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Canfield digging for more Gold

Taylor Canfield and his US One Sailing team-mates will be gunning for more glory during next week's Argo Group Gold Cup.

The US Virgin Islands skipper captured a maiden King Edward VII Trophy after recording an emphatic 3-0 win over Sweden's Johnie Berntsson in last year's best-of-three-final in Hamilton Harbor.

The win was also Canfield's first on the Apalri World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) and since then he has added two more titles (Monsoon Cup and the Chicago Match Cup) to his resume.

Canfield is currently second behind reigning world champion and past Gold Cup winner Ian Williams (Britain) in the ISAF WMRT championship standings after five of the scheduled seven events.

The 24-year-old sailor has made two changes to his team from last year's that lost only three matches en route to Gold Cup glory. Josh McCaffrey and Mike Rehe have been replaced by Rod Dawson and Hayden Goodrick who have been sailing with Canfield on this year's tour.

Dawson will serve in the dual role as tactician/main while Goodrick will work the bow. Trimmer Dan Morris is the only other surviving member from last year's team.

“This is actually the team I've been sailing with for most of the tour events this year as well as at Monsoon Cup last year,” Canfield told The Royal Gazette. “We're pretty well organised as a team together and have good chemistry so I think it (Gold Cup) should be a good event.”

Canfield insists there's no added pressure on his shoulders to defend his title.

“As a team we just like to think of it as another event and go out and try sail the boat to the best of our ability in every race,” he said. “It's just going to be a matter of one race at a time and just try and keep our heads on straight and hopefully Hamilton harbour doesn't get the best of us.”

Canfield will have his work cut out competing in a formidable fleet that includes past winners Ben Ainslie (Britain), Mathieu Richard (France), Williams and Berntsson.

Ainslie, who was a member of Oracle Team USA that retained the Auld Mug at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco Bay, is one of only two skippers to claim back-to-back Gold Cups since the regatta was reformatted in 1984.

“Ben Ainslie has been in the Gold Cup twice and won it twice so he'll definitely be a tough contender,” Canfield added. “It's a tough line-up this year and you just have to keep setting yourself up to advance to the next stage.'

Another skipper Canfield could potentially come up against is local sailor Lance Fraser. Canfield was Fraser's supervisor during the latter's internship at the Chicago Match Race Centre this past summer.

“Obviously Lance is a great sailor who has been working hard all summer sailing a lot match racing-wise,” Canfield said. “We sailed against him a bunch in Bermuda before in previous Gold Cups and I think two years ago he beat us in the round robin which kept us out of the quarter-finals.”

Canfield always looks forward to racing in the Gold Cup and this year will be no exception. “It's a great event in a very friendly environment; everybody is really nice and involved in the Gold Cup which is definitely one of my favourite events on the tour,” he said. “It's unique with the IODs (International One Design) and the beauty of Hamilton Harbour and great weather and we love coming.”

Taylor Canfield and his US One teammates will be gunning for more glory during next week's Argo Group Gold Cup (Photo by Meredith Block)

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Published October 01, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm)

Canfield digging for more Gold

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