World Match Racing Tour. ALPARI

ISAF Special Event


  • Alpari Tour Final Stage Expands With New Date And Venue
    Alpari Tour Final Stage Expands With New Date And Venue

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  • Congressional Cup Joins Alpari World Match Racing Tour
    Congressional Cup Joins Alpari World Match Racing Tour

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  • Second Argo Group Gold Cup victory for Brilliant Berntsson
    Second Argo Group Gold Cup victory for Brilliant Berntsson

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    London, UK (18th Nov 2014): With Bermuda having been struck by not one but two hurricanes within the course of the preceding week, there were tense moments leading up to the Argo Group Gold Cup over whether this, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, would take place. In the end thanks to the mid-Atlantic island’s clean-up team and a replacement being found after one of their International One Design (IOD) yachts was washed ashore and damaged, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was able to give the event the green light, albeit delaying the start by 24 hours. When the first crews arrived, aside from some uprooted palm trees and a few boats that had broken their moorings, there was precious little other evidence of the 100+ knot winds of Cat 3 Hurricane Gonzalo had swept through only a day and a half earlier. Carnage caused by Hurricane Gonzalo © James Boyd / AWMRT As Bermuda's Premier Michael Dunkley put it: “The fact that this excellent event is taking place within days of Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo is testament to Bermuda's tremendous resilience. A lot of pieces quickly came together to keep The Argo Group Gold Cup on track, and I want to commend all participants for making it happen.” Once again the Argo Group Gold Cup featured a giant line-up of 20 teams. In addition to the eight Tour Card Holders, a second America’s Cup challenger was competing with London 2012 49er gold medallist Nathan Outteridge helming a crew from Artemis Racing. 2008 winner Johnie Berntsson was back with his Stena Sailing Team, while Switzerland’s Eric Monnin was competing for an 10th time. Local teams included that of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Somers Kempe, winner of the National Championship. Despite the substantial line-up of teams – 20, representing 13 nations, including crews from the America’s Cup challengers Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa – the race committee managed to rip through the format. Qualifying was split into two groups of ten, and despite a light to moderate and very patchy southerly breeze blowing across Hamilton Harbour, the first day saw five flights completed. Ian Williams, GAC Pindar leading Francesco Bruni, Luna Rossa © Charles Anderson / AGGC The stand-out performance of Qualifying was unquestionably Ian Williams, who went all the way through to the Semi Finals without his GAC Pindar team dropping a match. However there were several surprises along the way. Given the world-class field, on the opening day it was not a Tour Card Holder or a Cup team, but an amateur crew from Poland, that topped the leaderboard (although unbeaten, Williams had been docked a 0.5 point following a collision). Marek Stanczyk and his Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing crew, including a full time lawyer and computer programmer, compete on the active Polish match racing circuit. Mathieu Richard mastering the brisk conditions during qualifying © Charles Anderson / AGGC At the opposite end of the spectrum, Tour Card holders Mathieu Richard and Phil Robertson got off to a slow start finishing the first day on 1-3 and 0-4 respectively, while defending champion Francesco Bruni came off the water frustrated, on just 1.5 points, after dropping a half point after a collision with Williams. A change in the weather for day two brought good breeze in the morning, followed by rain and a subsequent drop in pressure. However the wind had veered blowing from a more stable direction, down Hamilton Harbour enabling the Race Committee to compete another full day, leaving two and three flights of Qualifying to go respectively in the two groups. At the close of play both of the main contenders - Ian Williams and Taylor Canfield had claimed their Quarter Final berths. The strong wind in the morning saw several teams struggling to hang on to their IODs as they barrelled downwind. In one match, one of Marek Stanczyk’s crewman was struck during a penalty turn. With a deep cut in his forehead, he was taken to hospital but subsequently discharged. Taylor Canfield and his US One on collision with Nathan Outteridge of Artemis Racing © Charles Anderson / AGGC There was other drama in the Artemis/Nathan Outteridge v Canfield match, when neck and neck on the run Canfield’s boat was struck by a big gust at the same time as Outteridge was attempting to luff. The result was the two IOD rigs locking together momentarily, fortunately without damage. Meanwhile Mathieu Richard had turned around his performance winning all his matches to get back into the top half of the leaderboard on 4-3. Stena Match Cup Sweden winner Bjorn Hansen – sailing with stand-in tactician and old Tour hand Rasmus Køstner - was also unbeaten, achieving a 6-1 scoreline elevating him to second place in Group 1 behind Williams. Glorious conditions returned for the third day of racing with sunshine and a breeze that in the afternoon was gusting into the mid-teens. This enabled Qualifying to be concluded and the top four from each of the two groups to gain their Quarter Final berths. Surprisingly among these were just three of the eight Tour cards holders - Williams, Canfield and Hansen – with neither America’s Cup team making the grade either. Polish match racer Stancyzk mastered the conditions during the qualifying round © Charles Anderson / AGGC On Hamilton Harbour there were some heated moments as competitors fought to go through, especially in the Monnin v Poole and Gilmour v Stanczyk Group 2 matches, where whoever won would go through, while