St. Thomas Yacht Club‘s Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team Chicago Match Race Center swept the finals of the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, etching his name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and taking home a check for $50,000 by defeating Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3-0.
Berntsson’s check for second place was $20,000. He finished second in 2010 and won the Gold Cup in 2008.
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, the current Tour leader, took third place over Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team 2-1. Williams won $10,000 and Monnin took home $7,000.
Canfield made it into the Finals Sunday morning through a tough match with Monnin in the Semi Finals. Canfield had won the first flight and lost the second on Saturday before the wind died. Sunday, in perfect match racing conditions, with winds at 8-10 kts, Monnin took flight three. Canfield with his back to the wall took the next two flights to win 3-2.
Canfield then sailed flawlessly in the finals. He took three starts from Berntsson and led all around the track in the first two races. The sailing was only close on one downwind leg when Berntsson pressed Canfield into a luffing duel in an attempt to cross above him on starboard.
Berntsson failed to keep clear and was given a penalty. He immediately dissolved the penalty by using a special new Tour rule and gybing across behind Canfield to slow him down somewhat but not enough to take himself out of the match.
Canfield and his crew were beaten in only 3 of their 18 matches through the entire Argo Group Gold Cup and now lies ninth on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. He now hopes to get a wild card invite to the Tour’s final event The Monsoon Cup sailed in December. He would also like to be a Tour Cardholder next year.
“We came in here this week with the goal of making it to the quarter finals.” Canfield said. “But, we have been very confident all week with our boat handling skills. We are ecstatic with our win. It has been a great week for us. Actually, it is great that the Junior Gold Cup is going on as that was a big inspiration for me.” Canfield had sailed in the renaissance Re Junior gold Cup back on 2003.
“We were trying to sail the semi-finals and finals as smoothly as possible.” Canfield continued, “We just seem to have sailed together very well. This is the first time the four of us have sailed together as a team. I feel like my crew Dan Morse, Josh McCaffrey and Mike Rehe did such a great job that all I had to do was point the boat in the right direction. The finals just went really well for us and we just seemed to be picking the shifts.”
“I would also especially like to thank my father Bill Canfield who has been supporting me since sailing the Opti’s… Thanks, Dad,” Canfield said to his father who was sitting in the front row at the prizegiving
Race results and photos are on www.argogroupgoldcup.com/
video coverage of matches throughout the week can be replayed by clicking on the video replay icon on the home page.