The battle lines are drawn for an early start tomorrow morning when the top-seeded match racing sailors in the world begin a 'best of three knockout series' here in Hamilton harbour.
After five days of racing in the qualifying rounds, eight unseeded teams, including two women's teams will face off against some of the best known sailors in the world including six time Gold Cup winner and three time America's Cup helmsman Russell COUTTS of New Zealand, Gold Cup reigning champion Peter GILMOUR of Australia and America's Cup helmsman James SPITHILL of Australia.
In ISAF World Match Race rankings Ed BAIRD (USA) is ranked #1 and stands as the top seed, Mathieu RICHARD (France) is #3, Peter Gilmour (Australia) is #4, James SPITHILL (USA/Australia) is #7, Staffan LINDBERG is #12 (Finland), Bjorn HANSEN is #15 and Russell COUTTS (New Zealand) is #24.
"When we face the unseeded skippers tomorrow they start out with a tremendous advantage as they have been racing all week. We know that if the unseeded skippers maintain their normal cycle they will do well,"
Gilmour said. "But, we will go out there tomorrow to break this advantage. We focus on winning and we won't deviate from our path."
The returning seeded competitors have strong ties to Bermuda and they expect to hit the water sailing tomorrow at the 9 a.m. start.
"It is a beautiful place to be and this event has been innovative since the early days. It is always great to be in the middle of this calibre of racing and of course it would be wonderful to win The King Edward VII Gold Cup,"
said American Ed BAIRD, two-time ISAF World Match Racing Champion."And, we hope to be here until the final match. When you come to The King Edward VII Gold Cup you always book your flight hoping that you get lucky and sail until the end."
"Bermuda is a gorgeous place and it is fabulous how well attuned and well-equiped it is for sailing,"
Gilmour said. "It is always great to be here and it absolutely gets you in the mood to go racing."
For full results are available on the event website at the address below.