The 69th Argo Group Gold Cup advanced to the Semi-Final round this afternoon with Ian Williams of the U.K and Johnie Berntsson of Sweden moving to match point in their respective matches. Williams opened a 2-0 lead over Lucy Macgregor of the U.K. in one match and Berntsson leads Harry Price of Australia by the same score.
The penultimate round of the $100,000 match racing regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club began after some exciting racing earlier in the day.
In the Quarter-Final round Price scored the upset of the regatta by beating his countryman, Torvar Mirsky 3 - 2.
Mirsky raised eyebrows yesterday when he chose to race Price, the world No. 3-ranked skipper and a past Youth match racing world champion in the quartefinals. Common theory would’ve suggested Mirsky, as the No. 2 seed, pick a crew from the repechage round. But Mirsky reasoned that the repechage skippers were more practiced because they had sailed seven extra races. Last year, Mirsky advanced to the semifinals through the repechage round. But the gamble didn’t pay off.
The final race was as tough as you’d expect, for the first lap at least. The two crews sailed to the right side of the course off the start line. Later up the leg and approaching the windward mark Mirsky held starboard with Price approaching on port.
As the two approached Mirsky used the right-of-way to dial down Price and force him to take his transom. Mirsky continue to the port layline and tacked, while Price tacked to starboard on the opposite layline.
When they met at the windward mark, Price was able to tack around the mark inside of Mirsky in a move seen frequently this week. Price then luffed Mirsky to gain some breathing room.
Williams advanced to the semis after beating Ettore Botticini of Italy, 3-1, and Macgregor advanced after dispatching Eric Monnin of Switzerland, 3-0. Macgregor and her crew led at every mark round and won every race they sailed against Monnin this week, five in total.