by Mary Devries
The hotly contested Canada’s Cup match race sailing competition concluded today with Team Vincere of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto, Canada, winning by an overall score of five wins and three losses over Team Heritage of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club of Holland, Michigan. The Canada’s Cup trophy returns to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club awaiting a future challenge from US sailors.
Canada’s Cup 2011
Teams headed out to the race course knowing the contest would be decided on the last and final day. Team Vincere had a slim one race lead going into the final day with an overall score of three wins and two losses. The first team to win five races would take home the sterling silver trophy created by Tiffany’s.
The boats attacked the course, closely watching each other in anticipation. The first race of the day began in rough seas and good breeze. Both boats were close together at the first mark with Vincere rounding the mark first. Both boats surfed the waves downwind with several gybes each to the mark. Vincere increased their lead slightly, rounding the second mark approximately seven seconds ahead of Heritage. Vincere had a strong upwind leg, increasing their lead to 25 seconds at the third mark. Heritage surged downwind on the final leg, almost catching Vincere at the finish line. Vincere expanded their lead to four wins and two losses, needing just one more win to capture the championship.
Heritage had a strong start in the second race with both boats tacking in heavy seas toward the first mark. Heritage edged Vincere at the first mark by one boat length. Both boats surfed the waves downwind again, with Heritage gaining ground to lead by four boat lengths at the second mark. Heritage protected their lead, covering Vincere in the final legs using classic match racing techniques to win the race by 34 seconds.
After Vincere changed out a damaged jib halyard, the third race began with a clean start. The competitors tacked upwind on mostly opposite tacks, with Vincere taking a slight lead at the first mark. Heritage sailed to left side of the course, with Vincere choosing the right side of the course for the downwind leg. Both boats were still close together at the downwind mark. Vincere had a strong upwind leg, leading by approximately 30 seconds at the third mark, which proved to be too big of a lead for Heritage to make up. Vincere won the final race by 24 seconds to win the Canada’s Cup championship by an overall score of five wins and three losses.
Vincere will take the Canada’s Cup home to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) in Toronto, Canada. In approximately two years, the RCYC will issue a challenge to defend the Cup on their home waters of the northern shores of Lake Ontario.
The final racing results for the series will be posted on the Canada’s Cup website http://www.canadascup2011.us/. Video clips of the event will also be available on http://www.canadascup2011.us/ .