Berntsson aims for treble
Johnie Berntsson hopes to join an exclusive group of company when Argo Group Gold Cup racing for the oldest match racing trophy in the world for one-design yachts resumes after a two-year hiatus in Hamilton Harbour next week.
The Swedish skipper is bidding to add his name to those who have lifted the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup three or more times and he has brought along with him the same team he last won the showpiece with four years ago.
“We will be back with the same winning team from 2014 and as always we are looking forward to feeling the unique Bermuda spirit of sailing and sportsmanship,” Berntsson told The Royal Gazette.
Berntsson, who is making his ninth appearance at the event, is competing again with Oscar Angervall, Björn Lundgren and Robert Skarp.
Australian Peter Gilmour, whose son Sam is also among this year’s Gold Cup field, was the last skipper to have his name inscribed on the King Edward VII Gold Cup a third time in 2003.
Since then multiple Olympic gold medal-winner and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie and Berntsson have each won the match race spectacle twice.
Berntsson is among a trio of previous winners in this year’s Gold Cup field that also includes reigning men’s Open Match Race world champion Torvar Mirsky and Taylor Canfield, who won last month’s Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California after prevailing against seasoned America’s Cup campaigner Dean Barker in the final.
Also among the field is Lucy Macgregor, the reigning and two-times Women’s Open Match Race world champion, who is making her second appearance at the event having made her debut in 2010.
“The line-up is super competitive and the racing will be excellent,” Berntsson said.
Denmark’s Joachim Aschenbrenner, Italian Ettore Botticini, Sweden’s Nicklas Dackhammar, Poland’s Marek Stanczyk, Charlie Lalumiere, of the United States, Chris Poole and another entrant yet to be confirmed make up the remainder of the 12 teams who will compete for $100,000 in prize money.
Botticini, Gilmour and Lalumiere are all making their debut at the regatta.
The Argo Group Gold Cup, contested in the classic International One Design sloop, and hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, will be held from Tuesday until Saturday.
New Zealand’s Adam Minoprio won the previous event in 2015 after besting Australian Keith Swinton in the final.
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