2015 Argo Group Gold Cup News

Morning Briefing // Oct. 10

It’s quarterfinal day at the 67th annual Argo Group Gold Cup and while the competitors are raring to go the wind is keeping them shore side for the time being.

The Bermuda Weather Service is forecasting light winds today as a weak high pressure builds over the region. The service is forecasting northwesterly winds 5 to 10 knots, but variable at times.

Match 1: Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar vs. Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing
Match 2: Eric Monnin’s Swiss Match Racing Team vs. Bjorn Hansen’s Nautika Racing
Match 3: Phil Robertson’s WAKA Racing vs. Adam Minoprio’s BlackMatch
Match 4: Taylor Canfield’s US One vs. Chris Steele’s 36 Below Racing

Quarterfinal Pairings

Swinton, Steele Into Quarterfinals At Argo Group Gold Cup

oct9 goldcup sQuarterfinalists boast of big wins versus rivals as America’s Cup teams are eliminated

HAMILTON, Bermuda – Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing from Australia and Chris Steele’s 36 Below Racing from New Zealand have advanced to the Quarterfinal Round at the 67th annual Argo Group Gold Cup.

The two crews led the Repechage Round yesterday and then held on today through a long day of racing to advance to the next round. Swinton won the repechage with a 6-1 record while Steele was second at 5-2. Racing was interrupted for nearly four hours as the wind died from the west and filled in from the northwest.

“It was a challenging day for everyone. We had our share of luck,” said Swinton. “We felt like we were sailing well in the first round but had some bad luck that put us in the repechage, so we’re happy to go through.”

The two crews join six others that qualified after initial round robin racing at the $100,000 match racing regatta. With the multiple rounds robin complete the event moves into its ladder-style knockout phase. The quarterfinals, semifinals and final are all first-to-3 points.

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Morning Briefing // Oct. 9

The resumption of the Repechage Round is the focus this morning at the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup.

Chris Steele’s 36 Below Racing from New Zealand and Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing from Australia both stand at 2-0 after two of seven scheduled flights.

The round also includes two America’s Cup teams, Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan and Francesco Bruni’s Artemis Racing, World Match Racing Tour regular Johnie Berntsson’s racing team (the event’s reigning champion from Sweden), Blythe Walker’s Team RenRe from Bermuda, and two other younger teams – Chris Poole’s Riptide Racing from the U.S. and Reuben Corbett’s racing team from New Zealand.

The wind this morning is from the southwest and in the 5- to 10-knot range under partially cloudy skies.

The top two teams at the end of the repechage advance to the Quarterfinal Round, where six teams lie in wait: Taylor Canfield’s US One, Phil Robertson’s WAKA Racing, Björn Hansen’s Nautiska Racing, Eric Monnin’s Swiss Match Race Team, Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar and Adam Minoprio’s BlackMatch.

By virtue of their placing in the opening rounds robin, Canfield, Robertson and Hansen have earned the right to choose their opponent for the knockout quarterfinals, which will be announced this evening. All matches in the quarterfinals (and semis and final for that matter) are first to 3 points.

Repechage Round (after two of seven flights)

1. Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing, 2-0 – 2 points
2. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, 2-0 – 2 points
3. Dean Barker (JPN) SoftBank Team Japan, 1-1 – 1 point
4. Francesco Bruni (SWE) Artemis Racing, 1-1 – 1 point
5. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbet Racing, 1-1 – 1 point
6. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, 1-1 – 1 point
7. Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenRe, -0-2 – 0 points
8. Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing, 0-2 – 0 points

Repechage Round Underway

oct8 night sTwo of eight teams in repechage will advance to quarterfinals where six others await

HAMILTON, Bermuda – With six of the eight quarterfinalists set at the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup, all eyes are on the Repechage Round to see which two crews will join the action slated for Friday.

At the end of today Chris Steele’s 36 Below Racing from New Zealand and Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing from Australia have the edge. They’re each at 2-0 with two of seven scheduled flights completed.

“Today was more tactful, with the wind lighter than yesterday,” said Steele, who’s competing at the Argo Group Gold Cup for the second time. Steele sees his place in the repechage as somewhat unlucky, given that he lost three races in which he had control But he was undone by penalties in each instance.

“I’d rather be assured of a spot in the quarterfinals, but the repechage gives us more practice in these boats,” Steele said of the International One-Design sloops. “My crew and I are sailing together as a group for the first time, and these boats are so different to anything any of us sail. The dynamics change with the wind strength. So we’re happy to get the extra practice.”

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Phil Robertson's WAKA Racing, Eric Monnin's Swiss Match Race Team and Ian Williams' GAC Pindar have advanced to the quarterfinal round after placing first, second and third, respectively, in Group A.

Robertson's crew won all three of their matches today to finish atop the group with a 5-2 record. Monnin won two of three to finish tied with Robertson, but lost the tiebreaker because Robertson beat him in Flight 4 yesterday. Williams also finished with a 5-2 mark, but was relegated to third based on his half point penalty from yesterday for causing damage in a collision.

Six of the crews are now set in the Quarterfinal Round, scheduled to begin tomorrow. The final two will come from the Repechage Round Robin, which will include the Johnie Berntsson's racing team, Dean Barker's SoftBank Team Japan, Chris Poole's Riptide Racing, Blythe Walker's Team RenRe, Chris Steele's 36 Below Racing, Keith Swinton's Black Swan Racing, Francesco Bruni's Artemis Racing, and Reuben Corbett's racing team.

Danish youngsters Nicolai Sehested and Joachim Aschenbrenner have been eliminated from the competition.