Top sailors from around the world will compete in Bayview Yacht Club’s 2015 edition of the International Match Race for the Detroit Cup August 27-30, a Grade 2 match racing event and final stop on the 2015 U.S.A. Grand Slam World Tour match racing series.
Teams will race in Ultimate 20s on a course just yards away from the shoreline on the Detroit River in a spectator-friendly venue and format. Live, on-site commentary will capture the competitive tension and excitement of match race sailing for spectators and live, online audiences. Local kids with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit will get a chance to race with Detroit Cup skippers.
“We are very excited about hosting our eighth edition of the Detroit Cup,” says Dr. Gary Shoemaker, chairman of this year’s event. “We welcome another fantastic field of competitors from all over the world. It’s a great opportunity to increase awareness and support for this event as part of the renaissance we’re seeing in the waterfront life of Detroit, MI. Bayview Yacht Club is proud to be part of this renewal.”
One of four events on the Tour, the Detroit Cup has in the past few years increased its global reach, attracting top-ranked teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Finland, U.S. Virgin Islands, the United States and Canada. The excellence of race management, venue, hospitality and points offered on the International Sailing Federation’s Match Race Ranking List have all contributed to the popularity and competitiveness of this high-level sailing event.
Competitors compete to gain points to be invited to the highest level of the World Tour Professional Sailing Series. This year’s competitors include:
Sam Gilmour, Perth, Australia
Nathan Hollerbach, Chicago, IL, United States
Matthew Jerwood, Perth, Australia
David Niemann, Madison, WI, United States
Chris Poole, Falmouth, ME, United States
Ryan Seago, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI, United States
Chris Steele, New Zealand
David Storrs, Southport, CT, United States
Patrick Sturesson, Gothenberg, Sweden
Chris VanTol, Detroit, United States
What attracts spectators, media and sponsors to match race sailing at the Detroit Cup is the format: one team races against another in an intense display of impressive physical and tactical prowess in Ultimate 20 class boats. Both teams in each match use their skills in boat handling, reading the wind and the current, and knowledge of the rules to gain the upper hand against their opponent to win each 20-minute race.
The competition is sailed in groups of four matches during a round robin the first two days, followed by two days of quarter final, semi-final, and final elimination rounds to reach an ultimate overall winner of the coveted Detroit Cup and the U.S. Grand Slam.
Kids Join a Pro-Am Race
In addition to the match race events, Detroit Cup skippers will swap out their teammates for an hour of fleet racing with some very special crew members Saturday, Aug. 29. Youth and mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit will jump on board club member sailboats to trim, hike, call time and help their skippers get their boats around the course for an exhibition race.
“Being able to take kids out for their first time on the Detroit River in a sailboat reminds the veterans just how special, fun and exciting our sport is,” says Chris VanTol, a six-time Detroit Cup skipper and four-year Big Brother volunteer. “To see it through the kids’ eyes makes this event great for the experienced sailors as well as the kids and their mentors.”
For the past four years, Bayview Yacht Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit have partnered to provide youth serviced through the mentoring organization, with this unique opportunity to share with their mentors.
“This event is a very rewarding experience for both the adults and the children. It gives everyone the opportunity to create relationships in a unique and fun environment,” says shore coordinator, Shirley Fortune.
Before heading out on the sailboats, Big Brothers Big Sisters youth and adult mentors will first complete an instructional and safety briefing to learn port from starboard (nautical terms for left and right), what to expect when the sailboats move (heeling, or leaning, and quick turns), and how a sailboat race starts, proceeds around marks and finishes.
“We are excited to partner with the Bayview Yacht Club for a fourth year,” says Cheryl Haithco, vice president of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. “Experiencing sailing with professionals, racing and learning about water safety is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of the youth in our program. We are grateful for the experience and memories our Littles will receive through this event.”
more info ……………….detroitcup.com
2015 Grand Slam Racing Dates
August 6-9: Manhasset Bay Match Race for the Knickerbocker Cup
August 13-16: Oakcliff International
August 21-23: Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam
August 27-30: Detroit Cup
by Jessica Soulliere.