St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVI’s Taylor Canfield’s undefeated streak came to an end today in the third and final day of racing in the 7th Carlos Aguilar Match Race. It proved a combination of conditions and competition. Sun, squalls, blustery and breathless, the conditions offered something for everyone. As for the competition, Canfield suffered his two defeats at the hands of fellow match racing titans, the USA’s Dave Perry and the USA’s Stephanie Roble. However, this duo of losses didn’t stand in the way of Canfield and his combination USOne-VI crew of Mike Rehe, Alden Reid, William Bailey and Sam Morrell from soundly securing a championship victory with a three-win lead.
“We came into today in the lead with 12 wins. I knew we only had to win 1 race or for a couple of the closer teams to lose a race for us to hold the lead, so there wasn’t that much pressure on us,” says Canfield, who is currently the No. 2-ranked skipper in the world in the Open match race rankings. “Some races were a little tighter today. But, that’s pretty standard as you get into the event since as the teams sail the boats more they get better and better. Overall, I knew coming into the event I had a great team behind me. We were looking forward to getting out there and doing some great racing and that’s what we ended up doing all weekend.”
Roble’s win over Canfield in the final match of the regatta put her in a three-way tie for second place with the USVI’s Peter Holmberg and USA’s Dave Perry.
“It was hard with the double round-robin format and no knock-outs,” explains Roble, the top woman match racer in the U.S., No. 4 in the world, and 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, who won the tie-breaker to finish second overall. “We did better in the first round robin with 7 wins compared to the second with 4 wins. I knew going into the last race today that I wanted to win and we pushed hard to make that happen.”
The USVI’s Holmberg rounded out the top three teams on the podium.
“The results were correct in the end,” says Holmberg, Olympic silver medalist and America’s Cup skipper. “Taylor and Stephanie overall sailed a better regatta. We are happy with third. It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and we fought hard, although we didn’t have our regular crew.”
The USA’s Dave Perry, five-time U.S. Match Racing Championships, author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing Through 2016, and currently chairman of the U.S. Sailing Match Racing Committee, ended fourth.
The remaining five teams were each capable of winning the CAMR and comprised of America’s Cup, Olympic and World Champion sailors.
The USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh, a four-time America’s Cup sailor and three-time U.S. Match Racing Champion, finished fifth; the USA’s David Storrs, currently the No. 1 men’s match racer in the U.S. and No. 18 in the world, ended sixth; the USA’s Chris Poole, ranked 26th in the word, placed seventh; Brazil’s Julianna Senfft, ranked No. 22 in the world’s women’s match race rankings, ended eighth; and Canada’s Elizabeth Shaw, champion of the 2014 Oakcliff Clinegatta, finished ninth.
Junior sailors are a signature feature of the CAMR. Antilles School Sailing Team members Paige Clarke, Amanda Engeman, Ryan Hunter, Reid McHenry, Scott McKenzie, Sam Morrell, Graceann Nicolosi, Christopher Sharpless, Caroline Teare and Thomas Walden each crewed for one of the international skippers during the three-day event. In addition, over a dozen students from the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School’s Aquatics Program participated in the CAMR Youth Regatta, which paired the juniors with an international skipper for a trio of fleet races.
Match racing took place in the ideal venue of St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie Harbor. Not only is this location spectator friendly, it boasts no favoritism to local knowledge due to the extremely shifty winds blowing off the mountains.
Past winners of the CAMR reads like a Who’s Who of sailing: the USA’s Sally Barkow and Finland’s Staffan Lindberg won the Open Division in 2012 and 2011, respectively, while the USA’s Genny Tulloch triumphed in 2008 and 2010 and France’s Claire Leroy in 2009 in the Women’s Division, and it was the USVI’s Taylor Canfield in 2008 and Peter Holmberg in 2009 and Portugal’s Alvaro Marinho/Seth Sailing Team in 2010 that won in the Open Division. The USA’s Dave Wilson won the 2013 CAMR.
The CAMR is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF)-provisional Grade Two event. The event will be raced in IC-24s, a one-design modification of a J/24.
The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) is the organizing authority for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer.
AeroMD is the CAMR’s presenting sponsor. Supporting sponsors include the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; Heineken, distributed in the U.S. Virgin Islands by Bellows International; Patron, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC; Budget Marine; and the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
1. Taylor Canfield, ISV, 14-2
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 11-5
3. Peter Holmberg, ISV, 11-5
4. Dave Perry, USA, 11-5
5. Dave Dellenbaugh, USA, 9-7
6. David Storrs, USA, 6-10
7. Chris Poole, USA, 4.5-8.5
8. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 3-13
9. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 1-15