Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Chicago Match Cup - A hot and steamy start

by Chicago Match Race Center on 8 Aug 2013
2013 Chicago Match Cup - Thousands of spectators © Brian Carlin/AWMRT http://www.wmrt.com/
Today, Grand Prix match race sailing and the traditions of sail both came alive under hot and stormy skies at Chicago's world-famous Navy Pier.

Thousands of spectators braved weather that varied from hot humid sun to pouring rain to come see the first stage of competition in the Chicago Match Cup, while a fleet of 14 majestic vessels of the Tall Ships Chicago 2013 arrived in a parade of sail to launch their four-day festival of sail starting tomorrow through Sunday.

As the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, 12 teams of the finest match race talent are assembled here for the start of a five-day fight for their share of the $100,000 prize money purse. And if Flight 1 is an indicator of things to come, there will be plenty of upsets in the coming days: three out of four of the leading teams on the Tour lost their opening matches to the qualifier and Wild Card teams.

In a light and fluky start to the Qualifying round, local sailor and skipper from the Chicago Match Race Center Don Wilson beat last year's regatta winner and reigning Alpari Tour World Champion, Ian Williams' GAC Pindar. Australian qualifier Jordan Reece and his Estate Master Sailing Team pounced on an error by Adam Minoprio's Team Alpari FX to sail into the lead on the second beat and win their opening match. And even after being six years away from the Tour, Gavin Brady and Team Vesper also managed to overtake their opponents, Bjorn Hansen and the eWork Sailing Team, who will expect better after winning last month's Tour event, Stena Match Cup Sweden.

Wilson was delighted to have beaten Williams, one of the hot favorites here in Chicago. 'Beating Ian Williams isn't easy, but we've got a really good team this year and expected to take our fair share of wins in this event. The key moment was in the start where we could get off the line at the favored end, with a little jump on him. And then Sally Barkow our tactician did a great job of extending from there. It's exciting for me to be here, racing against these guys, and starting with a win makes us feel good. But I think Ian has got a pretty thick skin. He's used to not winning all the time, so I doubt we've rattled him by taking that win.'

Williams smiled wryly at the loss. 'We always lose to the local guy,' he laughed, and was not that surprised to have lost to Wilson. 'He won the Grade II qualifier here against some of the best match racing teams, and I think he'll win plenty more this week. But we're only one race in, and it's a long regatta.'

The only Tour card holder to come through the first two flights unscathed was US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield and USone, who snuck across the line after trailing the wild card from New Zealand, Will Tiller's Full Metal Jacket, for all but the final few boatlengths to the finish. 'We kept fighting,' said Canfield, 'and 100 yards to the finish we were able to roll him, threw two gybes in and managed to cross the finish ahead.'

America's Cup veteran Gavin Brady is one of the most experienced match racers here, yet he was scratching his head to work out when he last competed in an event on the Tour. 'I think it was Portugal 2007, so it's been a while, but I guess we've done enough in the past to remember a few things. It's great to get a wild card to sail here. Bjorn Hansen is one of the older guys on the circuit, and this morning we were having a laugh about two of the older teams having a crack at each other first, and I've always enjoyed racing against them.

'We won the start, did what I though was the right thing to do, percentage-wise, and they passed us. Then they did the right thing by sailing towards the next gust, but then we saw a gust that appeared out of nowhere, we gybed over to it and we were able to sail over to it, and we beat them by three or four minutes. We sailed over to them afterwards, and I said, 'I don't think any other team would have done any different.' It's a slugfest out there. You put the frustrating ones behind you and keep chugging away. We're having fun just being back in the game. We're the older team here, but there's still plenty of gas in the tank, and we'd love to be in the Tour again.'

In Flight II, the Tour card holders got their revenge, with Williams beating Brady and Hansen beating Wilson. Minoprio made amends from his Flight I defeat with a victory over Keith Swinton and Black Swan Racing. Canfield is currently the only sailor with two wins on the board after beating Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing Team.

With the light wind swinging around all sides of the compass, and then a huge rainstorm arriving at midday, principal race officer Peter 'Luigi' Reggio had a tough time getting matches in the day's short schedule, with only two flights completed today before the start of the Tall Ships Chicago parade of sail.

This unsettled weather still did not prevent local dignitaries including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and WGN-TV anchor Micah Materre to take the stage to open both events, which are giving visitors to Chicago a unique chance to experience the full spectrum of what sailing has to offer: the charm of traditional wooden tall ships and the modern cut-and-thrust of world class match racing in Tom 28's. Both events are well on their way to reach their goal of attracting close to a million visitors to Chicago's largest tourist attraction, the historic Navy Pier.

Qualifying racing continues tomorrow at 9:00 AM with the knock-out stages due to commence on Friday.

Chicago Match Cup, Stage 4, Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Results Day 1
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 2-0
Jordan Reece (AUS) Estate Master Sailing Team 1-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 1-1
Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center 1-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 1-1
Gavin Brady (USA) Team Vesper 1-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team 1-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 0-0
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 0-0
Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket 0-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 0-1
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 0-1

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Schaefer 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring Cruising