"It wasn't just the breeze, it was the sea state as well," said Mike Rehe, CMRC staffer who was helping manage the race course. "That's when it isn't match racing anymore. The boats can't get close and it changes the game."
Within these four flights, the only undefeated team was led by local-based Steven Lowery, who won all three of his sailed matches to claim overall victory. This gives Lowery the title of Lake Michigan Match Race Champion, and qualifies him to compete in the YRUGL Richardson Trophy Regatta in October at Sheboygan YC.
"After coming up just short for the past 6 years at the CMRC with more 2nd place finishes than I can remember," said Lowery, "its good for our team to come away with our first win here. Not exactly the way we would have liked to win with the partial round, but looking forward to the rest of the season here in Chicago."
Runner-up in the shortened event was Chicago-based Peter Holz, who raced four matches and earned a 3-1 score, with his only loss being to Lowery. CMRC's Don Wilson, the highest-ranked seed in the event, also amassed a 3-1 score, but by losing to Holz he lost the tie-break and had to settle for third.
In this pivotal match for second it was Holz and his young crew who first took a piece out of Wilson on the first beat of the breezy match, dishing out a penalty as the boats were awash with waves. Then on the first run Wilson surfed to a large lead only to lose his bowman over the side. Despite a quick recovery, the team's spinnaker was sucked over the side at the leeward mark. Holz's team used the opportunity to pass as Wilson's tactician, World Match Race Tour skipper Keith Swinton, finally pulled the water logged spinnaker out from beneath the hull.
The next lap saw Wilson surge past Holz again, but with an outstanding penalty to perform before the finish, Wilson tried but fouled Holz for a second time and handed the 22-year old the important win.
Holz said of the event, "Crazy weather, wet and wild four races, but great to come away with the Qualifying spot." Holz's result earned an invitation to the US Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing in October, as well as an invitation to the Richardson Trophy.
1. Steven Lowery
2. Peter Holz
3. Don Wilson
4. David Niemann
5. Leif Sigmond
6. Jack Barton
7. Jack Thompson
8. = Ryan Seago
8. = Evan Jahn
Complete results can be found at www.chicagomatchrace.com.
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