Coutts signs up for Gold Cup

Stars come out of the woodwork for Bermuda match racing

Wednesday April 30th 2003, Author: Daxa Paxton, Location: United States
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) has announced six of the eight seeded skippers who will compete for the Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

The regatta, the second event on the Swedish Match Tour 2003/4, will be held October 18-26. Topping the list of skippers is America’s Cup winning helmsman Russell Coutts/Alinghi Team, who has won the King Edward VII Cup a record six times (2000, ’98, ’96, ’93, ’92, ’90). Two-time champions Peter Gilmour (AUS; 1997, ’95) and Chris Dickson (NZL; 1989, ‘87), 2001 champion Peter Holmberg (USVI), and Dennis Conner (USA) will join Jesper Radich/TeamRadich (DEN), the reigning champion who is currently second on the Swedish Match Tour 2002/2003 rankings, to challenge for one of match racing’s largest prize purses.

"The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is thrilled to have all of these skippers return to Bermuda after their hiatus for the America’s Cup," said RBYC Commodore Les Crane. "With the assistance of Investors Guaranty and the best skippers in the world, this year’s event will be a blockbuster."

Celebrating its 55th year of drawing the world’s top sailing talent and giving up-and-comers a shot at racing against the world’s best, the event will offer a record $100,000 prize purse on behalf of its title sponsor Investors Guaranty. Competition for the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup will take place on Hamilton Harbour in identically matched and supplied International One Design yachts.

The remaining two seeded skippers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Qualifying Round Open

Amateur and professional skippers are invited to apply for one of the 16 unseeded skippers’ berths in Investors Guaranty’s presentation of the 2003 King Edward VII Gold Cup. The winner and runner-up of the Bacardi Cup (Bermuda’s national match racing championship) will be awarded two of the berths. A three-day, round robin qualifier round is planned for October 18-20 aboard International One Design class sloops, with the top six skippers advancing to Round One.

The deadline for applying for an invitation is June 1. The Notice of Race and request for invitation is available here.

Women’s Event

The Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship will serve as a unique lead-up to Investors Guaranty’s presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, with the winner and runner-up receiving an invitation to compete in Round One. The winner of the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship will be presented with the 4th Squadron Cruiser Bowl and a share of $15,000 in prize money. Paula Lewin, the winner of the 2001 inaugural event, who is currently training for the 2004 Olympic Games, will return to her home waters from October 18-21 for the event.

Title sponsor is Investors Guaranty. The event is hosted by the RBYC and the Bermuda Department of Tourism. Renaissance Reinsurance and is the Presenting Sponsor. Primary Sponsors are Bacardi and Colorcraft.

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