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Canfield Wins Second Argo Group Gold Cup Championship

Macgregor’s fourth is best finish ever by women’s crew, awarded Wedgwood Heritage Trophy

HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 12, 2018) - 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.

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Daily Briefing - Saturday May 12

Welcome to the final day of the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup, where Taylor Canfield is on the cusp of winning the King Edward VII Gold Cup for the second time with his USone Sailing Team. Canfield previously won the trophy in 2012, which began a string of four consecutive top four finishes.

Canfield leads Johnie Berntsson’s Swedish crew, 2-1, in the final. The firsts three flights of the final were held yesterday afternoon. Canfield won the first and third flights while Berntsson took the second. Berntsson himself is a two-time champion at the Gold Cup, having won in 2008 and ’14. He has raced the Gold Cup nine times since 2008 and also has two seconds and a third in that time frame.

Today’s weather is in stark contrast to the conditions enjoyed throughout the week. The passage of a frontal system has swung the breeze around to the northwest. Correspondingly, the strength has dropped to 5 to 10 knots from the 12-knot average during the first four days of racing.

First up in the schedule are Torvar Mirsky and Lucy Macgregor in the Petit Final. Mirsky won the first race yesterday afternoon to take a 1-0 lead in the first-to-two points match. Their first warning signal is scheduled for 1000 hours.

The Final won’t take to the water before 1130 hours. The winner will be the first to score three points.

Check back here on the website and the Argo Group Gold Cup Facebook page for regular updates throughout the day.

Canfield, Berntsson Battling For Argo Group Gold Cup Championship

may11 article sFrantic Friday in Bermuda sees plethora of racing from Quarterfinals to beginning of Final

HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 11, 2018) - Taylor Canfield’s USone Sailing Team has stepped out to a 2-1 lead over Johnie Berntsson’s Swedish crew in the Final of the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup. The winner of the match will be the first to score three points and will earn $30,000 of the $100,000 prize purse.

While Canfield and crew moved to match point so did Torvar Mirsky’s Australian crew in the Petit Final. Mirsky won the first race against Lucy Macgregor’s team from Great Britain in the first-to-two points match.

The two matches completed a frantic Friday at the venerable match racing regatta. The day began with the four pairs in the Quarterfinals. After a break for lunch the Semifinals were conducted followed by the beginning of the Final and Petit Final. Just as the racing was wrapping up shortly before 6:30 pm a 25-knot squall came ripping across Hamilton Harbour, putting an exclamation point on the day.

Canfield and Berntsson advanced to the Final by first winning their Quarterfinal matches against Ettore Botticini of Italy and Charlie Lalumiere of the U.S., respectively. Berntsson dominated Lalumiere in winning 3-0. And although Canfield also won by a 3-0 score, the match against the young Italian wasn’t as one-sided as the score might indicate.

“I felt we started well,” said the 23-year-old Botticini. “He really only beat us in one start. But he was quicker in maneuvers and sailed faster.”

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Midday Update

1300 hours: Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and Lucy Macgregor (GBR) have won their quarterfinal matches at the Argo Group Gold Cup.

The conditions on Hamilton Harbour saw a south/southwesterly breeze between 8 and 13-14 knots. The breeze was slightly more stable in direction than the first three days, but the strength still varied greatly. In the IOD sloops, a 2-knot windspeed difference can mean a difference of 10 degrees or greater in heading.

Canfield disposed of Italian Ettore Botticini, 3-0, Berntsson dominated Charlie Laumiere of the U.S., 3-0, Mirsky defeated Nicklas Dackhammar of Sweden, 3-0, and Macgregor beat Joachim Aschenbrenner of Denmark, 3-1.

Canfield was able to pin penalties on Botticini in Flights 1 and 3, which helped his cause. Berntsson was hardly threatened in his match against Lalumiere. Mirsky played the right side of each race and had to come from behind to win Flight 3 after being on the course side at the starting signal.

Macgregor got a penalty on Aschenbrenner in the first flight, came from behind to win the second flight, lost the third flight when Aschenbrenner used a windshift on the first beat to get well ahead and then then won the fourth flight when she rode port tack across the starboard-tack Aschenbrenner to the right side of the racecourse.

As the leader of the regatta, Canfield earned the right to choose his opponent for the semifinals and he chose Macgregor. That decision forces a match between Berntsson and Mirsky in the other semifinal.

The first warning signal of the semifinals is scheduled for 1330 hours. The winner of each match will be the first to score three points. The race committee still intends to start the final and petit final after the conclusion of the semifinals.

Daily Briefing: Friday May 11

With a slate of racing that calls for the completion of the quarterfinals and semifinals and the beginning of the final and petite final, it’s frantic Friday at the Argo Group Gold Cup.

Today’s weather calls for south/southwesterly winds of 12 to 18 knots and building to 15 to 20 knots through the day as a cold front to the northwest slowly pushes through. The front brings with it showers and a chance of thunder through the afternoon.

Today’s ambitious schedule is necessary because light and variable winds are predicted for the weekend after the passage of the frontal system.

The quarterfinal pairings pit Taylor Canfield (USA) versus Ettore Botticini (ITA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE) against Charlie Lalumiere (USA), Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) against Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) versus Torvar Mirsky (AUS). The winner of each match will be the first crew to score three points.

The winner of each match will be the first to score three points.

Check back here on the website and the Argo Group Gold Cup Facebook page for regular updates throughout the day.