Back for more? Taylor Canfield on the Hamilton waters at this year’s Argo Gold Cup. The skipper is looking to retain his Gold Cup champion status and started his week’s race with two wins and two defeats. *Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC
Back for more? Taylor Canfield on the Hamilton waters at this year’s Argo Gold Cup. The skipper is looking to retain his Gold Cup champion status and started his week’s race with two wins and two defeats. *Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC

Defending Argo Gold Cup champion Taylor Canfield is confident his crew can bounce back from a ‘mediocre’ opening day’s racing in Hamilton Harbour.

US Virgin Island’s Canfield is in contention for the overall Alpari World Match Racing Tour title but admitted there is plenty to work on after
his opening round-robin races in Group 1 left him with two wins and two defeats.

Canfield told the Bermuda Sun: “The first race we won pretty handily but we were just a bit slow picking up on the shifty conditions in the harbour here.

“Towards the end of the day we started to get a grasp on it and started sailing a lot better. We started sailing our race a lot more rather than our opponents and I think that helped us a lot.

“This is our fourth year here and we’ve learned a lot about the boats. It’s a challenging place to sail obviously — it’s not like any other event on the tour.

“But conditions-wise it’s different every day and it just a case of getting out there and adjusting.”

Canfield brushed off the prospect of any raised expectations because he was defending his title.

He said: “It was pretty cool to win it last year but I don’t think it’s really that much more pressure.

“We are in a pretty good spot on the Tour right now, tied for second, so I think we just have to keep working as hard as we can and if we sail to the best of our ability the results will come.”

In a stellar fleet of sailors, Olympics star and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie is a particular highlight — but Canfield hopes Sir Ben can do his crew a favour.

Canfield said: “It’s good to see Ben back in match racing. He’s proven himself obviously — been here twice and won the event twice. He’s an incredible sailor.

“It’s good to see him back but at the same time it’s almost good if he beats some of the other Tour Card Holders here as it’ll give us a bit of an edge.”

Elsewhere in Group 1, the early pacesetters are Adam Minoprio, who has three wins, and Francesco Bruni and Johnie Berntsson are on two wins and no losses. 

In Group 2 Ian Williams, the current leader of the Tour, stands undefeated at 4-0 as does Ainslie, fresh from the super fast, high flying America’s Cup Oracle AC72, who is also 4-0 as well. They will meet today.

Of the Bermudian sailors,  Lance Fraser was 1-3 after a tough day that saw him disqualified in his first race, while Josh Greenslade is yet to pick up a win, ending the day 0-4.

The top four in each group move on to the quarter finals.