Team Steve Lowery Captures 2008 Richardson Trophy Championship for Lake Michigan

Steve Lowery and his Lake Michigan crew of Derrick Reig and Rory Lewis won the Richardson Trophy regatta for LMSRF over Lars Hansen's LSYA team Sunday afternoon in a hard-fought finals round that was not decided until the 5th and final match.  The finals competition was so remarkable this year that a number of the semi-finalists and their teams joined Steve and Lars on the awards podium in an afterglow around the Stinger-filled Richardson trophy for some 90 minutes after the presentations!

12 teams from 5 lakes competed in the 2008 Richardson, the Great Lakes Match Racing Championship, in a double round robin followed by semi-finals, petit finals and the final championship matches, sailed in J-22's.  The Lake Superior Yachting Association hosted the 2008 Richardson at Wayzata Yacht Club on Lake Minnetonka Oct. 9-12, 2008 in near idyllic fall sailing conditions, with light to moderate shifty breezes, winds varying from about 6 knots up to 18 knots in puffs during the event.

Half the competitors were first-timers at this year's Richardson, but any presumed lack of experience was just not evident from the intensity of the competition, particularly during the pre-starts as the event progressed into the 2nd and 3rd days of competition.   This year each of the 8 semi-finals slots without exception was strongly contested for.

This regatta featured the largest Sunday spectator fleet for the Richardson semi's and finals in recent memory.  Enthusiastic cheers could be heard around the course from 15 spectator boats, some of them overloaded with onlookers, following half a dozen attention-getting manouvres that either defended a lead / control position or resulted in a lead change during the final round.   A good time was had by all.

Results of Semi-finals - Petit Finals - Finals
1  Lake Michigan Steve Lowery Highland Park YC
2  Lake Superior Lars Hansen  Wayzata YC
3  Lake Ontario  Peter Wickwire Royal Canadian YC
4  Lake Michigan Mark Johnson Neenah Nodeway YC
5  Lake Erie Josh Kerst North Cape YC
6  Lake Superior  John Peterson Wayzata YC
7  Lake Ontario Sarah Bury Royal Canadian YC
8  Lake Superior MacLean Potts Wayzata YC

The Wayzata YC race committee did a terrific job, keeping things rolling smoothly throughout.  This year the event OA provided for a strong umpiring team including two international umpires, 4 international judges, 2 national umpires, 2 national / senior judges and several umpires-in-training.  Thus this event also served as a significant umpire training event for qualifying new match race umpires in the Midwest

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