Gold Cup included as part of 2021 World Match Racing Tour
The Bermuda Gold Cup has been named among four World Championship regattas on the 2021 World Match Racing Tour schedule.
Tour organisers have announced a 17-event schedule spread across 11 countries, with the Bermuda Gold Cup taking place in Hamilton Harbour from September 27 to October 2.
The match-racing spectacle is contested in the classic International One-Design Class for the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup, the oldest trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts.
Taylor Canfield and his Stars+Stripes USA team-mates won a third Gold Cup and second in two years after defeating defending champion Ian Williams and GAC Pindar in the final.
Canfield joined an exclusive group of company that includes New Zealand’s Sir Russell Coutts and Bermuda’s A.F. “Bert” Darrell as skippers to have won the showpiece three or more times.
The US Virgin Islands skipper and his team-mates completed an impressive double as the Gold Cup served jointly as the 2020 Open Match Racing World Championships, which reverted to a one-off event as a result of the postponement or cancellation of many regattas owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Last year was challenging for all international sports,” James Pleasance, the WMRT executive director, said. “We were very fortunate to be able to award the WMRT championship in Bermuda in October due to the fantastic efforts of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
“We are very hopeful 2021 will allow for a full tour season. However, understandably, organisers and sailors are cautious of ongoing restrictions, which is why we have set the tour schedule not to start before the end of April.”
The tour will begin with the Szczecin Match Race, in Poland, from April 30 to May 2 and conclude with the inaugural series final in Shenzhen, China, from December 15 to 19.
The schedule will comprise WMRT events and world championship events, with the latter carrying a weightier points designation and prize money of at least $75,000.
The GKSS Match Cup Marstrand in Sweden, Congressional Cup Regatta in Long Beach, California, and the tour final in China are the remaining regattas having been granted world championship status, along with the Gold Cup organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
All events are organised under World Sailing rules as open match-racing events, allowing both men and women skippers, as well as mixed teams to compete.
Skippers will count their best four results from the tour towards the standings, with the top ten to 12 qualifying for the finale after the penultimate regatta.
The WMRT Final will carry a points multiplier of 1.5 and a purse of $200,000.
Taylor said he and his team-mates are up for their world title defence.
“We are excited for 2021 and our team and partners are looking forward to defending the world championship this year,” he said.
“WMRT is a great platform for sailors and fans to experience the best match-racing competition globally. The Tour has done a fantastic job creating a racing schedule in the US, Europe and Asia.”
• Visit www.wmrt.com for more information on the World Match Racing Tour