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Monday, October 02, 2023
Bermuda Gold Cup To Get Underway

Racing for the 71st Bermuda Gold Cup is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday morning, and is scheduled to run through Saturday, October 7th.

Group 1 includes crews led by skippers Taylor Canfield (USA), Pauline Courtois (FRA), Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), Dave Hood (USA), Eric Monnin (SUI), Chris Poole (USA), Harry Price (AUS) and Celia Willison (NZL).

The first set of flights pit Poole against Willison, Hood versus Courtois, Price versus Egnot-Johnson, and Monnin against Canfield.

Group 2 features crews led by skippers Johnnie Berntsson (SWE), Jeppe Borch (DEN), Gavin Brady (USA), Josh Greenslade (BER), Peter Holz (USA), Anna Östling (SWE), Jeffrey Peterson (USA) and Ian Williams (GBR).

Group 2 is scheduled to take to Hamilton Harbour after lunch tomorrow and Flight 1 features Borch versus Greenslade, Östling against Holz, Brady against Peterson, and Berntsson versus Williams.

Skippers such as Berntsson, Canfield, Monnin, and Williams have raced the Bermuda Gold Cup for decades and bring a wealth of credentials: a combined 47 appearances and seven championships.

This year the Bermuda Gold Cup welcomes Egnot-Johnson, Greenslade, Holz, Hood, Peterson, and Willison as first-time entrants.

The 20-somethings in the crowd come with their own impressive credentials. Egnot-Johnson is the reigning match racing world champion. Peterson is the reigning youth match racing world champion and Willison recently finished the 2023 Women’s Match Racing World Tour in second place.

“Today was great. Bermuda provided its finest conditions for us, a beautiful 15-knot westerly, and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions to try out the IODs for the first time,” said the 21-year-old Peterson, who boasted about being the youngest skipper in the event.

As for his impression of the 36-foot long, 7,100-pound IOD, he was blunt. “They’re monstrous. They were a bit intimidating at first, but we got into a good groove and got through some lineups against other crews, and we feel comfortable. Some guys have sailed them a bit more often but at the end of the day we all get three hours to get ready and we feel like we’ve done a good job.”

Willison, 25, was also taken aback by the slow response from the rudder. “We’ve never sailed on boats like these before in match racing and the lack of rudder control was alarming, the first time you go to bear away nothing happens,” she said.

“We’d heard the boats were hard to sail and maybe all the comments psyched us out a little bit, but we had a good day training. It was pretty windy, but we did a couple of starts and mark roundings and we’re happy with how it went. We typically go well in heavy winds, but racing against all men’s teams might be different. It looks like a bit of everything this week, so we’re excited to get racing tomorrow.”
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