The Chicago Match Race Center was founded in 2009 to promote and grow the sport of match race sailing by WMRT champion Bill Hardesty & Chicago entrepreneur and sailor Don Wilson. As part of its mission to provide the highest-level match racing training facility for professional and amateur sailors in the US, CMRC has a fleet of Tom 28 MAX sailboats along with Elliott 6M class boats, the type that will be used in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, with around 2.7 million residents while it’s metropolitan area, “Chicagoland” is home to 9.8 million people. Incorporated as a town in 1833 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, today Chicago retains its status as a major hub for industry, telecommunications and infrastructure. Navy Pier, the venue for the Chicago Match Race Center premier events is the #1 tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest attracting more than 8.6 million visitors a year.
The Chicago Match Cup has evolved from a Grade 2 event in 2009 and 2010 won by Phil Robertson and Mike Buckley respectively, to a Grade 1 in 2011 won by Keith Swinton. Both Phil and Keith have gone on to become Tour Card holders after winning in Chicago. In 2012 the Chicago Match Cup was upgraded again to Grade WC as the only US stop of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour with a $100,000 prize fund.
Also on the schedule for 2012 at the Chicago Match Race Center are three Grade 2 events and four Grade 3 events including the 100th anniversary of the Richardson Trophy, the oldest match racing trophy in North America that is not a challenge cup.