September 9, 2021
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the US representative from Youngstown Yacht Club. While the results show 6-0 for Canada, the racing in the 25th edition was much closer than the score indicates. The individual races, held over three days from last Thursday to Saturday provided great competition for the large spectator fleet to enjoy.
This year’s Challenge held a year later than scheduled and slightly subdued thanks to event limitations and the uncertainty leading up, was nonetheless a landmark event graced by excellent weather and topnotch competition. Flying in for the races, Canada’s own Sharon Green, well known for her internationally acclaimed photography and ubiquitous calendar was on hand as official photog (Sharon has graciously provided all of CYOB’s shots for this article – you can learn more about her lengthy accomplishments in this Katherine Stone Canadian Yachting portrait
Canadian helmsman, Olympic medalist and long-time prominent skip Terry McLaughlin ultimately won each race but the Americans led by Adam Burns, J22 Worlds winner with a lengthy list of youth and other sailing accomplishments, made them work hard for every bit of it.
Team Defiant’s success demonstrated the advantage of a two-boat program made possible with the support of a coterie of top Toronto sailors; while the USA challenge with Zing sailed the past two seasons alone and focused on crew work, RCYC was able to provide a second IC37 a to practice with and as a result Defiant was able to hone their match racing skills, crew work and boat speed. Vigilant, a very equal IC37owned by David Howard & John Hele and crewed by 25 to 30 RCYC members and juniors, sparred four or five days per week with Defiant.
McLaughlin, whose experience includes America’s Cup match racing as well as top finishes in a long list of other international events is known as meticulous and always well prepared. The crew of Lance Fraser, Sandy Andrews, John Millen, Andrew McTavish, Mariah Millen, Ingrid Merry, Scott Collinson, and Andrew Kenny combine for miles of top-tier sailing.
In the last Cup event sailed in 2016 in 8-Metres, Team Yquem also of Youngstown and also skippered by Adam Burns was beaten by Bryan Gooderham’s Hollandia.
The Canada’s Cup represents 125 Years and 24 matches of high-level match racing between Canadian and US Yacht Clubs on the Great Lakes. The 11 Canadian and 13 US victories have resulted in matches determined by metres after miles of head to head racing.
The Cup was first raced in 1896 when Royal Canadian Yacht Club and Lincoln Park Yacht Club (Chicago, IL) met for the inaugural race in Toledo, Ohio. Currently, the Canada’s Cup was scheduled for matches to be held in 2020, 2022 and 2024 in Toronto. With the 2020 event rescheduled to 2021, the next event is only 12 months away.
Zing won several starts but could not hold the lead.
Following the awards ceremony, Bob Hesse, the owner of Zing, announced his intention to challenge again in 2022. That will make for an interesting year going forward since the 2022 match is open to additional challengers and defenders.
Paul L’Heureux, owner of Defiant and Terry McLaughlin, skipper, raise the Canada’s Cup