Holland (Michigan) August 28, 2007 – The Macatawa Bay Yacht Club proudly announces it’s challenge of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, for the 2007 match race series commonly called the Canada’s Cup. The contest takes place on Lake Ontario where the defender and challenger will compete in Farr 40 one design sailboats. The match racing starts on October 12, 2007 and continues until one of the teams is victorious in five races.
This year marks the 21st running of the International Match Race series for the Canada’s Cup. The inaugural race was held in 1896 when the city of Toledo (OH) supported Lincoln Park Yacht Club’s (Chicago) challenge to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Macatawa Bay Yacht Club joins a distinguished list of US yacht clubs including Chicago, Rochester and Bayview (Detroit) that have challenged for, and defended the Cup. The US holds an overall 11 – 9 lead in those matches. The cup has never been sailed in Lake Michigan waters.
This will be the third time the Farr 40 one design boats will sail the Canada’s Cup and the third time for long-time Farr 40 owner and member of the Macatawa Yacht Club, Bob Hughes. Bob first sailed in the Canada’s Cup in 2001 for Bayview Yacht Club, where he forced the series to 12 races before being defeated. Bob immediately began preparation for the 2003 rematch. When Bayview Yacht Club withdrew their challenge, Bob Hughes aligned with his home yacht club, Macatawa Bay, to challenge again for the Cup. It was another close duel with Bob and his team unfortunately trailing by seconds in the final race.
This year, Bob, partnered with Ted Etheridge, an experienced sailor, boat owner and also a member of the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club. A recent addition to the team is tactician David Dellenbaugh. Dave was the tactician and starting helmsman on America3 during her successful defense of the America’s Cup in 1992 and sailed in two other America’s Cup campaigns. He is also a Lightning world champion, two-time Congressional Cup winner, six-time Thistle national champion, winner of the Canada’s Cup, two-time Prince of Wales U.S. match racing champion and winner of the U.S. team racing championships for the Hinman Trophy. With a seasoned crew the team will head east to Toronto to sail in the chilly Lake Ontario waters. “We’re putting together a team to take on Canada’s best. We’re determined to hold the next Canada’s Cup in Lake Michigan for the first time ever” said Ted Etheridge.
Winning the cup would place the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club among an elite few and in possession of an honor never before seen on Lake Michigan. The Macatawa Bay Yacht Club has celebrated over 100 years of first class racing and spectacular regattas. Since 1899, the MBYC has been a familiar sight on the banks of Lake Macatawa and a hub of Lake Michigan boating activities. The Canada’s Cup trophy would be a wonderful addition to the rich sailing heritage of MBYC.
The Heartbreaker/Team MBYC has a focused practice and race schedule starting with the one design Windy City regatta, training sessions in Chicago and Demark, and practice sessions in Macatawa and Toronto prior to the match races. It’s not all work…the Heartbreaker/Team MBYC will take time to sail in the VanderLeek Cup Hospice Regatta on September 1, 2007 with a talented crew of 11 elite youth sailors from Macatawa Bay Junior Association, a not-for -profit group that promotes youth sailing from the club. “It is always a pleasure to sail with up and coming junior sailors, especially in an event with a purpose. Through our program, we have tried to give the MBYC a common theme to rally around, increase name recognition and prestige, provide some great racing to watch, and inspiring junior sailors of the future. What a wonderful opportunity to combine this with a great cause like Hospice” said Bob Hughes.
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