by Dobbs Davis
A fleet of eight teams from four nations will take to the waters of Lake Michigan for two days of ISAF Grade 3 match race sailing in the CMRC Autumn Invitational A event, the penultimate event of the 2013 season at the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC). Skippers and crews are here from Australia, Canada, Singapore and the US to battle each other today and tomorrow on spectator-friendly courses set just off the shoreline at Chicago's Belmont Harbor.
CMRC Autumn Invitational A
Top-ranked among these teams is David Storrs and his Team Pequot from Connecticut, who has done very well this season to climb to 49th in the world, including earning a fifth place at the CMRC's last event, the Grade 2 CMRC Grand Slam. Storrs will have with him Taylor Canfield, who won the Chicago Match Cup with his Team USOne, and is currently ranked number one in the world at the top of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
There are two other teams in this field also ranked in the top 100 in the world: at 58th, Maximillian Soh and his Team Red Dot from Singapore have been actively campaigning in Asia for a chance to race on the World Tour, and are making their competitive debut here at CMRC. The other team ranked 70th in the world is from just across the Lake, but are also newcomers to CMRC: Matthew Graham is a recent graduate of University of Michigan, but already has shown strong match racing promise in his third place result at the Grade 2 Detroit Cup.
The other skippers and crews include young talent local to Chicago and beyond: ranked 116th in the world, Jonathan Hammond and his 212 Degree Racing team is from the Oakcliff Sailing Center, and are making their second appearance at CMRC this season; intercollegiate sailor Judge Ryan and his Scuttlebutt Racing team from San Diego is ranked 184th in the world and return to CMRC after a two-year hiatus; Brendan Kopp is a member at CMRC, ranks 293rd in the world, and returns to competition after racing in the CMRC Summer Invitational in July; Chantal Hearst from Canada is making her CMRC debut and is ranked 369th in the world; and David Chapman from Sydney, Australia is bringing some Down Under talent to the event, having won this year's premier Youth match racing event, the Hardy Cup.
Racing begins at 09:00 local time with the start of Round Robin competition today, followed tomorrow by a Consolation round, Semi-Finals, Petit-Finals and Finals.
Grade 3 match racing will then continue in the CMRC's final event of the season, the Autumn Invitational B, held over Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29th.
Chicago Match Race