One year after successfully hosting the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series, Chicago is once again providing the backdrop for high-profile international sailing. This weekend, 18 teams competing in the globe-trotting World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) will take to the Chicago’s America’s Cup racecourse just off of Navy Pier. While qualifying races have been ongoing this week, the event’s quarter-finals, semi-final, and finals will take place Saturday and Sunday.
Though lacking the size and outright performance of the more expensive America’s Cup boats, the WMRT’s highly competitive M32 class of catamaran does feature new technology that has trickled down from the pinnacle of the sport. In addition to current America’s Cup competitors and olympians, a number of local sailors are also competing in the Chicago event including two members of Magenta Team—the event’s only all-women’s boat.
Spectators hoping to catch the action can follow the races from a free viewing area at Navy Pier’s east end. Fans can also pay $25 for access to a special hospitality area sponsored by Goslings Dark n’ Stormy. These tickets include vouchers for two beverages, comfier seating, live commentary, music, and opportunities to meet some of the competitors.