| In a meeting today Argo Group Gold Cup organisers at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) took a close look at Hurricane Gonzalo's predicted track and intensity and decided to delay the event schedule by one day to allow crews the opportunity to reschedule flights to arrive after the storm has passed and the airport is reopened. Practice will now be held on Tuesday Oct 21 and racing will be scheduled to start Wednesday morning Oct 22.
Bermuda, host island to the Argo Group Gold Cup— stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour— had a brush with Hurricane Fay last Sunday, Oct. 12. Now less than a week later Bermuda expects for a relatively direct hit from dangerous Hurricane Gonzalo. The Cat.4 storm is now predicted to pass within 42 miles to the west of Bermuda on Friday. All of Bermuda is hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.
Because of the one-day delay to the start of racing, the remainder of the schedule will be compressed and organisers will take advantage of the fine weather predicted after the storm to get the full event in for the competitors and spectators. The winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy takes home $50,000 of the $100,000 prize purse.
Argo Group Gold Cup Chairman Brian Billings said, “We have three areas of concern. First, will the island open for business in time after the storm passes. Second, has the fleet of IOD's come through the storm well so we have boats to sail. And third will the airport reopen quickly so the teams can get here on time. We will know the answers by Friday night or Saturday morning.”
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup will remain on its original schedule Oct. 23-26. The juniors sail up to 5 races a day in the Great Sound for three days. The final day they race one last race on Hamilton Harbour doing the halftime break in the Argo Group Gold Cup finals.
The Family Festival of Sail, the initial event of Argo Group Gold Cup Week , was originally scheduled for Sunday Oct 19 in Barr's Bay Park adjacent to RBYC. The festival will be rescheduled to October 26 and be part of the finals celebration.
Thirteen countries are represented in the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup. The matches will be sailed with the same 20-team format used in 2013. This Argo Group Gold Cup format is unique on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It allows for two 10-team groups. Skippers in each group are ranked and divided by Alpari World Match Racing Tour officials and the organizers at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
– Talbot Wilson