Junior Optimist skippers from ten nations and Bermuda will sail next week in the Renaissance Reinsurance Junior Gold Cup Optimist Regatta as part of the weeklong festivities surrounding the Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup.
Thanks to the vision of Investors Guaranty™ and to the sponsorship of Renaissance Reinsurance, the Junior Gold Cup has expanded to include international optimist sailors. Renaissance Reinsurance's sponsorship allows 8-10 top optimist sailors from around the world to travel to Bermuda to compete, along with the top 20-25 Bermudian optimist sailors in the four-day regatta on Bermuda's great sound with the final race sailed on Hamilton Harbour. The winner receives a Junior Gold Cup.
Joining 24 local Bermuda Junior Optimist sailors this year are Nicholas MCPHARLIN, Perth Australia; Teemu RANTANEN, Helsinki Finland; Vincent BERTHEZ, Marseillan France; David DEBOLTZ, Danbury Essex Great Britain; Jas FARNETI. Trieste Italy; Jochem-Bart HAAKMAN, Enkhuizen Netherlands; Frankie LARDIES, Auckland New Zealand; Niclas WALLIN, Kullavik Sweden; Mike RUSSOM, Springfield PA USA.
This select handful of the junior sailing world's elite competitors will be in Bermuda October 19 - 24 to participate in the event created to expose juniors to international sailing in a mentoring atmosphere and provide advanced opportunities for juniors to learn about match racing.
Over the course of the week, the Junior Gold Cup schedule will mirror that of the skippers and teams participating in The King Edward VII Gold Cup. While Match Racing in Bermuda's legendary Swedish Match Tour event takes place on Hamilton Harbour, the juniors will fleet race in their own regatta on Bermuda's Great Sound and Granaway Deep.
The week also includes an opportunity to learn about match racing through practical drills in Optimists and chalk talks with the world's top sailors. A flat-bottomed, eight-foot-long dinghy with a seemingly chopped off bow and a single spritsail, the «Opti» has been described as "a bathtub that breeds some of the best sailors in the world."
The King Edward VII Gold Cup has always been a highly competitive regatta sailed by some of the world's best sailors including the likes of Russell COUTTS, Peter GILMOUR, Dennis CONNER and many others. The organizers of the Gold Cup continued to develop the event further by adding a junior dimension to its already legendary format.