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World Champion Out in Marstrand, It’s Anybody’s Game

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World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand
World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand

Marstrand, Sweden (July 6, 2018) - A building breeze on Marstrand, the rocks lined with race goers, and a program of racing to wet the appetite of any sailing fan all added to what was a spectacular Quarter Final Stage, worthy of a Finals performance.

All the expectation and hard-talk appeared to be in vein as Ian Williams took a decisive victory in the first two matches against Taylor Canfield, moving the pair to match point and a possible clean sweep by the British six-time World Champion. After a short lunch pause to re-group, the US One team clearly had a strong re-think as they came out with a refreshed playbook, nailing the start just bow ahead of WIlliams in the third.

World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand
World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand

Exchanging the lead as they passed on the upwind multiple times, Williams had starboard advantage coming into the top gate. Canfield put in a last minute down-speed tack which allowed Williams back into it. The two gybed boundary to boundary at speed, with Canfield eventually making it in one less gybe which gave him a comfortable lead and he was able to carry to the finish.

“Obviously getting off the line ahead in a short race track with a lot of manoeuvres is key. We just need to get off the line well and do our jobs well. We just gotta win the next two, we’ve done it before and we will do it again.” Said Taylor Canfield from the water before heading into race four. And sure enough the American won, squaring the series at 2-2 to setup a sudden death match.

World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand
World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand

Unfortunately for Canfield, Williams was able to nail the final race and the 2011 Match Cup Sweden winner will lives another day to fight for the 2018 title. “Psychologically I think its quite hard when the other team gets to regroup.” Said Williams, referencing the midday intermission in racing. “Of course Taylor and his team came out really, really strong for the afternoon session and they pushed us all the way.”