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Taylor Canfield – Here to stay

Published on December 12th, 2012

Wildcard entry Taylor Canfield (23 years) from the US Virgin Islands won the most coveted event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, tcthe Monsoon Cup (Dec. 3-8, 2012). As the tour’s final stop, it is the hardest event to get an invite to, and its prize purse of MYR 1.475 million (approx USD 475,000) is the largest on the tour.

Taylor, who is currently ranked ninth in the international open match race rankings (and rising), shares his thoughts on the win:

1. First off, props on representing North America at the big leagues.

It has been a great season, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the people that have contributed to the success of USone Sailing Team. I am extremely appreciative of these great sailors that have given many dedicated hours from their lives to come sail with me this season. These are the people accountable for USone’s great 2012 season:

Rod Dawson, Jesse Fielding, Brian Janney, Tommy Loughborough, Hamish Matthew, Josh McCaffrey, Alden Reid, Tod Reynolds, Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Val Smith, Cy Thompson, Mark Towill, Janel Zarkowsky, and of course my core group of Matt Clark, Hayden Goodrick, Dan Morris, and Mike Rehe.

Among this group my crew at the Monsoon Cup was Rod Dawson, Hayden Goodrick, Dan Morris, and Mike Rehe.

2. What did it take to get an invitation to the Monsoon Cup?

We had received invitations to two events earlier in the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) season, finishing fourth at the Chicago Match Cup and we won the Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda. I believe that we demonstrated that we could compete at the level of the sailors on the tour, and this was likely the main reason we received an invitation to Monsoon Cup.

3. The Monsoon Cup is in Malaysia. What was that like?

Malaysia is definitely as foreign as it sounds, and as we were going there for the first time ever. We had no idea what to expect. First off, the trip to Malaysia was approximately 30 hours, not including the 10 hour time difference and crossing the International Date Line. Getting there at least three days before you actually begin competing is needed to get your body regulated to the time change. Some other big challenges of travelling to Malaysia was the extreme heat and local food. You cannot drink enough water the entire time you are there. You also have to be very careful about the restaurants you choose to eat at.

4. At what point did you feel that you had a chance to win?

I would say it was at the end of the initial qualifying round robin that I thought we had it in us to win the event. We beat both current World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) and former World Champion Adam Minoprio (NZL) to simply secure our spot in quarter finals.

5. What are the costs and benefits associated with the event?

Luckily for us, there is no entry fee for non-tour card holders to compete in the event with the wild card entry. Some of the costs included air travel, accommodation, and food for the nine days. In the end we won RM310,000 which comes out to just over $100,000 US (which gets split five ways with the crew).

6. Explain your involvement with the Chicago Match Race Center.

During college, I first began training with CMRC founder Don Wilson at the center for several summers before I started working there while also coaching the C420 race team at Chicago Yacht Club. Immediately after graduating from Boston College in 2011, I started working at CMRC full time, and am not the center’s Sailing Director. This job is a dream come true as I knew this would allow me to continue match racing which has become my passion.

7. What happens at CMRC during the winter?

Unfortunately the harbor we keep the boats in freezes, so all of the boats are hauled, brought to our warehouse, and repaired and prepared for the next season. Along with boat maintenance, we make sure our schedule is lined up for the upcoming season as well as promote match racing around the US. This winter I will also be travelling south to do some sailing with Don Wilson on his Melges 24. It is also my intention to get more involved in Melges 20 and 32 sailing.

8. Do you intend to compete as a full-time team on the WMRT in 2013?

I do plan to put in a bid for the 2013 World Match Racing Tour. However, sponsors will be necessary to make this dream of mine a reality.

9. How is North America for match racing?

I would say that match racing in this region has recently taken a turn for the better. When I first began match racing in the U.S., there were very few youth teams involved. Recently the promotion of youth match racing amongst high school, college, and individuals just out of college has spiked. It is the drive of the youth and the new faces getting involved in the sport that keeps the bar high. I also believe that CMRC and Oakcliff Sailing Center (Oyster Bay, NY) have been a huge asset to match racing in North America, with CMRC hosting about 15 match race events a year.


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