the loser would go home. Ultimately it was Monnin and Stanczyk that prevailed. Richard was unfortunate, put out of the running after he was docked 0.5 points following a collision in his match with Taylor Canfield. Another collision sealed the fate of Keith Swinton’s Team Alpari FX crew after colliding with Bruni coming into the dial up in their pre-start and being penalised 0.5 points for causing damage. Unhappy with this decision, Swinton resorted to the jury, but couldn’t get the umpire decision overturned. “We had a feeling that potentially the damage had been caused previously to that boat, but the boat guy said we had caused some damage, so unfortunately we lost half a point and that made all the difference. It was unfortunate.” This allowed France’s Pierre Antoine Morvan and his Vannes Agglo Sailing Team to go through. Completing the whole range of sailing conditions, the fourth day of racing took place in light winds and a grey sky, the wind eventually petering out, fortunately not before the Quarter Final matches were completed. In the light and patchy conditions it was Swiss lake racing specialist Eric Monnin who provided the day’s masterclass, neatly dispatching Pierre-Antoine Morvan 3-0, finishing his final two matches almost half a leg ahead. Ian Williams continued his winning streak also going through 3-0 against plucky Pole Marek Stanczyk, although these matches were far closer, with Stanczyk typically on the back foot off the start and then fighting back into contention. Marek Stanczyk trails Ian Williams in the Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson Canfield dispatched Finland’s Staffan Lindberg and his Alandia Sailing Team 3-1 with the most heated matches being the inter-Swede derby between Björn Hansen and Johnie Berntsson. This went the distance and demonstrated that even in the lightest conditions match racing can still provide edge of the seat sport: Initially 0-2 down, Hansen fought back to level score and was leading the final race until he was finally rolled by Berntsson coming down with new breeze on the last run. Berntsson hung on to claim the deciding match point. The last two rounds of the Argo Group Gold Cup were saved until the final Sunday, attracting a large spectator fleet out on the water. The Semi Finals took place with a light northerly blowing through the built-up water front buildings of downtown Hamilton, making for shifty conditions on the course. This contributed to the applecart being upset. Event Chairman Brian Billings with the final four skippers © James Boyd / AWMRT Williams had picked the lake-specialist Monnin to race, leaving Canfield to line up against Berntsson. While Williams claimed the first point, Monnin went on to take the next three, his light airs skills clearly paying in the tricky conditions. Berntsson v Canfield went the full distance and even then was only decided on the final run when, in a repeat of his final Quarter Final match with Hansen, Berntsson successfully rolled Canfield during a gybe. For the Finals between Berntsson and Monnin the wind had built to 11 knots from the northwest and the morning’s cloud cover had given way to glorious sunshine. Eric Monnin and Johnie Berntsson in the Finals of Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC The opening two races were close featuring lead changes despite big splits between the competitors. In the first Berntsson sneaked ahead of Monnin coming into the initial weather mark rounding and led from there, to go 1-0 up. In the second Berntsson was ahead of Monnin down the run, then sailed the Swiss team well beyond the leeward gate before gybing back with the advantage and continuing on to claim the second point. At match point for Berntsson, in race three Monnin narrowly won a tacking duel going into the top mark to sneak inside the Swede. ‘Sailing his own race’ Monnin bravely split on the next two legs and had extended his lead which he carried to the finish. The fourth race saw the most lead changes with Berntsson ahead out of the start, but with Monnin pulling in front by the top mark, only for Berntsson to roll the Swiss on the run…. However the decisive moment came towards the end of the second beat when Monnin picked up a penalty for tacking too close. The race was Berntsson’s. Johnie Berntsson repeated his success back in 2008 by winning the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC Winning the Argo Group Gold Cup 3-1, Berntsson with his crew of tactician Robert Skarp, Bjorn Lundgren, Oscar Angervall, picked up the winner’s King Edward VII Gold Cup as well as the US$50,000 prize for first place. “This is so extraordinary,” commented a jubilant Berntsson of his victory. “We have done it once, we never thought we could do it twice. Thanks to Robert, Bjorn and Oscar, who drove the boat fast and picked the right shifts allowing us to come back when we were behind. That was really crucial to winning.” Monnin praised Berntsson. “Congratulations to Johnie and his team – they did an excellent job. We just tried to find somewhere to squeeze in, which we could sometimes, but in the end they were stronger than us.” In winning the Argo Group Gold Cup for a second time, the 42-year-old Berntsson joins some of the world's sailing elite such as Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Ben Ainslie and Chris Dickson. In terms of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s overall scoreboard, the Argo Group Gold Cup made no difference to the positions of Williams and Canfield, however by finishing fifth, Bjorn Hansen has moved to within seven points of third placed Mathieu Richard. 2014 Leaderboard Standings1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 94pts2 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 88pts 3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 76pts4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing 63pts5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 58pts6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 56pts7 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 39pts8 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20pts

