Argo Group Gold Cup - Quarter Final pairings decided

Taylor Canfield (USVI) on his way to scoring 8-1 in Group 1. - 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
©Charles Anderson/RBYC
At the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, as top qualifier in the round robin matches, Adam Minoprio (NZL) should have had first choice of opponent in the Quarter Finals. But he left the Royal Bermuda YC before the draw and his choice went to the second placed skipper, Taylor Canfield (ISV). Now the New Zealander faces the top ranked British match racer Ian Williams.

Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Argo Group, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion in 2009, came storming out of the Argo Group Gold Cup Qualifier round robin matches. Unbeaten during the last two days, the New Zealander finished up as top scorer among the eight skippers that have made it to the Quarter Finals, with eight points to his credit. Minoprio's only loss came on the first day against Bjorn Hansen (SWE).

As top qualifier out of the round robin matches, Minoprio should have had first choice of opponent in the Quarter Finals, but left the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club before the draw was conducted.

That privilege then fell to the next ranking skipper, Taylor Canfield (ISV), Team Chicago Match Race Center competing in his third Gold Cup. He selected David Chapman (AUS), a rookie to Bermuda, as his Quarter Final opponent.

Chapman however, has been the surprise performer in Bermuda. Ranked 91 in the ISAF world standings and seeded ninth in Group 1, the Australian match racer is the only Quarter Final qualifier who was not among the top eight seeds coming into this Gold Cup regatta.

Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team got the next choice for his Quarter Final opponent and picked Eric Monnin, (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, picked to sail against his Swedish nemesis Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing.

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) gains an advantage over Monnin. - 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
©Charles Anderson/RBYC

That left the top ranked Ian Williams, (GBR) Team GAC Pindar un-chosen, so he matches up with Minoprio by default. This pits the top scoring team from the qualifier round robin stage against the number one match race sailor in the world as ranked by both ISAF and by Alpari World Match Racing Tour points. Not a choice that Minoprio would probably have made.

Bermuda’s two entries, national champion Blythe Walker and college student Lance Fraser, were eliminated after the final four Qualifier flights. They had a respectable chance to move up, but suffered from errors on the windy race course today. Winds of 10-15 came through as predicted and gusts to 20 also rolled down the Hamilton Harbour course.

Full listings of the results in each group and the full pairings for the Quarter Final matches that begin at 10:00 Friday can be found here.

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

Look for good racing again Friday, Bermuda Weather predicts winds north-northeasterly eight to 12 knots, becoming light and variable by evening... Isolated showers, mostly in the morning, with mainly fair visibility — Another Bermudaful day.

Stefan Lindberg (SWE) guages his approach to Taylor Canfield (USVI). - 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
©Charles Anderson/RBYC

Team Monnin (SUI) protests against Adam Minoprio (NZ) but without success. - 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
©Charles Anderson/RBYC

Johnie Berntsson leads Bjorn Hansen around the final windward mark after a topsy turvy match. - 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
©Charles Anderson/RBYC

World Match Racing Tour website
Argo Group Gold Cup website