Today, at the Verve Cup Offshore Regatta, racing got off to an even slower start despite predictions for better wind than yesterday at the Chicago Yacht Club.
A lack of wind led to a three-hour postponement, but once again the weather improved, bringing winds that averaged seven knots and reached as high as elevenknots.
Race Chair Martin Sandoval said unfortunately the day got off to a very slow start, but once the winds picked up the Race Committee was able to get off some quality races for the competitors.
'It was a challenging day for the Race Committee, because they were sitting there looking at the conditions - Mother Nature just didn't hand out a whole lot to make anything happen, at least for the first few hours. After that it worked out fine, Sandoval said. 'It finished on a good note. Folks were able to get some racing in, but it was a tough day just because the breeze took a while to develop. Once racing was underway, we had nice conditions and the fun factor was certainly high.'
Rick Lillie, a Race Officer on Circle A, said the wind changes were problematic for both racers and the RC. 'After the postponement when we tried to restart the races, the wind had not settled in and continued to change quite a bit. They were mind-benders for Race Committee and racers alike,' Lillie said. 'We had two good, competitive races where the wind shifts affected everybody pretty much equally. It was a challenging day for skippers and crew.'
Helle Getz, Principal Race Officer, said Circle B faced a grueling start as well. 'The first race we started on time, but there was really not enough wind to go with it, so we had to abandon the race for the first section. The second, third and fourth sections, we postponed and sat in postponement for about an hour and a half or so,' Getz said. 'We started our fourth race and that went very, very well. Then race number five, we had a lot of shifty winds - the boats became very aggressive on their last race with several racers over early. We ended up having to do a general recall, and then finally got everything going. We changed course on the fifth race and everybody finished the race and we came home.'
According to Chris Bedford, Chief Meteorologist at Sailing Weather Service, LLC, weather for Sunday will have high pressure spreading across the lake, driven by thermal lake breeze influences. Winds are projected WNW/NW at four to eight knots in the early morning, becoming light and variable with a weak ENE/E lake breeze developing midday at three to seven knots. Lake Breeze firms E/ESE over time, increasing to six to ten knots in the early afternoon and nine to thirteen knots later afternoon.
There are 135 boats taking part in this year’s Verve Cup Offshore Regatta. The event features a three-day offshore course race on Friday through Sunday, as well as a one-day distance race taking place on Saturday. As one of the largest course-racing regatta in North America, Verve Cup has developed as a world-class event, attracting national and international sailing competitors. During the regatta, Chicago Yacht Club will welcome over 1,800 racers, spouses and guests at their Monroe harbor clubhouse.
Competitors participate in multiple races, and boats sail either with a rating handicap or a one design so that boats of different size and character can compete against one another in one of the 18-plus racing sections. Overall prizes are awarded to the top finishers in each section, with one offshore boat winning the perpetual Verve Cup Trophy. The Verve Cup trophy dates from 1893 and is Chicago Yacht Club’s oldest trophy. Overall prizes are awarded for each class of boat.
New to the Verve Cup Offshore this year is the J/109 North American Championship, which started Thursday and goes through Sunday.
Due to a one-hour postponement, tomorrow’s Verve Cup Offshore racing begins at 10:55 a.m. CST. Thank you to our co-sponsors Audi and SLAM, as well as Boston Beer, Karma Yacht Sales, Mount Gay Rum, and West Marine.
by Rachelle Treiber
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9:22 AM Sun 11 Aug 2013GMT
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