Tenth Anniversary for Detroit Cup

Published on August 21st, 2017

Championship match racing returns to the Detroit River this year in Bayview Yacht Club’s 10th Anniversary Detroit Cup, the second stage of the three-event USA GRAND SLAM series. Eight skippers and their crews representing five nations will be competing over August 24-27 on equally-matched Ultimate 20 sportboats in Detroit, MI.

This year’s Detroit Cup skippers include the returning 2016 champion Harry Price and his DownUnder Racing team from Sydney, Australia, racing with Murray Jones and Cameron Seagreen. This team’s meteoric rise through the rankings to their current position as 6th in the world is a remarkable feat, given Price’s young age of 21 years old. His most recent major victory was earlier this month where he won the Youth Match Racing World Championship in Newport Beach, California.

From the other side of Australia in Perth comes Will Boulden and his Performance Sprint Sports team of Josh Whijohn and Andrew Briggs. This team has reached the Finals in 12 major international events, and has a current world ranking of 18th. Like their Sydney-side rivals, Boulden and team wish to use a strong showing at the Detroit Cup and the GRAND SLAM series to secure invitations to the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).

Andrei Nikolaev from Russia was once ranked 23rd in the world over a decade ago, and after a long hiatus and a rebuild of his match racing prowess in the last three years, he has reached a rank of 49th in the world with his family crew of Aleksei Nikolaev and Elena Nikolaev. Nikolaev is only the second-ever Russian-based team to compete at Detroit Cup.

Pearson Potts leads the Yankee Creole Racing team of Pearson Potts Sr. and Nathan Housberg, who describe themselves as “a young and hungry team made up of recent college graduates, Yankees, and Southerners. We have multiple top collegiate All-American sailing athletes along with veteran national champion keelboat sailors who are currently ranked 68th in the world with only 9 events under our belt.” Poking fun at multihull match racing, they claim they are “the Crusaders of the monohull.”

Another team from the USA is Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team of Ryan Hope Ross and Zygmund Beatty. Based in Oyster Bay, NY, this will be Poole’s third Detroit Cup, where in 2014 he finished as runner-up to overall winner Pierre-Antoine Morvan from France. Poole is currently ranked 89th in the world and seeks to improve on his 2014 result.

Not since Morvan’s win in 2014 has a French team returned to Detroit Cup, yet this year Sylvain Escurat and his crew of Romain Matot and Hugues dePremare will seek to repeat Morvan’s feat. Escurat is a skilled and diverse sailor, having competed successfully in boats ranging from Windsurfers to keelboats to offshore yachts, and is relatively new to match race sailing, but in only 2 years has climbed to 158th in the world rankings.

Ryan Seago will once again represent Bayview YC in his third Detroit Cup, having nearly reached the Final Four in last year’s 9th edition. Ranked 178th in the world, he’s sailing once again with Alex Hume and with veteran D-Cup competitor and Bayview legend Mike Hoey. With the racing venue just meters off the Bayview shoreline, there can be a lot of positive reinforcement from the crowd – Seago says he looks forward to using this to help propel his team to victory.

Daniel Gill from Ireland and his Plain Sailing team of Richard d’Esterre Roberts and Scott Flanigan form the helmsmen from the Trinity College Dublin’s 1st team in team racing, this year’s Irish National Champions. They have placed in the top 10 in several British Invitational events this year, Richard was Irish Sailor of the Month for March this year, while Scott was on the British Match Racing team in the 2015 WMRT. While this team is so far unranked, they are diverse and versatile, and believe they “have the pedigree to mix it with the best in the world” and are “excited by the challenge presented by the Ultimate 20’s and the Detroit Cup.”

Round Robin racing starts on Thursday, August 24th, and will proceed until the Semi-Finals and Finals on Sunday, August 27th. Live analysis and commentary on-site will be provided from veteran match race commentator Dobbs Davis, USA Editor of Seahorse Magazine.

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Winning Skippers, Detroit Cup:
2016 – Harry Price (AUS)
2015 – Sam Gilmour (AUS)
2014 – Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
2013 – David Gilmour (AUS)
2012 – Josh Junior (NZL)
2011 – Jordan Reece (AUS)
2010 – Dave Perry (USA)
2009 – Anna Tunicliffe (USA)
2008 – Simon Minoprio (NZL)

The winner of the US Grand Slam Series will earn an invitation to the 2018 Long Beach Yacht Club’s Congressional Cup.

2017 US Grade 2 Grand Slam events
August 18-20 – Chicago, IL
August 24-27 – Detroit, MI
August 30-September 3 – Oyster Bay, NY

Previous Grand Slam Winners
2011 – Laurie Jury, NZL
2012 – Taylor Canfield, ISV
2013 – Nicolai Sehested, DEN
2014 – Pierre Antoine Morvan, FRA
2015 – Sam Gilmour, AUS
2016 – Harry Price, AUS

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