When two sailboats race against each other at one time, this is called "Match Racing." This is done on short courses, and the intensity is at the highest level. For example, the America's Cup is a Match Race. Not only do sailors have to sail well, they have to work with each other like a well oiled machine.
Sailboats don't have brakes, but these sailors commonly will push the mainsail backwards against the wind to stop the boat quickly. Right of way rules normally are used for safety and "defensive driving" on the water, but with Match Racers, they are used as weapons. Blocking, driving the other boat away from where they want to go, using other boats, marks or land to brush the other boat off. It is wild to watch and wild to participate in.
Many of the world's top match racers are here in town, here's the press release on this event, hopefully you can get there and see it and probably meet these people -
Today, the world's top sailing talent will begin a five-day battle of high-intensity match racing for the right to claim the Chicago Match Cup, the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). A total of $75,000 in prize money is at stake, as well as valuable points on the AWMRT World Championship year-long series.
The action will begin at 0930 CDT with the start of Round Robin competition among 12 teams from nine nations. From this stage four teams will advance to the Quarter-Finals, with the remaining two slots filled from the results of the Repechage held among the remaining eight teams. Race management is being led by PRO Darcy Cook of the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC).
Courses will be set near the north entrance to Belmont Harbor, site of CMRC's operations base, and within easy shore side access for spectators. Yesterday morning CBS Chicago caught Tom Slingsby and his team from Australia and defending champion Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands and his US One team practicing on the Lake: chicago.cbslocal.com/video/10588360-chicago-match-cup-sailing-competition.
And for those who wish to follow the action online there are several available options available throughout the competition:
2) Twitter: @worldmrt - tweet feeds about the regatta in general, newslink to articles, etc. Also @wmrt_liverace will provide flight-by-flight updates, more of a commentary feed about the races. Similar content also tweeted from @matchracecenter.
As a lifelong sailor, I want to share Chicago's most unused Park called Lake Michigan with everyone. Most of the time sailing is idyllic, and rare moments are scary. Sailors are fun family types, who go out for exercise, fresh air, sunshine and rain, camaraderie, and just to get away from it all. My plan with this blog is to explain the entry points, and most importantly destroy the myth that it is expensive. Your network of friends will amaze you with people of all walks of life. In fact, a sailor who is a writer for the Chicago Tribune recommended I write this blog. Your journey begins here..........