The 26th Canada’s Cup – Match Race Experience and Tactics Win

SinC 26th Canadas Cup Report

September 14, 2022

By Allan Megarry

Defiant shut out the Americans again this time / All photos by Sharon Green, Ultimate Sailing

US Team Zing’s increased boat speed and improved crew work were no match for the extraordinary crew work of Team Defiant and the 40 years of match race experience Terry McLaughlin has gained through racing the America’s Cup, Knickerbocker Cup, Congressional Cup, Bermuda Gold Cup and three previous Canada’s Cups. For Zing, match race tactics were prevalent in the pre-start with a more conservative approach for the balance of the racecourse. 

The 26th Canada’s Cup finished last weekend on Saturday, September 3rd after three days of racing hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC). Team Defiant, skippered by Terry McLaughlin was victorious once again, winning the Canada’s Cup with seven straight race wins.

With the Canadian win, the score stands at 13 wins a piece for each country after 126 years of (mostly) friendly competition. The win for McLaughlin is his 4th Canada’s Cup win (2001, 2003, 2021, 2022) and sets an impressive skipper record that will be difficult to beat. 

SinC 26th Canadas Cup Report 2 400Congratulations to Team Defiant: Paul L’Heureux, Sandy Andrews, Lance Fraser, Ingrid Merry, Andrew McTavish, John Millen, Chantal Hearst, Andrew Kenny and Scott Collinson and Skipper, Terry McLaughlin

Zing, skipped by Commodore Adam Burns of the Youngtown Yacht Club (YYC), showed flashes of brilliance winning three of seven race starts and leading (or even) in five of the seven races. The time Zing spent training in Florida last winter paid off as the boat speed differential from 2022 to 2021 was essentially negligible for this years’ match. 

In this writer’s humble opinion, Team Commodore Adam Burns, while an experienced and accomplished fleet racer, missed a few tactical match racing opportunities that could have positively impacted Zing’s race results. Also, Defiant’s confidence in its boat and sail handling stood out.  Its two spinnaker hoists in prestart with both boats OCS turned two bad starts into winners.

The 2022 format included the best of 13 races, which was an increase over the best of 11 races in 2021. In addition, the course legs were shorter with a 40-minute target time frame for each race.  As a result, the races were tight with time differences less than 50 seconds (or 100 meters) per race. The six legs (.5 to .75 nautical miles), put an emphasis on crew work so both teams would be more evenly matched.

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