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Fun & games at 2020 Verve Cup Inshore Regatta

by J/Boats 31 Aug 2020 12:11 BST 22-23 August 2020
2020 Verve Cup Inshore Regatta © Chicago Yacht Club

The Chicago Yacht Club's annual Verve Cup One-Design Regatta took place last weekend off beautiful Belmont Harbor for an excellent turnout for J/24 and J/70 one-design classes. With sailing taking place offshore on Lake Michigan, the sailors enjoyed the often-severe chop that develops over the course of the day, due largely to north & south bound powerboat traffic, leaving huge wakes that reverberate off the vertical concrete & steel seawalls miles out onto the race area. Such conditions make it exciting for fast-planing sailboats like the J/70s.

In the end, the CYC Belmont RC team managed to punch out six races for both fleets, a no-throw-out series. Winning the thirteen-boat J/70 fleet was John Heaton's American Flyer, just eking out a win with a 2-1-4-2-1-6 tally for 16 pts. Finishing just one point back and nearly winning the regatta was first-time J/70 racer Rich Witzel on Rowdy (he owns a famous J/111 by the same name). Rich's team started off slowly, learned the ropes fast, and came on strong at the finish, accumulating a record of 3-5-1-1-5-2 for 17 pts. Winning Corinthians and taking the bronze was Sarah Renz's team on Berteau Group, sailing to a 6-4-2-6-4-1 record for 23 pts total. Rounding out the top five was Bob Willis's Rip Rullah and Mike Schroff's Electric Pickle in 4th and 5th, respectively.

The nine-boat J/24 class saw yet another "whitewash" of the fleet, with Ryan Lashaway's Runnin On Empty posting five bullets to take the win by nearly 10 pts- finishing with 7 pts total. The battle for the remaining steps on the podium saw Andy Camarda's Full Moon hold off Austin Graf's Don't Panic, beating them by two points.

Of note was the excellent performance by the J/24 Boat Grant Youth Sailing Team. This year's crew from Chicago YC has top woman helm Erica Trejo skippering the J/24 Regulators. She started off incredibly well on Saturday, posting triple 3rds! Sunday seemed to be more challenging as she could not maintain that ferocious pace, dropping a 4-5-7 into her scoreline to end up in a well-earned fourth place with 25 pts total.

Click here for more Verve Cup Inshore Regatta sailing information and results.

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