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Wilson wins Summer Grade 3 Invitational A and B Regatta

Published on July 21st, 2013

Wilson Wins Summer Grade 3 Invitational A Regatta
July 18-19, 2013

Chicago, IL (July 19, 2013) – In the midst of hot, wild and windy conditions today along the Belmont Harbor lakefront, Chicago Match Race Center’s own Don Wilson has won the CMRC Grade 3 Summer Invitational A regatta, the first of a Grade 3 match racing double-header being sailed here through Sunday. The team with the lowest combined score from both events will receive the last remaining invitation to CMRC’s first stop in the four-event US Grade 2 Grand Slam, being held over August 16-18th, 2013.

Wilson and his all-star team of multiple World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams on the bow, Olympic medalist Sally Barkow on tactics, and Sam Rogers trimming made it look easy as they suffered only two defeats in two days of racing that started yesterday and included 8 other teams paired off in a double Round Robin format with Semi-Final and Final knock-out stages.

Today’s gusts to 36 knots of shifty westerly breeze were not how the competition started yesterday, when after a 2-hour postponement for no wind racing commenced in a perfect 8-10 knot southwesterly breeze. This allowed completion of the first Round Robin plus the first flight of the second Round Robin, with transplanted Swede Magnus Sandberg looking strong, tying Wilson on 6 points.

But in today’s brisk conditions where PRO Darcy Cook banned the use of spinnakers for most flights, Sandberg struggled to replicate his record from yesterday, winning only two matches. This allowed David Storrs to take the runner-up position and form the Final Four along with CMRC intern Peter Holz and intercollegiate veteran and new CMRC member Brendan Kopp.

In the first-to-two point Semi-finals, Wilson chose Storrs, and took out the veteran match racer from Connecticut in two flights. But Holz had to work harder for his seat in the Finals, losing the first match to Kopp then winning the next two.

With time running down, the first-to-two point Finals were again decided quickly, with Wilson winning both against Holz, and Kopp defeating Storrs.

Event details: http://chicagomatchrace.com/regatta/2012.asp?id=10109


Wilson Wins Summer Grade 3 Invitational B Regatta
July 20-21, 2013

Chicago, IL (July 21, 2013) – With a new crew of Stephanie Roble and sister Jennifer Wilson joining Sally Barkow and Sam Rogers from the Summer Invitational A regatta, Chicago-based Don Wilson has today also won the Summer Invitational B regatta, another ISAF Grade 3 event. Wilson’s come-from-behind effort was in contrast to the dominance displayed in the Summer A event raced last Thursday and Friday among a field of ten teams from the USA, Bermuda and Sweden.

Wilson’s path to victory started in this morning’s very light easterlies, which when accompanied by lumpy seas made for trying conditions in the remaining two and a half flights of the Round Robin. In this stage another CMRC local, Steve Lowery, kept up his winning ways from yesterday by emerging at the top of the pack on an undefeated 9 win score.

With just a few minutes left for the Organizing Authority to make the decision on whether to continue on the intended format or skip the Quarter Finals to go to the Semi’s, a puff of breeze filled in to allow a first-to-two point stage in which Wilson’s 5 wins was good enough to make the cut.

The 7-8 knots in this stage was a relief from the earlier flukiness, so the racing got much more interesting. Wilson dispensed with his opponent Peter Holz in two matches, as did Lance Fraser with Brendan Kopp, and David Storrs with David Niemann. But in a huge upset, undefeated Steve Lowery fell to Magnus Sandberg in two penalty-strewn matches where the calls did not go Lowery’s way.

Wilson then faced Fraser and dispensed with the Bermudians in two straight matches when he got the starts he wanted and simply stretched on early leads, and and Storrs fell to Sandburg in two straight matches as well, in part for a mis-timed start in one match.

In the first-to-two-point Final, Wilson and his team were then imperfect sync, and despite losing a pre-start to Sandburg in the second match they were able to draw a penalty on the Swede, who led the match’s first lap but with an outstanding penalty to perform. By staying close and with good speed after exiting the bottom mark, Wilson managed to get “a piece of” Sandburg when he came out of his penalty turn on the second beat, forcing him to tack away, and thereby gain control of the match and sail on to victory.

By winning the combined Summer A and Summer B events, Wilson would have received an invitation to race in the first and last stops on the US Grade 2 Grand Slam Series in August and September. But with Wilson unable to attend due to prior commitments, the opportunity passes on instead to the runner-up, and for having finished fourth in the Summer A and third in the Summer B David Storrs will receive these invitations to race in Chicago over August 16-18 and at the Oakcliff Sailing Center over September 4-8 in Oyster Bay, NY.

Event details: http://chicagomatchrace.com/regatta/2012.asp?id=10110

Correction (7/22,13; 0615PDT): This story originally said in the final paragraph that Storrs was a granted an invite because Wilson already had one.

Photo by Isao Toyama

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