Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Chicago Match Cup Qualifier - Victory for Williams in exciting finale

by Laura Muma on 1 Jul 2013
2013 Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier Isao Toyama
In the Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier, confronting a Small Craft Advisory, waves over six feet and winds 20-25 knots, Chicagoan Don Wilson and his team of Sally Barkow, Sam Rogers, Stephanie Roble, and sister Jennifer Wilson today claimed the win. In an exciting first-to-three point Final, Wilson and team defeated the world's sixth ranked Will Tiller and his Aon Full Metal Jacket Racing team from New Zealand, in four matches.

'In these conditions, your advantage often comes down to your crew work, and my team was just incredible today,' said Wilson. 'And to have my hometown deliver such incredible conditions was a double treat.'

The eight teams qualifying for today's quarter finals put on a fabulous display of match race sailing skill off the seawall north of Belmont Harbor. Spectators ashore were treated to some impressive seamanship from these teams as the huge waves and wind often decided their fate.

Wilson built momentum throughout the weekend, taking second in Friday's Round Robin allowing him to have a break during yesterday's repechage round. This morning he shut out another Chicago Match Race Center local member, Steve Lowery, in the first-to-two point Quarter-Final knockout series.

Both Will Tiller and Sam Gilmour quickly dispatched their quarter final opponents, while the final series in the round between Jordan Reece and Nathan Hollerbach, turned out to be some of the most exciting matches. These races featured aggressive pre-starts, numerous penalty flags, a red flag protest from Reece, and multiple lead changes that took three full matches to decide. In the end, the 138th-ranked Hollerbach upset the 15th-ranked Aussie team to move forward into the semi-finals.

Frequent teammates Hollerbach and Wilson have no secrets from each other and each pulled out all their tricks for the three-race semi-final series. In the first match, Wilson stole the win from Hollerbach by just one second at the finish line, with Nate coming back to win the second after Wilson was over the start early and hit the windward mark. But in the third and deciding match on the first windward layline, a massive wave tore Hollerbach's kite out of its bag and into the water, giving Wilson the lead, the match, and the Finals berth.

The other semi-final round featured a great Kiwi-Aussie rivalry with Tiller in two races over 19-year-old Gilmour. 'Will and his team are so polished, but we are thrilled to have gone so far in this event and learned so much,' said Gilmour.

In the first Finals match, Tiller took and held a big lead on Wilson to take the first point. But from there it was downhill: an equipment problem in Match 2 resulted in a black flag from the umpires to end the match and award the point to Wilson to tie the series. In Match three, Wilson took the favored leeward end at the start, forcing Tiller away early and into a trailing position he could never overcome despite a last-minute port-starboard altercation at the finish, giving Wilson a 2-1 lead in the series.

In the fourth and final match, Tiller caught a penalty almost immediately in the dial up. Wilson's tactician, Sally Barkow, played to her strengths, sailing a conservative race and ensuring Tiller never gained the 20 seconds he'd need to clear his penalty. Tiller led up the final beat, spinning into a lightning speed penalty turn as he rounded the mark. Wilson dug deep on the inside and surged ahead on a massive wave, passing Tiller and holding his lead through the finish line.

Wilson's win gives him valuable ISAF Grade 2 points to climb the world Open ranking list. As Wilson is already an invited competitor to August's Chicago Match Cup, runner-up Tiller will receive the invitation and compete at the prestigious Grade 1 match race.

Sydney's Jordan Reece was surprised to learn he also received an invitation to the AWMRT Chicago Match Cup; the young racer finished in fifth place this weekend, but his great performance here in 2012 earned him the final spot in the August event. At last year's Chicago Match Cup, Reece was not only the only qualifying skipper to date to get past the Quarter Finals at a AWMRT event, but also the youngest ever to get to an AWMRT Final.

The Chicago Match Cup will be held over August 6-11th at Navy Pier, and is the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Chicago Match Race website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
J22 World Championship - More Day 3 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted on 25 Aug
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 3 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted on 25 Aug
J22 World Championship - More Day 2 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted on 24 Aug
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 2 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted on 24 Aug
Michael Marshall excels in wind and waves on J/22 Worlds Day 2
The day before J/22 Worlds began Mike Marshall led a panel discussion focused on techniques for heavy breeze and waves. 2016 J/22 World Championship - The day before the J/22 World Championship began at Cork/Sail Kingston in Ontario Canada, Mike Marshall led a panel discussion focused on techniques for heavy breeze and waves.
Posted on 24 Aug
Spring into summer with NCYC’s Inner Spring Regatta
Entry is open 2016 NCYC Inner Spring Regatta to be held over the 10th and 11th of September. Entry is open 2016 NCYC Inner Spring Regatta to be held over the 10th and 11th of September. With six on the entry list in the first 24 hours this will be a regatta not to miss.
Posted on 24 Aug
Consistency is key for Chris Doyle on Day 1 of J/22 World Championship
Chris Doyle of New York showed why he’s reigning J/22 World Champion on the opening day of the 2016 J/22 World Champs 2016 J/22 World Championship - Chris Doyle of New York showed why he’s the reigning J/22 World Champion on the opening day of the 2016 J/22 World Championship. Three races were completed in gorgeous Lake Ontario conditions at the event hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston in Ontario Canada.
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 1 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 action.
Posted on 23 Aug
Young Gun Harry Price wins Chicago Grand Slam
Harry Price (AUS) and his Down Under Racing team of young guns, Ben Robinson and Murray Jones, won Chicago Grand Slam Harry Price (AUS) and his Down Under Racing team of young guns, Ben Robinson and Murray Jones, won the Chicago Grand Slam at Chicago Yacht Club. Price swept both the Semi-Finals against Peter Holz and the Finals against local favorite, Steve Lowery, with an impressive string of six consecutive victories.
Posted on 22 Aug