80th Queen’s Cup Race Challenged Boats and Crews
The 80th running of the South Shore Yacht Club Queen’s Cup Race across Lake Michigan tested boats and crews. Winds at the start were out of the northeast at over 15 knots with waves running three to five feet. These conditions forced many skippers to make some tough decisions prior to the race.
One hundred fifty-three boats entered this year. As registration started on Thursday, it was clear that weather would be a concern.
By the time the race was underway, the number of boats crossing the start line had dropped to 137. Some boats ultimately turned back after battling the lake, while others pressed on.
Crews arriving in Grand Haven commented that, although conditions were challenging, the ride was exhilarating -- far better than drifting in light air.
The 2018 Queen’s Cup was won by the Section 4 boat Sociable from Milwaukee Yacht Club, narrowly beating SSYC’s Matt Mergener sailing Instigator by 4 minutes 33 seconds. Instigator placed 2nd overall and won the Fons America Trophy as the SSYC monohull boat with the best corrected time. The Silvie Trophy, awarded to the first boat to finish, was won by Heartbreaker, a TP52 from Macatawa Bay Yacht Club piloted by Robert Hughes, with an elapsed time of 7:44:03.
Rick Trisco’s Tango in Blue, from SSYC, took home the Silver Jubilee Trophy as the overall winner of the ORR fleet. Team Tango also placed first in Section 2 and third overall in the PHRF fleet.
This year 27 SSYC boats entered the Queen’s Cup with eight boats taking home trophies and flags. In addition to Instigator and Tango in Blue, the following SSYC boats won or placed in their divisions: Adventurous, Passport, Madcap, Bounder, Hobgoblin, and Triumvirate. Full race results can be found online at www.ssyc.org/queens-cup.
Grand River Sailing Club was a great finish host. Thanks to Mark Erickson, my counterpart at GRSC, the coordination with the City of Grand Haven was outstanding. Marina staff and volunteers helped guide finishing boats to their slips. Grand Haven even completed the renovation of their Waterfront Stadium in time for the 80th Queen’s Cup awards ceremony, which was the first public event at the new facility.
A special thanks to all of our sponsors: North Sails (and to North Sails’ Tom Pease for arranging the weather briefing), Harken, Harken Derm, Mount Gay Rum, Wisconsin Brewing, Pirates Lair, West Marine, and B&G.
Next year’s Queen’s Cup Race will be sailed on June 28, 2019, with the finish in St. Joseph, hosted by the St. Joseph River Yacht Club. Make sure to mark your calendar and watch for the registration announcement in February to enter. Who knows, yours could be the next name added to one of the oldest trophies in yacht racing.
Open to all boats with valid LMPHRF handicap certificates and ORR certificates.
Open to all one-design classes if enough entries are received.
The multihull fleet will race if at least five entries are received.
The short-handed fleet is for monohulls with a crew limit of two.
The cruising fleet is for non-spinnaker monohulls.
The Course in 2019:
Milwaukee, WI to St Joseph, MI and St. Joseph River YC.
Thursday, June 27 Registration at SSYC: 11 a.m. 5:30 p.m. SSYC Queen’s Cup Party: 6 p.m. - ?? Enjoy the party and shuttle bus to Milwaukee attractions
Friday, June 28 Registration: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Starts staggered from mid-afternoon through early evening.
Saturday, June 29 The fleet arrives in Grand Haven for post-race festivities hosted by Grand River Sailing Club.
Small-Boat-Friendly Fee Structure – Fee entry system is based on LOA. This helps to make the fee schedule more equitable and increase participation in small-boat sections.
Take the Queen’s Cruise – Cruisers, join our increasingly popular jib-and-main fleet. Take advantage of an afternoon head start for added daylight sailing time. You must be entered; comply with all safety and insurance regulations; and have a PHRF certificate.
We’re always open to fleet starts. All you need for a scoring division is 6 boats. Talk to our race chair Scott Burke