Canfield setting sights on Bermuda Gold Cup record
Taylor Canfield has set his sights on overhauling Sir Russell Coutts’s record for the most wins in the prestigious Bermuda Gold Cup.
The US Virgin Islands skipper and his Stars + Stripes USA team-mates won a third Gold Cup after defeating defending champion Ian Williams and GAC Pindar in last year’s final of the match-racing spectacle in Hamilton Harbour.
Canfield’s second triumph in the World Match Racing Tour sanctioned regatta in two years bumped him further up the pecking order to within four wins of equalling Coutts’s record of seven wins, achieved between 1990 and 2004.
It also completed an impressive double as the previous Gold Cup served jointly as the 2020 Open Match Racing World Championships, which reverted to a one-off event as a result of the postponement or cancellation of many regattas owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Canfield, 32, has now won the World Match Racing Tour’s Holy Grail twice having clinched a maiden title in 2013.
He now hopes to defend both his WMRT and Gold Cup titles as well as continue the pursuit of Coutts’s record haul in the latter event.
“Absolutely Stars+Stripes USA is intending on defending, not only our Gold Cup title this year, but also the World Match Race Tour Championship title as well,” Canfield told The Royal Gazette. “The Gold Cup is and has been a staple on the WMRT and attracts the best in the sport. We have some work to do to catch Russell Coutts and his seven Gold Cup wins.”
Canfield is among an exclusive group of company that includes New Zealand’s Coutts and Bermuda’s A.F. “Bert” Darrell as skippers to have won the Gold Cup three or more times.
The Gold Cup has been named among four World Championship regattas on the 2021 World Match Racing Tour schedule.
Tour organisers have announced a 17-event schedule spread across 11 countries, with the Bermuda Gold Cup taking place in Hamilton Harbour from September 27 to October 2.
The event is contested in the classic International One-Design Class for the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup, the oldest trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts.
“We love coming to Bermuda and we love sailing the classic International One-Design Class on tricky Hamilton Harbour,” Canfield added.
The tour will begin with the Szczecin Match Race, in Poland, from April 30 to May 2 and conclude with the inaugural series final in Shenzhen, China, from December 15 to 19.
The schedule will comprise WMRT events and world championship events, with the latter carrying a weightier points designation and prize money of at least $75,000.
The GKSS Match Cup Marstrand in Sweden, Congressional Cup Regatta in California and the tour final in China are the remaining regattas to be granted world championship status.