When the America’s Cup went multihull, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour shuddered. Fast forward to 2013, and the Tour continues to soldier on with consistently strong competition, a great live streamed sailing package, about a million bucks of prize money on offer each year, and ISAF ‘Special Status’, reserved for a handful of events on the calendar; the Cup, the Olympics, and the AWMRT. It doesn’t hurt credibility that both drivers in the AC72 finale were WMRT alumni, or that Ben Ainslie considers it a great way to stay fresh for his ‘big cup’ aspirations, but for this good ‘ol boys website from the US of A, we’re fans because Americans obviously kick ass in this series! Sure Ed Baird was the last USAnian to take the Tour title, but San Diego Bill Hardesty’s been holding the Cup a few times as Tactician for Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar team, and Michigan’s Matty Cassidy does the same on the bow. And now, US and USVI sailor Taylor Canfield has done the impossible, storming past the 4-time title holder Williams to take a World Championship in his first-ever year as a Tour Card holder, and the first time ever that the overall Tour title came down to the final match.
Unlike the Oracle Team USA, Canfield’s US-One team is mostly American, with SF’s Dan Morris, Michigan’s Mike Rehe, and San Diego’s Brian Janney on the roster along with Kiwis Hayden Goodrick and Rod Dawson. And with this win and their third place at the final event, Canfield gets a check for some $140,000. No shit! (and don’t forget to pay your taxes, Tay!) Meanwhile, Phil Robertson’s Waka Racing takes home a cool $170,000 having won a big bonus of Monsoon Cup money along with his 3rd overall in the Tour. That’s some serious cash, and a big reason this Tour continues to attract such high caliber teams. We encourage you to check out some of the excellent videos on the WMRT channel, and enjoy this short post-victory chat with Taylor and Mr. Clean from Malaysia. For a cute info graphic on the finals boat, click here.
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