Chicago, IL - After a triumphant trial event last month at Chicago Match Race Center's Grade 2 Invitational, which drew crowds of 30,000 over three days of racing, Stadium sailing returns to Navy Pier for the ISAF Grade 1 Chicago Match Cup. For this event, held over September 28th - October 1st, 12 teams from 7 nations will be fighting for their share of the $65,000 prize money purse, the largest offered in any sailing event in the US since 2002.
The lure of cold hard cash has brought the most talented field yet to square off against each other at Navy Pier in CMRC's eight equally-matched TOM 28 class boats. Among this field are numerous past, present and future Olympic, National and World Champions, as well as current players on the World Match Racing Tour, whose Argo Group Gold Cup starts the following week in Bermuda, with four teams warming up in Chicago.
But besides the prize money, skippers are also keen to earn valuable Grade 1 points to advance their places on the world ranking list, which has five teams from the top 20 entered in this event: Pierre-Antoine Morvan from France (5th), Phil Robertson from New Zealand (10th), Reuben Corbett from New Zealand (15th), Alvaro Marinho from Portugal (18th), Keith Swinton from Australia (20th). Rounding out the field is Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands (32nd), Dave Perry from the US (39th), Don Wilson from the US (44th), CMRC Grade 2 Invitational winner Bill Hardesty from the US (67th). Two aspiring Women's match race Olympians from the US are also in this field, Sally Barkow and Genny Tulloch.
All will be performing for the crowds for four days of racing on courses set within just a few feet of the east end of Navy Pier, the largest tourist attraction in the US's third-largest city. Grandstands for viewing with live commentary alongside , merchandise vendors and nearby refreshments as Oktoberfest is celebrated will keep the public entertained on site, while live streaming video coverage will entertain online spectators. And for a lucky few sponsors and media, there will be opportunities to ride on board the TOM 28's while racing, another unique feature offered by CMRC.
Racing will begin each day at 9 AM with all of the world-class match racing streamed live on the web for the world to watch. There will be free stadium seating for the general public with commentary provided by Geordie Shaver, Scott Dickson, Dobbs Davis and Nathan Hollerbach going out to both the local spectators and the world.
September 28, 2011
Chicago, IL - Intermittent rain squalls did little to dampen the competition in today's start to the Chicago Match Race Center's ISAF Grade 1 Chicago Match Cup, where three teams have risen to the top of the pack after 12 completed flights of the Round Robin, with one leader emerging after a tie-break.
With 8 matches sailed, 32nd-ranked Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands has won six matches, among them his matches sailed against 10th-ranked Phil Robertson from New Zealand and20th-ranked Keith Swinton from Australia, who have also earned six points among the twelve teams from seven nations represented at this event.
Even though conditions were a near-perfect 7-14 knots throughout the day, it was hardly smooth sailing in most matches, with some very hotly contested. Even leader Canfield, who as Sailing Director at CMRC has spent more time than nearly everyone else in the TOM 28's used in the event, got in penalty trouble in his match against Olympic aspirant Genny Tulloch. At the bottom mark rounding, with Tulloch in a very narrow lead, Canfield pushed the rounding too hard, fouling Tulloch in the process and taking the lead.
Umpires Steve Wrigley and Peter Nielsen then awarded Canfield a red flag to accompany their yellow flag, requiring them to take their penalty immediately. But even after performing their turn, Canfield kept the pressure on, closing on Tulloch on the final run to the finish, and with only a few lengths left to the line he managed to get the overlap, double-gybe to acquire luffing rights, and beat Tulloch at the pin in one of the closest finishes of the day.
Round Robin racing resumes tomorrow at 9 AM at the east end of Navy Pier, where grandstands are set up for viewing the action, and live commentary is provided by veteran match race experts Geordie Shaver, Scott Dickson, Dobbs Davis and Nathan Hollerbach. Merchandise vendors and nearby refreshments in the nearby Oktoberfest tent will also keep the public entertained on site, while live streaming video coverage will entertain online spectators. And for a lucky few sponsors and media, there will be opportunities to ride on board while racing, another unique feature offered by CMRC.
