Taylor Canfield: Ascending to World Match Racing Champ

Published on December 9th, 2013

Just last week Taylor Canfield (ISV) and his US One Sailing Team ascended to the highest achievement in match race sailing as the newly-crowned World Match Racing Champions. Canfield, along with teammembers Hayden Goodrick (NZL), Mike Rehe (USA), Dan Morris (USA), Brian Janney (USA) and Rod Dawson (NZL), trained out of the Chicago Match Race Center.

“To say that CMRC was important to our success is a huge understatement,” said Canfield. “We would not be where we are now without its support.” As its Sailing Director, Canfield not only coached the membership at CMRC for the past three years, but also used the opportunity to teach, train and race in numerous CMRC events.

It was a little over three years ago when Canfield, then in his last year as a student at Boston College, started to turn heads on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour by defeating several established Tour stars with a 6th place finish at the Argo Group Gold Cup. His next Tour event a year later in 2011 at the same event did not go as well: 4 wins and 8 losses, for an overall mid-pack finish of 13th place.

TCBut through extensive racing and training at CMRC in the 2012 season, not only did he roar back to win the 2012 event in Bermuda, but two months later also defeat all the Tour finalists at their finale at the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. This got everyone’s attention, earned him an invitation for a Tour Card for the 2013 season, which in turn gave him invitations to all Tour events of the year.

Among the six events on the Tour this year, US One amassed an impressive 5-2-1-3-3 record in their best five events to win the overall Tour title, defeating four-time reigning World Champion Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar by 5 points. Overall this year US One earned nearly $126,000 in prize money, and a $100,000 bonus for the overall Tour win.

“Consistency was key to success this year,” according to Mike Rehe. “We were happy to make the semi-finals at 4 out of 6 of the events, which gave us great momentum and confidence heading into the final event.” This year a record number of five Tour skippers were in contention of the Tour title until the quarter-finals of the last event, which showed how much more competitive the circuit has become. But US One was able to “take it one race at a time and never get ahead of ourselves,” explained Hayden Goodrick.

Besides the title and the prize money, Canfield will be in a favorable position for his Tour Card to the 2014 season, and plans to race again on the Tour in next year’s season events. However, he’s also interested in fleet race sailing, and plans to race in as many other competitive classes and events as possible to expand his racing repertoire.

“I’ve agreed to race in this winter’s Jaguar Series in the Etchells Class,” he said, “with the goal of racing with Bill Hardesty in the Worlds next June.” Hardesty, a past Etchells World Champion, has much in common with Canfield: both were intercollegiate sailing stars, CMRC Sailing Directors, and now Match Race World Champions – Hardesty is tactician on Williams’ Team GAC Pindar.

“We had a great year in 2013, and owe a lot to our fans and supporters throughout the season,” said Canfield. “But I especially want to thank Don Wilson, Tod Reynolds, Maggie Shea, Steph Roble and everyone else at CMRC for offering such incredible support throughout my tenure at this awesome facility. I hope to be back in 2014 with some coaching, training and racing, and look forward to returning whenever I can.”


Dobbs Davis reporting

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