Penalty flags fly at Bermuda Gold Cup

Match racing action in the Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour, continued Wednesday with the one-hour early 7:00AM skippers meeting and the 8:00AM first warning for Flight 2 for Group 2. With the sun barely up in Bermuda, in a breeze that built all morning with gusts in the low twenties, spinnakers were only used for the first flight of the day. Group 2 flights 3 and 4 were non-spinnaker matches.

Penalty flags flew everywhere just like the matches on Tuesday, every match in Group 2 Flight 2 garnered a penalty or two. In Group 3 racing later in the day there was even a collision between Don Wilson (USA) and an umpire boat, a collision between boats racing and rumors of a boat colliding with the harbour wall. Mattias Rahm was black flagged in Flight 1 of Group 3 against Phil Robertson (NZL), getting an immediate disqualification for three simultaneous penalties.

This was the second black flag DSQ in the 2009 Argo Group Gold Cup. The third black flag came out in the Group 1, Flight 5 Match 2, between Ian Evans (USA) and Eric Monnin (SUI) with Monnin getting the automatic, instant win. The fourth black flag came out in the Group 1 Flight 6 Match 4, between Swinton and Williams with the win going Williams way.

British Olympic Gold medal winner Ben Ainslie was first out of the box in the first match of flight 2 for Group 2 at the Argo Group Gold Cup Wednesday morning. He took the win from Bermuda's Olympian Paula Lewin-Crews. Ainslie went on to win three matches today. With another first in Tuesday's dying breeze, he stands at the top of Group 2 with 4-0, four wins and no losses.

Following Ainslie in Group 2 with 3-1 records are Adam Minoprio (NZL), Seb Col (FRA), and Bjorn Hansen. Dave Perry (USA) is 2-2, Alvaro Marinho (POR) stands 1-3 while Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) and Paula Lewin Crews (BER) are winless at 0-4.

Group 3 took to the water after the 4th flight for Group 2 and also completed four flights after a slight pause to allow a powerful wind and rain squall to pass. They raced the two pre-squall with jib and main only, but the rainstorm dampened the wind enough to allow the boats to sail with spinnakers. Group 2 and 3 will complete their round robin on Thursday, weather permitting.

Former Bermuda Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard was in perfect form taking all four of his matches today to stand 4-0 going into the group's last three flights scheduled to be completed along with Group 3's final three on Thursday. Last year's champion Johnie Berntsson lost one match today to Chicago, Illinois skipper Don Wilson and is tied for second in the group with three time Gold Cup champ and past World Tour champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) at 3-1. Gilmour lost his Flight 3 race to Phil Robertson (NZL).

Racing will get underway on Thursday at 9.00am weather permitting. The forecast is for 40 knots of wind to come through so there might be some waiting around before the action starts again.

Results from Day 2

Group 1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 4-1
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-3
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-5

Group 2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 3-1
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 3-1
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 4-0
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 3-1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 1-3
David Perry (USA) 2-2
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 0-4
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 0-4

Group 3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3-1
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 2-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2-2
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1-3
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-3
Charlie Enright (USA) 0-4

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