By Doyle Sails Midwest's John Baxter
13 August 2019
The 2019 Verve Cup Regatta hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club was held from August 9th-11th. Doyle Sails were at the top of many classes over the course of the weekend. Conditions ranged from 6-8 kts on Friday, 10-12 on Saturday and 12-15 on Sunday so it was a great weekend of sailing in a variety of conditions. The regatta was also the J-111 Pre-World Championship.
Rich Witzels J-111 Rowdy with Jud Smith aboard finished in 5th position only 9 points off the lead. Rowdy is outfitted with a complete set of Doyle Stratis sails.
Clark Pellett’s Sealark dominated the J-105 class winning 6 of the 8 races. Sealark used the standard PB Doyle all-purpose mainsail and spinnaker along with a new Stratis jib that includes horizontal roller battens. “Everything just clicked during this regatta and the Doyle Sails were fantastic - the new jib was like a sheet of glass” said a very happy Pellett. "We almost had the wheels fall off on the last leg on Saturday when we had another 300 yards to go to the top mark and we heard a big bang and the headstay went completely soft...with a fully broken headstay the Stratis jib kept the rig up for the last 300 yards!” “Yes we won that one too."
Special thanks goes out to fellow J-105 owner Kenny Ganch who was gracious enough to loan his headstay to Sealark.
Peter Wright's Maggie Mae with Doyle Midwest's John Baxter onboard started the regatta solid but not solid enough to keep Jarrett Altmans Soulshine out of first place at the end of day 2. For the first two days Maggie Mae struggled but after race 4 we did a bit of re-tuning on the rig and found our pace again getting a close second to Altman's (seemingly on fire and could do no wrong) Soulshine. In race 7 Maggie Mae led wire to wire and Soulshine tripped to narrow the lead to 4 points. Maggie Mae in race 8 had a full on battle with another Doyle customer Jason Veatch’s Vini Vidi Veatchi (Triple V). The two boats lead around the race course with Triple V having the edge going into the last run. Soulshine had slipped back to 6th place. Maggie Mae was able to pass Triple V in the last 100 feet of the race to take the first win of the day. Soulshine was able to get back to 4th so it was all tied up going into the last race. After a clean start Maggie Mae was able to pull out to a small lead at the top mark with Soulshine in 6th place. Jarrett and his team worked hard to work their way back up into 4th and splitting from Maggie at the Gate. Unfortunately a crew member off of Erizo De Mar fell overboard going into the crowded leaward mark and Soulshine and Donna Hasting's Joie Di Vie were right there to recover the crew member within seconds. Both Joie Di Vie and Soulshine rejoined the race and both were given redress for their help. Maggie Mae won the race and took the title for the weekend. It's all a game of seconds…It was not uncommon to have the entire fleet round the top mark in 30 seconds. The race committee set a pretty long line which really equalized the fleet as everybody got off the line and it kept the racing really close. The upcoming Beneteau 36.7 North Americans which will be held in Chicago will be full on with pretty much every boat in the fleet able to win races and any one of 10 that could win the regatta. Six of the top 10 boats at Verve Cup carried Doyle Sails including third place finisher Mark and Nick Norris’s Split Decision and last years overall winner Earle and Kara Attwater's Program in 5th.
In the T-10 class new Doyle customer Don Wilson and his team on Convergence* set the pace on day one and never looked back, dominating the fleet of 25 boats and winning by 18 points. The sails were made by Doyle Ontario headed by Brad Boston. The Doyle Sails team have dominated on the national level for the last 5 years winning several of the last five North Americans and always placing in the top three. The T-10 North Americans start this coming week and Team Proper Villain and Team Hooligan will be leading the Doyle Sails charge. Brad and the team from Doyle Ontario will be on hand to discuss our super fast T-10 sails.
In the always competitive J-109 class Doug Evens' Time Out took the early regatta lead with Jim Murray's Doyle-powered Callisto in a close second place. As the regatta went on the class had a lot of ups and downs with different boats mixing it up almost every race. Going into the final race Callisto had moved into the lead with Time Out falling behind. David Gustman's Northstar, always close and ready to pounce, did just that and saved their best for the last race leading wire to wire. Unfortunately for Callisto a bad spinnaker set allowed a few boats between them and Northstar giving Gustman the much deserved win. It was all about being consistent and trying to keep the big numbers off the scoreboard. To show how competitive the J-109 class is every single boat in the 8 boat class had a top 3 finish in at least one race. In 4th place the newcomers to the fleet was Smee Again which is also powered by Doyle.
The Verve Cup also held their distance race on Saturday. Greg and Jerry Miarecki’s team on the fully Doyle-powered Ericson-35 Providence won their class and the race overall. In second place was Matt Nurre on his Endeavour-42cc Obsession. Doyle Sails worked closely with Matt in the development of two purpose built asymmetric sails for different conditions. In ORR 2 Miles Depaepe and his team on the Doyle-powered Schock-35 Free Agent took second place with Lou and Marty Sandoval's Beneteau 36.7 Karma taking third. What made Karmas third special is Lou and Marty were sailing with all of their children and Marty's daughter Caroline taking the helm for the race.
Congratulations to all of the class winners in what was a fantastic weekend of racing.
*Denotes partial inventory