The Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) today announced it will host, for the first time ever, the prestigious Canada’s Cup match race September 1 – 4, 2011. The world-class sailing event will draw top sailors from around the globe to West Michigan to compete in the US Defender Trials August 26 – 29 for an opportunity to defend the Cup. Team Heritage, led by Amway President and sailing enthusiast Doug DeVos and defending Cup champion and helmsman Bob Hughes, will represent MBYC as the Cup’s defender of record.
The 115-year-old Canada’s Cup is the most preeminent sailing trophy in the United States today. This year’s Cup match represents only the second time racing on Lake Michigan waters, and will be the first to take place on Michigan’s west coast. Hughes and then challenger MBYC won the 2007 Cup in Toronto against Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) defender Alek Krstajic,after narrow margin losses in 2003 and 2001 to the defending RYCC and Olympian Terry McLaughlin. In October 2010, MBYC and RCYC collaborated to promote additional competition for the Canada's Cup by authorizing a Cup match for challenger Port Credit Yacht Club to be defended by the Chicago Match Race Center. Chicago’s Convexity team successfully defended the Cup, but under the terms of the agreement, MBYC resumes its position as defender of record and holder of the Cup in 2011.
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'We cannot wait to defend the Great Lakes’ most prestigious trophy on our home waters,' said Bob Hughes. 'It will be like a Great Lakes version of the America’s Cup right in our own back yard, with very close-quarter, hard fought racing against some of the world’s best sailors. We’re in the process of assembling a top-rated racing team to ensure this is the most spectacular event Lake Michigan has ever seen!'
Invitations to competein the US Defender Trials and ultimately defend the Cup for the United States have been sent with a Notice of Race to all known and eligible yacht clubs throughout the Great Lakes region. The deadline to notify MBYC of participation is April 1. Cup match racing will take place September 1 – 4 in high-performance Farr 40 racing yachts. The US holds an overall 13 – 9 lead in Cup Matches.
'Macatawa Bay Yacht Club is honored and excited to host the 2011 Canada's Cup. The Canada’s Cup stands for supremacy in match racing on the Great Lakes, and MBYC is among an elite few to defend the championship,' said MBYC Past Commodore David Sligh. 'MBYC celebrates over 100 years of first class racing and spectacular regattas, and has become a familiar hub of Lake Michigan boating activities. The Canada’s Cup trophy is a tremendous addition to our rich sailing heritage.'
MBYC joins a distinguished list of US yacht clubs in Chicago, Rochester and Detroit that have challenged for and defended the Cup. The massive silver trophy is one of the oldest in sailing, and shares more than looks with her better-known sister, America’s Cup. Both are named after the original racing yacht that first defended them - the Royal Canadian Yacht Club Canada won the inaugural match in 1896 on the waters of Lake Erie.
For more information about Canada’s Cup 2011, visit www.canadascup2011.us