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13 October 2008, 09:27 am
BERNTSSON Brings Home Bermuda Gold
Johnie BERNTSSON, Johan BACKMAN, Bjorn LUNDGREN and Daniel WALLBERG celebrate winning the King Edward VII Gold Cup with RBYC Commodore Ralph RICHARDSON
Johnie BERNTSSON, Johan BACKMAN, Bjorn LUNDGREN and Daniel WALLBERG celebrate winning the King Edward VII Gold Cup with RBYC Commodore Ralph RICHARDSON

King Edward VII Gold Cup 2008
Hamilton, Bermuda

Sweden's Johnie BERNTSSON and his Berntsson Sailing Team has defeated Kiwi Adam MINOPRIO and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch team on Hamilton Harbour in a decisive 3-1 final for the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup presented by Argo Group.
This was only Johnie BERNTSSON's second Tour event this year as a skipper, and for his efforts BERNTSSON and his team of Johan BACKMAN, Björn LUNDGREN, and Daniel WALLBERG have won the top $50,000 prize of the $100,000 total purse. The 101 year old Gold Cup trophy was presented by Sir Richard GOZNEY the Governor of Bermuda.

"This was a fantastic event for us," said BERNTSSON, "because not only did I feel we sailed really well, but we also really had fun."

Winning must have certainly played a part in having fun, as BERNTSSON's overall win-loss record of 15-3 in this long competition was indeed impressive: on his road to the finals he led his group of eight skippers on a 6-1 round robin record into the quarter-finals, then beat third-ranked Tour regular Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/French Spirit 3-1. He then defeated fellow Swede Mattias RAHM and the Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-0 in Saturday's semi-finals before winning on Sunday 3-1 in the finals.

"I'm only the guy holding the tiller, the credit goes to the guys on my team," said a modest BERNTSSON. "When I would put us into trouble, it was always my guys who got us out."

This trouble included having earned a pre-start penalty in match three of the finals from umpires Sally BURNETT (GBR) and Jan STAGE (DEN) for not keeping clear of an aggressive Adam MINOPRIO and his team at the start, but managed to get ahead off the start for an early lead in the match. MINOPRIO kept the race close, managing to challenge the Swedes for the lead at the second top mark rounding on the three-lap course. After a protracted dial-up well to windward of this mark, the pair broke off, BERNTSSON tacking to complete his penalty, but ceding the lead to the Kiwis downwind.

But BERNTSSON never gave up, chasing MINOPRIO around the track, splitting when the shifts were favourable, and managed to dig back to gain control once again at the top of the third and final beat. This time BERNTSSON held the lead and even managed to extend slightly to take the series to 2-1, and after having a slight edge off the start in the final match, the Swedes would simply extend and hold this lead all the way to the finish.

In petit-final action, Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and his Team Origin held off an aggressive RAHM to win the first-to-three point series in three straight matches, using the same smooth style he's displayed all week with excellent timing and calling of shifts with help from fellow Olympian Iain PERCY (GBR).

Overall Results

1. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team $50,000
2. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing $20,000
3. Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Team Origin $10,000
4. Mattias RAHM (SWE), Stena Bulk Sailing Team $7,000
5. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar $5,500
6. Keith SWINTON (AUS), Black Swan Racing $4,000
7. Sébastien COL (FRA), French Team/K-Challenge $2,500
8. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Team/Team French Spirit $1,000

Results

Final

Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) vs Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), 3-1

Petit-Final

Ben AINSLIE (GBR) vs Mattias RAHM (SWE), 3-0

Semi-Finals

Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) vs Ben AINSLIE (GBR), 3-2
Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) vs Mattias RAHM (SWE), 3-0

Fifth To Eighth

5. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar
6. Keith SWINTON (AUS), Black Swan Racing
7. Sébastien COL (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge
8. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit

Quarter-Finals

Ben AINSLIE (GBR) vs Keith SWINTON (AUS), 3-1
Mattias RAHM (SWE) vs Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), 3-2
Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) vs Sébastien COL (FRA), 3-1
Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) vs Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 3-1

Repechage

Mattias RAHM (SWE), Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 5-0
Keith SWINTON (AUS), Black Swan Racing, 4-1
Eric MONNIN (SUI), Search.ch, 3-5
Andy HORTON (USA), 2-5
Damien IEHL (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 1-4
Don WILSON (USA), 0-5

Group 1

Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Team Origin, 7-0
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit, 6-1
Damien IEHL (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 5-2
Mattias RAHM (SWE), Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 4-3
Chris VANTOL (USA), Van Tol Match Racing Team, 1-6
Takumi NAKAMURA (JPN), Team Albatross, 2-5
Brian ANGEL (USA), King Harbour Yacht Club, 2-5
Sally BARKOW (USA), Team 7 Racing, 1-6

Group 2

Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar, 7-0
Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing Team, 5-2
Keith SWINTON (AUS), Black Swan Racing, 3-4
Andy HORTON (USA), 5-2
Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN), 3-4
Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team, 2-5
Erik KOPPERNAES (CAN), 1-6
Jonathan SINGSEN (USA), 1-6

Group 3

Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team, 6-1
Sébastien COL (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K Challenge, 5-2
Don WILSON (USA), 4-3
Eric MONNIN (SUI), Search.ch, 3-4
Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team, 3-4
Dave PERRY (USA), 3-4
Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA), ETM Match Racing, 2-5
Blythe WALKER (BDA), 2-5

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
(Top ten teams after Stage 8 of 9)

1. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar, 92 points
2. Sébastien COL (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 88
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 77
4. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team, 53
4. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team, 53
6. Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE), Victory Challenge, 51
7. Mattias RAHM (SWE), Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 46
8. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Shosholoza, 43
9. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team, 40
9. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team, 40

ISAF Match Racing World Championship - www.sailing.org/matchworlds

Dobbs Davis/World Match Racing Tour (As Amended By ISAF)
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