The fifth championship level stop on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour will take place September 26th-October 1st on the Chicago lakeshore in front of Navy Pier. Chicago Match Race Center and Chicago Yacht Club return as co-hosts for the 2017 season stopover after organizing successful Tour events in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Chicago’s hosting of the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series in 2016, thrilled Midwest sports fans with the excitement of high-performance catamaran racing for the first time with Lake Michigan proving to be a world-class venue for sailboat racing. With a turnkey infrastructure in place and a skyline that is second to none, hosting the World Match Racing Tour event this fall will bring back stadium racing to the America’s Cup racecourse.
The World Match Racing tour has been a forum for the next generation of America’s Cup champions to learn and refine their craft including the 35th America’s Cup Champion Peter Burling who won some of his first multi-hull match races in a WMRT qualifying event earlier this year.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to host the World Match Racing Tour again in the heart of America with the next generation of top sailors competing including homegrown heroes and Chicago Yacht Club Members Taylor Canfield and Sally Barkow.” said Tod Reynolds, the Executive Director of the Chicago Match Race Center. “This past America’s Cup gave the sailing world a glimpse of just how exciting sailboat racing can be. The M32 Catamarans being used on the WMRT are the perfect platform for this technology to trickle down into the sailing world evidenced by Chicago’s hosting of both the World Match Racing Tour event back-to-back with the North American Championships that are designed for owner-drivers and maximum fun.
Hosting WMRT Chicago Match Cup is about more than just high-performance catamaran racing, as World Match Racing Tour CEO Robert Magnusson explains. “The Chicago Match Race Center, and it’s founder Don Wilson, are strong supporters of the competitive M32 class catamaran we use on the Tour and so to host a local event in partnership with the World Match Racing Tour is a natural progression for the center. The people of Chicago embraced the Tour back in the monohull era, and their support of the Americas Cup World Series shows that they also embrace modern catamaran racing. With Chicago Match Race Center also hosting the 2017 M32 North American Championship and the 2018 M32 World Championship, there is clearly appetite in Chicago for this high-performance type of racing.”
WMRT Chicago Match Cup will run September 26th – October 1st. The racecourse will be located just off the end of Navy Pier with the city landmark offering unrivalled viewing opportunities for spectators. In addition to the WMRT Tour Card holders, qualifiers from Coconut Grove Cup and Croatia Match Cup will be invited to the event as well as Wild Card positions which will be announced in the coming weeks.