Hometown favorites Taylor Canfield and his USone team notched their first win of the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to defeat Australia’s Black Swan Racing team in the Chicago Match Cup.
Early on, the USone team found itself down 0-2 in the best-of-five series as it battled penalties and a fickle seabreeze off Chicago’s Navy Pier. Then in the third race it looked like disaster when Canfield and company rounded the windward mark in the lead only to tear the top of the spinnaker on the hoist.
Luckily, the chute held together long enough to still power their Tom 28 one-design keelboat over the finish line in first.
After that a collision on the second beat of the fourth race gave a second win to Canfield when the resulting penalty was charged against Aussie skipper Keith Swinton. Then in the fifth and final race it was the hometown team by a boatlength for first overall.
“Winning a tour event here in Chicago here is the best thing ever,” said Canfield, whose day job is serving as Race Director of the Chicago Match Race Center, which hosted the event. “The fan base on shore is incredible…There has been a lot of hype about us winning, and in the end we brought it home.”
The next stop on the seven-stop international tour is Bermuda, for the Argo Group Gold Cup, October 7-13. Although this is the team’s first year on the tour, USone is currently in second place behind defending tour champion Ian Williams and team GAC Pinar.
For more on the series, visit wmrt.com.
Photo courtesy of Meredith Block/Chicago Match Race Center