Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

AWMRT Chicago Match Cup Qualifier - Steele wins

by Chicago Match Race on 16 Jun 2014
Steele wins AWMRT Chicago Match Cup Qualifier Isao Toyama
Chris Steele from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and his team of Walker Banks on Main, Hamish Hardy on jib and Tim Siemers on bow have prevailed in blustery conditions today to win the ISAF Grade Two Chicago Match Cup Qualifier. In a come-from-behind effort, Steele defeated Australia's David Chapman two - one in a fiery series of matches that were shortened to a first-to-two point series due to strong wind and high wave conditions on Lake Michigan.

'This was a tough series, and I credit my team for pulling us through some critical matches yesterday and then again today to take this win,' said Steele. 'The racing here was great, and I'm really looking forward to coming back to compete at the Tour event in September.'

Racing in 15-20 knots and lumpy seas, Steele's road to victory started with being down two - zero to CMRC's Don Wilson in the Semi-Final, and then coming back to win the next three to go to the Final to meet Australia's David Chapman, who won three - zero over Steve Lowery.

Then the wind picked up to gusts to over 30 knots with seas building even higher, so CMRC race managers decided to put up the Z flag to indicate that spinnaker use would not be allowed. The lack of these sails did nothing to minimize the action, as the TOM 28's could easily surf downwind in the huge waves and create and break overlaps quickly and change the tactical game in an instant. The waves were high enough to even scare off the CMRC's signature houseboat regatta center, which left the race area and headed for safety into nearby Belmont Harbor.

The Finals started well for Chapman, who scoring first blood and put Steele under pressure to win the second match and stay alive for the series. Steele and team did exactly this, setting the stage for a dramatic final showdown.

In this last match, Chapman took what looked to be a commanding lead, which on the first downwind leg looked safe at 10 lengths. But then Steele surfed a wave into the bottom gate, acquired right of way, and when Chapman did not yield and came out in front, the match umpires gave him a red flag penalty, requiring an immediate penalty turn. This allowed Steele to take the lead and sail to victory.

And in the one-match sudden death Petit Final, Wilson defeated Lowery to take third place overall.

Steele's only other appearance at CMRC was at last August's Grade 2 Grand Slam event, where he finished second in a field of 12 teams from 6 nations. This event featured a slightly smaller field - ten teams from four nations - but with valuable Grade 2 winning points Steele should make a significant advance up from his current position of 22nd on the ISAF Open World Match Race Ranking list.

Chicago Match Cup Qualifier final results:

1. Chris Steele (NZL)
2. David Chapman (AUS)
3. Don Wilson (USA)
4. Steve Lowery (USA)
5. Stefan Lindberg (FIN)
6. Scott Dickson (NZL)
7. David Storrs (USA)
8. Chris Poole (USA)
9. Tyler Rice (ISV)
10. David Niemann (USA)
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Zhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiff images from Race 2 in the fresh breeze
Michael Chittenden was riding on the Camera Cat for Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for 18ft skiffs Michael Chittenden was riding on the Camera Cat for Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for 18ft skiffs, and provided this image gallery for the day, in which Yamaha (NZ) took her second win from as many races in the seven race series. Today's race was sailed in a fresh offshore breeze, with yesterday's rain giving way to blue skies making for a magnificent day for skiff sailing.
Posted today at 11:22 am
18ft skiffs - Yamaha has second win on Day 2 of JJ Giltinan Trophy
NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with another stunning victory in today’s Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour. With eyes set firmly on becoming the first New Zealand team to win the coveted crown on Sydney Harbour, David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins sailed another faultless race to win by 1m14s
Posted today at 9:43 am
Clipper Round the World - Meet the 2017-18 crew - Greg Schey
Greg Schey is well on road to achieving that dream, after completing third of four sail training levels this week “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.” Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
Posted today at 4:37 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 2
Replay coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts Replay coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts
Posted today at 3:30 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted on 25 Feb
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted on 25 Feb
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted on 25 Feb