HARDESTY LEADS CHICAGO MATCH CUP
Team Line Honors amasses 8-1 score at completion of 1st Round Robin
Chicago, IL – After a long day of conditions that varied from light to moderate breeze, but never without Lake Michigan’s large choppy seas, Team Line Honors led by skipper Bill Hardesty (USA) has taken an early lead at the Chicago Match Cup on a score of 8-1. The reigning US Match Race champion leads a tough field of ten teams after the first of three days of racing in the ISAF Grade 2 event hosted by the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC).
The varied conditions and huge chop generated off the Belmont Harbor waterfront favored teams who have had experience in the Tom 28 Max keelboats used here at CMRC. So, with a decided advantage in speed and maneuverability against their rivals, CMRC regulars Don Wilson (USA) and Taylor Canfield (USVI) sit in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, on six wins each. Ironically, the top-ranked teams on the ISAF Open Match Race Ranking List struggled today, with 18th-ranked Reuben Corbett (NZL), 35th-ranked Sergei Musikhin (RUS), and 38th-ranked Chris VanTol (USA) languishing in 9th, 10th, and 8th place, respectively.
“But Hardesty doesn’t expect this initial advantage for the home teams to last. “This is a typical first day for a big event like this,” he says, “where the guys learn their boats the first day, then get better and better until it's a dogfight at the end.”
The top finisher at this stage among the out-of-town guests was Nicolai Sehested (DEN) and his Trefor Match Racing team, who counted among his 6 wins a very hard-fought close match with VanTol which was left undecided until the pair sailed back upwind to the finish after VanTol tried to shake off a penalty earned earlier in the match.
Other spirited matches came from Mike Buckley (USA) and his team, who managed to earn 5 wins despite numerous penalties, and at 6th place is still an impressive start for this being only his third match race event as skipper. On the difference between being a tactician and a skipper, Buckley said “It's a lot easier being a tactician and yelling at the helmsman, but this is really good for me, I’m having fun.”
There is a chance for Canfield to grab the runner-up position from Wilson if he wins his re-sailed match tomorrow against Corbett, which was abandoned in Flight 3 today for having conditions that were so light in the huge chop that Corbett earned a penalty for not entering at the start in time, even while drifting backwards across the start line.
Round Robin match race action will resume tomorrow near the entrance to Belmont Harbor in Day Two of the Chicago Match Cup, where the first signal is scheduled for 0900 local time. Live commentary will be provided on site by America’s Cup veteran Geordie Shaver and match racing veteran Dobbs Davis, as well as live coverage, updates, results, photos from renowned yachting photographer Peter MacGowan and videos provided on the internet through the CMRC website.
Shoreside activities including competitor briefings, press conferences, umpire debriefs and awards ceremonies will be held before and after racing in and around the CMRC floating regatta center moored at the North end of Belmont Harbor.
Official Partners of the CMRC and the Chicago Match Cup include CME Group and the City Inns family of hotels, and NYSE LIFFE is CMRC’s official Boat Sponsor.
For more information about the CMRC Chicago Cup, stop by CMRC or contact CMRC Director of Marketing and Programming Beth Paul on 312-542-1505 or visit www.chicagomatchrace.com.
For more information about the other two August Grade 2 Trifecta events, visit www.detroitcup.com and www.manhassetbayyc.org.
About CMRC: The Chicago Match Race Center was founded to promote and grow the sport of match race sailing. Besides being used in the America’s Cup, match race sailing has recently also been adapted as a Women’s discipline in the 2012 Olympic Games. As part of its mission to provide the highest-level match racing training facility for professional and amateur sailors in the US, CMRC has procured a fleet of Elliott 6M class boats, the type that will be used in the Games, and will use them to train and race teams with Olympic aspirations. Additionally, the CMRC retains a full fleet of TOM 28 class boats and all umpire and support boats needed to run international-caliber regattas. The 2010 Regatta schedule will feature multiple ISAF Grade 3 events beginning in May, as well as the Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup in August, while also hosting the Richardson Trophy and the Windy City Match Race. For the complete 2010 schedule, please visit www.ChicagoMatchRace.com.