Skipper Taylor Canfield and Team Stars+Stripes – Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger and Eric Shampain – won the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship.
Canfield and crew won three of the four races in winds ranging from 12 to 20 knots on Hamilton Harbour, in a penalty-marred victory over Ian Williams’s Team GAC Pindar.
For Canfield the victory is his third at the Bermuda Gold Cup (2012, ’18) and second Open Match Racing World Championship (2013).
Canfield and crew accepted the King Edward VII Gold Cup, the sterling silver World Match Tour Championship trophy and the $30,000 winner’s check of the $100,000 prize purse.
Williams and Team GAC Pindar – Christian Kamp, Gerry Mitchell and Richard Sydenham – placed second and won $15,000. Williams, the two-time Gold Cup champion and six-time Open Worlds champion took the loss in stride, but was rueful of the umpire’s calls, whose decisions had an impact on the outcome.
“It’s a lot about styles,” Williams said. “We try to keep the umpires out of the game and (Canfield) likes to bring them into it, and it worked for him today.”
From Williams’s perspective, the key point in the regatta was the pre-start of Race 2. Williams and Canfield had worked their way into the spectator boat crowd outside the pin end of the start line. Canfield was hounding Williams and got a penalty on him.
Canfield peeled off for a bit and sailed back towards the line and Williams began to follow. Canfield then decided to go back for another try at a penalty. Williams, on port, attempted to wipe Canfield by sailing below the commentary boat.
Canfield, holding starboard, appeared to try and put his bow between the commentary boat and Williams. But his bow seemed to hit Williams’s at about the traveler and spun Williams bow into the commentary boat.
Damage was done to the bow of both boats as well as the commentary boat. Williams, who’d lost the first race, saw that as the turning point in the series.
Not only did he receive a second penalty from the umpires, but he later was assessed a penalty of .75 points, which put him down 2-(-.75) after two races. That meant that he would have to win four consecutive races in order to win the championshi
“The guys onboard were telling me to back off. I saw an opportunity and went for it,” said Canfield. “I hate hitting boats, but felt like there was no way to avoid it. He got another penalty and a three-quarter point penalty. Everyone makes mistakes and this time he made the mistake.”
Bermuda Gold Cup/Open Match Racing World Championship Final Standings:
1. Taylor Canfield (31, Miami, USA) – Team Stars+Stripes, 13-7, $30,000
2. Ian Williams (43, Lymington, England) – Team GAC Pindar, 13-6, $15,000
3. Phil Robertson (33, Auckland, New Zealand) – China One Ningbo, 13-5, $12,000
4. Jeppe Borch (23, Copenhagen, Denmark) – Borch Racing Team, 14-11, $11,000
5. Chris Poole (31, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) – Riptide Racing, 8-4, $8,000
6. Eric Monnin (45, Immensee, Switzerland) – Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team, 7-5, $8,000
7. Torvar Mirsky (34, Sydney, Australia) – Mirsky Racing Team, 6-4, $8,000
8. Johnie Berntsson (48, Stenungsund, Sweden) – Berntsson Sailing Team, 10-8, $8,000
11. Matthew Whitfield (23, Plymouth, England) – Dragon Racing Team, 4-10