Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

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

North Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring CruisingSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
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