Verve Cup Regatta
The 2010 Offshore Verve Cup Regatta is underway! There are 149 boats on three racing circles on Lake Michigan off of downtown Chicago this weekend. And, for the first time, Offshore Verve will hold a separate distance race for cruiser-racers, which has 9 boats competing. The Verve Race Week, including the Inshore Verve next weekend is the largest course racing regatta in the country this year.
“The distance race was created to expand the Verve to include the cruiser-racer boat,” explained chair Mary Ann Lillie. “It’s designed for boats that typically do not do windward/leeward courses, but do port to ports like the Race to Mackinac.” The course is 28 miles from Chicago to Grosse Point outer light off of Winnetka around the Wilmette wreck, back and finishes inside the breakwater at the north gap of Navy Pier. While the other sections will be scored on PHRF, that group will be scored on ORR ratings.
The majority of the sailors will compete on windward/leeward courses throughout the weekend. After a hard day of sailing, skippers and crew will enjoy good food, good drink and good music at the Chicago Yacht Club.
Check out the Verve Cup website for updates, photos and video of all the excitement at www.vervecup.com. Here’s a preview of the racing action and some of the boats to watch.
Among the one design sections, in Circle A the sleek lines of the Great Lakes 70s are always fun to watch. The 2008 and 2009 winner Stripes, is not entered this year, so the section is anyone’s game. Hot off their 2010 Race to Mackinac win is Pororoca, owned by Gene McCarthy and Bob Zeman, can they translate Mac success onto the windward/leeward course?
Last year’s Farr 40 section winner and overall Verve Cup win Don Wilson on Convexity will not be in this class, as Wilson is racing in the J105 fleet with a boat under the same name. However, 2008 Verve winner Helmut Jahn (Chicago, Ill.) and his premier racing vessel Flash Gordon is competing and is always in the top standings.
PHRF 1 is a big boat section, featuring boats all between 46’ and 66’ long. Bill Dooley and crew successfully made the transition from sled to a new ILC 46, Mirage, winning last year’s section. They’ll have their hands full defending against other hot boats in this section such as Imedi, the TP52 owned by Mark Hauf, and Bretwalda 3, a Rogers 46. Both boats are new to the Verve this year. This should be a section to watch for some great sailing competition.
In PHRF 2, two time consecutive section winner Raven, owned by Stan Bailey (Lisle, Ill.), is back and will compete against Spirit Walker, owned by Vern McCain and Scout, owned by Dorsey Ruley, who always fair well. New to the section is Heartbreaker, the 1D35, owned by Eric Oesterle (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) which was in the sport boat section last year. This will make for an interesting dynamic in this section.
The PHRF 3 section is dominated by the three Sydney 38’s, led by favorite Eagle, skippered by Chicagoans Jerry and Shawn O’Neill, who won their section in the 2010 Mac and have proven they are hard to beat at the Verve Cup Regatta. New to the section and Verve is Singlemalt, a 38’ Aerodyne, owned by Patrick Mootre of Chicago.
Beneteau 36.7 fleet has 16 boats this year. Look for strong competition from Tried and True, owned by Robert Foley (Glencoe, Ill.) and Karma, owned by Lou Sandoval (Chicago, Ill.). Also Maggie Mae, who won the 2010 Chicago NOOD should be a contender for the podium. New to this fleet is Soulshine and Tequila Mockingbird. Let’s see how they match up to the fleet favorites.
The Beneteau 40.7s are led by Robert Vickery of Barrington, Ill. on Collaboration II. Vickery won overall honors in the 2010 NOOD regatta by 1-point, showing how competitive this section can be. Other boats to watch include last year’s section winner Spanker and Mojo.
With 17 boats, the J105s are the second largest fleet in the regatta and ready to sail. Led by last year’s overall Verve Cup winner Don Wilson on Convexity, with tough competition from ’09 Verve section winner Vytis, owned by Tom Petkus, and 2009 Overall Mac winner John Weglarz on The Asylum, this class will be tuning up for J105 North American Championships that will be hosted by Chicago Yacht Club next month, September 13-19.
In the seven-boat J109 Fleet, 2009 Overall winner in the Mac, George Miz aboard Zoom, is now skippering Valor.
The top spot in the eight boat handicap section of PHRF 4 is open for contention. Boats to watch in this section include Surface Tension, skippered by Jeffrey Schaefer (Elm Grove, Ill.) and Gauntlet skippered by Guy Hiestand (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Also returning this year is George Petkovic of Chicago, who won PHRF 3 aboard 007 in 2008. New to this section is Mrs. Jones, a Mumm 36. This is the tightest rated section in the regatta with only 4 seconds separating the fastest and slowest boats.
This year’s 32 boat T-10 fleet is once again the largest one design fleet in the regatta. Lou Jacob’s Skidmarks is back to defend his 2009 Verve section win, but with such a large fleet of great sailors, this section is always up for grabs.
PHRF 5 section hosts past overall Verve Cup winner, the J35 Aftershock, owned by William Newman (Muskegeon, Mich.). Aftershock is pitted against rival Bozo’s Circus, owned by Bruce Metcalf (Burr Ridge, Ill.). Also, ’09 third place winner Donald Waller on Maskwa (Oak Brook, Ill.) will be a boat to watch. Another boat to keep an eye on is REDRUM, a Mount Gay 30 from Wisconsin, owned by boat builder Scott Bruesewitz.
The PHRF 6 is another tightly rated section and features the Jenneau Sunfast 3200 Relentless and Morgan 36 NM Measure for Measure. The top spot is up for grabs, and this section will most likely come down to the last race. Tylishan, skippered by Rick Stearns, which won the 2010 NOOD will be one to keep your eye on.
And last, but certainly not least, PHRF 7 features a variety of boats that always battle it out on the race course. The smallest boat in the fleet, the J27 True North at 27’ will be up against 2 other J boats. Will last year’s PHRF 7 winner on Awesome from Downers grove, Ill. go for back to back Verve wins? Log on to www.vervecup.com for all the action this weekend.
Chicago Yacht Club is proud to host this prestigious sailing event, and welcomes you to be a part of all of the action this weekend. The race would not be possible without the support of Audi of America, SLAM, as well as Supporters and Suppliers Karma Yacht Sales, UK Halsey Sails, West Marine, Modelo Especial and Mount Gay Rum.