Williams to return to defend Gold Cup title

  • Title defence: Ian Williams, centre, and Team GAC Pindar will be back in May to try and win the Argo Group Gold Cup again (File photograph by Charles Anderson/RBYC)

    Title defence: Ian Williams, centre, and Team GAC Pindar will be back in May to try and win the Argo Group Gold Cup again (File photograph by Charles Anderson/RBYC)

Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar will be back to defend their Argo Group Gold Cup title during the 70th edition of the World Match Racing Tour regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Englishman Williams, the six-times World Match Race champion, won the coveted King Edward VII Trophy for the second time after beating two-times winner Johnie Berntsson 3-1 in the final in Hamilton Harbour last year.

Sweden’s Berntsson is also returning this year while two-times winner, Taylor Canfield, is back after a one-year hiatus because of commitments with 36th America’s Cup Challenger Stars&Stripes Team USA.

This year’s field also boasts world No 1 men and women’s match racers Eric Monnin, of Switzerland, and Pauline Courtois, of France, as well as Australian Tom Grimes, the reigning Youth Match Racing World Champion.

Grimes is among four skippers making their debut in the event while Courtois is among two all-women crews in the field that will battle for a lion’s share of the $100,000 purse.

Bermuda will be represented by the winner of the Bermuda National Match Racing Championship, to be held on March 1, as well as Lance Fraser, who is back for another bite of the cherry.

For the first time since 2015 the regatta will feature a 16-team format.

“It was a club decision to increase the size of the field to 16,” said Leatrice Oatley, the event chairperson and past Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore.

“We had a lot of interest expressed from potential competitors and after discussions with the PRO, David Campbell-James, from a scheduling perspective, it was decided the event could accommodate 16 teams. Everyone involved is very happy and supportive that we’ve expanded the event.”

King Edward VII Gold Cup 2020 preliminary entry list:

Ian Williams (Lymington, England)

Johnie Berntsson (Stenungsund, Sweden)

Taylor Canfield (Miami, USA)

Eric Monnin (Immensee, Switzerland)

Pauline Courtois (Brest, France)

Nicklas Dackhammar (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Nick Egnot-Johnson (Auckland, New Zealand)

Tom Grimes (Belmont, New South Wales, Australia)

Bermuda National Match Racing Champion (to be determined)

Lance Fraser (Toronto, Canada)

Maxime Mesnil (Le Havre, France)

Torvar Mirsky (Sydney, Australia)

Anna Östling (Lerum, Sweden)

Harry Price (Sydney, Australia)

Jelmer van Beek (The Hague, Netherlands)

Patryk Zbroja (Szczecin, Poland).

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Published Feb 19, 2020 at 11:59 am (Updated Feb 19, 2020 at 1:48 pm)

Williams to return to defend Gold Cup title

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