Stage Set for 2018 M32 World Championship in Chicago
Thursday, September 20, 2018 8:41 AM
Twelve amateur and professional teams have descended on Chicago, Illinois this week for the 2018 M32 World Championship – the culminating event of the global M32 Series – representing one of the most competitive fleets of the popular one-design class ever assembled.
With talent pulled from grand prix events around the world, this year’s World Championship marks the largest grouping of M32’s ever assembled on Chicago’s stadium race course – a venue that first debuted at the 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago.
Gearing up for the M32 Worlds, seven of the teams competed in the Chicago Regatta, a three-day charity event hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. M32 World Champion, China One Ningbo, took home the win with Dan Cheresh’s Extreme2 hot on their heels.
Cheresh represents the top tier of the Corinthian Fleet that represents the majority of the event. No stranger to the podium with several North American Championships under his belt, Cheresh has competed in the M32 fleet since 2016.
“We bought the boat in 2016 with the hopes of the fleet growing here in the Great Lakes,” said Cheresh. “Now, Lake Michigan is home to more than half the boats racing this week.”
Also chasing the title, Jim Prendergast’s Grave Digger is proving to be a formidable threat to Cheresh in the Corinthian Fleet after closing in on Extreme2 in the pre-worlds event. Other local favorites are Chicago Match Race Center’s Don Wilson’s Convexity, and Jennifer Wilson’s Convergence.
Scattered among the fleet are athletes pulled from the world’s top grand prix events including the America’s Cup, and World Match Racing Tour, and Volvo Ocean Race.
“I’ve never had so much fun sailing with and against such great talent than we have represented here in Chicago this week. It’s truly the best of the best,” added Cheresh.
Fleet racing begins at 1200 CST tomorrow, September 20, on the Chicago stadium race course.