Media resources (results, press releases, high-resolution photos from Peter MacGowan
and videos) will be posted at www.chicagomatchrace.com/mediacenter Interviews, press boats, and race boat rider opportunities will be available to accredited media by contacting Morgan Kinney at (847)208-5530, or email@example.com
1) Canfield 6-2
2) Robertson 6-2
3) Swinton 6-2
4) Ferrarese 5-3
5) Morvan 5-3
6) Marinho 5-3
7) Hardesty 4-4
8) Corbett 4-4
9) Wilson 3-5
10) Barkow 2-6
11) Tulloch 1-7
12) Perry 1-7
Eight teams advance to Quarter-Finals tomorrow
Chicago, IL - At 5th in the world rankings, top-seed Pierre-Antoine Morvan and his team have come through on top of the heap at the conclusion of Round Robin racing in the ISAF Grade 1 Chicago Match Cup. But his climb to the top was not easy, as his eight wins was matched by eight wins earned by Phil Robertson and Keith Swinton, with tie-breaks determining them to be in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, going into tomorrow's Quarter-Final knock-out series.
Racing today off of downtown Chicago's Navy Pier varied from slow and laborious to fast and furious, as an approaching cold front accelerated the southwesterly breeze from 6 to nearly 20 knots by day's end. One casualty of the strong breeze was the spinnaker of Simone Ferrarese, who was luffed hard on the final downwind leg of his close match with rival Bill Hardesty in the Repechage Round that was held to determine the top two of the 7th-12th placed finishers from the first Round Robin.
Hardesty managed to get through this round with CMRC founder Don Wilson to advance to the Quarter Finals, where Hardesty was chosen by Robertson in tomorrow's first-to-three point series, and Wilson will meet Morvan. The remaining two pairs will be Swinton meeting Corbett, and Alvaro Marinho meeting yesterday's series leader Taylor Canfield.
In the Consolation round to determine 9-12th places, 9th placed Sally Barkow has chosen to race fellow US Olympic aspirant Genny Tulloch, while their Olympic coach Dave Perry will meet Ferrarese to sail in a one-race knock-out series. Winners of each pair will meet each other to determine 9th place, while the losers will race to determine 11th place.
Racing resumes tomorrow at 9 AM at the east end of Navy Pier, where grandstands are set up for viewing the action, and live commentary is provided by veteran match race experts Geordie Shaver, Scott Dickson, Dobbs Davis and Nathan Hollerbach. Merchandise vendors and nearby refreshments in the nearby Oktoberfest tent will also keep the public entertained on site, while live streaming video coverage will entertain online spectators. And for a lucky few sponsors and media, there will be opportunities to ride on board while racing, another unique feature offered by CMRC.
Media resources (results, press releases, high-resolution photos from Peter MacGowan and videos) will be posted at www.chicagomatchrace.com/mediacenter. Interviews, press boats, and race boat rider opportunities will be available to accredited media by contacting Morgan Kinney at (847)208-5530, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Official Partners of the CMRC include Eurex, CME Group, Newedge, City Inns family of hotels, and Line Honors, which is the Official Clothing Supplier to CMRC.
1) Morvan 8-3
2) Robertson 8-3
3) Swinton 6-2
4) Canfield 5-3
5) Corbett 5-3
6) Marinho 5-3
7) Wilson 4-4, 3-2
8) Hardesty 4-4, 2-3
9) Barkow 3-5, 4-1
10) Ferrarese 2-6, 2-3
11) Tulloch 2-9, 2-3
12) Perry 2-9, 2-3
Hardesty & Wilson sneak through to quarters
September 30, 2011
THREE SEMI-FINALISTS EMERGE IN WET AND WILD CHICAGO MATCH CUP
Gale-force winds force delays until mid-afternoon
Chicago, IL - A strong cold front coming through last night created gale-force winds and huge seas on Lake Michigan today, postponing racing at Navy Pier until the wind abated to a sailable 20-25 knots by mid-afternoon. Event managers decided to sail the top eight teams in a first-to-three point Quarter-Final round, with the TOM 28's providing exciting action for sailors and spectators alike under reefed mains and spinnakers stretched to their limits.
The first pairing was between Pierre Morvan and Don Wilson, with Morvan taking the first two in a decisive style that showed why he's the top seed in the event and winner of the Round Robin. Match 3 looked as though it was going to go the same way until Morvan hooked and towed the leeward mark and tackle with his keel just off the start. Unable to free his boat from the mark for several minutes, Wilson sailed around the course virtually alone to take the win. But the top-seeded French team came back strong in the fourth match to take the win and their place in tomorrow's Semi-Finals.
