Wilson emerges on top, will choose Semifinal opponent tomorrow
CHICAGO, Ill. (June 15, 2013) – After a long morning delay due to poor weather, race managers at the Chicago Match Race Center were still able to complete the first stage Double Round Robin today at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. After the last flight was completed at 6:30 PM local time, four teams have emerged as Semifinalists to compete amongst each other for the final prize, the prestigious Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy.
It was yet another day of close racing in Chicago, with winds abated slightly to 7-9 knots from the south, which meant smaller waves than yesterday, allowing boats to engage closer as the teams became even more confident in their maneuvering the Tom 28’s.
But even as the teams have gotten better in their second day of racing, it has been clear from the start of the event that the local-based favorites, Jennifer Wilson and Stephanie Roble, are in a league of their own, losing only to each other among the eight teams from throughout the U.S. assembled here for the event.
Finishing the first stage on tied scores, there still needs to be a winner to determine the pairings for tomorrow’s Semifinals and Finals. So, based on her win in their last match together, that winner is Wilson, who will now be given the right to choose her opponent in tomorrow’s Semifinals.
Amongst the remaining teams, Sandy Hayes looked strong to fill the third place slot in the standings with a score of five points earned in the first Round Robin. But as the other teams got better, Hayes and her team fell to some of the same opponents she defeated yesterday, and so by winning only two matches in the second Round Robin today she ended the stage with 7 points, still good enough to end up fourth in the Final Four.
With a remarkable string of victories today against all but the two frontrunners, it was Katie Maxim and her team who roared into third place on the leader board with eight points. Assuming Wilson will not choose arch-rival Roble as her Semifinal opponent, it will be interesting to see if she chooses Maxim, a relative newcomer who may be seen to have some momentum, or Hayes, who is a veteran of numerous women’s events and may spring back to life in tomorrow’s final day of racing.
Match race action resumes tomorrow at 9:00 AM CDT with the intention of starting Stage Two that consists of two first-to-three point Semifinal matches and a concurrent Round Robin among the remaining teams to determine 5th through 8th places.
The winning skipper will earn the right to race in key match racing events in 2013, including the U.S. Match Racing Championship this September in Sheboygan, Wis. and the Women’s International Match Race Series event this July in Oyster Bay, N.Y.
Races are being conducted by PRO Darcy Cook and her race committee team, while the umpire team will be led by Umpire Kathy Lindgren.
Racing occurs outside Belmont Harbor in front of the break wall, an ideal viewing location for spectators with bleacher-style seating. The course is Windward/Leeward twice around with a downwind finish and possible leeward gates.
The Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Memorial will be awarded to the Runner-up position. US Sailing gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the skippers and crews placing first through third, respectively. Only a U.S. citizen may be declared U.S. National champion.
The CMRC is one of the first match racing centers of its type in the United States and brings top level racing to the Great Lakes region. In addition to hosting world class regattas, the CMRC also provides weekly training programs to experienced sailors interested in learning more about the growing discipline of match racing.
For results, standings, photos and more information on the 2012 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, please visit the event website at championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USWMRC.
For breaking news and race results from Chicago follow us on Twitter @USSailing or @MatchRaceCenter. Use Twitter hashtag #WMRC13 to participate in the conversation throughout the championship.
The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Gill North America. This championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
* U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship recap contributions made by Dobbs Davis
* Photo credit to IsaoToyama.com
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