Bermuda and it’s International One Desig Fleet played host to the annual King Edward Gold Cup. The regatta is part of the Swedish Match Tour.
The eventual winner was Peter Gilmour defeating another match race veteran Chris Dickson. That pairing along with some events that occured along the way are the take away from this event.
Along the way Dennis Conner was defeated by Paula Lewin, while Gilmour beat Russell Coutts. Conner is an infrequent match racer, but the Coutts defeat is more suprising as he won the event as recently as 2000 and had his veteran crew with him. Also eliminated early was Peter Holmberg the 2001-2002 tour winner.
Of more interest is the final four of Dean Barker, Jesper Radich + Gilmour and Dickson. The old guard- both Dickson and Gilmour debuted in the 1987 America’s Cup v. the new guard as Barker is 29 and 2003/03 Tour Champion Radich is only 27.
Gilmour took out Radich 3-0 in the semis while Dickson beat Barker 3-1.
Then the old dogs put on a full 5 race final. They traded over early’s and ended the first 2 races tied at 1. Gilmour then took race 3 and lost race 4 via penalty. Race 5 was a multiple penalty job with Dickson’s team ulimately sufering a crew work error that gave Gilmour the Gold Cup 3-2.
Some of the same stars that topped sailing in 1987, still do in 2003. That’s one of sailing’s selling points- competiive longevity. Compare sailing to football- 1987 MVP John Elway is retired. You have to go to 1995 and Brett Favre to find a football MVP who is still playing. Not so for sailors.
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