Match racing at Key West

Chicago Match Race Center to run racing this weekend

Tuesday January 19th 2010, Author: Dobbs Davis, Location: United Kingdom
The Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) is pleased to announce that the 2010 Key West Match Race Invitational has so far attracted four teams with a few days left before match race sailing starts on the azure waters off Key West. Racing will start after the conclusion of this week’s Key West Race Week over Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24, and features competition in Melges 24 class sportboats.

The field assembled thusfar includes CMRC founder Don Wilson, winner of last year’s inaugural Grade 3 CMRC event in Chicago, and ranked 93rd in the World Rankings. Also competing will be Bill Hardesty from San Diego, CA, reigning US Match Race Champion and ranked 150th in the World Rankings. Joining these two teams who have been active in previous CMRC events will be two relative newcomers to the game: Kevin Dooley from Florida will be entering his second match race event after finishing as runner-up in the Cocoa Invitational Match Race last November, as will Charleston, SC-based Melges 24 skipper Guy Mossman, who finished 31st in the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship in Annapolis last October.

"This will be an interesting field, since we’ll have two teams that are good at match racing, pitted against two teams that are good Melges sailors," said Hardesty, who is the Director of CMRC. "So the racing could be surprisingly close."

CMRC organized six ISAF-graded events last year - one Grade 2, four Grade 3’s, and one Grade 5 - and made tremendous progress in advancing Open match race sailing in the US.

“We started our 2009 season here in Key West,” said Hardesty, “and it was such a great success and so much fun that we felt it appropriate to kick off the 2010 season here as well.”

The format for the event in Key West is for these teams to compete in a multiple round-robin, followed by Semi-Finals and Finals to determine the winner. Each team will provide their own boat and required to comply with class rules. A nominal entry fee of US$100 is required of each team, and close of entries will be at Registration on Friday, January 22nd. Daily debriefs will be held by the umpire team led by Tom Rinda, and race management will be provided by PRO Ken Legler.

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