WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup day 3 - Heated battles for top slots

Williams in the driving seat against Richard - Argo Group Gold Cup - World Match Racing Tour 2011
Argo Group Gold Cup, the seventh stage of the World Match Racing Tour, is currently underway at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, on Hamilton Harbor. Following Wednesday’s 44-race marathon, Thursday was a little less hectic with only 36 matches sailed to conclude Stage one.

World Match Racing Tour leader and number one ranked open match race sailor Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar/Argo Group had one of the best performances in any Stage one group, coming away with six points and an automatic slot in the Quarter finals.

'Eric Monnin gave us some lessons about going around the course,' Williams said about his one loss to the young Swiss sailor. 'Then we had close matches with the two Frenchmen, getting a penalty against Richard and then being lucky to beat Iehl.' Iehl had passed Wiliams twice in their three-lap match.

'We feel lucky to be getting into the Quarter Finals,' Williams added.

Richard leads Iehl - Argo Group Gold Cup - World Match Racing Tour 2011

The other automatic slot from Group three went to Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team. He and Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team were tied on five points each. Richard had defeated Iehl in the round robin, so Iehl and Eric Monnin will have to fight it out with four other third and fourth place group finishers in the Stage two Repechage.

Lindberg v Bruni - Argo Group Gold Cup - World Match Racing Tour 2011

The battle for the top two slots in Group one went to Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team who looked as strong as Williams with six points and to Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners, 2010 runner-up, also at six points but with a loss to Lindberg. The repechage slots in Group one went to Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing with five points and to Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team with four points.

Torvar Mirsky in his match against Peter Gilmour - Argo Group Gold Cup - World Match Racing Tour 2011

Group two saw heated battles in most of its matches. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat came out on top with five points. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing came out best of three teams on four points to take the second automatic qualifier. Taylor Canfield (ISV) was third and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team was fourth and both move into the Repechage. Three-time Gold Cup winner, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing was eliminated after the loss to Berntsson on a penalty for sailing into a buoy - marked ‘keep-away’ zone.

The Stage two Repechage round robin and Quarter Finals are scheduled next for Hamilton Harbor. Pairings for the Quarter Finals will be determined when the repechage is completed.

Winds are expected to be 20-25 kts from the Northeast, so sailing should once again be fast and furious. The first start is scheduled a half hour earlier, 9:00 ADT. Exciting live coverage of Argo Group Gold Cup action is available daily online. The ‘WMRT Morning Show’ and ‘WMRT Today. Show’ with Hannah White are also shown on WMRT website, providing a preview and wrap up of the racing each day from Hamilton Harbour.

Results after Qualifying Session Three:

Group One:
Q - Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 6-1
Q - Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 6-1
R - Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 5-2
R - Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekononmen Sailing Team 4-3
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 3-4
Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenRe 3-4
Jakub Pawluk (POL) Henri Lloyd Racing 1-6
Jordan Reece (AUS) True Blue Racing 0-7

Group Two:
Q - Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 5-2
Q - Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-3
R - Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team ISV 4-3
R - Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4-3
Reuben Corbett NZL) AON Racing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Lance Fraser (BER) Freelance-Digicel 3-4
Sam Pearson (GBR) Team Wight Match 2-5

Group Three:
Q - Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo group 6-1
Q - Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-2
R - Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-2
R - Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team 4.5-2
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team 4-3
Laurie Jury (NZL) ZOKE Kiwi Match 2-5
Terry McLaughlin (CAN) Team Commonwealth 1-6
Peter Miller (BER) Miller Match Racing 0-7

Argo Group Gold Cup website
WMRT website