The International Women's Match Racing Championship which usually takes place immediately prior to the Bermuda Gold Cup will now be combined into the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship. Historically the first and second placed finishers of the International Women's Match Racing event have been given an automatic entry to the Gold Cup, and this right will now transfer to the first and second placed finishers at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship.
Commenting on the re-scheduling, Vice-Commodore of The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Andrew COX, commented, 'For the past three years, the winner and runner-up of our International Women's Match Racing Championship have gone on to sail against some of the world's best match racing sailors in the Gold Cup and 2005 will be no exception. The addition of the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship into the mix will make this one of the best week's of world class match racing in 2005.'
At the 2004 Cicada International Women's Match Racing Championship, Klaatje ZUIDERBAAN (NED) defeated Jenny AXHEDE (SWE) 3-0 to win, and both advanced to the qualifying round of the Gold Cup. Klaatje went on to defeat America's Cup legend Dennis CONNER (USA) in the first round of competition, whilst Axhede, who drew Russell COUTTS (NZL) in the first round, fell 3-0 to the master match racer. In 2005, the newly crowned Women's Match Racing World Champion will have every chance to challenge the world's and the season's best sailors, with the Gold Cup the penultimate ISAF Grade 1 event of 2005.
Racing for the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship will be held just off the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina in Hamilton Harbour.