Just when it looked like Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson was going to even the score in the final of the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup and send the match to a fifth and deciding race, Ian Williams of Great Britain sailed across his bow and snatched away the victory.
In streaky wind conditions on Hamilton Harbour, Williams and his Team GAC Pindar crew rode a heading puff down on starboard tack and turned a three or four boatlength deficit into a half-length victory in the final 100 yards of the run to the finish.
The Team GAC Pindar crew, including Gerry Mitchell, Tom Powrie and Richard Sydenham won the final, 3-1, as well as $30,000 of the $100,000 prize purse in the regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
For Williams it was his second victory in Bermuda, and he becomes the 12th multiple winning skipper of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, joining the likes of Ben Ainslie of Great Britain, Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Dickson of New Zealand and Berntsson himself.
Five-time America’s Cup champion Russell Coutts of New Zealand is the all-time winner of the Gold Cup with seven championships. Williams won his first Gold Cup in 2006 and he’s waited 13 long years for the second.
“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 from Lymington, Great Britain. “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.”
Junior Gold Cup
George Lee Rush of New Zealand led from start to finish to win the 2019 RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup.
Rush placed eighth in today's final race, his lowest place of the regatta, taking that as his single discard, his win was assured before today's final race he would finish with 32 Net Points.
Second place went to Bermuda’s Sebastian Kempe with 52 Net Points, while Matheo Capasso from Cayman Islands was third with 62 Net Points.
The first female was Yanne Broers from the Netherlands who finished 4th overall with a 71 Net Points and finishing one spot back was the second female finisher Maria Gracia Vegas Trivelli from Peru who had 75 Net Points.