HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 11, 2019) — Just when it looked like Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson was going to even the score in the final of the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup and send the match to a fifth and deciding race, Ian Williams of Great Britain sailed across his bow and snatched away the victory.
In streaky wind conditions on Hamilton Harbour, Williams and his Team GAC Pindar crew rode a heading puff down on starboard tack and turned a three or four boatlength deficit into a half-length victory in the final 100 yards of the run to the finish.
The Team GAC Pindar crew, including Gerry Mitchell, Tom Powrie and Richard Sydenham won the final 3-1 as well as $30,000 of the $100,000 prize purse in the regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
For Williams it was his second victory in Bermuda, and he becomes the 12th multiple winning skipper of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, joining the likes of Ben Ainslie of Great Britain, Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Dickson of New Zealand and Berntsson himself.
Five-time America’s Cup champion Russell Coutts of New Zealand is the all-time winner of the Gold Cup with seven championships. Williams won his first Gold Cup in 2006 and he’s waited a long 13 years for the second.
“When I was getting into match racing, this was the first big event I came to in 1998. This was the one you really wanted to win,” said the 42-year-old Williams from Lymington, Great Britain. “To win in 2006 was huge for us, it was our first big win. I’ve been coming back since and always fell at the final hurdle. We traditionally struggle here. To win for the first time in 13 years is incredible.”