The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup, now in its 13th year, has become a critical pathway for Bermuda’s Optimist sailors seeking international competition and top level experience. The regatta brings the world’s best Opti sailors to their doorstep and allows the local sailors to instantly see where they sit on the world stage. The RenRe Junior Gold Cup has become the breeding ground for local match race sailors both in Bermuda and overseas. This includes 2014 World Match Race Champion Taylor Canfield, who got his first taste of match race sailing while in Bermuda attending the Junior Gold Cup from USVI.
RenaissanceRe has kindly sponsored this event since its inception, providing the support to assist with airfares for the international youth sailors and providing them with charter boats, on-the-water coaching and equip- ment required for competition. The visiting sailors stay with the local families of our youth sailors which is another important aspect of this unique experience. For the local sailors aged nine to 15, the regatta provides world- class competition in their home waters, an experience usually found only by traveling to a continental IODA event.
The backdrop of the Argo Group Gold Cup match-racing event running concurrently with the youth event provides a real bonus for all the sailors entered in the regatta as they are surrounded by their sailing heroes back at the dock. The youth sailors attend the daily press conferences, watch parts of the main event and mix and mingle among the teams competing on the World Match Racing Tour. Through the years Olympic medalists and America’s Cup winning sailors such as Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Andrew “Bart” Simpson and Sir Russell Coutts have given freely of their time by participating in youth sailing clinics or talks explaining the finer points of sailing and sportsmanship.
With Bermuda now the official home of the 2017 America’s Cup, a whole new vibe has taken over Bermuda on all levels. Participants of 2015 RenRe JGC will definitely feel the excitement as this year’s regatta will be held a week ahead of the 3rd America’s Cup World Series event, hosted in the City of Hamilton. RenRe JGC participants will surely see many of today’s sailing stars on or off the water, foil- ing cats practicing and the race village coming together. It should be an unforgettable experi- ence for all the sailors.
Twelve races are scheduled to be sailed, 11 of which will be in the Great Sound on IODA trapezoid courses. The final race will be sailed in Hamilton Harbour on the actual Argo Group Gold Cup course just prior to the finals in front of the large spectator fleet.
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup Champions
2003 - Oliver Rihiiluoma (BER)
2004 - Frankie Lardies (NZL)
2005 - Joshua Greenslade (BER)
2006 - Philip Sparks (GBR)
2007 - Jes Lyhne Bonde (DEN)
2008 - Balder Tobiasen (DEN)
2009 - “Nacho” Rogala (ARG)
2010 - Diogo Pereira (POR)
2011 - Wade Wadell (USA)
2012 - Douglas Elmes (IRL)
2013 - Milo Gill Taylor (GBR)
2014 - Christian Spodsberg (DEN)