The 72nd Richardson Trophy, which is the last Great Lakes match race event of the season, has now come to an end with the final day’s racing being plagued by light air. The past two days had beautiful winds and weather for full days of racing, but the breeze did not carry over to day three, which only allowed for a mere two flights.
The concluding flight of semi-finals was the first flight of the day, and after that only one petit-final match was sailed. After lengthy postponements, the Race Committee decided that the wind was not filling in enough to continue racing. Don Wilson was crowned the 2011 Richardson Trophy Champion.
Don Wilson and 2008 Richardson Champion Steve Lowery safely secured finals spots by defeating their Semi-Final opponents in two 3-0 sweeps. The last Semi-Final flight was the only one fired off before an extended postponement left racers tied up alongside the houseboat. Racers enjoyed some nice rest and relaxation time on what was probably the last warm day of the season.
Racing picked up again for one match in the Petit Finals. Third and fourth places were ultimately decided by a single Petit Final match that dragged on for 20 minutes and resulted with Peter Wickwire in third overall. The first race attempt saw Wickwire up against Josh Kerst. Wickwire earned a penalty for a windward/leeward situation at the start that would have given Kerst a point had the race not been abandoned due to failing winds. The exact opposite circumstances appeared in the second attempt of the match when Kerst carried a penalty and couldn't catch up to Wickwire.
Another postponement was held until Race Committee determined that the current conditions were insufficient for racing. With no final series completed, the umpires reverted to ISAF rules to determine the final standings. Amongst a challenging fleet including previous Richardson champions Lowery and Chris VanTol, Don Wilson was deemed the event winner. The Richardson wraps up a highly successful season for Wilson at the Chicago Match Race Center.
Wilson and team during Trophy presentation - Richardson Trophy 2011 - Chicago Match Race Center
1) Don Wilson
2) Steve Lowery
3) Peter Wickwire
4) Josh Kerst
5) Chris VanTol
6) Ben Marden
7) Magnus Sandberg
8) Mark Johnson
9) Spencer Colpaert
10) Dan McNamara
11) Eric Christman