The Chicago Yacht Club hosted their annual Verve Cup Inshore Regatta from August 26-28, with sailing taking place on Lake Michigan, just off the Chicago waterfront. The J/70s held nine races, which served as the Great Lakes Championship. In the 26-boat fleet, it was Al Minella’s LEVEL 5 team that started with a 1-1-2 in their first three races. In the next two races, they got a 9-6, then closed with an amazing 1-2-2-4 to win with 28 points in the non-discard series. They won by nearly 20 points. Minella’s crew consisted of all Group 3 sailors: Victor Diaz de Leon on tactics/mainsheet, Greiner Hobbs and Patrick Wilson. The fight for the balance of the podium and the top five was a battle of John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Cate Muller-Terhune’s CASTING COUCH, Allan Terhune & Paul Sevigny’s SMOKESHOW, Doug Rastello’s GOOD TO GO and Rich Witzel’s ROWDY. In the end, second was 46 points and sixth was 56 points. Ultimately winning the battle and taking the silver was Chicago’s John Heaton on EMPEIRIA, with a team of all Group 3s as well: Alec Anderson, Zeke Horowitz and Zach Mason. Rounding out the podium just 3 points in arrears and earning the bronze medal was Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew of Morgan Reeser, Charlie Smythe and Blake Billman. The balance of the top five was settled pretty much by a three-way tiebreaker. Muller-Terhune’s CASTING COUCH team (Nick Turney, Jackson Benvenutti & Jeff Hayden) just nipped into fourth place with 55 points. Behind her was a tie-breaker at 56 points each for Terhune’s SMOKESHOW and Rastello’s GOOD TO GO. Winning the countback was SMOKESHOW to earn fifth place with a crew that included Chris Larson, David Hughes and Paul Sevigny. For more Chicago YC Inshore Verve Cup information, visit

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