For the first time since it became a major pro series with serious cash prizes, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour will be coming to the United States. The five-day Chicago Match Cup regatta will be held in mid-July.
The event will feature 12 teams racing aboard the Chicago Match Race Center’s (CMRC) fleet of Tom 28 keelboats for $100,000 in prize money. The regatta will also award points toward the tour’s overall championship.
Organizers describe Chicago as a “perfect venue,” thanks to the CMRC and Navy Pier, where the tour plans to create a “stadium-style” race village, complete with tents, vendors, live commentary and bleacher seats for spectators.
“The center is great, the boats are great, the city is great, this is a fantastic place for match-race sailing,” says UK skipper Ian Williams, overall winner of the 2011 tour. “I know that Chicago has been a top choice among the other tour skippers for where they want to sail this year.”
This year’s tour, which boasts a total purse of $1.75 million, started in Germany and after Chicago continues on to Korea, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Malaysia and Bermuda.
Photo courtesy of Chciago Match Race Center