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US Grand Slam Series open for entries

by Stephanie Roble, CMRC on 6 Apr 2013
Grand Slam Match Racing Series 2012 Chicago Match Race Center
The 2013 US Grand Slam Match Racing Series is coming up and organizers of the four events are pleased to announce that they are accepting applications for invitation to each of their ISAF Grade 2 match race regattas being held in August and September. This series is in its third season and is an important breeding ground for teams aspiring to the highest levels of match race sailing found on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT).

The first event will be the Chicago Match Race Center's Chicago Grand Slam, held in TOM 28's alongside the Chicago Air and Water Show for the second year in a row. Twelve teams will be invited to compete, so skippers interested in an invitation should contact Maggie Shea at maggie@chicagomatchrace.com.

The second stop in the Grand Slam is Bayview YC's Detroit Cup, held in front of the club on the Detroit River in Ultimate 20's over August 22-25. The winner of the Detroit Cup will receive an invitation to the AWMRT's Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda in October. Twelve teams will compete, and skippers interested in an invitation should contact thedetroitcup@byc.com.

The third event will be the Manhasset Bay YC's Knickerbocker Cup, the oldest event in the Grand Slam and held in Manhasset Bay, NY in Swedish Match 40's over August 29 - September 1. There is a $19,000 prize money purse, and the winner will receive an invitation to the AWMRT's Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda in October 2014. Ten skippers will compete, with invitation inquiries to be made to KCup@manhassetbayyc.org.

The final Grand Slam event is the Oakcliff International, held over September 5-8 just a few miles east of Manhasset Bay in Oyster Bay, NY on Swedish Match 40's. Oakcliff has a $10,000 prize money purse, twelve teams will be invited to compete, and invitation inquiries can be made to Bill Simon at bsimon@oakcliffsailing.org.

The overall winning team of the 2013 Grand Slam Series will receive an invitation to the AWMRT's Chicago Match Cup in 2014, as well as to the 2014 Congressional Cup at Long Beach YC, the oldest ISAF Grade 1 event in the US.

Teams interested in competing will have to move fast: slots are being filled already for some events, as 16 teams from eight countries have applied for invitations, with all but one being ranked in the top 100 in the world. The field includes the reigning Grand Slam champion from 2012, Taylor Canfield and his Team USOne, who is ranked eighth in the world and is the only North American-based skipper on this year's AWMRT.

Besides applying for invitation to these Grand Slam events, teams can also receive invitations by winning one or more of a dozen Grade 3 qualifying regattas held from May through July at the Grand Slam venues and for the first time the 2013 winner of the USWMRC June 13-16 will receive an invitation to the entire Grand Slam. Consult the Notice of Series for more details at US Match Racing.

'The Grand Slam has proven to be a fantastic way for teams coming from overseas to pit themselves against the best the US can offer, and has really helped raise the level of match race sailing in the US,' says US Match Race Committee Chairman Dave Perry. 'The close consecutive timing of the events in the series helps these teams in their travel logistics, but each venue has its own unique style, with different boats and crew numbers used in three of the four events. The overall winning team will therefore have demonstrated tremendous skill in being able to perform across all these venues and platforms.'
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