The 2004 Richardson Cup Match Race Regatta was held from 6-7 October on Lake Racince, Wisconsin. Teams representing all five Great Lakes and Lake St Claire but it was Lake Michigan who held onto the title they won in 2003.
The first day of racing was right outside the Racine Harbor on Lake Michigan. The wind started out fairly decent at about 12-16 knots. The first flight was delayed due to a technical difficulty on the mark set boat. Once the races started they were able to go through the first round robin without a hitch. The Race Committee did a good job rotating the course as the breeze shifted back and forth and the sea breeze and the shore breeze fought to see which would prevail. The shore breeze seemed to look stronger all day but the shore puffs would get the better angles to win out. As the day went on the breeze would gradually die down to about 6-8 knots by the end of the day.
After the first round robin things would be pretty close as Justin HOOD'S Lake Michigan team would have a one point lead over Chris Van TOL'S team from Detroit, MI and Kevin DOYLE'S team from Buffalo, NY. Rounding out the fleet would be Tyson CONNOLLY from Sarnia, Canada, Lars HANSEN from Minnesota and Kevin THOMAS from Ohio.
The Race Committee got the first flight of round robin two off in light winds to round out the day. The teams would make it in for a much appreciated cook out at the club as well as a debrief to talk about what happened during the racing and give everyone an opportunity to learn and improve for the final day of racing. There were plenty of questions asked to the Chief Umpire and everyone would get a better perspective of what the umpires were looking at when making their calls.
Day two of the Richardson Cup would start off with light shifty air and things would only get worse. The wind would only reach 5.5 knots for a brief moment and with the Northern swell that developed over night the Race Committee were not be able to get any racing in. One full round robin was complete so the officials would need to go off of that in order to score the regatta.
Justin HOOD'S team representing Spring Lake Yacht Club in Michigan and LMSRF the governing body for Lake Michigan would win the Richardson Cup. YRUGL President Scott SPAETH was in attendance to address the crowd and award the trophy. Justin HOOD'S team included Tac BOSTON, Ed FURRY, Mike HILL and Gary WALDRON enjoyed the first sip of Stinger's, the traditional Richardson Cup celebratory drink to be had out of the Tiffany crafted canoe shaped cup. Next year's Richardson Cup will be hosted by Bayview Yacht Club on Lake St. Claire near Detroit, MI.