous winners including some of the greatest names ever to match race. Since the event was reformatted to be an event under the Match Racing Association in 1985, multiple winners include Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), and Ben Ainslie (GBR).

The 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup runs from October 2nd with Finals scheduled for October 7th. Spectator friendly racing is held in Hamilton Harbour, adjacent to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Marina, a spectacular attraction for tourists and Bermuda residents alike.

The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate seventh stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, in which the teams compete for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Match racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the classic heritage events on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Argo Group Gold Cup Media Contact:
Talbot Wilson, Talbot Wilson & Associates, Inc.
Tel: +1 (850)432-8170
Fax: +1 (850)432-8050
Mob: +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

Alpari World Match Racing Tour Contact:
Audrey Lakai
Mobile: + 6 012 502 2206
Email:

Alpari World Match Racing Tour Press Information
Capitalize: Leigh Ireland
Tel: +44 (0) 207 940 1700
Mobile: +44 (0) 7545 503 579
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, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200 at Lloyd's.

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 Alpari World Match Racing Tour

The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series featuring nine 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 teamwork and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore so that spectators and fans can follow the racing in a virtual on-the-water stadium.

Media and television highlights coverage reaches in excess of 183 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.wmrt.com

About Alpari

With a history dating back to 1998, the Alpari companies are among the world's fastest growing providers of online Forex trading services. The companies provide cutting edge technology, low-cost trading, comprehensive market research tools, advanced educational programes and world-class customer service.

The association of Alpari companies has offices in over 20 countries. Locations include London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai, Moscow, Mumbai and Frankfurt. Combined, the companies look after over 170,000 active trading accounts, generating monthly trading volumes in excess of USD210 billion and employ over 630 people worldwide.*

*May 2011.