Gold Cup’s future left hanging in balance
Organisers of the Argo Group Gold Cup remain “optimistic” that the regatta will be held this year.
The annual sailing spectacle has remained in limbo since the introduction of the one-design M32 catamaran at all World Match Racing Tour events this year.
Despite ongoing talks between Gold Cup organisers and Tour officials that have dragged on for months it has yet to be determined whether the Gold Cup will toe the line and swap the International One Design sloop for the M32 and retain its Tour status, or sever ties and stick with the IOD which have featured in the regatta since the late 1950s.
“We’re hopeful the Gold Cup will carry on, but under what format is a bit undecided,” Peter Shrubb, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club rear commodore, said. “But we are optimistic the event will continue. It’s been going on for 25 years and were hoping it will go on for another few years.”
It was announced after Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the ISAF-sanctioned World Match Racing Tour last July that all events on this year’s Tour would be contested in the one-design M32 high-performance catamaran.
“There’s too many things up in the air at the moment with the World Match Racing Tour, so there haven’t been any decisions made as to whether the yacht club can actually move forward with a decision on whether holding the Gold Cup this year in the same format as last,” Shrubb said.
“We can easily have a Gold Cup but just not really sure what format it will be in; whether it’s going to be under the World Match Racing Tour in the M32, whether it’s going to be on the Tour in IODs, whether it’s going to be an event in IODs not on the Tour, we just don’t know what we are going to do at the moment.
“The owner [Hakan Svensson] of the Tour is coming to Bermuda in April and we’re hoping that Mark Watson [the Argo Group president and chief executive officer] will be here at the same time to be able to get all the stakeholders together and thrash it out.”
The King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts.
Adam Minoprio, the helmsman of 35th America’s Cup challenger Groupama Team France, won last year’s Gold Cup.