Miami Invitational kicks off 2011 US match racing season

Chicago MR Center logo - 2011 Miami Invitational
The Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) and Sail Sheboygan have teamed up to organize the 2011 Miami Invitational, the first event of over 60 in the 2011 US match racing season.

This will also be the first Open match racing event sailed in the boats used for Women’s Match Racing discipline in the 2012 Olympic Games, the Elliott 6M, and as such has attracted a field of nine men’s and women’s teams to compete over February 19-20th on courses set in Miami’s Biscayne Bay.

Among the skippers and teams are several past and future Olympians and America’s Cup veterans, as well as some established and aspiring US match racing talent. This mixed field promises to produce some exciting competition in the double-Round Robin format, which will be followed by second stage of Round Robin racing among the top four in a Gold fleet to determine first-4th places, with the next four racing in a Silver fleet for fifth-9th places. Teams will received Open Grade 3 points on the ISAF world match race ranking list.

The four Women’s teams in the field are all aspiring to the 2012 Games, with three on the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics: recently-crowned Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year winner Anna Tunnicliffe from Miami, FL and her team of Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi; Genny Tulloch from San Francisco, CA and her team of Alice Manard and Jenn Chamberlin; and 2008 US Olympian Sally Barkow from Nashotah, WI and her team of Maggie Shae and Jennifer Wilson. The fourth aspiring Olympians are from Helsinki, Finland: Silja Lehtinen and her team of Silja Kanerva and Mikaela Wulff.

Tunnicliffe is the highest-ranked in the field at fourth in the ISAF women’s rankings, while Barkow is ranked eighth, Tulloch is ranked ninth, and Lehtinen 15th.

Among the five Open teams, Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands and his team of Tom Barrows and Darby Smith is the highest-ranked at 29th in the world Open rankings, with Don Wilson from Chicago, IL and his team of America’s Cup veterans Cameron Appleton and Suzie Leech next-highest ranked at 54th in the world. Canfield and Wilson are both past champions of numerous CMRC events in the past two seasons. Leo Vasiliev from Port Washington, NY has a ranking of 186th in the world, and is sailing with Alex and Roman Nadolishny.

Rounding out the Open field are two skippers from San Diego, CA: Andrew Campbell, 2008 US Olympian in the Laser Class, sailing with a team to be announced soon, and Steve Hunt, sailing with Max Albert and Jake Reynolds.

Race management will be led by Principal Race Officer Rich Reichelsdorfer of Sail Sheboygan, and the umpire team will be led by Bruce Cook of Oyster Bay, NY.

Twitter coverage and race results will be updated live on the CMRC website (www.chicagomatchracecenter.com), with photos uploaded at the conclusion of racing each day. A final video show of the event will also be available on the website after the conclusion of racing.

Racing inquiries: Tod Reynolds, tod@chicagomatchrace.com or +1 908 578 6762.

Media inquiries: Dobbs Davis, media@chicagomatchrace.com or +1 443 306 3620.

For more information on CMRC and its events, visit www.chicagomatchrace.com.

For more information on the US Sailing Center at Sail Sheboygan, visit its website at www.sailseboygan.org.

About CMRC: The Chicago Match Race Center was founded to promote and grow the sport of match race sailing. Besides being used in the America’s Cup, match race sailing has recently also been adapted as a Women’s discipline in the 2012 Olympic Games. As part of its mission to provide the highest-level match racing training facility for professional and amateur sailors in the US, CMRC has procured a fleet of Elliott 6M class boats, the type that will be used in the Games, and will use them to train and race teams with Olympic aspirations. Additionally, the CMRC retains a full fleet of TOM 28 class boats and all umpire and support boats needed to run international-caliber regattas. For the complete list of events and results from the 2010 season schedule, and events for the 2011 season, please visit www.ChicagoMatchRace.com.

About Sail Sheboygan: Sail Sheboygan is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the sport of sailing. Its mission is to help people discover sailing and thrive at the sport regardless of their age, income, ability or disability. We believe that those who come to understand the fundamentals of sailing, teamwork and seamanship understand more about themselves, others and the world around them. For more information and the complete 2011 season schedule, please visit www.sailsheboygan.org