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    London, UK (18th Nov 2014): The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) today announced the addition of the Congressional Cup to the 2015 World Championship Tour schedule. The announcement follows this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic Congressional Cup event, organised by Long Beach Yacht Club, in Long Beach, California. James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT with Bill Durant, Chairman of the Congressional Cup © Photo by LBYC James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT commented, “I am delighted to welcome the Congressional Cup to the Alpari Tour family. It is one of the most coveted trophies in match racing, and a fantastic addition to the World Championship, particularly as a new Tour event in the United States.” The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965; introducing on-the-water umpiring since 1988, and embracing a high level of organization with a unique volunteer force of more than 300 members of Long Beach Yacht Club – one of the premiere boating institutions in the United States since 1929. The regatta is sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event © Photo by LBYC Each spring, five days of heated competition take place directly in front of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on the Long Beach waterfront, providing a natural stadium atmosphere for spectators to enjoy. Since 1990 the regatta has been sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event, and still used today. The winning skipper of the Congressional Cup is awarded the coveted ‘Crimson Blazer’ – an honour bestowed to some of the best known names in professional sailing including Ken Read, Gavin Brady, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner and Dean Barker. The 2014 anniversary event was won by defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield, from the US Virgin Islands, who is slated to return in 2015 to defend his Congressional Cup title. Taylor Canfield winning the 2014 Congressional Cup © Photo by LBYC Commenting on the announcement Canfield added, “As one of the most prestigious events and trophies in sailing, I am excited to see the Congressional Cup join the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It is one of my personal favourites, and a spectacle as an event itself. With the best hospitality there is, and the driving force of the proud supportive membership, this event will add great value to the AWMRT.”
 The 2015 Congressional Cup will host 12 competing teams from 13th-17th May, including eight AWMRT Card Skippers, winner of the 2014 US Grand Slam of Match Racing, two qualifying entries from the Ficker Cup, and a Long Beach Yacht Club representative. The full 2015 Alpari World Match Racing Tour schedule will be announced before the end of the year.

