Friday, August 9, 2019

Verve Offshore Cup Preview

J/111s sailing Verve Cup Regatta (Chicago, IL)- The third and final “big boat” regatta of the summer sailing season for Lake Michigan sailors will be taking place this weekend off the picturesque Chicago waterfront. After the Chicago NOOD Regatta, the Chicago Mac/ Ugotta Regatta, the Verve Cup Offshore marks the last big event for both ORR Offshore and one-design offshore keelboats.  The Chicago Yacht Club hosts the event off both their facilities on the Chicago downtown waterfront- Belmont Station and the Monroe Street Station.  Sailing are one-design fleets of J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/111s, plus a few J’s in ORR handicap.

Many of the seven J/88s will be using the regatta as part of the training programs leading up to the J/88 North Americans that is being sailed at American Yacht Club in October. Some of those teams include Ben Marden’s BANTER, Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2, John & Jordan Leahey’s DUTCH, and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE.

J/105s sailing Verve Cup RegattaThe half-dozen boats sailing the J/105 class may seem a little shy on numbers, but it belies the fact that most of the top teams in Chicago are racing. Those crews include Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PIG, Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, Mike & Kathie Newman’s VALHALLA, Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS, and Judith & Ross McLean’s ESPRIT d’ECOSSE.

Similarly, the nine-boat J/109 class is loaded with talent from across Lake Michigan. Notable crews include Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Rob Evans’ GOAT RODEO (the Mackinac Race champions), David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, the quartet on SMEE AGAIN (Miz/ Dreher/ Hatfield/ Neenan), and Jack & Jim Toliver’s VANDA III.

The large and insanely competitive eighteen-boat J/111 class is sailing this weekend as the J/111 Pre-Worlds (the J/111 World Championship is the following week in the same place). Handicapping this fleet would certainly be a “fool’s errand” as so many of the top teams have not had a chance to race against each other all season.  The top non-USA team is Jorg Sigg’s LALLEKONIG from Zurcher Segel Club in Zurich, Switzerland.  The leading USA crews include KASHMIR (Mayer/ Henderson), LUCKY DUBIE (Len Siegal), MOMENTUS (Saedi/ Yousefi), ROWDY (Rich Witzel), SHAMROCK (Jeff Davis), SKELETON KEY (Peter Wagner), SKULL CRACKER (Dan Kitchens), SPACEMAN SPIFF (Rob Ruhlman & family), UTAH (Brad Faber), VELOCITY (Marty Roesch), and WICKED 2.0 (Doug Curtiss).

The sole participant in the eight-boat ORR 3 handicap class is Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY.  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.