canada’s coup – update
You learned last week of the machinations that led to Chicago Match Race Center’s surprise announcement that Don Wilson (CMRC) and Grant Hood (PCYC) would be racing for the historic Canada’s Cup in October 2010. The announcement was worded in a way that made it clear that RCYC, the Cup’s trustee, was stripping the Cup from it’s current defender Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (Holland, MI) without any explanation.
Folks at Macatawa were shocked by this announcement, especially considering the enthusiasm that defending skipper Bob Hughes has kept up since his 2007 victory, and the extensive effort they’ve made to encourage Hood to challenge for the next cup, and they’ve responded to the CMRC release with a press release of their own that you can check out here. Macatawa points out that RCYC actually asked the US club to ‘hold off’ on issuing the Call to Challenge that their 2007 Protocol Agreement required in 2009 and that would have allowed Macatawa to hold a full Defender trial, and that the Agreement requires 12 months between a challenge and a match – a time frame not met by the Chicago event contemplated by the CMRC.
We understand that negotiations between the parties are ongoing, and while some have accused Macatawa of stalling to keep the Cup as long as possible, we think Hughes is genuinely interested in seeing the Canada’s Cup regain some of the lustre that it once enjoyed. He told us that he thinks the future success of the event depends on having a great Defender series, and that the Club that comes out on top in that event goes on to defend the CC for their own club – not, as in the past, on behalf of the defending club. If he is as good as his word – and we’ll hold him to it – then 2011 could be the start of something that the Great Lakes has been missing for some time; a big boat match racing series with an awesome history that Midwest clubs can put their heart into.
It may be too late, and we are of the opinion that the current format of the Canada’s Cup – namely the choice of the Farr 40 OD as the boat – is unlikely to kindle the kind of fire that the CC needs to regain its stature. But if Macatawa can pull something together that gets the GL clubs involved, there’s a glimmer of hope. Check in on the latest SA forums thread here.