Detroit Cup - Semi-finalist berths claimed

Detroit Cup Match Racing
Isao Toyama
After a long wait for a no-wind delay and the completion of the Repechage round, Quarter Final qualifiers Chris Steele from New Zealand and David Gilmour from Australia got out to race and win the first two Semi-Finalist berths in the 2013 Detroit Cup. The last two will be determined tomorrow from the remaining two Quarter Final matches to run tomorrow morning among Stephanie Roble of Chicago, Judge Ryan of San Diego, Matt Graham of Michigan, and Chris Van Tol of the host Bayview YC.

The 2013 Detroit Cup is an ISAF Grade two event, and the second stop on the US Grand Slam series.

Today’s second day of racing started sunny, cool and dry with the passage of a cold front last night, but the weak northerly died out by mid-morning to leave nothing in its wake until mid-day when an easterly filled in quickly to a quite pleasant 7-9 knots, building to 10-12 knots throughout the afternoon. Racing started with a Repechage round of five flights to determine from the bottom six teams who would be the top two to go through to the Quarter-Finals.

In this round, Ashlen Rookyn and his team from Sydney, Australia rose quickly to the top, sealing his place even before the start of the final flight. So the final slot would be filled by whoever won the final match in the final flight between Tim Coltman of New Zealand and Matt Graham. A recent University of Michigan graduate new to match race sailing, Graham nonetheless fought hard to control the Kiwi’s, who in turn fought back to control the favored left side of the course. Through excellent timing and adept boathandling in the Bayview YC’s Ultimate 20’s, Graham managed to control the Kiwi’s, win the match, and earn their place in the Quarter Finals.

With the day drawing to a close but the easterly still providing excellent conditions, race managers started the first half of the Quarter Finals, pitting Steele against Rooklym in the first-to-two point knockout series. In their first match, Rooklyn started strong to win the pin end off the start and take an intial lead. But Steele’s superior speed and boat handling put the Kiwi’s out in front, where they were managed to stay in front and even extend on their lead. The next match was very much one-sided, with Steele taking and extending on an early lead to take the series 2-0.

Gilmour against Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team from Maine was a different story. While Gilmour took the first match from start to finish, Poole and team came through in a must-win pressure situation in the pre-start of the second match by winning the pin, the favored side, and successfully defending the lead all around the track to hand Gilmour his first and only loss in the event.

In Match third, it was Gilmour’s turn to take the pin end and dominate the favored side, and while Poole did his best to keep the match close, the Aussies handled their lead well to take the second point and their seat in the Semi’s.

Detroit Cup Match Racing
Isao Toyama

As part of this first half of the Quarter-Finals, a match was also sailed between Peter Holz and Mike Quiglio to determine 11th place in the final standings, with Holz winning this match.

Match racing will resume tomorrow at 10 AM local time with second half of the first-to-two point Quarter Finals, and a sail-off between Dustin Durant from Long Beach and Coltman for ninth place.

A charity Pro-Am to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit will also be held, weather permitting, from 12:00 – 1:00 PM.

Detroit Cup website