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    London, UK (18th Nov 2014): With Bermuda having been struck by not one but two hurricanes within the course of the preceding week, there were tense moments leading up to the Argo Group Gold Cup over whether this, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, would take place. In the end thanks to the mid-Atlantic island’s clean-up team and a replacement being found after one of their International One Design (IOD) yachts was washed ashore and damaged, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was able to give the event the green light, albeit delaying the start by 24 hours. When the first crews arrived, aside from some uprooted palm trees and a few boats that had broken their moorings, there was precious little other evidence of the 100+ knot winds of Cat 3 Hurricane Gonzalo had swept through only a day and a half earlier. Carnage caused by Hurricane Gonzalo © James Boyd / AWMRT As Bermuda's Premier Michael Dunkley put it: “The fact that this excellent event is taking place within days of Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo is testament to Bermuda's tremendous resilience. A lot of pieces quickly came together to keep The Argo Group Gold Cup on track, and I want to commend all participants for making it happen.” Once again the Argo Group Gold Cup featured a giant line-up of 20 teams. In addition to the eight Tour Card Holders, a second America’s Cup challenger was competing with London 2012 49er gold medallist Nathan Outteridge helming a crew from Artemis Racing. 2008 winner Johnie Berntsson was back with his Stena Sailing Team, while Switzerland’s Eric Monnin was competing for an 10th time. Local teams included that of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Somers Kempe, winner of the National Championship. Despite the substantial line-up of teams – 20, representing 13 nations, including crews from the America’s Cup challengers Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa – the race committee managed to rip through the format. Qualifying was split into two groups of ten, and despite a light to moderate and very patchy southerly breeze blowing across Hamilton Harbour, the first day saw five flights completed. Ian Williams, GAC Pindar leading Francesco Bruni, Luna Rossa © Charles Anderson / AGGC The stand-out performance of Qualifying was unquestionably Ian Williams, who went all the way through to the Semi Finals without his GAC Pindar team dropping a match. However there were several surprises along the way. Given the world-class field, on the opening day it was not a Tour Card Holder or a Cup team, but an amateur crew from Poland, that topped the leaderboard (although unbeaten, Williams had been docked a 0.5 point following a collision). Marek Stanczyk and his Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing crew, including a full time lawyer and computer programmer, compete on the active Polish match racing circuit. Mathieu Richard mastering the brisk conditions during qualifying © Charles Anderson / AGGC At the opposite end of the spectrum, Tour Card holders Mathieu Richard and Phil Robertson got off to a slow start finishing the first day on 1-3 and 0-4 respectively, while defending champion Francesco Bruni came off the water frustrated, on just 1.5 points, after dropping a half point after a collision with Williams. A change in the weather for day two brought good breeze in the morning, followed by rain and a subsequent drop in pressure. However the wind had veered blowing from a more stable direction, down Hamilton Harbour enabling the Race Committee to compete another full day, leaving two and three flights of Qualifying to go respectively in the two groups. At the close of play both of the main contenders - Ian Williams and Taylor Canfield had claimed their Quarter Final berths. The strong wind in the morning saw several teams struggling to hang on to their IODs as they barrelled downwind. In one match, one of Marek Stanczyk’s crewman was struck during a penalty turn. With a deep cut in his forehead, he was taken to hospital but subsequently discharged. Taylor Canfield and his US One on collision with Nathan Outteridge of Artemis Racing © Charles Anderson / AGGC There was other drama in the Artemis/Nathan Outteridge v Canfield match, when neck and neck on the run Canfield’s boat was struck by a big gust at the same time as Outteridge was attempting to luff. The result was the two IOD rigs locking together momentarily, fortunately without damage. Meanwhile Mathieu Richard had turned around his performance winning all his matches to get back into the top half of the leaderboard on 4-3. Stena Match Cup Sweden winner Bjorn Hansen – sailing with stand-in tactician and old Tour hand Rasmus Køstner - was also unbeaten, achieving a 6-1 scoreline elevating him to second place in Group 1 behind Williams. Glorious conditions returned for the third day of racing with sunshine and a breeze that in the afternoon was gusting into the mid-teens. This enabled Qualifying to be concluded and the top four from each of the two groups to gain their Quarter Final berths. Surprisingly among these were just three of the eight Tour cards holders - Williams, Canfield and Hansen – with neither America’s Cup team making the grade either. Polish match racer Stancyzk mastered the conditions during the qualifying round © Charles Anderson / AGGC On Hamilton Harbour there were some heated moments as competitors fought to go through, especially in the Monnin v Poole and Gilmour v Stanczyk Group 2 matches, where whoever won would go through, while the loser would go home. Ultimately it was Monnin and Stanczyk that prevailed. Richard was unfortunate, put out of the running after he was docked 0.5 points following a collision in his match with Taylor Canfield. Another collision sealed the fate of Keith Swinton’s Team Alpari FX crew after colliding with Bruni coming into the dial up in their pre-start and being penalised 0.5 points for causing damage. Unhappy with this decision, Swinton resorted to the jury, but couldn’t get the umpire decision overturned. “We had a feeling that potentially the damage had been caused previously to that boat, but the boat guy said we had caused some damage, so unfortunately we lost half a point and that made all the difference. It was unfortunate.” This allowed France’s Pierre Antoine Morvan and his Vannes Agglo Sailing Team to go through. Completing the whole range of sailing conditions, the fourth day of racing took place in light winds and a grey sky, the wind eventually petering out, fortunately not before the Quarter Final matches were completed. In the light and patchy conditions it was Swiss lake racing specialist Eric Monnin who provided the day’s masterclass, neatly dispatching Pierre-Antoine Morvan 3-0, finishing his final two matches almost half a leg ahead. Ian Williams continued his winning streak also going through 3-0 against plucky Pole Marek Stanczyk, although these matches were far closer, with Stanczyk typically on the back foot off the start and then fighting back into contention. Marek Stanczyk trails Ian Williams in the Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson Canfield dispatched Finland’s Staffan Lindberg and his Alandia Sailing Team 3-1 with the most heated matches being the inter-Swede derby between Björn Hansen and Johnie Berntsson. This went the distance and demonstrated that even in the lightest conditions match racing can still provide edge of the seat sport: Initially 0-2 down, Hansen fought back to level score and was leading the final race until he was finally rolled by Berntsson coming down with new breeze on the last run. Berntsson hung on to claim the deciding match point. The last two rounds of the Argo Group Gold Cup were saved until the final Sunday, attracting a large spectator fleet out on the water. The Semi Finals took place with a light northerly blowing through the built-up water front buildings of downtown Hamilton, making for shifty conditions on the course. This contributed to the applecart being upset. Event Chairman Brian Billings with the final four skippers © James Boyd / AWMRT Williams had picked the lake-specialist Monnin to race, leaving Canfield to line up against Berntsson. While Williams claimed the first point, Monnin went on to take the next three, his light airs skills clearly paying in the tricky conditions. Berntsson v Canfield went the full distance and even then was only decided on the final run when, in a repeat of his final Quarter Final match with Hansen, Berntsson successfully rolled Canfield during a gybe. For the Finals between Berntsson and Monnin the wind had built to 11 knots from the northwest and the morning’s cloud cover had given way to glorious sunshine. Eric Monnin and Johnie Berntsson in the Finals of Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC The opening two races were close featuring lead changes despite big splits between the competitors. In the first Berntsson sneaked ahead of Monnin coming into the initial weather mark rounding and led from there, to go 1-0 up. In the second Berntsson was ahead of Monnin down the run, then sailed the Swiss team well beyond the leeward gate before gybing back with the advantage and continuing on to claim the second point. At match point for Berntsson, in race three Monnin narrowly won a tacking duel going into the top mark to sneak inside the Swede. ‘Sailing his own race’ Monnin bravely split on the next two legs and had extended his lead which he carried to the finish. The fourth race saw the most lead changes with Berntsson ahead out of the start, but with Monnin pulling in front by the top mark, only for Berntsson to roll the Swiss on the run…. However the decisive moment came towards the end of the second beat when Monnin picked up a penalty for tacking too close. The race was Berntsson’s. Johnie Berntsson repeated his success back in 2008 by winning the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC Winning the Argo Group Gold Cup 3-1, Berntsson with his crew of tactician Robert Skarp, Bjorn Lundgren, Oscar Angervall, picked up the winner’s King Edward VII Gold Cup as well as the US$50,000 prize for first place. “This is so extraordinary,” commented a jubilant Berntsson of his victory. “We have done it once, we never thought we could do it twice. Thanks to Robert, Bjorn and Oscar, who drove the boat fast and picked the right shifts allowing us to come back when we were behind. That was really crucial to winning.” Monnin praised Berntsson. “Congratulations to Johnie and his team – they did an excellent job. We just tried to find somewhere to squeeze in, which we could sometimes, but in the end they were stronger than us.” In winning the Argo Group Gold Cup for a second time, the 42-year-old Berntsson joins some of the world's sailing elite such as Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Ben Ainslie and Chris Dickson. In terms of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s overall scoreboard, the Argo Group Gold Cup made no difference to the positions of Williams and Canfield, however by finishing fifth, Bjorn Hansen has moved to within seven points of third placed Mathieu Richard. 2014 Leaderboard Standings1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 94pts2 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 88pts 3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 76pts4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing 63pts5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 58pts6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 56pts7 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 39pts8 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20pts

