Great Lakes International Match Race

Published on June 12th, 2016

Rochester, NY (June 12, 2016) – The Great Lakes International Match Race was held on Lake Ontario by the Rochester Yacht Club. This was a grade 3 event and also a US Sailing Match Racing Championship qualifier and was sailed in Sonars. After a two day clinic taught by Dave Perry saw too much wind then very light conditions, Saturday gave the 10 teams a variety of conditions from light air to winds in the mid-twenties. The umpires decided to hold the entire regatta on Saturday as winds well into the twenties were predicted all day Sunday.

The teams headed out in virtually no wind after a thunderstorm rolled through, but as the day went on the wind built and switched from a shifty offshore to a steadier, stronger north-west with a one foot chop. Towards the end of the first round robin, the umpires banned spinnakers as the breeze was at about twenty with stronger gusts.

Colin Merrick led the day with eight wins and only one loss in the round robin. David Thompson, Lance Fraser, and Greiner Hobbs were in a 3 way tie for second with six wins and three losses each. The Petit and Final knockout series were held next amongst the four. The umpires allowed spinnakers again for the final race as the wind was down slightly. Fraser won both his matches to remain in third and Hobbs ended up fourth. Merrick won his first match.

In the second match between Merrick and Thompson, Merrick was too early for the line, bailed out and lost the start. He later tried a stab luff downwind while Thompson was gybing but ended up drawing a foul. The match went to Thompson for Merrick’s second loss of the day. For the final match, Thompson was over early allowing Merrick to control from the start for the regatta win.

Colin Merrick was already qualified for the US Sailing Match Racing championship, so David Thompson will be considered for an invitation. As the highest placing female participant, Kathryn Shiber qualified for the US Sailing Women’s Match Racing championship. Lance Fraser was the highest placing Lake Ontario (Toronto) skipper at the event so he won the Stolze Cup for the Lake Ontario Yacht Racing Association Match Racing Championship. This also qualifies him for the 2017 Richardson Cup.

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Report by Donna Faust, Event Media

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