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26th Canada’s Cup Welcomes Region’s Best Sailors at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club

Written with contributions from Event Co-Chairs Jamie Keating and Allan Megarry, Director of Fleet Colin Clark and Fleet Operations Manager Hannah Billinger

The Canada’s Cup represents 26 years and 25 bouts of high-level match racing between Canadian and US yacht clubs on the Great Lakes. The racing format is the ultimate test of crew-work, boat handling, race tactics and campaign organization. Some of the best sailors in the world have competed for the Canada’s Cup, including legends such as Lowell North, Hans Fogh, Gary Jobson, John Kostecki and Terry Hutchinson.

This summer, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC), played host to the 26th Canada’s Cup. Going into the event there were twelve Canadian and thirteen US victories, and so there was a great deal of anticipation and excitement as RCYC’s Team Defiant sought to equalize the results. From September 1-4, defending champion Team Defiant took to the water in a rematch with challenger, Team ZING (Youngstown Yacht Club – YYC). While Defiant, led by Terry McLaughlin, won the 2021 match 6-0, ZING led by Commodore Adam Burns took to the 2022 FT Lauderdale IC37 Winter Circuit to further develop boat speed and crew work. Finishing 3rd in the very competitive fleet, ZING climbed a significant learning curve. Defiant was also hard at work as McLaughlin and crew competed in the Butler and Seawanhaka Cup in California, scoring 2nd and 5th place results. Other notable regattas included: the NYYC Annual Regatta – 2nd place, Sail Newport Regatta – 5th place, and the IC37 National Championships – 11th place. Suffice to say, both teams were hard at work preparing for the rematch.

The 2022 event format included a best-of-thirteen races series: an increase from the best-of-eleven last year. In addition, the course legs were shorter, with a 40-minute target time frame for each leg of the race. As a result, the races were tight with time differentials of less than 50 seconds (or 100 meters) per race. With the Canadian win, the score now stands at thirteen wins apiece. The win for McLaughlin is his fourth (2001, 2003, 2021, 2022) and sets an impressive skipper record that will be difficult to beat.

The Canada’s Cup would not be possible without the support of RCYC and YYC, hundreds of volunteer hours and the financial support from many deeply valued supporters and sponsors. Thank you to all of those that helped to support the event.

Congratulations to Team Defiant; Paul L’Heureux, Sandy Andrews, Lance Fraser, Ingrid Merry, Andrew McTavish, John Millen, Chantal Hearst, Andrew Kenny and Scott Collinson (Skipper Terry McLaughlin). Thank you to Team ZING; Robert Hesse, Chris Doyle, Scott Walter, John Goller, Shannon Brown, Bridget Dedario, Dominic Pacillo and Charles Kegler (Skipper Commodore Adam Burns).

As this unique and historical match racing event is now evenly matched at a tie between Canada and the U.S. (13-13), it is anyone’s guess as to who will be the next challenger and winner of the 27th Canada’s Cup!

Photos, previous results, and more can be found at https://rcyc.ca/canadascup