Match-racing mastery—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
This weekend's match-racing news was dominated by World Match Racing Tour's (WMRT) Monsoon Cup (Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia), where Taylor Canfield (USVI) pulled off a stunning sudden-death victory over Phil Robertson (NZ) to take top honors, followed by Ian Williams (UK) in third place. Canfield, it should be noted, was sailing on one of two wildcards that the WMRT issued for the Monsoon Cup, which he earned by first winning this year's Bermuda Gold Cup.
|Taylor Canfield in action during the finals of the 2012 Monsoon Cup. Gareth Cooke - Subzero Images ©|
'This win is the best we have achieved in our careers so far and the guys I'm sailing with, Hayden Goodrick, Mike Rehe, Dan Morris and Rob Dawson, did a fantastic job here today,' said an elated Canfield. 'I'm not sure we could have done any more this year, we've been really pleased with how we've performed at the three Tour events we were invited to. This is a great way to finish the season and sets the bar for next year.' Be sure to check out the full Monsoon Cup media, inside this issue.
|Barkow (far right on the tiller) and Perry battle it out for first in the Finals. - Carlos Aguilar Match Race Dean Barnes|
Also in match-racing headlines, Sally Barkow defeated Dave Perry at the Carlos Aguilar Match Race (St. Thomas) in conditions that can best be termed 'variable'. 'It was so shifty,' reported Barkow. 'It was easy to get it either so right or so wrong.' Barkow and her crew of Annie Lush, Alana O'Reilly, Erik Champaign and Maggie Shea clearly got it all right in the final race of the regatta, leading Perry and company from the start and holding their advantage all the way to the prize-giving ceremony.
'For me it was a win-win,' said Perry. 'Sally's team is really good and they have evolved their game well. I was impatient. I had some advantages and gave them away. This either put me behind or put me further behind and Sally took advantage of that.'
|Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe Christophe Launay ©|
And in offshore news, Armel Le Cleac'h ('Banque Populaire') continues to lead the thirteen-strong pack of IMOCA 60s in the singlehanded, nonstop-around-the-world Vendee Globe Race, followed by Francois Gabart ('Macif') and Alex Thomson ('Hugo Boss'). Currently, the fleet is exchanging tactical blows en route to the Amsterdam gate, while being mindful to avoid the northernmost sections of ice-strewn water.
'The choice I made paid off, but the gap with François isn't that big, so it's still very close,' reported Le Cleac'h. 'I have my mind set on the Amsterdam gate now, that's the next step. The wind was pretty strong this morning, and it's still quite favorable. The sea is rough and there's an albatross following the boat.' Get the full Vendee report, inside.
|Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 1 2012 JOY | International Audi Melges 20 Class Association - copyright|
Also inside, be sure to read how the NEISA Executive Committee has forced the ICSA President to convene a special meeting of the ICSA Board of Directors to discuss the sponsorship contract with LaserPerformance (LP) and the manner in which it was negotiated.
Get the post-regatta reports from Sail Melbourne, the Melges 20 Winter Series and the Extreme Sailing Series. And finally, don't miss photographer Chris Cameron's great image gallery of Emirates Team New Zealand foiling around on the Hauraki Gulf on their wingsail-powered AC72 catamaran, as well ETNZ's official video of the 'lads' big-breeze sailing during one of their last training/testing days aboard this boat (their next-generation AC72 will be launched in early February). Enjoy!
|Emirates Team New Zealand training with the team's first AC72 on the Hauraki Gulf. Chris Cameron/ETNZ© |
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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