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11 October 2009, 10:22 pm
Ainslie Gets The Gold In Bermuda
Ben Ainslie (left) and Team Origin celebrate with the King Edward VII Gold Cup
Ben Ainslie (left) and Team Origin celebrate with the King Edward VII Gold Cup

Argo Group Gold Cup 2009
Hamilton, Bermuda

Great Britain's Ben Ainslie added the King Edward VII Gold Cup to his collection of Olympic sailing medals as he defeated Kiwi Adam Minoprio in Sunday's final of the Argo Group Gold Cup, the penultimate stage of the 2009 World Match Racing Tour.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) got the gold he's been chasing all week. In the Argo Group Gold Cup final today, Britain's three time Olympic gold medal winner (plus one silver), took the finals 3-1. He has finally etched his name on the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup along with a host of match race sailing legends. Ainslie and Team Origin also take home the first place prize purse of $50,000. Ainslie sailed for Team Origin with his crew of Matt Cornwell (GBR), Iain Percy (GBR), and Christian Kamp (DEN).

"We had two good races at the beginning today," Ainslie commented. "There were big splits out there and the crew were helping and we got it right in those two races. In the third race we didn't slow down enough to avoid a confrontation with Adam. We have found out some of our tactical weaknesses and the Team and I have some areas to work on."

When asked how winning the King Edward VII Gold Cup compared to winning Olympic gold, Ainslie quipped, "Bermuda has a lot better atmosphere and I know more people here."

When he was down 0-2 and carrying a penalty Adam Minoprio (NZL) made it a match and pulled a classic match racing manoeuvre to gybe on the approach to the finish, get a luffing overlap on Ainslie and push him away from the pin end of the finish line. Minoprio was barely able to turn away from Ainslie and clear his stern and wipe out the penalty on his tack and make it back to the line first for the win. But Ainslie was on his game today and that one win wasn't enough.

Minoprio, ETNZ and BlackMatch Racing skipper, and his team of Tom Powrie (NZL), David Swete (NZL) and Nick Blackman (NZL) took second place. Minoprio is the top skipper in the ISAF World Rankings and was second in the World Match Racing Tour going into the Argo Group Gold Cup. He is back on top of the Tour rankings now and heading the charge for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy at the Monsoon Cup with $20,000 in his pocket for coming second.

Ian Williams (GBR) and Eric Monnin (SUI) matched up earlier in the petit finals. For winning two races out of two, Williams took third place in quick order and his $10,000 prize while Monnin stands in fourth and has a cheque for $7,000.

Williams expressed the thanks from all the skippers and crews for the special hospitality extended to all of the sailors by the people of Bermuda. He especially thanked the team's hosts who take them into their homes as guests. "Staying in homes as guests, Williams said, "is just one of the things that makes the Argo Group Gold Cup a unique event on the Tour."

In yesterday's consolation matches to decide the fifth through eighth places, Bermudian Blythe Walker and his Max Re team lost their first match to Mathieu Richard (FRA) representing the French Match Racing Team. Last year's King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team won their first match against Torvar Mirsky (AUS).

The second matches of the consolations saw Berntsson defeat Richard for fifth place, so Richard took sixth place. Blythe Walker had a win against Mirsky for seventh place pushing Mirsky into eighth.

Fifth place takes home $5,500. Sixth place gets $4,000. Seventh place earns $2,500 Eighth place $1,000

Final Standings

1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ and BlackMatch
3. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group
4. Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team
5. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
6. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
7. Blythe Walker (BER)
8. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team

Results

Finals

Ben Ainslie (GBR) d. Adam Minoprio (NZL), 3-1

Petit Final

Ian Williams (GBR) d. Eric Monnin (SUI), 2-0

Semi Finals

Ben Ainslie (GBR) d. Ian Williams (GBR), 3-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) d. Eric Monnin (SUI), 3-0

Quarter Finals

Eric Monnin (SUI) d. Blythe Walker (BER), 3-1
Ben Ainslie (GBR) d. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), 3-2
Ian Williams d. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), 3-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) d. Mathieu Richard (FRA) 3-2

Fifth-Eighth

5. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
6. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
7. Blythe Walker (BDA) Max Re Team
8. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team

Repechage

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 5-0
Blythe Walker (BER)3-2
Damien Iehl (FRA) 2-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 2-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2-3
Dave Perry (USA) 1-4

Group 1

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

Group 2

Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 7-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand and BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Dave Perry (USA) 4-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 4-3
Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team and K Challenge 4-3
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 3-4
Álvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-5
Paula Lewin Crews (BER) 0-7

Group 3

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-1
Blythe Walker (BER) 4-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 4-3
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Charlie Enright (USA) 1-6
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-6

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 8 of 9)

1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ and BlackMatch Racing, 100 Points
2. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 88 Points
3. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 75 Points
4. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team Racing, 74 Points
5. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR, 71 Points
6. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, 65 Points
7. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 48 Points
8. Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 41 Points

The winner of the annual World Match Racing Tour is crowned as ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Find out more at www.sailing.org/matchworlds.

Talbot Wilson
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