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Double trouble for Bermuda

Local skippers Joshua Greenslade and Lance Fraser found the going tough during day one of the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton Harbour, managing a solitary win between them.

Greenslade was beaten in all four of his races while Fraser finished with a 1-3 record

And they must now quickly discover a way to turn their flagging fortunes around if they are to progress beyond the group stage of the regatta.

Fraser and his Team Digicel Business team-mates — Adam Barboza, Nico Stefani and Michael Rehe — lost their Group One round robin flights against Keith Swinton (Australia) , Simone Ferrarese (Italy) and Adam Minoprio (New Zealand) but managed to salvage some pride after prevailing against Eric Monnin (Switzerland).

Greenslade and his Team Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Sailing Academy team-mates — Blythe Walker, Tom Herbert-Evans and Sean Evans — fared even worse, losing to Phil Robertson (New Zealand), Ben Ainslie (England), Nicolai Sehested (Finland) and Bjorn Hansen (Sweden).

Greenslade's Gold Cup hopes now hang by a thin thread.

“Our chances of going through (to the quarter-finals) are slim,” he conceded. “But we'll keep pushing hard.”

Fraser got off to the worst possible start after being black flagged (disqualified) by the umpires for obstructing rival skipper Swinton three times at the top mark.

The young skipper took full responsibility for the mishap.

“I made some mistakes around the top mark there and didn't keep clear as much as we should have,” he said. “It was completely my fault. “

Victory against Monnin in his third round robin flight went some way towards cushioning the blow for Fraser who will be looking put more ticks in the win column when racing resumes.

“Hopefully a few things go our way tomorrow,” he said. “We're confident we can turn a few of those really close races into wins instead of losses.”

Fraser will face Marek Stanczyk (Poland), past Gold Cup winners Taylor Canfield (US Virgin Islands) and Johnie Berntsson (Sweden) and Bruni in his remaining round robin flights.

Greenslade is due to meet Kiwi William Tiller, past Gold Cup winners Ian Williams (England) and Mathieu Richard (France) and Pierre –Antoine Morvan (France) in his remaining flights.

Past Gold Cup winners Williams (4-0) and Ainslie (4-0) and Minoprio (3-0) currently boast the best records in the fleet.

Reigning Gold Cup champ Canfield endured a mixed bag, recording two wins and as many losses.

“We ended up the morning 2-2 which is not obviously our best performance,” he said. “But we're kind of happy to be where we are after being behind in the last race (with American Chris Poole) and we gave one race away against Bruni (Francesco).

“But that's just part of the harbour and we are just adapting to all the wind direction and the shifts and trying to get all our roles worked out in the boat.

“It definitely came together in that last race and we are feeling confident going into the next few races in the round.”

Bermuda sailor Lance Fraser got black flagged in his first race on the opening day of the Gold Cup. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

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Published October 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 09, 2013 at 9:26 am)

Double trouble for Bermuda

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