Taylor Canfield and the USone Sailing Team captured the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup with a 3-1 victory over Johnie Berntsson’s Swedish crew.
Canfield won the venerable King Edward VII Gold Cup for the second time, following his first win in 2012. Canfield’s crew included Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, George Peet and Erik Shampain. They won $30,000 of the $100,000 prize purse.
Canfield succeeded in an exciting match that belies the lopsided scoreline. The final four races featured lead changes, penalties and luffing matches, the hallmarks of good, close match racing. In this case, Canfield and crew happened to come out on top versus a very experienced team.
“We made huge gains through the week,” said the 29-year-old Canfield of Miami, Fla. “The IOD is a tricky boat to sail and we had very tricky conditions this week. But the more time we spent in the boat the better we got. Full credit to Johnie and his team. They’re very experienced and have also won this trophy twice. We always have great matches against them.”
Berntsson, sailing in his ninth Gold Cup, won the trophy in 2008 and ’14, and also has four top three finishes. Berntsson and crew Oscar Angervall, Björn Lundgren and Robert Skarp won $15,000 for placing second overall.
Berntsson’s job as the CIO of a hospital in Stennungsund, Sweden, has prevented him from match racing full time the past few years, but his accumulated experience in the IOD and on Hamilton Harbour helped him get to the final where he and his crew ran into a ruthless opponent.
“We’re a bit disappointed,” said the usually affable 47-year-old Berntsson in a moment of reflection. “Had a few decisions we made gone the other way we could’ve done a bit better. But Taylor and his team sailed very well. If you give them a slight chance they take it. We have full respect for them and congratulate them. It was a really good week of sailing.”
In the Petit Final Australian Torvar Mirsky defeated Lucy Macgregor from the U.K. by the score of 2-0. Mirsky led the match 1-0 lead after Friday’s racing and then made quick work of today’s race when Macgregor started on the course side. By the time she cleared the line and started properly in the light winds under 5 knots, Mirsky was nearly halfway up the windward leg.
Mirsky led by nearly 90 seconds at the first windward mark rounding and when the breeze increased to nearly 8 knots shortly after his rounding, he was on his way to third place overall.
Mirksy and crew Lachy Gilmour, Cameron Seagreen, Graeme Spence won $12,000 while Macgregor and crew Bethan Cardin, Hannah Diamond, Annie Lush, Kate MacGregor won $11,000 for placing fourth.
ARGO GROUP GOLD CUP FINAL STANDINGS
1. Taylor Canfield (USA) – 19-2, $30,000 Crew: Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, George Peet, Erik Shampain
2. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) – 16-5, $15,000 Crew: Oscar Angervall (trimmer), Björn Lundgren (main trim), Robert Skarp (bow/tactics)