A sterling collection of past champions that also includes the top three skippers in the World Match Race Rankings, the reigning Open, Women’s and Youth World champions and the America’s Cup Challenger of Record are among the first eight entrants to the 2019 Argo Group Gold Cup, the oldest match racing regatta for one-design yachts and offering a $100,000 prize purse.
Scheduled May 6-11, the Argo Group Gold Cup is pre-dated by only the America’s Cup. The Gold Cup trophy was first presented in 1907 by King Edward VII at the Tri-Centenary Regatta, in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America in Jamestown, Virginia.
The Gold Cup was awarded as a match racing trophy in 1937 and this year marks the 69th running of the event organized by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
“We are proud to sponsor Argo Group Gold Cup for the tenth year,” said Mark E. Watson III, CEO, Argo Group. “This event attracts the world’s best skippers and crews with experience competing in a wide variety of prestigious races.”
World No. 1 Ian Williams [GBR], No. 2 Eric Monnin [SUI] and No. 3 Ettore Botticini [ITA], the reigning youth world champion, have all accepted invitations to the Argo Group Gold Cup.
They are joined by last year’s runner-up and World No. 18 Johnie Berntsson [SWE], a two-time past champion, last year’s third-place finisher Torvar Mirsky [AUS], the 2011 champion and the reigning world champion, and last year’s fourth-place finisher, Lucy Macgregor [GBR], the two-time reigning women’s world champion.
The 2013 Gold Cup champion, Francesco Bruni [ITA], will represent Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge for the America’s Cup. World No. 8 Nicklas Dackhammar [SWE], who finished sixth last year, is back for his third run at the trophy.
Four additional entries for a total of 12 are yet to be confirmed although one of those entries is allocated for the Bermuda National Match Racing Champion, to be determined later this month.
They’re all coming back for the warm hospitality of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, tenacious racing and the lure of winning one of the most coveted trophies in sailing.
“Team GAC Pindar first came to the Gold Cup in 1999 and has been a regular competitor since 2005, only missing last year due to the birth of my second son,” said the 41-year-old Williams. “We love coming to the Gold Cup for so many reasons; the local people, the place, and the competition for such a famous trophy.”
Racing will take place directly off the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Hamilton Harbour, one of the most idyllic natural amphitheaters. Racing will be held in the International One-Design [IOD], a 33-foot sloop designed in 1936.
Collectively, Berntsson, Bruni, Mirsky and Williams have combined to win the King Edward VII Gold Cup five times and finished runner-up another three times. Williams has won the match racing worlds six times, more than any other skipper, and Macgregor has won the women’s worlds three times.
2019 Argo Group Gold Cup Preliminary Entry List
- Johnie Berntsson [SWE] – two-time past champion [2008, ’14]
- Ettore Botticini [ITA] – reigning Youth Match Racing World champion
- Francesco Bruni [ITA] – Luna Rossa Challenge, past champion 
- Nicklas Dackhammar [SWE] – sixth place in 2018
- Lucy Macgregor [GBR] – reigning Women’s Match Racing World champion
- Torvar Mirsky [AUS] – past champion , reigning Match Racing World champion
- Eric Monnin [SUI] – World No. 2-ranked match racer [as of Jan. 25, 2019]
- Ian Williams [GBR] – past champion , six-time Match Racing World champion
- Bermuda National Match Racing champion – to be named
- To be determined
- To be determined
- To be determined