Saturday, 27 June 2009

WMRT: Bermuda Opens Its Doors For The Argo Group Gold Cup

by Talbot Wilson

The invitation process for the Argo Group Gold Cup is now underway. The 24 team event will comprise of the eight World Match Racing Tour Card holders, winners of the two qualifier events in the United States and Bermuda and 14 invites handed out by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

The RBYC, organizer of The Argo Group Gold Cup sailing for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, has confirmed the dates for October 6-11, 2009. The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate event of the ten-stage World Match Racing Tour. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in niche areas of the property and casualty market, returns as title sponsor this year.

The event features a unique 24-team format, the largest entry on the World Match Racing Tour. In addition to the eight Tour Card holders, two teams are selected from a pair of qualifying events, the Knickerbocker Cup and the Bermuda National Match Race Championship. The remaining 14 teams are selected by application and invitation from the top international match-racing sailors on the ISAF ranking list. The extra number of teams compared to other Tour events gives more opportunities for up and coming competitors to take on the world’s best fighting it out for the $100,000 prize purse.

In announcing their second year of title sponsorship Mark E. Watson III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Argo Group said, “Argo Group is proud to announce our sponsorship of the Argo Group Gold Cup match race tournament once again. The Gold Cup and Argo continue to make a perfect match. We both strive for excellence. Racing for the King Edward VII Gold Cup is a great tradition in Bermuda and attracts some of the world’s best yachtsmen.

“Sailing is Bermuda’s unofficial national sport. While hundreds of young people are currently involved in sailing, we believe there is a huge opportunity to increase those numbers. Sailing promotes self-reliance, discipline and team work – all traits that parents want their children to develop in order to be self-sufficient adults. It’s a great character-builder. In Bermuda you can sail year-round and it’s great fun.”

Watson concluded, “Once again, we look forward to working in partnership with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to make this year’s event one of the best ever. We will also be supporting the second Bermuda Festival of Sail planned for the finals weekend of the Argo Group Gold Cup. The Festival is designed to reach out to the broad Bermuda public and introduce them to the fun of sailing”

Commodore Ralph Richardson, thanked Argo for their support and said, “Match Racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as a premier event on the World Match Racing Tour. It has always been a highlight for sailors and attracts the top sailors in the International Sailing Federation’s and World Tour’s rankings. In 2008 we brought sailing to all Bermudians with the first Festival of Sail. That will be bigger and better in 2009.”

In addition to Argo Group, key sponsors include The Bermuda Department of Tourism as official host, Guy Carpenter, Renaissance Re and Bacardi. Of note Renaissance Re will once again sponsor the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup International Optimist Dinghy regatta sailed in Bermuda’s Great Sound.

The Argo Group Gold Cup, sailed for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, is now stage 9 of the World Match Race Tour, the ISAF match-racing world championship. The Bermuda classic is the oldest match-racing competition in the world for one-design yachts. The trophy presented to the winning team was originally given at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1907 by King Edward VII in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America. C. Sherman Hoyt, a renowned American sailor, won the regatta and was presented with this now historic cup.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. We offer a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in three arenas: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, and International Specialty.

Argo Group clients and shareholders alike benefit from our commitment to specialization, deep expertise and dynamic relationships, creating a winning combination for mutual success.

At Argo Group, we've built a company with a fundamental purpose of securing the future and a straightforward vision to achieve outstanding results realized together.

Yes, we specialize in the products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in International Specialty, Excess and Surplus Lines and Commercial Specialty. But what does it mean to us as an organization to be an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products?

It means creating a tangible excitement with our desire to excel. Holding to our deeply rooted ethics and trust of each other's potential, to give us the daily confidence to do the right thing. Maintaining unwavering interest in the clients we serve, to forge long-lasting connections. And never to lose our trademark combination of intellectual curiosity and creative zeal, which brings bold, far-reaching ideas to our clients as they evolve their own thriving businesses.

Organization-wide, our strategy—easy to define and rewarding to deploy—is to grow hand-in-hand with our clients.

Tour Standings
(After 4 of 10 events)
1.Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch 61 Points
2.Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar 49 Points
3.Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team 48 Points
4.Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 46 Points
5.Ben Ainslie, (GBR) Team Origin 40 Points
6.Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team32 Points
7.Paolo Cian (ITA) Shosholoza Team 31 Points
8.Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing31 Points

World Match Racing Tour

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