The 2012 Monsoon Cup, final event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) will get underway on Monday, December 3rd at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu and US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield, along with his US One Sailing Team, will bring young match racing talent from the United States to the event. He will be joining eleven other teams from five countries.
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Argo Group Gold Cup Bermuda Day 6
While there have been numerous US-based crew on teams competing in the AWMRT, Canfield will be the first US-based skipper racing on the Tour since Ed Baird raced in 2004 on his way towards winning the America's Cup in 2007. Canfield was selected from a field of more than ten interested teams for the Wild Card entry to the Monsoon Cup based on his victory at the last AWMRT event, the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda last month, as well as his fourth-place finish at the Chicago Match Cup in July.
But even if Canfield wins the Monsoon Cup next week, he will not be able to win the World Championship, since this is determined by the summary of scores from all AWMRT events held this year. The current Tour leader is Sweden's Bjorn Hansen on 104.25 points, followed closely by reigning champion Ian Williams on 102 points. Canfield has 41 points, placing him at ninth on the AWMRT Leaderboard, the highest ranking of any team not holding a Tour Card this season.
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Argo Group Gold Cup Bermuda Day 3 © 2012 Rick Tomlinson/AWMRT Qualifying rounds in Hamilton Harbour
Regardless, Canfield remains the highest-ranked match race skipper in North America, and is currently at ninth in the ISAF World Rankings, his highest level ever. He is also who is also the Sailing Director of the Chicago Match Racing Center (CMRC), which hosted the first ever US stop on the Tour in July this year at the Navy Pire in Chicago.
'We're very excited to have reached the Monsoon Cup, it's a real milestone for us after three years of effort. CMRC has been an essential element of our success, and we're extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to reach this level by racing and training right here in the US,' said Canfield who is joined by team members Dan Morris, Hayden Goodrick, Mike Rehe and Rod Dawson.
Team US One will spend two days of training on their own to learn the venue and the Foundation 36 boats used at the Monsoon Cup. They will then spend one day of training against other teams before the qualifying round starts on Monday, when they will be going up against Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, Dato’ Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing, Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team, Laurie Jury (NZL) KiwiMatch, Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) Alpari Racing Team, David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour and Jeremy Koo (MAS) KFC Malaysia/KRT.
'We feel confident at this stage,' said Canfield, 'because we've developed an idea of how each of these teams sail. We raced against Gilmour at the CMRC Grade 2 Grand Slam event this year, and raced against Morvan at the Chicago Match Cup in July and also last year at the Grade 1 at Navy Pier. We've beaten them in most matches, so we just need to continue to build on that success.'
The Monsoon Cup, Malaysia’s second biggest sports event of the year, will take place on 3-8 December at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.
World Match Racing Tour website
Monsoon Cup website