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    London, UK (18th Nov 2014): The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) today announced the addition of the Congressional Cup to the 2015 World Championship Tour schedule. The announcement follows this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic Congressional Cup event, organised by Long Beach Yacht Club, in Long Beach, California. James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT with Bill Durant, Chairman of the Congressional Cup © Photo by LBYC James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT commented, “I am delighted to welcome the Congressional Cup to the Alpari Tour family. It is one of the most coveted trophies in match racing, and a fantastic addition to the World Championship, particularly as a new Tour event in the United States.” The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965; introducing on-the-water umpiring since 1988, and embracing a high level of organization with a unique volunteer force of more than 300 members of Long Beach Yacht Club – one of the premiere boating institutions in the United States since 1929. The regatta is sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event © Photo by LBYC Each spring, five days of heated competition take place directly in front of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on the Long Beach waterfront, providing a natural stadium atmosphere for spectators to enjoy. Since 1990 the regatta has been sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event, and still used today. The winning skipper of the Congressional Cup is awarded the coveted ‘Crimson Blazer’ – an honour bestowed to some of the best known names in professional sailing including Ken Read, Gavin Brady, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner and Dean Barker. The 2014 anniversary event was won by defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield, from the US Virgin Islands, who is slated to return in 2015 to defend his Congressional Cup title. Taylor Canfield winning the 2014 Congressional Cup © Photo by LBYC Commenting on the announcement Canfield added, “As one of the most prestigious events and trophies in sailing, I am excited to see the Congressional Cup join the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It is one of my personal favourites, and a spectacle as an event itself. With the best hospitality there is, and the driving force of the proud supportive membership, this event will add great value to the AWMRT.”
 The 2015 Congressional Cup will host 12 competing teams from 13th-17th May, including eight AWMRT Card Skippers, winner of the 2014 US Grand Slam of Match Racing, two qualifying entries from the Ficker Cup, and a Long Beach Yacht Club representative. The full 2015 Alpari World Match Racing Tour schedule will be announced before the end of the year.

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    London, UK (7th Nov 2014): With some downtime now on the cards for Team Alpari FX, the boys are embarking on a new challenge for the hairiest month of the year…Movember. For the 30 days of November, men around the world are taking action by changing their appearance through the growth of a new moustache, and Team Alpari FX is on board for the prickly journey ahead. Movember is more than just an excuse to grow a fine piece of ‘moustachery’, it’s about sparking conversations while raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health. It’s about having fun and ‘doing good’, and at the same time an excuse to laugh at newly acquired facial hair (or lack of)! Movember is the leading global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health and thanks to the support of more than four million participants worldwide, they have raised $580 million and funded 800 programs in 21 countries. A clean shave Skipper Keith Swinton and his fellow Australian Mo Bros – Ricky McGarvie, Ben Lamb, Tudur Owen and Ted Hackney – start their Mo-growing journey with a clean-shaven face. To show your support and find out more visit Team Alpari FX Movember and follow the team’s progress on Twitter @TeamAlpariFX

