by Katie Nicoll
Nine teams from USA, Canada, and Brazil are competing for the 2011 Great Lakes International Challenge Cup; Past Commodore Ira G. Ross Great Race for the James H. Righter Trophy and US SAILING Group E/K Qualifying Event for the US Match Racing Championship at the Buffalo Yacht Club in Buffalo New York June 10-12 in the waters of Lake Erie.
2011 Great Lakes International Challenge Cup with the background of the Buffalo, NY skyline - 2011 Great Lakes International Challenge Match Race Cup
Representing Canada: Magnus Sandberg for Toronto, Ontario.
Representing Brazil: Henrique Haddad representing the Brazilian Navy
Representing USA: Connor Godfrey from Buffalo Yacht Club; Steve Lowery from Chicago Match Race Center, Chicago; Doug Shannon from Oakcliff Sailing Center, NY; Geoff Becker from Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis; Shawn Bennett from St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA; Maegan Ruhlman from Pymatuning Yacht Club, Jamestown, PA; Mark Johnson from Neenah Nodaway Yacht Club, Neenah, Wisconsin.
A day of shifty, light winds and 1.5 knots of currents plagued the sailors and PRO William Canfield (St. Thomas, USBVI) all day. Only 17 races started with the 18th abandoned with no wind. Geoff Becker and Mark Johnson, both tied for first with 4 wins and 0 losses will meet tomorrow morning in the first race of the first flight.
After 5 & 1/2 flights (17 races) the standings are: Sandberg 0w 3l, Ruhlman 0w 3l, Godfrey 1w, 2l, Shannon 1w, 3l, Haddad 2 w, 1l, Lowery 2w, 3l, Bennett 3w, 2l, Johnson 4w, 0l Becker 4w, 0l. - 17 races in total were run in the area off of Erie Basin Marina.
Tomorrow, assuming a favorable forecast the racing will continue with the two unbeaten skippers Johnson and Becker.