Former champion Canfield lapping up Gold Cup excitement
Taylor Canfield is having a blast competing at the Bermuda Gold Cup and Open Match Race World Championship in Hamilton Harbour this week.
The US Virgin Islands helmsman has made early inroads in his quest for a third Gold Cup and second world match-racing title, having safely navigated through the qualifying round to reach the quarter-final with his fellow Stars & Stripes USA team-mates.
“The Bermuda Gold Cup is definitely one of my favourite events so we love being here,” Canfield said.
“It’s good to get back in the boat but more importantly back to be match racing again and happy that the world championship is happening this year.”
Canfield captured a maiden Gold Cup title in 2012 with USone Sailing Team and added a second in 2018. In between, he was crowned world match-racing champion in his rookie season on the World Match Racing Tour in 2013.
He and his team-mates got off to a wobbly start to this week’s dual regatta as they gradually readjusted to the handling characteristics of the International One Design sloop.
“It’s a little bit tricky,” Canfield added. “Actually haven’t match-raced monohulls in over a year so just getting back in the game.
“Most recently I’ve been doing a lot of M32 racing so definitely a big change. You have to plan things out a little bit more in these boats, especially with their turning radiuses and how the speeds are so drastically different at times doing different manoeuvres.
“You’re definitely thinking a few moves ahead and making sure that you actually want to be going the direction that you’re going and if it’s worth doing the extra manoeuvres. It’s definitely a lot more to think about and a lot that goes into the decision-making on board.”
Canfield’s team finished third in the group two qualifying standings with a 4-3 record to advance to the knockout stage.
The 31-year-old and his team-mates have hit the ground running having arrived on island the night before Monday’s start of racing.
The 36th America’s Cup challenger’s arrival was delayed owing to their involvement in another regatta the same day in the United States.
“With the moving schedule for this event [Gold Cup] and not being sure if it was going to happen or not, everyone made plans to go to an event in Charleston, South Carolina,” Canfield said.
“In order to get here on time, we had to get on a private plane and the Bermuda Government made it super easy, working with them on a day-to-day basis, making sure we had all the Covid tests done and we were following the rules pretty tightly.
“Definitely tough arriving the day before the event and we all had a big dip. I think I lost 13 pounds as an individual on our team, so it was not easy sailing yesterday (Monday) hungry and dehydrated.”