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    Hamilton, Bermuda (24th Oct 2014): For the first time since 2003, Bermuda has been struck by hurricane strength winds not once but twice in the last fortnight. Yet remarkably over this period the mid-Atlantic British Overseas Territory has managed to lay on not just this week’s Argo Group Gold Cup, but last week hosted the world’s top golfers at the PGA Grand Slam. Being on the track of north Atlantic hurricanes means that the islanders have had to adapt over the years and for example a stringent set of building regulations help minimise the inevitable carnage when 100+ mph winds strike. Thanks to efforts of the National Hurricane Centre in the USA, hurricanes are not only tracked but great effort goes into projecting their track. After devastating several Caribbean islands, it was known several days in advance that Tropical Storm Fay and last Friday’s Hurricane Gonzalo were likely to strike Bermuda, so anticipating Gonzalo the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club delayed the start of the Argo Group Gold Cup by a day. Trees were uprooted by the effects of Hurricane Gonzalo Once Gonzalo passed they held a meeting to assess their situation. “If we had 95% of the island without electricity, then we’d have had a problem,” admits event Chairman Brian Billings. In the event only half the island lost power, one damaged International One Design was replaced and the devastation at the airport was such that it was operational again within 24 hours. “After numerous phone calls, we said ‘yes, we’re on’,” says Billings. Hurricane Gonzalo was vicious. Leaving the Caribbean it was rated as a Category 2 hurricane (83-95 knots) but hitting warm open water it built to a Cat 4 (113-136 knots) before downgrading marginally to a Cat 3 just before hitting Bermuda. Argo Group Gold Cup Event Chairman Brian Billings According to Billings, Gonzalo’s slow pace made it a ‘long storm’ with winds already up to storm force by 0700 local time on Friday and still honking by 1100 the next day. “In between my barograph took a very slow spin down and it went down to 27.5 [931mB] and then there was a little bit of a horizontal line and then she slowly came back up again…” This was in stark contrast to Hurricane Emily which came and went within just four hours. Strangest was the eye of the hurricane, continues Billings: “It was huge – it took an hour to pass. It was flat calm, very eerie and very misty – it was kind of weird. Then all of a sudden – womp – the eye wall hit and it came in with a vengeance, like someone threw a bucket of iced water at you unexpectedly.” Damages caused by Hurricane Gonzalo When Gonzalo struck Billings says the most wind he saw was 130mph while he was at home, however this was at sea level and it was stronger on higher ground. Despite this the devastation caused was surprisingly slight. This was partly thanks to Tropical Storm Fay having swept through a week earlier with winds of 110+mph. “When Fay hit we hadn’t had any major wind storm for quite a while, so the branches were heavy and we had a very wet August so there was a lot of foliage all over the place and the trees were all laden with flowers and buds, which added extra weight to them,” Billings continues. “So Fay took out of a lot of trees, and the clean up was longer than it was for Gonzalo - the roads were blocked for almost two days. Without that there could have been a lot more damage and the infrastructure could have suffered much more when Gonzalo hit.” Damages caused by Hurricane Gonzalo Through sheer luck, the timing of the two storms could not have been better. Fay hit leaving just enough time for the golf course at Port Royal to be cleaned up ready for the PGA Grand Slam, despite vast tree damage. “You wouldn’t have known it had happened - they got the course in great shape real fast,” says Billings. “Bermuda is very resilient and has a capability and the attitude to bounce back. People just jump in and help neighbours and we have our Bermuda regiment which helps.” During hurricanes, usually as devastating as the wind is the storm surge, the massive volume of water blown along ahead of the system. However this did not affect Bermuda. Billings explains: “They were forecasting 35-45ft seas outside of the reef line on the South Shore, but there is the reef that slows it down, so we don’t get a storm surge from there. If it goes from the north then it can come into the Great Sound, then it comes into the Harbour and has no place to go. That happened during Emily.” According to Billings hurricanes strike Bermuda once every 10 years. So having two in the space of a week means statistically they should be free of them for some years to come. Good news for the Argo Group Gold Cup in years to come hopefully.

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    London, UK (14th Nov 2014): The discipline of Match Racing is considered the most combative and strategic form of sailing. With just two boats pit against each other on the race course in identical boats, match racing is about the pure skill of the skipper and the agile performance of his or her team. The ability to make quick decisions and outwit your opponent - every move counts. All rules decisions are made by on-water umpires selected by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This concept was developed by the match racing community and has been long used in the America’s Cup to provide instant decisions to the teams and avoid long protest hearings after racing. Think it’s an easy job? In a new series of ‘You’re the Umpire!’, we take a look at some of the difficult calls the umpires have to make. Would you make the same decisions? 2014 Dutch Match Cup  - Williams vs Hansen In this tense pre-start during Qualifying at the 2014 Dutch Match Cup, both Bjorn Hansen of Hansen Sailing Team and Ian Williams of GAC Pindar fight for position as the clock counts down to the start. In the final seconds before the start, Williams makes an arguably aggressive manoeuvre diving for a gap between Hansen and the committee boat resulting in a collision with both Hansen and the committee boat. Who was in the right and who was in the wrong? And what decision did the Umpires make? In the 4 minute pre-start, both teams fight for the upper hand crossing tacks and trying to move into the best position. Teamwork is key at this point to execute fast manoeuvres in the small pre-start area  Hansen (sailing boat 3) positions himself to leeward and in a right of way position over Williams (boat 5) to make it difficult for Williams to start close to the starting vessel Williams turns towards the start line. He has no right to room between Hansen and the starting vessel because under the rules he cannot call for room when approaching the line to start  The questions here are whether there is room for Williams to fit in the gap between Hansen and the committee boat. And if Hansen subsequently heads up and 'shuts the door’ on Williams, has Williams been given the opportunity to go somewhere other than into the rapidly closing gap. Hansen, as the [leeward] right of way boat, is obliged under rule 16 to give room to the other boat to keep clear as he changes course.  At this point the Umpires have a number of options they can take; Call 1: If there is room for Williams between Hansen and the committee boat, and Hansen simply ‘shuts the door’ without giving Williams any room to keep clear - Penalty to Hansen for breaking rule 16. Call 2: If there is room for Williams between Hansen and the committee boat, and Williams had the room to dip behind Hansen’s stern or tack out to the right of the committee boat as the gap closed but chose not to, then Penalty to Williams for not keeping clear of Hansen. Call 3: If there is no room for Williams no matter what Hansen’s actions then Penalty to Williams for not keeping clear. Call 4: If you give the penalty to Williams and decide he gained an advantage compared to where he would have ended up if he’d bailed out, then hand him a second 'umpire initiated’ Penalty. The Final Umpires Decision: The umpires decided that Williams was in the wrong and he received two penalties, one for not keeping clear of Hansen, and one for gaining an advantage through breaking a rule. Would you have made the same decision? Share your comments on our Facebook post here

