[Source: World Match Racing Tour] 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.”
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 Monsoon Cup where anything can happen”