Please select your home edition

Chicago Match Race Center's Grade 2 Invitational begins August 12th

by Chicago Match Race Center on 10 Aug 2011
Match Racing action - Chicago Match Racing Center Chicago Match Race Center
The Chicago Match Race Center will welcome stadium sailing to Navy Pier when the Grade 2 Invitational gets underway on August 12.

CMRC's Grade 2 event has been upgraded considerably from last year as the stage is set for teams to compete right in front of one of Chicago's largest tourist attractions. CMRC is proud to also be partnering with Navy Pier's Taste of Tall Ships Festival, which attracted more than 100,000 visitors last year.

The event itself features 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), World Match Race Tour Champion Bill Hardesty (USA) and Intercollegiate Champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) amongst the field of ten international teams. This top-ranked talent will provide exciting match racing action for the crowds at Navy Pier, something that last year's Chicago Match Cup winner Mike Buckley (USA) appreciates in the new venue. 'Sailors spend so many hours racing around the ocean far from the public eye. Stadium-style sailing finally allows the general public to relate to we yacht racers do,' explained Buckley.

Stadium sailing is at the forefront of bringing the sport to the general public through high visibility racing. This style has been successfully featured this year at the Oracle RC44 San Diego Cup and in Boston with the Extreme Sailing Series, and will be brought to San Francisco in the 34th America's Cup in 2013. 'CMRC really understands the growing changes in our sport and has worked hard to create a venue that will help bring match racing to another level in the US,' Buckley went on. Sailing Director and competitor Taylor Canfield and Program Director Tod Reynolds agree that CMRC is 'moving ahead with the trends.'

This is some of the highest caliber racing Lake Michigan has seen in a single event, with Tunnicliffe's Team Maclaren in the spotlight. Team Maclaren is preparing for their 2012 Olympic quest for gold in the Women's Match Race event and see sailing in an open event as a learning experience to add to their list. 'I'm sure Navy Pier will provide great, but tricky, conditions,' Tunnicliffe remarked. 'It is definitely a part of our game that we want to keep improving on and this will be a great opportunity for that.'

Will Tiller (NZL) will be the highest-ranked skipper in the event, coming in at 22nd in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. His Team Full Metal Jacket's goal is to breach the top fifteen in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. They're on the right track with the combined members of the team having won a total of 12 major youth match race regattas, along with eight national titles.

Predicting a winner amongst the teams is difficult, as spectators and sailors alike learned last year. 'Buckley was the underdog, being the lowest-ranked skipper to enter last year's event,' said Reynolds. 'Yet he came ahead in the Finals to win the whole thing, so we're not going to be placing any bets this year.' At 119th in the world, Buckley this year is ranked slightly better: second lowest in the field.

Jordan Reece (AUS) and his young team, True Blue Racing, had a podium finish at last month's Eurex Match Cup. One would think a previous third place would help boost their confidence, but Reece recognizes this is a tough field. 'There are no weak teams at this event. So we will be looking to see what they do differently and hopefully learn a lot.'

Also racing this weekend will be current Canada's Cup Defender Don Wilson (USA) who is the highest-ranked Chicago-based skipper and is preparing to defend the Cup again at the end of this month. Shawn Ryan (USA) is the lowest-ranked seed at the event, but is the reigning US national match race champion and says not to count him out as he is quickly climbing in the rankings. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) and Laurie Jury (NZL), along with Canfield and Tiller, will be competing here and in the remaining events of the US Grand Slam Match Race Series, the next being Bayview Yacht Club's Detroit Cup being held next week.

Racing will begin each day at 9:00 AM with a live-streamed morning show here, followed by world-class match racing on the web for the world to watch. There will be free stadium seating for the general public with live commentary provided by Scott Dickson and Annie Gardner going out to both the local spectators and the world.

Starting Thursday, daily press conferences will be held at about 6:00PM on the CMRC houseboat docked at the east end of Navy Pier.

Chicago Match Race Center website
Wildwind 2016 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Match Cup Australia – Home town bonanza
David Gilmour had gone through 3 – 1 against Taylor Canfield, and Torvar Mirsky similarly eliminated Yann Guichard. Local skipper Matt Jerwood certainly overplayed the anxiety card on his way to becoming the third Western Australian skipper to make it through to the semi-finals
Posted today at 11:06 am
Match Cup Australia – Mirsky completes the local line up
Torvar Mirsky kept the spectators on the edge of their seats as he came back from 2–1 down to defeat Sweden’s Nicklas Earlier in the day Steve Thomas, also of Royal Perth, had become a giant killer, eliminating Tour Card holder Nicolai Sehested in three straight races, to join yesterday’s local qualifiers David Gilmour and Matt Jerwood.
Posted on 23 Mar
Upsets continue on Day 3 of Match Cup Australia
Home town skipper David Gilmour beat east coast rival Evan Walker from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 3 – 2 The tightest match of the day was between Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Kiwi Chris Steele, which went to a fifth and deciding race, Warrer had gone 2 – 0 up, but Steele clawed his way back to level the score. In the decider it was all over on the starting line, with Steele sailing away unopposed.
Posted on 22 Mar
Match Cup Australia – Barkow and Anyon eliminated
Match racing is a cruel sport, there is no second, just winners and losers. Barkow and Anyon were reminded of this today The elimination of Barkow, a Tour card holder, could be the first in a series of upsets in this regatta, with so much talent lined up, no one is safe, and there will be more early exits tomorrow, when the super sixteen get cut down to just eight teams.
Posted on 21 Mar
World Match Racing Tour - Images from a light Day 1 in Perth
Image gallery from Day 1 of the World Match Race Tour event in Perth - the first round of the 2017 Tour. Image gallery from Day 1 of the World Match Race Tour event in Perth - the first round of the 2017 Tour. Conditions were light for the first day of racing, which featured an all-womens crew.
Posted on 20 Mar
Taylor Canfield stands out on Day 1 of the Match Cup Australia
Taylor Canfield and his US One team are the standout performers on the first day of the Match Cup Australia Taylor Canfield and his US One team are the standout performers on the first day of the Match Cup Australia, the first event on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour. Canfield, from the US Virgin Islands, chalked up three wins and a second place to dominate his group in the day’s fleet racing.
Posted on 20 Mar
Match racing giants arrive in Perth for the Match Cup Australia
The Spindrift Team from France are led by Yann Guichard, a speed man who is completely at home in multi-hulls. Britain’s Ian Williams won this event last year, and he is back to defend his title, he has also won the Match Racing World Championship six times, a record in itself.
Posted on 19 Mar
Phil Robertson back for World Match Racing Tour to defend his title
After storming the Tour finale with four-on-the-rack approach, Phil reveals he has more tricks up his sleeve this year. The New Zealand team will need to hit the ground running at the championship season opener in Australia if they are to start building their campaign towards this year's world championship, especially as they haven't seen an M32 since Marstrand last July.
Posted on 6 Mar
GKSS to host WMRT Gothenburg Match Cup
Gothenburg is the latest city to add to the growing list of WMRT World Tour level events that qualify teams Gothenburg is the latest city to add to the growing list of WMRT World Tour level events that qualify teams into Championship level events and earn valuable points
Posted on 28 Feb
Swiss match race gentleman Monnin returns with 2017 Tour Card
With a new setup, Eric believes his game plan will kick in this year and the team see big improvements on the horizon. The 2016 season tested the Albert Riele Swiss Team to the maximum and with mixed results the team found themselves in unfamiliar territory on the WMRT leaderboard. With a new setup in 2017, Eric believes his long-term game plan will kick in this year and the team see big improvements on the horizon.
Posted on 23 Feb