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1 October 2005, 09:10 pm
Bermuda Beckons
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King Edward Gold Cup and ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship
Bermuda

Come October 15-23 all eyes will be on the Investors Guaranty presentation of The King Edward VII Gold Cup and the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and it's a week and a day of the world's best match race sailing, and it's all happening in Hamilton Bermuda at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Russell COUTTS defends his seventh Gold Cup title while Claire LEROY and the top women match racers sail for their world championship.

Eight top match race sailors (with ISAF Open Ranking) are seeded in the Gold Cup: Ed BAIRD (USA) - 2, Russell COUTTS (NZL) - 3, Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) - 4, James SPITHILL (AUS) - 5, Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) - 7, Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) - 10, Gavin BRADY (NZL) - 37, and Chris DICKSON (NZL) - 45.

They will meet the top six finishers in the Grade 3 Qualifying event plus the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion and runner-up.

Action begins Saturday, 15 October with the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship sailed in J24's and the unseeded Grade 3 Gold Cup Qualifying match racing event being sailed in classic IOD's. It will be non-stop action straight through to Tuesday when the ISAF prizegiving crowns the Women's World Champion and racing confirms the top six in the Gold Cup Qualifier.

The King Edward VII Gold Cup Unseeded Skippers (with ISAF Open rankings) include: Eric MONNIN (SUI) - 22, Scott DICKSON (USA) - 27, Takumi NAKAMURA (JPN) - 36, Karol JABLONSKI (POL) - 44, Bill HARDESTY (USA) - 52, Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN) - 57, Yasutaka FUNAZAWA (JPN) - 86, Cameron DUNN (NZL) - 151, Ian AINSLIE (RSA) - 188, Cameron APPLETON (NZL) - 192, Alec CUTLER (USA) - 245, and Elizabeth KRATZIG (USA) - 363.

Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship skippers (with ISAF Women's 22 June rankings) include the top ranked women skippers in the world today: Claire LEROY (FRA) - 1, Marie BJORLING (SWE) - 2, Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) - 3, Jenny AXHEDE (SWE) - 4, Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED) - 5, Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) - 7, Linda RAHM (SWE) - 9, Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) - 10, Paula LEWIN (BER) - 11, Betsy ALISON (USA) - 12, Nicky SOUTER (AUS) - 13, and Sally BARKOW (USA) - 17.

After a practice day on Wednesday for the seeded skippers and for the women' s winners who will transition from J24's to IOD's, the real Gold Cup sailing starts with the eight unseeded skippers facing the daunting challenge of racing against an awesome field of world-class sailing talent in hopes of reaching the finals. All of the Gold Cup skippers have a chance at winning The King Edward VII Gold Cup and a share of the US$100,000 purse.

About The King Edward VII Gold Cup: www.kingedwardviigoldcup.com

The King Edward VII Gold Cup is scheduled for 150-23 October 2005, in Hamilton Harbour just feet from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The unique format of The King Edward VII Gold Cup, sailed in Bermuda's famous International One Design sloops, includes a Grade 3 qualifying event where the top six skippers advance to round one of the tournament and face the eight seeded skippers along with the winner and runner-up of the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2005 to be sailed in J/24's.

The winner of The King Edward VII Gold Cup will be presented with The King Edward VII Trophy and a share of the US$100,000 prize purse. The King Edward VII Gold Cup has been the leader in innovations for match racing events, introducing the shore-side, spectator-friendly venue of Hamilton Harbour and also pioneering the use of on-the-water judging, now the norm throughout the world.

About The Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship:

The Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2005, scheduled for 15-18 October 2005, is also set in Hamilton Harbour just off the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

ISAF will present the prizes on Tuesday 19 October and the winner and runner up will be invited to participate in the Investors Guaranty presentation of The King Edward Vll Gold Cup Match Racing Tournament.

The first place skipper will be known as The 2005 Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion. All twelve competitors will share the US$25,000 purse: first prize is US$5000; second prize US$3500; third prize US$2750; and fourth prize US$2500.

Virtual Spectator is at the forefront of 3D graphics, animation, technologies, education, and broadcast, enhancing the visualization and understanding of premier sporting events.

Powered by VS3D, Virtual Spectator's award-winning animation and graphics products have been the technology of choice by world-class events including the PGA Tour, Wimbledon, World Rally Championship, Volvo Ocean Race, Formula 1, America's Cup, ECB, Cricket Australia, The King Edward VII Gold Cup, and the Olympic Games. Virtual Spectator's sports management and data capture technologies provide interactive sports data, statistics, and graphics to broadcast television and the Internet.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism is Official Host Sponsor.

by Talbot Wilson

Talbot Wilson
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