Chicago, IL — Twelve teams from five nations will be competing starting tomorrow on the third stop of the US GRAND SLAM series at the Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam. With nine of twelve teams ranked in the top 50, this is the most competitive line-up of skippers at CMRC this season. Racing will take place Friday through Sunday on courses set off Chicago's Belmont Harbor in CMRC's fleet of TOM 28 boats.
The winner of the event will earn valuable Grade 2 points not only on the ISAF Open Match Race Ranking List, but also towards overall scoring in the US GRAND SLAM series. This highly competitive series of four regattas features a variety of boat types at four separate venues:
Competitors in the Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam include the following:
– Chris Steele and his 36 Below Racing team from New Zealand is ranked 7th in the world, 12th in the World Match Racing Tour. Steele returns to this event as a past runner-up in 2013 and Semi-Finalist in 2014. Steele's scores of 5th and 7th thus far in the US GRAND SLAM series put him in 7th overall going into Chicago.
– Matthew Jerwood and his Redline Racing team from Australia is ranked 8th in the world, 7th on the World Match Racing Tour leaderboard. This is his debut at CMRC, where he is coming off a win at last week's Oakcliff International, and his 5-1 scores give him 140 points in the US GRAND SLAM series and 3rd place overall in the standings.
– Sam Gilmour and his Neptune Racing team from Australia is ranked 13th in the world. Thus far in the US GRAND SLAM they have finished 2nd and 3rd, which puts them in second place overall. However the series leader, Eric Monnin will not compete in any more events on the US GRAND SLAM, so Gilmour's Neptune Racing is the team to beat this weekend.
– Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team from New York is ranked 26th in the world. Poole was runner-up to Don Wilson in the Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam Qualifier in June, and has finishes of 6 and 4 thus far in the US GRAND SLAM series for 90 points, which puts Poole right on Jerwood's heels in the overall standings.
– CMRC's Don Wilson is ranked 27th in the world, and is hot off 2 back-to-back regatta wins at CMRC. Wilson won the Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam Qualifier in June as well and the Summer Invitational A in July. As the founder of CMRC, Don has accumulated more time than any other skipper in this fleet in the TOM 28's.
– David Storrs' Pequot Racing team from Connecticut is ranked 30th in the world. Storrs will compete with the same team that he recently won the Oakcliff Summer Invitational with a score-line of 12-0. His finishes of 4th and 7th thus far have earned him 85 points and 6th place overall on the US GRAND SLAM series.
– CMRC's Steve Lowery and his Shadow Racing Team is ranked 34th in the world, and like Wilson, is a veteran of numerous CMRC events. Lowery won the CMRC Spring Invitational and finished as runner-up in the Summer Invitational B event this year.
– Nathan Hollerbach and his Ender Racing team from CMRC is ranked 48th in the world. Hollerbach is the reigning US Match Racing National Champion. This will be his first of two planned events on the US GRAND SLAM series.
– Nevin Snow and his Team SDYC from San Diego is ranked 50th in the world and besides being the ICSA College Sailor of the Year, Snow was winner of the CMRC's Summer Invitational B event in July.
– Lance Fraser and his Fraser Match Racing team from Bermuda is ranked 69th in the world, and at his last CMRC appearance in the Fall Invitational A and B events in 2014 he earned scores of 4th and 5th. Fraser qualified for the Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam with his 2nd place finish at Oakcliff's Better Chip Match.
– Patrik Sturesson and Team Accure from Sweden is ranked 86th in the world and is making his debut both at CMRC and in the US GRAND SLAM series, with plans to move on to Detroit next week. Sturesson won the Swedish Youth Match Racing Championship in 2014.
– CMRC's Will Holz is a youth match race sailor, ranked 34th among US-based match racers, and at his only CMRC event finished 6th in the Summer Invitational A regatta last year. Holz was also a semi-finalist at the Rose Cup Championship in 2014.
PRO Darcy Cook and RC team Dick Schweers and Bill Canfield intend to run a Round Robin, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals, with racing each day scheduled to start at 0900 each of the next three days.