Wilson wins CMRC Spring Invitational

Published on May 18th, 2014

Chicago, IL (May 18, 2014) – After two days of racing in wildly varied spring sailing conditions on Lake Michigan, Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) founder Don Wilson and his team of Jordan Reece, Sam Rogers, Matt Woodworth and Steph Kapinos have won the Grade 3 CMRC Spring Invitational today, the opening event in the 2014 CMRC season.

Through four stages of competition (Round Robin, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals), victory came for Wilson in the last match in the Final against another CMRC regular, Steven Lowery, who was winner of the Round Robin in a tie-break with Wilson.

The victory earns Wilson an invitation to the 2014 US Match Race Championship and a spot in the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (LMSRF) Championship, the Richardson trophy, with both events to be held this Fall.

Even though Wilson was the highest-ranked skipper of any in the field (and at 23rd the highest-ranked US skipper in the world), he and his team had some formidable competition on the road to victory. After five flights in yesterday’s 3-14 knot shifty breeze, Wilson and Lowery were also tied on points with Ned Turney and Stephanie Roble.

Today’s 7-14 knot westerly breeze was not much different than yesterday, with enough puffs and shifts to keep both competitors and race managers on their toes. And when the Round Robin concluded this morning, Lowery chose CMRC Director Tod Reynolds as his opponent, a decision that nearly backfired when Reynolds defeated Lowery in the first and third match in the first-to-three point series, only to lose the next two and fall into the Consolation Round.

Roble too may have made a poor choice in selecting reigning Canada’s Cup champion Bob Hughes as her opponent, as Hughes had World Match Race Champion Taylor Canfield and his crew Hayden Goodrick on board, who helped him earn an undefeated 3-0 score against the top-ranked US Women’s match race skipper and her Team Epic Racing.

And it took five matches for Turney to defeat Val Smith for his Semi-Final berth, an impressive result under pressure considering Turney at this event last year failed to win a single match and had not match raced at all since September last year.

Wilson’s defeat of Hughes in the first-to-two point Semi-Final took all three matches to resolve, but was no doubt a sweet victory for Wilson considering it was Hughes who took from him the Canada’s Cup in their last series encounter, as well as the strong intramural rivalry enjoyed by members of both teams.

But Hughes’s 2-1 victory against Turney in the Petit-Final kept him on the podium for the event.

Final results
1. Don Wilson
2. Steven Lowery
3. Bob Hughes
4. Ned Turney
5. Brendan Kopp
6. Stephanie Roble
7. Val Smith
8. Tod Reynolds

For more information and photos, visit www.chicagomatchrace.com.

Photo by Isao Toyama

Photo by Isao Toyama

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