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World Match Racing Tour: Taylor Canfield Defends Congressional Cup Title - Taylor Canfield and his US One team celebrating their win
Long Beach, California, USA (17th May): Taylor Canfield successfully defended his Congressional Cup title in a thrilling five-day series off the California coastline, completing the opening stage of the 2015/16 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) season. Twelve skippers from nine nations competed in the 51st edition of the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club May 13 to 17.

Canfield had moved his way up through the round robins with a solid but not undefeated record; and into the quarterfinals and semifinals, to race against Sweden's Bjorn Hansen. Ian Williams and Phil Robertson made up the second pairing.

The term 'underdog' is relative: and it might be hard to call Hansen, ranked no. five in the world, and Robertson, ranked 13, underdogs but when racing against number one and two in the world Williams and Canfield it's justified. Particularly with Hansen a newcomer to the Congressional Cup boats and venue; and Robertson admitting his prior performance in Congressional Cup as "terrible!" So when Hansen defeated Canfield in the first match of the semis this morning, and Robertson beat Williams, spectators and competitors alike knew it would an exciting day.

Canfield would go on to defeat Hansen in the next two races and advance to the finals, despite sterling opposition. To Hansen's credit, his team had advanced swiftly and confidently, with incredible boat handling and speed, for Congressional Cup newcomers.

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Photo : Photo BOB GRIESER
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