Thursday, 30 September 2010

WMRT: Lucy MacGregor Competes For Bragging Rights Over Her Tutor and Mentor

* Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) is a second female entrant in Bermuda in 2010
* Three Kiwi Teams Compete in Bermuda: BlackMatch Racing (Adam Minoprio), Black Sheep Racing (Reuben Corbett) and Waka Racing (Phil Robertson)

Lucy MacGregor and team are crowned Women's Match Racing World Champions 2010. Image copyright Fried Elliott/

by Talbot Wilson

Newly crowned ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion Lucy Macgregor is relishing the prospect of taking on her tutor and mentor, two-time Match Racing World Champion, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group at The Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda next week. Macgregor will be one of the female skippers taking part in the 8th round of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour Championship, which runs from 5 to 10 October at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Macgregor has been working with Williams throughout 2010 and capped off nine months of hard work, battling from 2-1 down in the final of the Women’s Match Racing Championship in New York to become the first British winner in the event’s 12 year history. Her team, which includes her sister Kate, will be making its debut in Bermuda with assured confidence but measured expectation as to the challenge that awaits them: “It will be a fantastic experience to race in Bermuda and take on the guys,” said the newly crowned World Champion. “I’d love to beat Ian but it will be tricky. I’ll be watching the teams very closely to learn as much as I can - it could come down to the amount of time spent in the boats.”

Macgregor wants Bermuda to be her proving ground in every sense. Not only will it allow her coach, Williams, to get a better impression of her racing style but she’ll also learn from the world’s best match racers and be able to tune her skills towards the women’s match racing events at the Olympics in 2012. Ultimately though, Macgregor admits to wanting a more significant future involvement on the Tour: “It would be great to see a larger female presence in the World Match Racing Tour and, being the pinnacle of match racing, the option to hold a Tour Card for it would be a fantastic achievement too.”

Lucy MacGregor and team in action. Image copyright Skandia Team GBR.

A twist of fate mixed with the unique race format at The Argo Group Gold Cup, means Williams and Macgregor could race head-to-head in the qualifying rounds with a further mouth watering bout in the latter stages of the competition also a possibility. Not only that, a contest with Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) Team Tunnicliffe, gold medalist in the Beijing Olympics and an established name in the top five of the women’s world rankings could be on the cards.

If Williams is looking back over his shoulder, he’ll need to focus ahead too if he is to hunt down title forerunner, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team. Williams won the Argo Group Gold Cup in 2006 but is one of five returning title holders, with every winner from 2006-2009 and Jesper Radich (DEN) Rudy Project Sailing Team (2002 winner) all contesting this year. Williams said: “We face an uphill task being behind at this stage but we’ll focus on trying to win the final two races. If we can have a good result in Bermuda that will put us in a strong position for the Monson Cup where anything can happen.”

Ian Williams (GBR), of Bahrain Team Pindar, racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup. Image copyright Talbot Wilson.

List of Skippers and Teams entered for Argo Group Gold Cup 2010

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Mike Buckley (USA)
Taylor Canfield (USVI)
Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing
Lance Fraser (BER)
Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
Damien Iehl (FRA)
Lucy MacGregor (GBR)
Alvaro Marinho (POR)
Terry McLaughlin (CAN)
Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing/ETNZ
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team
Jakub Pawluk (POL)
Dave Perry (USA)
Jesper Radich (DEN)
Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) Team Tunnicliffe
Blythe Walker (BER)
Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar

Bermuda Gold Cup
World Match Racing Tour