Yesterday's cold and rainy conditions yielded to perfect cloudless skies on the second day of racing at the Chicago Match Race Center's June Grade 2 Invitational, presented by Eurex.
The spectacular weather not only brought out the crowds of nearly 6000 spectators to the east end of Navy Pier to watch the action, but it also brought out the best in some of yesterday's underdogs to elevate them to the top of the standings after the completion of the Round Robin, Repechage and three flights of the Quarter-Final rounds.
The most impressive performance of the day was turned in by reigning US Women's Match Racing champion and former US Olympian Sally Barkow and her team, who went undefeated after a day-long 11-match schedule of races. Given the extremely tricky conditions today, where the breeze varied from 5 to 15 knots and could shift 30 degrees in an instant, this was an outstanding result on a day when leaders became followers in the blink of an eye.
'The team really came together today, pulling off miracles at the mark roundings,' said Barkow. 'One of our crew had to work the night shift on Thursday night, getting off work at 8 AM, so yesterday was tough for us. So it was nice to get our timing down today. But it wasn't easy: there were lots of lead changes, and lots of shifts.'
Barkow and her team were the only Quarter-Finalists to go 3-0 against their opponent, Dustin Durant from Long Beach, and thereby advance to the Semi-Finals.
The other impressive performance of the day came from Poland's Krzysztof Rosinski, who struggled yesterday with no wins in eight matches sailed. But after defeating Durant in the final Round Robin match, he continued down the comeback trail in the Repechage, winning enough to survive a three-way tiebreak to qualify for the Quarter-Finals.
'We really like these shifty conditions,' said Rosinki, 'because we sail 70% of the time in the lakes where this is very typical. Yesterday we struggled with our upwind boat speed, and there were no ways to pass in the steady winds. But today was much more interesting, and difficult, but the team did very well.'
So well in fact that he has the event's top seed, US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield, on the ropes now on a 2-1 score in the first-to-three point series. This means a must-win match for Canfield tomorrow morning when Quarter-Final action resumes off Navy Pier at 9 AM CDT.
After the Semi-Finalists are determined, a sail-off for 5-8th places will be held, followed by Semi-Finals and Finals.
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1:21 AM Sun 3 Jun 2012GMT
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