Skip to main content

Cup Racing in Chicago

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
 The Chicago skyline makes for a dramatic backdrop during an early fleet race

The Chicago skyline makes for a dramatic backdrop during an early fleet race

Despite the late arrival of a decent sailing breeze on the first official day of racing, organizers, fans and the sailors themselves had nothing but good things to say about the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago regatta, which took place this past June.

Indeed, the first-ever America’s Cup event on the Great Lakes had a little bit of everything, including plenty of thrills and spills (read: dramatic capsizes!) on a boisterous pre-regatta practice day; more of the same close-quarters racing that has come to characterize the 35th America’s Cup thus far; and a strong showing by two of the supposedly “weaker” teams, highlighting the fact that the 35th Cup remains as wide-open as ever.

Better still, there was a surfeit of fans—good news for an event looking to broaden its appeal among the general publich—with sold-out paid seating, thousands of walk-in spectators lining up along Chicago’s historic Navy Pier, and thousands more fans watching from a substantial spectator fleet.

 Sweden’s Artemis Racing takes to the air during the regatta’s blustery practice day

Sweden’s Artemis Racing takes to the air during the regatta’s blustery practice day

“It was unreal here,” said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill afterward, disappointed by his team’s fifth-place finish in the regatta, but clearly thrilled with the reception it received from local race fans. “Let’s hope this becomes a regular stop on the series. The race course is awesome. All weekend we saw the huge crowds, and we all had great support. I hope we’re coming back.”

Winning the regatta was Sweden’s Artemis Racing, a squad that has had trouble getting into the groove, but which closed out the regatta with an impressive first-place win and two second-place finishes.

Also coming into its own was Softbank Team Japan, with former Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker at the helm, scoring two race wins on its way to third place overall. Taking second overall in the event was British-flagged Land Rover BAR, with Sir Ben Ainslie at the helm.

As for those capsizes, the first to go over was Emirates toward the end of a practice match race with Oracle Team USA. The team, however, quickly recovered and was back up and running in time for a subsequent fleet race.

Less fortunate was Oracle Team USA, which flipped during that same fleet race when it was forced to take evasive maneuvers after failing to see Artemis Racing coming in its direction with right-of-way until it was almost too late. Not only did it knock Oracle out of the running for that particular practice race, but because the race committee couldn’t get in the requisite number of races the following day, that last-place finish ending up factoring into the overall standings as well.

For more on the event and the upcoming Louis Vuitton World Series regatta in November, visit americascup.com.

Photos courtesy of ACEA 2016/Ricardo Pinto

August 2016

Related

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more

celestrialNav

VIDEO: Practical Celestial Navigation

Have you ever wondered how sailors navigated before GPS? Do you want an analogue backup if your electronics fail? Are you just curious about navigating by the stars? Enter Practical Celestial Navigation from The Nav Station. This free, online course will cover celestial theory, ...read more