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Canfield full of confidence

Flashback: Canfield celebrates winning the Gold Cup in 2012

Taylor Canfield and US One Sailing Team will enter the Argo Group Gold Cup with their confidence soaring.

Canfield and his team-mates clinched the M32 Scandinavian Series this month and will now look to carry that momentum into the team’s bid to win the King Edward VII Gold Cup for a second time in four years.

“I believe that if the team sails well we will have a chance at the title,” Canfield, who placed third at last year’s Gold Cup, said. “As a team we have sailed quite well in Bermuda in the past and can’t wait to get back.”

Canfield and US One Sailing Team will have their work cut out competing against the top match racing sailors in the world in a field also boasting America’s Cup challengers Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan, who won this month’s Bacardi Bermuda National Match Racing Championships in Hamilton Harbour.

“What a treat to have some of the Cup teams participating in the Gold Cup,” Canfield, the 2013 World Match Racing Tour champion, said. “It’s always great to sail against some of the best guys in the world. We will see how they manage transitioning from the foiling AC45s into the IODs.”

Canfield is competing in this year’s Gold Cup with a crew that includes former BMW Oracle Racing sailor Hayden Goodrick and match racing specialists Garth Ellingham and Mike Rehe.

This year’s Gold Cup could be the last featuring the International One Design sloop.

After the announcement of Aston Harald AB’s acquisition of the ISAF-sanctioned World Match Racing Tour in June, there has been a shift in emphasis towards the high-performance M32 catamaran for next year’s championship.

The Stena Match Cup has already announced that it will be raced in new M32 multihulls and James Pleasance, the executive director of the World Match Racing Tour, has made clear his ambition to extend use of the M32 across more events on the series, including the Gold Cup.

“The IODs are unique, tricky and fun to sail,” Canfield said. “While I really enjoy sailing the IODs in Bermuda, nothing excites me more than the thought of ripping around Hamilton Harbour doing 20-plus knots in the M32s!”

The Gold Cup will be held from October 6 to 11.

Flying Bermuda’s banner this year is Blythe Walker.

Walker secured the Gold Cup spot allocated to the winner of the Bacardi Bermuda National Match Racing Championships as Softbank Team Japan, who won the national match racing title, had already gained entry to the Gold Cup via a wild card.

Two-times winners Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing Team are the defending Gold Cup champions.