The next pairing has not yet yielded a winner, as Phil Robertson initially had Bill Hardesty against the ropes by winning the first two matches. But Hardesty came back strong in the next two to tie the series and remain as the last hope for a US team to get to the Semi's. But before a fifth deciding match could be sailed, a squall packing 50 knots and hail descended on the course area, scattering sailors, umpires, race managers and spectators for the day.
The third pairing of Reuben Corbett and Keith Swinton was, like the first pairing, decided in only three matches, with Swinton earning his place in the final four.
And the last pairing of Taylor Canfield and Alvaro Marinho went to four matches in a hotly-contested series featuring numerous lead changes and penalties as Canfield fought back hard from a 2-0 deficit to win the third after a very close start. In the fourth match, Canfield's penalty in the pre-start was quickly offset by one levied at Marinho, and the two fought hard throughout the remainder of the match, never separated by more than two lengths in one of the most exciting matches of the series.
Racing resumes tomorrow at 9 AM at the east end of Navy Pier, when the last match of the Quarter-Final will be raced to determine the final four, followed by Semi-Final and Final rounds. Grandstands are set up for viewing all the action, and live commentary will be provided once again by veteran match race experts Geordie Shaver, Scott Dickson, Dobbs Davis and Nathan Hollerbach. Merchandise vendors and nearby refreshments in the nearby Oktoberfest tent will also keep the public entertained on site, while live streaming video coverage will entertain online spectators. And for a lucky few sponsors and media, there will be opportunities to ride on board while racing, another unique feature offered by CMRC.
SWINTON WINS CHICAGO MATCH CUP
Rival Morvan puts up a good fight in a spectacular 3-1 Final
Chicago, IL - Gale force winds continued today on Lake Michigan, yet despite the cold blustery conditions the action always remained hot for sailors and spectators alike in the final day of the Chicago Match Cup, held off the east end of Chicago's famous Navy Pier. In a spectacular series of Semi-Final and Final matches, Australian Keith Swinton and his crew of Olaf Lundgren ,Jakob Gustafson, and Rick McGarvie have won the Chicago Cup and $15,600 of the $65,000 prize money purse.
"This was a fantastic event, we really enjoyed it," said Swinton. "The competitors were tough, the organizers did a great job even with these difficult conditions, and we really enjoyed coming back to Chicago to race in this event."
Swinton's climb to the top was not an easy one, emerging from the initial Round Robin on Thursday in third place, but then things seemed to go better, dispensing with Reuben Corbett in yesterday's Quarter-Finals 3-0 before coming into today's Semi-Final against Phil Robertson. In this first-to-three point series, Swinton won the first two and looked as though he would achieve the same record as against Corbett, except for hooking the pin end buoy of the finish line in a spectacular spinnaker broach on the finish line, and thereby ceding that match to Robertson.
After then winning the fourth match to go to the Final, Swinton and team maintained their momentum, again winning the first two before losing the third to rival Pierre Morvan in an extremely close match with numerous lead changes. Morvan had a narrow edge closing in on the bottom mark rounding, when Swinton pulled off a very clever double gybe maneuver that gave him inside rounding rights to take the lead.
But it wasn't over yet: at the top of the second beat Morvan clawed back to gain an overlap into the mark, but Swinton did not yield, rounding the mark first but gaining a red flag penalty in the process. Having to do this turn immediately, he thus lost this match.
And in the fourth and final match, Swinton once again started strong and held position throughout the match, and despite numerous challenges by the French team, he extended his lead to win by 10 lengths.
Meanwhile in Petit-Final action, Robertson defeated Alvaro Marinho from Portugal in a series that went quickly on scores of 2-0, but was extremely hard-fought.
While the cold blustery conditions kept all but the most intrepid spectators from coming out to the end of the Pier, the venue was widely regarded as a complete success for stadium sailing. Grandstands gave viewing opportunities for all the action, and live commentary provided by veteran match race experts Geordie Shaver, Scott Dickson, Dobbs Davis and Nathan Hollerbach kept the onsite and online crowds entertained.