Saturday, 28 August 2010

Detroit Cup: SLAM Kiwi Match Finish Third

SLAM Kiwi Match at the Detroit Cup. Supplied image.

by Logan Fraser

It's not often you go to a regatta with minimal expectations only to have them met or surpassed once you're there, but the Detroit Cup run by the Bayview Yacht Club is a regatta that did just that. Detroit may be a city facing a few issues, but one issue they don't have is how to run a sailing regatta. This club really turns it on to provide everyone with a great and memorable time in Detroit. In the words of the Commodore, “If you don't feel welcome after 5 minutes at Bayview Yacht Club, it's probably your fault.”

This was our second year in Detroit so we came into the regatta with a bit of an idea of what to expect. The regatta format consisted of a single round robin, quarter finals, semi's and final's, but with 12 top class teams there wasn't a lot of room for mistakes. Added to that were conditions which tested the race committee's ability to get races away in some very tricky conditions.

SLAM Kiwi Match at the Detroit Cup. Supplied image.

The first two days of racing were almost perfect but typically, the weather on Saturday proved so uncooperative that only the final three flights of the round robin were able to be raced and the quarter finals had to be cut from the programme. This left a number of teams with a bit of a problem, as now only the top 4 teams would qualify straight through to the semi finals. So any early losses in the round robin now became very costly and several teams were fighting to keep their hopes alive, including ourselves. Our problem though, was that we had already completed all our races and were relying on other results to go our way to ensure we could finish inside the top 4. Fortunately our Kiwi friends from Full Metal Jacket Racing were able to come from behind in their last race to beat local hero, Chris Van Tol. This result was perfect for us as it meant Chris was taken out of the equation and we progressed to 3rd on countback and into the semi finals.

Dave Perry qualified first and had the choice of opponent for the semi finals. He picked Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands leaving us to race Detroit Cup defending champion Anna Tunnicliffe. The finals produced some great matches with most races going right down to the wire. Anna and her team had definitely bought their 'A' game, showing that the time put into their Olympic campaign has been paying off. We had a big piece of them in the pre-starts and were leading in both races, but Anna and her team proved that time together and time on the water pays and they were able to get around us in both races to win the semi final. Dave was pushed to 3 races by Taylor but eventually came out on top pulling a few old tricks out of the bag.

In a repeat of the Chicago Match Race petite final we had to race Taylor Canfield for 3rd and 4th. This time however we came out on the right side of the ledger easily beating him 2 – 0. Things weren't quite so one-sided in the final with Anna pushing Dave hard in all their races. Dave eventually came out on top however, confirming the master still has some lessons to teach his student.

SLAM Kiwi Match at the Detroit Cup. Supplied image.

To finish third against this field was good and another consistent result, but still just lacking the final touch to finish it off. This regatta completes our USA leg for now as we were unable to secure entry into the next regatta. We have really enjoyed our time here again and are really impressed with the things that are happening with Match Racing in North America. The clubs are putting in a lot of effort to ensure the sport reaches it's full potential. We would especially like to thank our hosts in both Chicago and Detroit; their hospitality is hugely appreciated and makes the trip that much more enjoyable. Thank you to SLAM and the RNZYS for supporting us and all our friends, family and supporters that follow our progress.

Final Results

Place Skipper
1 Dave Perry (USA)
2 Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
3 Laurie Jury (NZL)
4 Taylor Canfield (USVI)
5 Bill Hardesty (USA)
6 Reuben Corbett (NZL)
7 Chris Van Tol (USA)
8 Henrique Haddad (BRA)
9 William Tiller (NZL)
10 Sergey Musikhin (RUS)
11 Nicolai Sehested (DEN)
12 Kent Colpaert (USA)

SLAM Kiwi Match
Detroit Cup