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    London, UK - 14 May 2012: Several rule changes have been confirmed for the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, coming into effect at the first event of the season, Match Race Germany in Langenargen on May 23 – 28. The Racing Rules have been amended in order to continue the positioning of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) as the most compelling, competitive and pioneering action on the water. Craig Mitchell, Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Tour Director, expects the alterations to have a positive effect on the Tour, as well as match racing in general: “Match racing has evolved to the point where we currently have a great set of rules, producing some fantastic sporting action, as we saw quite clearly in the 2011 series. “Nothing major has changed in the past few years and we are enthusiastic in our responsibility to keep developing the rules to challenge our world class athletes and create the best possible spectacle we can.”

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    Langenargen, Germany (9th June 2014): Downunder, where chief umpire Bill Edgerton comes from, there’s a children’s character called Blinky Bill, a laid-back cuddly cartoon Koala. But if the sailors on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour think they can pull the blinkers over their on-the-water officials, they’ve got another thing coming. Edgerton (known to some as Complicated Bill) and his colleagues are wise to their mischievous tricks. Most of the boats used on the Alpari World Match Race Tour are tiller-steered, but at Match Race Germany, the Bavaria 40 keelboat is equipped with a wheel. This offers the cheekier skippers a new opportunity to pull the wool over the eyes of the umpires. Just as professional footballers are prone to tripping over a blade of grass on the edge of the penalty box, sailors are not immune to similar forms of dyspraxia. Tight situations sometimes tempt sailors into the dark art of dissimulation. But Complicated Bill is on to them: “They're playing to the umpires! They're trying to gain an advantage, and it's a game between us and them. “They're always trying to show that they're doing what they need to stay out of trouble, and we're always looking to see that they're doing enough. So, they can exaggerate the drama of the situation and make it look as though it's more dramatic than it is in reality. But it's not as bad as a dive in football. “When you need to keep clear, you have to turn the boat, and if you're not close enough or not watching closely, they can slide their hands over the top of the wheel without actually turning it, saying, ‘Look, I'm going as hard as I can!’” Little beknown to the offending skipper, Edgerton is looking further down - below the waterline - for evidence of whether or not they’re really trying. “Actually if you're looking at the rudder you see there's no turning of the rudder whatsoever. It's up to us to try and satisfy ourselves if they are really doing everything they can, or if they're just playing a game.”news88.net http://www.europosud.ua http://motioncrisp.wordpress.comevakuator-servis.com/http://www.galid.com/

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    Langenargen, Germany (8th June 2014): Being a professional sailor isn’t just about being able to sail a boat fast, it’s about conducting yourself in a professional manner in every respect. It’s what you do off the water that counts too, such as negotiating with commercial partners who can help fund the costs of competing on a global circuit. French skipper Mathieu Richard has shown a useful knack of being able to sign a sponsor who can help his team perform on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Last year, despite lacking a Tour Card, Richard succeeded in finding a sponsor in GEFCO who helped him compete on a number of events as a Wild Card holder. Victory at the Korea Match Cup and some other great performances were sufficient to get him back into this year’s circuit as one of the eight Tour Card holders. “It's a great feeling to be back as a Tour Card holder, because the last time was in 2011. We managed to get a new sponsorship with LunaJets, so they are following us for this season. I'm very excited and very glad to be on the Tour with my team, which is the same team pretty much as last year.” LunaJets, a private jet brokerage based in Geneva, already supported Richard on the RC44 circuit. “When I asked them if they wanted to go on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, they immediately said yes, so they are very excited to be on the circuit with us. We hope we can repay their faith in us. They are very sensitive to the fact that it's a World Championship and we are a very high level team and we are fighting for the victory, for the title. They like this very much.” Richard has a very diverse background in racing, with world championship wins as a tactician in keelboats like the Mumm 30 and fast multihulls the ORMA 60 offshore trimarans. He has won the offshore challenge, the Tour de France a la Voile, four times, but in the past decade he has increasingly focused on match racing. Victory at the European Match Racing Championship in 2004 showed what he could do, and since then he has finished runner-up in the Tour in 2007. He has been a world force in match racing ever since. Richard attributes his success to having raced with a core of friends for a very long time. “I started match racing with Greg, my tactician, more than 15 years ago, so it's really been a while. Then Thierry and Olivier have been with me for eight or nine years. Francois Verdier, the bowman, started with me two years ago and Pascal Rambeau, the same.” While he’s competing in a combative part of the sport, Richard maintains a placid demeanour. “I am not sure I am very aggressive, definitely some are more so, like Bjorn Hansen; even the young guys, Robertson, Swinton, they like to be aggressive. It is not in my nature to be so aggressive. I try to stay smooth on the course to keep the boat fast and we also have good skills in terms of tactics on board with Greg as tactician. It's difficult to say just one good point about the team, we have a lot of skills and I think we are pretty strong in all parts of the game.” Aged 38, he is one of the older skippers on the Tour, but with many good years remaining, and with as much enthusiasm for the sport as ever, he says. “Obviously you haven't got the same spirit when you are 20 as when you are 38. When you are 20 you are starting out, and you are probably a bit fresher and looking at racing with, I wouldn't say more enthusiasm, but you discover everything for the first time. When you get a bit more experienced you know how it works, it's a bit different. You can bet on your experience to beat the others - and that's what we are trying to do.” But is there a danger of relying on experience too much, of not trying new ideas any more? “Not really, because sailing is a game in which you always try to improve every day. Even if I started match racing 15 years ago, I am always trying to improve and thinking about the moves, the start, the trimming etc. You are never satisfied with your level. It's about trying to improve all the time. Experience is a good asset, but you have to always be looking for new tricks.”http://online.casinocity.com evakuator-servis.com http://europosud.uawww.evakuator-servis.comhttp://goodportal.com.ua/

