Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Taylor Canfield named 'Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year 2013'

by Carol Bareuther on 30 Dec 2013
L to R: Taylor Canfield, Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year for 2013, Phillip Shannon, President of the Virgin Islands Sailing Association, with the iconic St. Thomas Yacht Club in the background. Dean Barnes
Taylor Canfield has been awarded the coveted title of ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’ for 2013 by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA).

'Due to the recent success of several Virgin Islands’ sailors, the Virgin Islands Sailing Association felt it was important to recognize these accomplishments,' explains VISA president, Phillip Shannon. 'Taylor's unprecedented World Championship in match racing was the perfect time to initiate this award. Taylor is the first to be awarded ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’.

Canfield is honored to be selected, he says. 'It is incredible how many great sailors have come from such a small island. I am sure it was a tough decision as there are plenty other sailors who deserve this award. This being said, I would not have been so successful in 2013 without my team. I would like to accept the award for the entire US One Sailing Team, consisting primarily of Rod Dawson, Hayden Goodrick, Mike Rehe, Dan Morris, and Brian Janney.'

The VISA award caps a remarkable year full of impressive achievements by Canfield. First came his runner up finish at the Korea Match Cup in June, one of the biggest events on the Alpari World Match Race Tour (AWMART), where Canfield lost only to France’s Matthieu Richard. Two months later, Canfield and his USOne team won three matches in a row after losing two in a first to 3-point final to defeat Australia’s Keith Swinton at the Chicago Match Cup. Next, Canfield made great strides towards the World Champion title by beating Great Britain’s Ian Williams in the semi-finals at the Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda in October and as a result shooting to the top of the tour’s leaderboard with a 10-point advantage going into the AWMART series finale, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. Ultimately, New Zealand’s Phil Robertson handed reigning world champion, Williams, three straight loses and cleared the way for third-place finisher, Canfield, to earn World Champion. This meant the 24-year-old Virgin Islands sailor ended 2013 as the youngest to win three AWMART events (Bermuda 2012, Malaysia 2012 and Chicago 2013) and the youngest to win the World Match Racing Championship as well as the first North American in 14 years to win a match racing world title and first Virgin Islander in 12 years ago to reign as the world’s top ranked match racer.

These amazing accomplishments follow years of sailing experience and podium finishes. Canfield started skippering Optimist dinghies at age six off the beach at the St. Thomas Yacht Club under the tutelage of his father, Bill Canfield. 'Growing up in the islands was such an incredible experience that most sailors could only dream about. Eighty- to 90 degrees, 12 to 25 knots of wind and sunshine almost every day of the year...what else could you ask for,' he says. 'While the venue was picture perfect, it was the support of my family and two friends (Cy Thompson and Thomas Barrows) that pushed me hard and trained with me from Optis through college sailing.'

In high school, Canfield was one of three Club 420 skippers who led the Antilles School Sailing Team to national championships in team and fleet racing. Canfield was also twice named Club 420 National Champion. His four years sailing for Boston College were remarkable for a nearly unprecedented number of on-the-water victories. These included being named a three-time All-American, two-time fleet racing champion and one-time team racing champion, sloop champion and match racing champion.

Canfield first fell in love with the sport of match racing at age 13 when he traveled to Bermuda to sail Optimists in the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup. He was accompanied by Virgin Islands’ Olympic Medalist, Peter Holmberg, who was match racing at the same time in the Argo Gold Cup. It wasn’t until age 16 that Canfield was old enough to participate in match race events. He qualified for the U.S. Match Race Championship his first year, then that same year he sailed the competitive Governor’s Cup in California.

Currently, Canfield is the sailing director at the Chicago Match Race Center. After a short break over the winter to professionally sail one-design J70s, Melges 20s and Etchells, he and his USOne team will start back match racing in April at the Congressional Cup followed by the AWMRT season opener in May at the Korea Match Cup. Canfield’s ultimate sailing goals are to sail in the Americas Cup in the near future.

His advice to young Virgin Islands’ sailors is the formula Canfield used himself to achieve his successes: 'Just because we grew up on a small island in the Caribbean, doesn't keep any of us from becoming something we want more than anyone else in the world. Don't give up in any race, take every opportunity to sail against and learn from the best, and put the time in (practice and racing). But before all of the above, make sure you are enjoying what you are doing. I'm proud to sail under the Virgin Islands’ flag and represent my St. Thomas Yacht Club family!'

The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) is the organization that administers all sailing activities in the US Virgin Islands. We are a Member National Authority of ISAF which is the International Federation that governs sailing worldwide, the Pan American Sailing Federation and Central American and Caribbean Sailing Organization. In addition, VISA was a founding member of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee, which administers all Olympic sports in the Virgin Islands.
North Technology - Southern SparsWildwind 2016 660x82PredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Second annual Scrub Island Invitational - A fun race to a great party!
There's nothing like a good party at the finish to entice a fleet of enthusiastic racers to focus on the task at hand There's nothing like a good party at the finish to entice a fleet of enthusiastic racers to focus on the task at hand, and the Scrub Island Resort laid it on for racers today. Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, a private-island resort in the BVI, lies approximately 13 km to the north east of Tortola. Today's course for the Scrub Island Invitational started off Nanny Cay with a light breeze
Posted today at 3:46 am
Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR – Perfect day of three wins
Making the difference so far is the Germans' superior strength and experience, as one of the crews in Palma Hungry to make their mark at the 49er FX European Championships when they come to their home water of Kiel in June, the duo who have sailed together since 2011 have been a class apart so far at the European season opener.
Posted on 29 Mar
Willy Altadill to return for his second edition of Volvo Ocean Race
Willy Altadill, who made his debut with MAPFRE last race, is the son of round-the-world veteran Guillermo Altadill. Willy Altadill, the 24-year-old from Barcelona, who made his debut with MAPFRE last race, is the son of round-the-world veteran Guillermo Altadill.
Posted on 29 Mar
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar - Back to business
It was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta. From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
Posted on 29 Mar
BVI Spring Regatta - Nanny Cay Cup sailed in light breezes
A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in Nanny Cay Cup A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands.
Posted on 29 Mar
It’s all about time at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta
Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), held March 24 to 26 out of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The reason? A mix of STIR-signature round-the-island courses combined with conditions that ranged from near breathless calm to blustery gusts over three days of racing that kept competitors on their toes
Posted on 28 Mar
Starting Chicago's racing season the right way
The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta June 3-4, 2017 at Columbia Yacht Club. Not only is Columbia’s one level offshore racing series regatta the first major event of the season on lower Lake Michigan, but it is also one of the largest with its sights set on breaking 100 entries in a time when racing is perceived
Posted on 28 Mar
Seattle returns as host and partner in Clipper Round the World Race
The announcement that the Seattle will feature on the global route and enter a team, was made by Official Tourism Board Making its debut in the 2015-16 edition of the race, which saw the city’s name and iconic skyline emblazoned on one of the race’s twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, Visit Seattle promoted the city as a destination for leisure, tourism and business during its eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey around the globe.
Posted on 28 Mar
The America's Cup Superyacht Program – A true highlight
The 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda will feature the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the competition Superyachts are a very important part of the America’s Cup and, reflecting the high value of their role in the events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June, a dedicated America’s Cup Superyacht Program was created by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in conjunction with BWA Yachting.
Posted on 28 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Tristan Brooks
Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills on the Menai Strait in North Wales, and has spent the past 13 years working as a professional skipper, mate and engineer.
Posted on 28 Mar