Taylor Canfield scores historic fifth victory at 56th Long Beach Convention Cup – Press Telegram
The winds and waves might have been calm, but the energy of the competition was palpable for the final day of the 56th Annual Convention Cup in Long Beach on Sunday, September 7. 19.
After nearly a week of high intensity racing on the water, Taylor Canfield won the league title in the final race against Swedish sailor Johnie Berntsson with a 3-0 victory.
Canfield, skipper of America’s Cup conglomerate Stars + Stripes, not only won the coveted Crimson Blazer, but he also made history as the first five-time winner of the Congressional Cup, the only World Match event. Racing Tour on the West Coast.
The Crimson Blazer, awarded to the great racing champion, has been equated with the Masters Green Jacket of pro golf.
“We were a bit against the ropes but coming back to the line we had a great spinnaker,” said Canfield from his boat. “I think we are sailing very well on the boat. Our goal is simply to keep improving.
“We will have a little debriefing of what we did well and what we did wrong,” he added, “and we look forward to the next one.”
Aboard his ship, Canfield and his crew celebrated the victory with a splash of champagne while Berntsson and his team, showing good sportsmanship, applauded his competitor for his craft.
The last day of the races started with concerns about the low wind conditions, a factor that prompted race officials on Saturday to demand that the semi-finals begin before the last day, but the contests neck and neck the have finally pushed back to Sunday. The winds eventually picked up to around 6-7 knots in time for the races.
For Berntsson, whose team fought until the last lap, the weather conditions were not to be feared.
“It’s about finding the gear changes and having the best gear mode in the boat,” Berntsson said in a pre-race live interview. “Just being in the final is an achievement for us.”
“We are really happy to be here,” he added. “It was a very difficult fight to get to this point. “
In the small final, a best of three competition for third place, topSwiss sailor Eric Monnin faced American Chris Poole of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in New York. Monnin held his own with a 2-0 victory, celebrating not only the win but his first appearance in Long Beach’s last four.
And after a long day on the water, the teams returned ashore to gather at the Long Beach Yacht Club, where a private presentation of the Crimson Blazer and the Congressional Cup took place.