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Billings: Regatta is a top draw

The Argo Group Gold Cup has a magnetic appeal that “draws” top sailors from around the world to Bermuda's shores to compete in the annual match racing spectacle.

And the latest edition of the world-class regatta has proven to be no exception.

This year's 20 team Gold Cup fleet is comprised of America's Cup sailors, world champions as well as Olympic gold medalists.

“The Argo Group Gold Cup is always a tremendous draw for most of the sailors around the world,” said regatta chairman Brian Billings. “They all love coming here.”

Among the main attractions at this year's Gold Cup is Ben Ainslie, the most decorated sailor in Olympic history with four gold medals and a silver.

The Englishman is also a two-time Gold Cup winner.

That Bermuda is able to host such a world-class event is “pretty amazing”, Billings added.

“You're talking about the best calibre match race sailors in the world coming to Bermuda,” he said. “It is pretty amazing for a small community that we are and a little dot in the ocean to attract these types of people and calibre of sailors to come out here and play.”

The weapon of choice for teams competing for the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup is the International One Design (IOD) classic racing sloop.

“The majority of sailors, whether they are sailing on an AC72 with America's Cup foiling speed demons, love sailing in the IODs,” added Billings. “They are a classic yacht and the most picturesque boat out on the water.

“The skippers love them and it's a lot of tactics involved because you have to think before time. There's no immediate response, you've got to be able to programme yourself and the boat for your next manoeuvre which is going to be much further down the road than 20 seconds.

“The Argo Group Gold Cup is a challenging race, the IOD a challenging boat and Hamilton Harbor always throws challenges out to everybody too.”

The King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match racing trophy in the world for one — design yachts and is a highly prestigious trophy with a rich tradition.

The trophy was first contested for in 1907.

Brian Billings, Argo Group Gold Cup Race Chairman.

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Published October 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm (Updated October 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm)

Billings: Regatta is a top draw

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