Storrs does the double at Chicago Match Race Center

Published on October 12th, 2014

In an impressive display of consistent match racing performance, Connecticut-based David Storrs has turned in not one but two back-to-back winning results at the Chicago Match Race Center’s Grade 3 Autumn Invitational A and B events held over October 9-12.

With help from US One team members Taylor Canfield, Brian Janney and Hayden Goodrick, Storrs first bested a field of six teams in the A event held Thursday and Friday, then came back to win again in the B event held over Saturday and Sunday among a field of 8 teams. These were the final two events of the CMRC’s 2014 season.

Like most CMRC events, the Autumn Invitational events featured a rich variety of talent in several dimensions: in age, septuagenarian Storrs was competing against skippers as young as 18 year-old Will Curtiss. In experience, there were teams brand-new to match racing, such as new CMRC member Geoff Pedrick, up against the likes of Taylor Canfield, world-ranked No. 2 racing with Storrs. In nationality, there were skippers and crew members from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the US and the US Virgin Islands.

The first day of racing in the Invitational A event was held in seasonally cool conditions with a north wind trending towards the northeast and building to 12 knots – perfect match race conditions for the course area outside Belmont Harbor. With only six teams and an ideal wind, eight of the ten flights of the double round robin was completed on the first day, with local-based favorite Steve Lowery and Storrs taking turns on top of the leaderboard.

The following day the breeze grew light, and with overcast skies it remained quite cool on the race course, but the remaining two flights of the second Round Robin were completed, followed by the Semi-Final and Final stages of the competition.

By winning the first stage on a 9-1 record, Lowery chose and then defeated Lance Fraser of Bermuda 2-0 in the first-to-two point Semi-Final series, while Storrs losing the first match to David Niemann forced him to win the next two to advance to the Finals.

In the first match of the Finals, Storrs and Lowery had a close contest, but it was Storrs holding a slight lead around the track to take Race 1. In Race 2 Lowery was penaliized in the pre-start for windward/leeward contact and came off the line slightly behind Storrs. Storrs held and extended this lead around the whole track to take the win 2-0, while Niemann won the Petit Final against Fraser also on a 2-0 score.

In an expanded field of 8 teams for the Invitational B event, racing started in rough seas and 15-18 knts of southeast breeze, challenging crews and race managers alike. Once again, Storrs and Lowery dominated the results in the Round Robin, but this time Landon Gardner, a new young talent from Canada, managed to just make the Semi-Finals after not winning a single match in the previous two days of racing.

For the Semi-Finals, Storrs chose Gardner and defeated him 2-0 to advance to the Finals, while Lowery chose Niemann and also won in a 2-0 sweep to earn his place in the Finals.

In the Finals, Storrs won the first match, with Lowery winning the second to set up a winner-take-all final showdown. With the breeze diminishing to 10-13 knots, it was Storrs and his US One crew that prevailed to win the third match and take the second Grade 3 victory.

For winning both events, Storrs earns 200 points on the ISAF Open Match Race Ranking List, and will likely advance from his current position of 47th in the world. He will also receive an invitation to the first event of the CMRC’s 2015 season, the Spring Invitational.

1st David Storrs, 200 points
2nd Steve Lowery, 160
3rd David Niemann, 130
4th Lance Fraser, 95
5th Landon Gardner, 90
6th Geoff Pedrick, 40
7th Tod Reynolds, 35
8th Will Curtiss, 30
9th Hamish Hardy, 25

About Chicago Match Race Center:

The Chicago Match Race Center was founded to promote and grow the sport of match race sailing in the United States. CMRC provides a full-service facility, complete with TOM 28 and Elliott 6M class sailboats, umpire and support boats, as well as support staff for professional and amateur sailors to race and train during the sailing season. CMRC hosts several events ranging from ISAF Grade 5 level to the Grade WC Chicago Match Cup, the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Report by CMRC media.

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