The iconic skyline of Chicago will set the stage for the 2017 M32 North American Championship as eleven teams descend upon the Lake Michigan lakefront to battle it out this Saturday and Sunday.
While the M32 Catamarans are perhaps best known for their use on the World Match Racing Tour, the primary focus of the North American Class has been owner-driver “series” racing. In fact, lead-up regattas to the North American Championship including a four-event Miami Winter Series, two stops in Newport including the NYYC Annual Regatta, the Harbor Springs Ugotta Regatta in July, and the Chicago Regatta hosted by Chicago Yacht Club earlier this month.
Hosting M32 Series racing the weekend prior to the WMRT Chicago Match Cup also comes with a major benefit: many of the amateur-skippered crews are loaded with top racing talent.
There is no better example of this than Torrent Racing where, though skippered by Markus Edergan on the WMRT, the helm this weekend will be turned over the his father Harald with Marks sliding into the tacticians role.
Elsewhere, Dan Cheresh, skipper of Extreme 2 and winner of seven North American Championships, has recruited local star and 2013 World Match Race Champion Taylor Canfield to round out his ranks while Pieter Taselaar of Bilksem Racing, winner of the first M32 World Championship, will be sailing with Oracle Team USA sailors Tom Slingsby and Cooper Dressler onboard.
However, favorites going into the weekend are Miami Winter Series Champion REV skippered by Rick Devos as well as Convexity skippered by Chicago local Don Wilson who placed third overall/ top corinthian at the M32 World Championship in Marstrand Sweden this past summer.
With the forecast for the weekend calling for sweltering, above average temperatures combined with light air the racing is surely anyone’s game.
To follow the entire racing this weekend, follow along at Chicago Match Race and M32 World on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
2017 M32 North American Entries:
Bilksem Racing/Pieter Taselaar
Down Under Racing/Harry Price
Extreme 2/Dan Cheresh
Grave Digger/Jimmy Prendergast
Magenta Project/Sally Barkow
Red Gear Racing/Charles Tomeo