[Source: Argo Gold Cup] The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has announced that the Argo Group Gold Cup is still set to sail, albeit on a compressed schedule, starting Wednesday, October 22. Using the one-day-delay plan announced last Wednesday, the Argo Group Gold Cup will be compressed to five days of racing and organizers will take advantage of the fine weather expected after Gonzalo. Winds predicted to be in the 20kt range each day will help get the full event completed for the competitors and spectators.
Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour had been threatened by the category 3 hurricane that struck Bermuda on Friday night [October 17] with predicted winds of over 130 mph. Saturday morning island officials were accessing the damage and later in the day reopened the causeway that links the Bermuda International Airport to the Hamilton end of the island, points South and West.
Past Commodore Brian Billings, Chairman Argo Group Gold Cup sent the following communication to the competitors today [Saturday]:
Commodore Kempe spoke with the Governor of Bermuda this morning who expressed his hope that the storm will not stand in the way of the Argo Group Gold going forward in true Bermuda style.
The Argo Group Gold Cup organizing committee met at 3:00 this afternoon to review our status and we are happy to report that we are proceeding as planned to host the Argo Group Gold Cup with practice on Tuesday and racing beginning on Wednesday October 22th .
The causeway to the airport is now open and flights are expected on schedule Sunday. British Airways has re-booked many of the people due in Saturday to Sunday’s flight.
There was minor roof damage at the club which will not impact our facilities. The terrace and our famous bar will be open for business as usual Monday.
We need 8 IOD’s [International One Design sailboats used for match racing]. We normally have two spares. One of our spare IODs was damaged and we working on a replacement. Our Race Committee boat Cleopatra was unharmed as were our fleet of inflatable umpire boats.
We are checking with all our hosts to ensure that they can accommodate the competitors. While some hosts have had damage and may be running on auxiliary power or candlelight almost all are ready to welcome our guests and backup arrangements are in progress where there is a problem.
We look forward to a fabulous hurricane party in the form of the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup!
As previously announced the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup will remain on its original schedule Oct. 23-26. The juniors sail up to 5 races a day in the Great Sound for three days. The final day they race one last race on Hamilton Harbour doing the halftime break in the Argo Group Gold Cup finals.
The Family Festival of Sail, the initial event of Argo Group Gold Cup Week, was originally scheduled for Sunday Oct 19 in Barr’s Bay Park adjacent to RBYC. The festival is rescheduled to October 26 and will be part of the finals day celebration.
Thirteen countries are represented in the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup. The matches will be sailed with the same 20-team format used in 2013. This Argo Group Gold Cup format is unique on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It allows for two 10-team groups. Skippers in each group are ranked and divided by Alpari World Match Racing Tour officials and the organizers at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.