by Dave Perry
From June 24-27, 2014, thirty-one youth sailors participated in an intensive match racing clinegatta (clinic and regatta in one event) sponsored by North U and hosted by the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC).
Sailors at the North U / CMRC youth match racing clinic working on their boathandling at the dock.
Sailing in the CMRC’s Tom 28’s, the sailors were introduced to the complexities and skills needed to sail and race the 28’ keelboats, and the intricacies of the sport of match racing, by four-time U.S. National Match Racing Champion Dave Perry. Assisting Perry were six CMRC coaches and directors as well as a visiting match racing expert from the US Virgin Islands.
'I was so impressed with the rate of improvement by the sailors,' Perry said after the clinegatta; 'most had not raced a keelboat before or match raced, and by the last day we were able to run a match race regatta with umpires, Dial Ups, simo gybes and full-on luffing matches with spinnakers. The kids did a great job, but having the coaching support from the CMRC coaches on the backs of each boat made all the difference.'
The CMRC clinic marks the end of the series of youth match racing clinics and clinegattas sponsored by North U for 2014. The series was made possible by an anonymous donor who is passionate about match racing, and reached over 150 youth sailors from around the U.S. in eight events in 2014.
For more information on U.S, Match Racing, click here. For more information on North U’s support of Match Racing, click here. For more information on the Chicago Match Race Center, go to: Chicago Match Race.