The Match Racing season in Chicago comes to an end this month with promise of a bright future.
The weekend before last, sailors enjoyed classic Chicago fall sailing conditions during the Autumn Invitational. Peter Holz and the Windy City Match Racing Team, with fellow Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) members Meg Six and Mike Whitford onboard, triumphed over the field of 8 teams. Holz narrowly defeated his longtime, local rival, Steve Lowery and his Shadow Racing Team, which included CYC member Andrew Page and Jacob Bruce. While this event may have marked the conclusion of CMRC's eighth season, it also solidified the beginning of a successful partnership, "CMRC @ CYC."
Chicago Yacht Club began 2016 with only a handful of experienced match racers, and will end this year with nearly a dozen skippers ranked in the World Sailing Match Racing Rankings. A handful of local and international guest coaches ran drills and hosted chalk talks in weekly practices at CYC. CYC's Sonars proved to be an ideal platform for match racing, especially for new match racers of all ages and experience levels. Participation was so strong, that by mid-season the weeknight practices were over-subscribed.
At the end of the season, eight teams of mostly new, Chicago-based match racers competed in the two-part Gosling's CMRC @ CYC Grade 5 Series, and six of those teams sailed in the Chicago Autumn Invitational Grade 3. Such strong local participation at the last event of the season is testament to the program's success, and promises solid potential for the future of match racing on Lake Michigan.
Chicago Match Race Center's decision to bifurcate its operations this year proved to be a good one. On the one hand, The "CMRC @ CYC" program was dedicated to developing new local match racers and spreading the love of the game, and on the other, CMRC continued to deliver world-class sailing to Lake Michigan through its integral role in hosting the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago. CMRC also provided training opportunities in M32 catamarans out of 31st Street Harbor and co-hosted a fleet of M32's during the Chicago Yacht Club Verve Cup in August.
CMRC and CYC co-hosted three international match race regattas throughout the season. "Running these events requires a ton of manpower. At times the team of Race Committee members, umpires and volunteers outnumbers the sailors. It was so cool to see CYC step-up and deliver high quality racing," commented Maggie Shea, CMRC Sailing Director.
Chicago Yacht Club's leadership took a leap and believed in the potential of the match racing program. The core Belmont Staff, led by Jay Kehoe, Chuck Nevel, Libbi Dust, Martin Heft, Ross Adams and Sarah Collogne, put in long hours to equalize the fleet of Sonars and organize the events on top of their already busy racing schedule. CYC's Race Committee, led by Darcy Cook, Dick Schweers, Olof Andersson and Alina Dix, also received high honors for their hard work when, during the awards ceremony of the Chicago Grand Slam, Harry Price, the overall winner from Sydney, Australia, thanked CYC for "some of the best on-water race management" his team had ever seen.
Final standings from the three CMRC @ CYC events are below, and more detailed results can be found at www.matchracingresults.com.
Chicago Summer Invitational, Grade 3 - June 24-26, 2016
- Don Wilson, Keith Swinton, Tod Reynolds
- Steve Lowery, Rory Lewis, Maurin Lovera
- Nicole Breault, Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser, and Nolan Van Dine
- Marc Hollerbach, Nathan Hollerbach and Nico Marcolini
- Peter Holz, Mike Whitford and Tim Siemers
- Connor Miller, Ray Groble and Eileen O'Neill
- David Storrs, Matt Clark and Will Holz
- Matt Hughes, Alex Burrow and Christopher Weis
- Landon Gardner, Brandon Townsend, Alex Byczko
- Mark Davies, Will Davies and Ray Groble
Chicago Grand Slam, Grade 2 - August 19-21, 2016
- Harry Price, Ben Robinson and Murray Jones - Down Under Racing (AUS)
- Steve Lowery, Rory Lewis and Maurin Lovera - Shadow Racing (USA)
- Peter Holz, Will Holz and Michael Whitford - Windy City Match Race (USA)
- David Storrs, Chris Steele and Shane Diviney - Pequot Racing (USA)
- Jeremy Koo, Graeme Sutherland and Mohd Salfullah Mond Esa - Sime Derby Foundation, Koo Racing Team (MAS)
- Connor Miller, Mark Davies and Isaac Clark - Rascal Racing (GBR)
- Hector Guzman, Hector Guzman SR. and Aisling Sullivan (MEX)
- James Wagner, David Wagner and Spencer Keenan (USA)
Autumn Invitational Grade 3 - October 8-9, 2016
- Peter Holz, Meg Six, and Mikey Whitford
- Steve Lowery, Andrew Page, Jacob Bruce
- Andy Camarda, Rod Salazar, Andy Graf
- Mark Johnson, Bob Turner, Ian Walter
- James Wagner, David Wagner, Travis Cottle
- Mark Croll, Aimee Smith, Tony Koenigsknecht, John Croll
- Ray Groble, Marcin Koziarski, Jolanta Smaciarz
- Jovan Brankov, Kevin Foote, Eric Crowley
About the Chicago Yacht Club
The Chicago Yacht Club is one of the oldest and most respected yacht clubs in the world. Today, the club boasts a membership of nearly 1,500 boating enthusiasts and is one of the preeminent organizers of regattas, races and predicted-log events in the United States. The club offers an array of spectacular off the-water amenities, including fine dining and full-service catering at both its Monroe and Belmont stations. The club has dedicated itself to promoting the sport and perpetuating the values of camaraderie and community since 1875.
Learn more at www.chicagoyachtclub.org
About the Chicago Match Race Center
The Chicago Match Race Center was founded in 2009 to promote and grow the sport of match racing in the United States at both the grassroots and highest levels. CMRC served as the local organizer for the 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago. Also, new for the 2016 season, CMRC will be a US licensing & training facility for the World Match Racing Tour M32 Catamarans. For the 2016 season, CMRC partnered with Chicago Yacht Club to co-host regattas and coach weekly training sessions.
For more information, please visit www.ChicagoMatchRace.com..