Mixed Bag at the Verve Cup
Published on August 13th, 2016
Chicago, IL (August 13, 2016) – Chicago Yacht Club’s Verve Cup Race Committee wasted no time firing off races for 6.5 hours on Day Two of the regatta after cancelling racing yesterday. More than 120 boats dotted Lake Michigan in 6-18 knots of westerly winds providing flat water for the day.
The M32 fleet enjoyed a full day running eight races just a half mile off of Monroe Harbor. Chicago Yacht Club member John Heaton typically campaigns his J/70 Empeiria, but he took a break to race the Verve Cup aboard the M32. Despite sailing a catamaran before, this was Heaton’s second day onboard the high performance catamaran and his first day racing one.
“There wasn’t a huge amount of wind today, but the boats are so light that it felt really windy at times,” said Heaton. “The boats are fast, but you never feel out of control.” While the team has a last place standing, they improved throughout the day proving that endurance was not an issue for them.
Fourteen Beneteau 36.7s are gearing up for their North American Championship at CYC over Labor Day Weekend. Chris Duhon’s Tequila Mockingbird was last year’s Verve Cup section winner and is tied for points with Soulshine skippered by Fleet Captain Jarrett Altmin. Soulshine made it back in the water just in time for racing this weekend after losing the connection to their instruments during the tumultuous 108th Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust.
“Getting some good tight racing around the buoys before North Americans is a good tune up especially after the Mac,” added Altmin. “Today was a day where six boats had a really good day. We can’t just key in on Tequila. Tomorrow we’re going to go out, sail our own race and hope for the best.”
June’s J/111 North American Championship proved to be a solid tune-up for the one design fleet; however, newcomer Jeffrey Davis’s Shamrock came into town to shake things up a bit. Shamrock was formerly a successful Beneteau 36.7 program based in Ohio, but Davis took delivery of the new J boat this season. “It was a very fluky day to start out with. It was very difficult in the first race to gauge the course and the wind for the best options.
There was a significant wind shift for the last two races, and we decided to change some of our tactics,” said Davis. “We slowly marched up through the fleet and finished first in our last race.”
In the ORR1 section, the Rogers 46 Bretwalda3 has been touring the Great Lakes and returned to Chicago after winning the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs, MI. The boat, itself, has been racing on the west coast for five years and competed in two Transpacs along with races to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta.
“We found ourselves getting a little lazy on the Mackinac Races this year. We sailed in the Transpac where you change the sail every day or so – or maybe not. So we really had to up our game coming back to the lakes with the storms and the holes and changing sails every ten minutes or so. We really had to remember that,” said owner Bob Pethick. “The Verve, itself, is all about being in Chicago. We really love it here; every time we sail here, it’s like coming home for me.”
Twenty-one boats went the distance in a 22NM race that has been run in tandem with the buoy courses since 2010. The course took the boats on a scenic tour up and down Chicago’s lakefront before finishing just 4 miles offshore of Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station. The distance racers experienced a mixed bag of conditions starting in light air to lighter air to finishing in a 90 degree wind shift and 18 knots of breeze.
“We got a little bit of everything – all points of sail, crew work and sail changes,” said Ian Fisher of Hiawasee. Fisher also enjoys the opportunity to race with his 16 year old daughter Zoe.
Sunday marks the final day of racing with races beginning at 10:55 A.M. local time.
Report by Event Media