Annual trip to Bermuda

The fourth annual Junior Gold Cup features 37 young Optimist sailors from around the world

Friday September 29th 2006, Author: Sean McNeill, Location: United Kingdom
The fourth annual Renaissance Reinsurance Junior Gold Cup, 12-15 October, will feature 12 sailors from around the world and up to 25 Bermudian entrants in four days of racing in the singlehanded Optimist dinghy.

The Junior Gold Cup will run concurrently with the 58th annual King Edward VII Gold Cup, 11-15 October. The events differ in more than just their amateur and professional status. The pros are racing for prize money, but the Junior Gold Cup is about more than racing.

The international junior sailors, ages 13 to 15, are selected by national Optimist associations. They’re flown to Bermuda by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, hosted by local families and gain an insight to Bermuda culture by spending a day in school with their hosts.

“The event grew out of an idea we had in 2002 and subsequent discussions with the International Optimist Association,” said Les Crane, chairman of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. “We wanted to ensure that it would be something that would go down well with other Optimist countries and it has been well received.”

The International Optimist Association has fleets in more than 100 countries and is raced by more than 150,000 junior sailors. It is the only dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors younger than 16 years of age.

The Junior Gold Cup is the final qualification regatta to select the Bermuda Optimist Sailing Team that will compete at the Optimist Worlds in Uruguay at the end of the year.

Part one of the trials were held earlier this year and the top five contenders (in order) are Joshua Greenslade, James Anfossi, Jordan Saints, Haley Powell and Jason Saints.

International entries have been received from Australia (Edward Campbell), Finland (Hanna Hentinen), France (Sacha Penison and Yvann Thelier), Denmark (Jes Lynne Bond), Great Britain (Philip Sparks), New Zealand (Marcus Hansen), Switzerland (Kasper Keller), the U.S. (Pearson Potts) and Uruguay (Manfredo Finck).

The Junior Gold Cup will conduct four fleet races per day on Great Sound. The final day, Sunday, 15 October, will see the championship sailed on Hamilton Harbour during the final rounds of the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism is an Official Host Sponsor of the Gold Cup. Event sponsors include Renaissance Re, Max Re, Bermuda Telephone, Bermuda Premium Spirits and Oleander Cycle.

The Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association thanks Renaissance Reinsurance for sponsoring the Junior Gold Cup for the fourth consecutive year and to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for being a great supporter of junior sailing in Bermuda.

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