Chicago Match Race

Wilson Wins 100th Richardson Trophy

Reigning champion repeats 2011 win, wins Semi-Final against 2007 winner on 2-0 score, and Final against 2002 winner also on 2-0 score

Chicago, IL -Chicago Match Race Center's Don Wilson and his team of sister Jen Wilson, Sally Barkow, Tod Reynolds and Erik Shampain have today won the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes' 100th edition of the Richardson Trophy on an impressive streak of victories: in 24 flights, Wilson and team lost only three matches in the three days of this event. By doing so, Wilson joins a long tradition of repeat winners of this venerable trophy, the world's oldest match racing trophy that is not a challenge cup.

"The top four teams were all solid, but we knew we had our work cut out for us in the semis and finals," says Wilson. "The scoreline made the finals look easy; it was anything but that. Sally and the team did a great job keeping us on the lifted tack at all times which was crucial to success upwind. We are stoked to have won this two years in a row."

Chicago Match Race Center Richardson Trophy
Chicago Match Race Center Richardson Trophy

Besides their opponents in today's concluding matches of the double Round Robin, Semi-Finals and Finals, another adversary for Wilson and the other ten teams was the weather. A strong approaching cold front brought 15-25 knot conditions, accompanied by sudden shifts and rain squalls so dense to obscure the race course set off Chicago's Belmont Harbor. Accordingly, CMRC race managers ordered reefed mains and no spinnakers to limit any damage, especially after yesterday's dismasting towards the end of the day.

This made passing lanes downwind more difficult while just under main and jib, but it also kept the racing close so that the upwind legs could be used to play the frequent shifts. It was here that Wilson and team did especially well, gaining back after trailing to rival Nathan Hollerbach in the Finals pre-starts. Hollerbach's eventual loss to Wilson was a hard one, as he was hoping to not only repeat his win earned in 2002 with brother Adam, but also carry on a family tradition of bringing the trophy home to Detroit's Bayview YC: Hollerbachs won three Richardson Trophies in the 1970's.

But Hollerbach did win the only stage to go to three matches in the first-to-two point Semi-Finals against Lake Minnetonka YC's Sam Rogers, who sailing his first Grade 3 match racing event as a skipper and not a crew.

Another former Richardson winner in the Final Four was Terry McLaughlin of the Royal Canadian YC, who won in 2007 but today could not get past Wilson in the Semi-Finals, falling to the Chicago team 2-0. Against Rogers, however, he went on to win third place in a straight 2-0 series.

Results and photos for the 100th Richardson Trophy hosted at the Chicago Match Race Center are available online at along with all the Tweets from the event, and for more information on the Richardson Trophy, visit

Wilson celebrates his win with Sally Barkow
Wilson celebrates his win with Sally Barkow

For more information about the August Grade 2 Invitational, including results and daily photos of the action, visit CMRC's website

Requests for invitation to other CMRC events, Notices of Race, news, photos and videos from past events, and more information on membership to CMRC can also be found at CMRC's website.

Official Partners of the CMRC include Eurex, CME Group, City Inns family of hotels, and Line Honors, which is the Official Clothing Supplier to CMRC.

For more information about CMRC events, contact CMRC Director Tod Reynolds on +1-312-542-1156 or visit

Partners A view of the 159-foot topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore II from the deck of 179-foot Barque Picton Castle during Race 2 of TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® (photo courtesy of Picton Castle)


About Chicago Match Race Center

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. For the complete list of events for the 2012 season and results from 2011, please visit