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    London, UK (9th Oct 2014): The German National Match Racing Championship kicks off today at the Constance Yacht Club, Langenargen Germany. Nine of Germany’s best match racing teams will go head to head in the hope of gaining an invite to next year’s Alpari World Match Racing Tour Championship event, Match Race Germany. The German National Match Race Championships will be sailed in Blu26 boats with a 4 person crew on picturesque Lake Constance in Germany. Felix Oehmes, who is one of the best ranked sailors in Germany, has his eyes on winning this year’s event. Oehmes of Hamburg Match Race Team who sailed alongside Carsten Kemmling at Match Race Germany this year, has gained much match racing experience against top sailors from the Alpari Tour and will have a few tricks up his sleeves in the competition. However, more experienced match racers Lars Hueckstedt of Heizkörper Sailing Team and Adrian Maier-Ring, helmsman for Innotio Match Race Team will be among the other contenders looking for the win this weekend. The winner of Qualifying will proceed straight to the Semi Finals. The next 6 teams will compete in Quarter Final knockouts before advancing to Semi Finals and Finals which are scheduled for Saturday 11 October. German National Match Race Championships Felix Oehme-NRV Match Race TeamLars Hueckstaedt-Heizkörper Sailing TeamAdrian Maier-Ring-Innotio Match Race Team IFlorian Haufe-Haufe Racing TeamJens Hartwig-Hartwig Match TeamChi Trung Huynh-ASV Matchrace Team Mathias Rebholz-Team Up!Felix Schrimper-Innotio Match Race Team II Tino Ellegast-Team Ellegast

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    London, UK (20th June 2014): The Batavia Sailing Center today selected the Batavia Regatta, which will run over 23 - 24 August 2014 at the Bataviahaven of Lelystad, Holland, as the official Qualifying event for the Dutch Match Cup 2014. The Batavia Sailing Center is the organiser of the Dutch Match Cup the recently announced Stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. For teams wishing to race in the Dutch Match Cup two Qualification places are available. Both the winner and the runner up of the Batavia Regatta will receive an invite to the Dutch Match Cup which will be held between 24-28 September this year. The Dutch Match Cup and the Batavia Regatta will be sailed in MaxFun 25 boats with the race area directly in front of the port of Bataviahaven, very close to the shore, offering fantastic opportunities for spectators to enjoy the action. The organization of the Dutch Match Cup has two further Wild Card invites which will be decided upon later in the year. Batavia Regatta The Batavia Regatta will be an ISAF Grade 3 match racing event. Further information about invites to the Batavia Regatta and the NoRcan be found at www.dutchmatchcup.nl/qualifier/jobtalk.jp http://www.budmag.ua http://www.progressive.uawww.dxtranse.com.ua/europosud.ua/

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FEATURED SKIPPER

Skipper - United Kingdom

Williams’ story is a remarkable one and goes against the grain of his fellow Card Holders. While he started sailing at a young age, he actually pursued a career in Law first, qualifying as a solicitor in 2003. It wasn’t until he took a six-month sabbatical and won two Grade 1 events, which earned him a place amongst the top five in the World Rankings that he took up sailing full-time.

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STRONG TRADITIONS

Old traditions but humble minds

It has taken many years for competitive sailing to capture the public imagination and it has taken a return to basic principles to make it happen. Right at the beginning of yacht racing, in the 17th century, races took place between two boats going down the river to the sea and back, and crowds lined the sides of the river to watch it happening. It was easy to understand, because the first one home won, it was exciting and it was a marvellous spectacle.

Over the years, as is so often the way with sport, the experts refined the rules, introduced handicaps and developed a language that ensured that only a rarefied breed of sailor – usually a member of an exclusive club – would understand what was going on and very often even he would not. The wider audience didn’

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