Detroit Cup - Stevens and team still on top

Detroit Cup 2011
ISAF Grade 2 Detroit Cup, presented by Bayview Yacht Club, Michegan, is being held from 17th to 21st August 2011.

With three flights left to complete the round-robin and five teams already finished this round, the scores suggest some potential qualifiers are already emerging in the ISAF Grade 2 Detroit Cup. The uncertainty lies with the weather forecast and how many more flights can be squeezed in to the remaining two days of competition.

Racing started after a brief delay in a light easterly thermal breeze aligned up the axis of the Detroit River venue, with the course oriented perfectly in front of shoreside venue at Bayview YC. This breeze left with the setting sun, however, making the last flight a slow motion ballet against the current for the six teams in the day's final matches. The teams persevered nonetheless and kept the racing close in the event's equally-matched Ultimate 20's, with some of the most exciting matches ironically found in this dying breeze.

But the attention is now shifting to the leader board and speculating who is safely through to the next stage, who still has a shot, and who is out.

Maintaining a lead earned yesterday, Wellington, New Zealand-based Mathew Steven and his team still sit atop the leader board, extending their lead to nine points, with Sydney, Australia-based Jordan Reece and his team two points back. Only fellow Kiwi Laurie Jury lies within striking range of Steven, having three matches left and having defeated Steven already to win any potential tie-break.

The standings then go to Florida-based Brad Funk on six points, but with one make-up match to complete, followed by Nicolai Sehested from Denmark also on six points. Top-ranked Kiwi Reuben Corbett is already on five points with three matches left, and Connecticut-based Dave Perry and Kiwi Will Tiller are each on four points, but also with three matches left.

If all these teams won their remaining matches and the rest lost theirs, these would be the top eight to advance to the intended Quarter Finals in the next stage of the event. But lurking in the wings on three points is defending US Trifecta champion Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands and his team, who has dug back from a terrible day yesterday that took them briefly into negative points to win every one of their three matches today. If this continues, he could go to six and ease into the top eight, as could local-based Chris Van Tol, who has the potential to get to five points and maybe squeak through as well.

But another local-based team led by skipper Kent Colpaert will have to wait until their next event to advance to the next stage, being winless in the round robin. And New Orleans-based Shawn Ryan had the satisfaction of defeating second ranked Corbett today, but on three wins will not qualify to advance to the next stage.

Those that do not qualify are intended to race a ninth-12th place sail-off, if weather permits.

The conclusion of round robin match racing continues tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM local time, with the next stage determined once this stage is complete.

The Detroit Cup is the second stop on the four-stage US Grand Slam Series, a series of four consecutive ISAF Grade 2 match race events composed of last week's Chicago Grade 2 Invitational, this week's Detroit Cup, next week's Knickerbocker Cup, and the following week's concluding Oakcliff International. Winner of the series will get an invitation to next year's ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup in Long Beach.

Full results on the www.detroitcup.com!Detroit_Cup_website