Semi-Finals not final at CMRC GRAND SLAM Qualifier
Published on June 20th, 2015
Chicago, IL (June 20, 2015) – One team is in the Semi-Finals, with three more still to be determined after the conclusion of racing today at the CMRC GRAND SLAM Qualifier.
Racing was held in widely varied conditions: from a building northerly to a blustery southerly, and then dying from the southwest. Nonetheless, the Repecharge stage managed to qualify three teams for the Quarter-Finals, with up to two flights remaining tomorrow to determine who goes through to the Semi-Finals, Finals and Petit-Finals.
With a boat taken out of the fleet of eight TOM 28’s in yesterday’s Round Robin, race organizers amended the format so there would be three pairs competing in the Quarter-Finals in six boats, rather than the usual eight. With this format, yesterday’s winner of the Round Robin, Chris Poole, thereby automatically qualified for the Semi-Finals.
Racing for the day in the Repecharge started under hazy skies, with six teams competing in a round robin to determine which three advance to the Quarter Finals. Conditions were near-perfect in an 8-12 knot northerly before the wind died and shifted to the southeast in the last flight. In this round David Storrs and Will Bailey each had a 4-1 score, while Steve Lowery’s team, helmed by Rory Lewis, scored 3-2 to fill the last spot.
With a relocated race course now aligned to the new 8-10 knot southerly, the Quarter-Finals had Lowery and Peter Holz paired in the first match of the first-to-three point series, Bailey paired against Nathan Hollerbach in the second, and Storrs facing Don Wilson in the third.
Perhaps for having sailed all morning in the Repecharge and being warmed up, Lowery, Bailey and Storrs all earned their first point in the first flight, but not without a fight: both Lowery and Storrs had to pass their rivals to take the win.
In the second flight, the southerly breeze built up to having puffs over 18 knots, making the action fast and furious in the pre-starts and rewarding those who were more poised and confident in their boat handling and timing. In this regard, the top teams from the Round Robin came back into their own, winning all their matches and bringing the series tied up for all.
The third flight saw the breeze back down to 10 knots, then down to 6 as it shifted to the southwest, and the changing conditions and leftover lumpy seas may have caught out some teams and their timing, because all three starts were plagued with OCS calls. In the first match is was Peter Holz called back, but he battled back to take the win and go up 2-1, and in Match 2 it looked for a while as though Hollerbach would do the same. But Bailey managed to maintain his thin lead all the way to the finish and score his second point, while Don Wilson led from start to finish unopposed to win his second point as well.
With an approaching storm system making the weather unsettled, race managers scrambled to try and get racing completed before the day’s sailing would end. Flight 4 got started in a shifty and dying breeze, but then failed completely as clouds gathered in the west.
Tomorrow the Quarter-Finals will continue at 9:00 AM, with Nathan Hollerbach, David Storrs and Steve Lowery’s teams all potentially on match point – these three teams need to win the first match to have a chance to go through to the Semi-Finals.
The competition then advances to the next stage with the Semi-Finals, Finals and Petit-Finals to determine the final four placings in the event.
CMRC GRAND SLAM Qualifier, Repecharge results:
1 David Storrs 4 points
2 Will Bailey 4
3 Steven Lowery 3
4 Nick Kroeger 3
5 Agustin Montes 1
6 Colman O’Riordan 0
Quarter-Finals, after three matches:
Peter Holz 2
Steve Lowery 1
Will Bailey 2
Nathan Hollerbach 1
Don Wilson 2
David Storrs 1
Detailed results can be found here.
Additional information at www.chicagomatchrace.com.