London, UK (Sept. 17, 2019) — The Argo Group Gold Cup, one of the most storied match racing regattas in the world that has been won by the luminaries of the America’s Cup arena, will rejoin the World Match Racing Tour for its 70th competition next year, scheduled May 11-16, 2020.
Event organizers at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club are also pleased to welcome back Argo Group, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance, as the title sponsor. An expected field of 12 teams will battle for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, the oldest match racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts, and a $100,000 prize purse.
“The Argo Group Gold Cup has long been coveted by skippers and crews around the world, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Argo Group and to rejoin the World Match Racing Tour,” said Leatrice Oatley, the event chairperson and a Past Commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
“The Gold Cup has carved out its place in the match racing calendar by providing thrilling racing and first-class hospitality. The continued support of Argo Group and rejoining the World Match Racing Tour reinforce the prestige associated with the Gold Cup,” said Oatley.
Argo Group returns as the title sponsor for the 11th time, renewing a longstanding tradition of supporting community and sporting events on Bermuda, the picturesque British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean.
“We are thrilled to continue as title sponsor of the Argo Group Gold Cup,” said Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III. “Argo’s support of this prestigious match race demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Bermuda. Supporting this event is also a natural extension of Argo’s commitment to innovation, teamwork and sustainability. Like the elite athletes who compete in the Argo Group Gold Cup, we know that rewards come only to those who overcome risks through innovation, approach risks as a team, and manage risks in ways that respect our environment.”
The Argo Group Gold Cup rejoins the World Match Racing Tour after a four-year hiatus when the tour featured multihull boats exclusively at its events. The tour has been under new ownership since earlier this year and is returning to its broader business model with a collective of world championship level events, including the Argo Group Gold Cup, and qualifier events that will comprise the tour season. Points accumulated at the events will lead to the crowning of the Open Match Racing World Champion as sanctioned by World Sailing.
The Argo Group Gold Cup was a flagship event for the tour before its hiatus and now is the first event to rejoin the tour as it reassembles.
“I am delighted to welcome back the Argo Group Gold Cup as an official event of the World Match Racing Tour,” said Executive Director James Pleasance, a tour principal since 2002. “The Argo Group Gold Cup has a longstanding history as a flagship event of the World Match Racing Tour and is a favorite of match racing teams all over the world. We look forward to working with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Argo Group and their partners again next year.”
Earlier this year, Ian Williams of Great Britain became the 12th multiple time winner when he defeated Johnie Berntsson of Sweden in the final. For Williams it was his second title in Bermuda and ranked him alongside luminaries such as Ben Ainslie of Great Britain, Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Dickson of New Zealand and Berntsson as two-time winners.
America’s Cup legend Russell Coutts of New Zealand, a five-time winner of the Auld Mug, is the Argo Group Gold Cup all-time winner with seven victories.
“When I was getting into match racing, this was the first big event I came to in 1998. This was the one you really wanted to win,” said the 42-year-old Williams after his victory on May 11. “To win in 2006 was huge for us, it was our first big win. I’ve been coming back since and always fell at the final hurdle. We traditionally struggle here. To win for the first time in 13 years is incredible.”
Invitations to the 70th Argo Group Gold Cup will be issued later this year.
ABOUT ARGO GROUP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD.
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: ARGO) is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in two primary segments: U.S. Operations and International Operations. Argo Group’s insurance subsidiaries are A. M. Best-rated ‘A’ (Excellent) (third highest rating out of 16 rating classifications) with a stable outlook, and Argo Group’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries are Standard and Poor’s-rated ‘A-’ (Strong) with a positive outlook. More information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com.
ABOUT WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organised and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, the top twelve teams from which compete in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous Champions include Bertrand Pace (FRA), Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Jesper Radich (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS).
The WMRT is a match racing competition with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which change for each event and which place a firm focus on teamwork, strategy and skill. Racing takes place close to shore to create stadium-style viewing for spectators.
Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD20million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. www.wmrt.com