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The Canada's Cup may well be the least-known important regatta in North America. Named for a boat, rather than the country, much the same as the America's Cup, it's a match race format event that's lately been held approximately every other year for the past 20 years. The inaugural race was held for a trophy donated by the City of Toledo in support of a challenge by the Lincoln Park Club of Chicago to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto. The 1896 series resulted in the yacht Canada winning two out of the three races.

Bayview YC in Detroit, Mich. re-initiated the series in 1972, with a successful challenge by the IOR Two Ton Dynamite, skippered by E. Lloyd Ecclestone. Since then, the Cup has been held sporadically and has shuttled back and forth between the Royal Canadian YC and Bayview YC. It was easy to miss the last Canada's Cup, as hard-fought as it was, because the event was in mid-stride when terrorists attacked New York City and Washington, D.C. in September of 2001. Bob Hughes' Farr 40 Heartbreaker represented Bayview YC, sailed against Defiant, helmed by Terry McLaughlin and representing the Royal Canadian YC. The American team lost 5 races to 7.

This year, unable to field an entry, the Bayview YC resigned as the Challenger of Record and transferred the right to challenge to Hughes and his Heartbreaker team, who will represent Hughes' home club, the Macatawa Bay YC in Macatawa, Mich.

"The Royal Canadian YC is now finalizing naming the Macatawa Bay YC as Challenger of Record," says Hughes. "We are committed to trying to hold challenger trials for all comers. If no trials are held Heartbreaker will work up through its own intensive match racing training program and go to Toronto Sept. 27 as the American Challenger and bring the Cup back to Lake Michigan for the first time in nearly 100 years."

The defender of the Canada's Cup will be chosen at the Canada's Cup Defender Trials beginning June 13. We'll be following that and Team Heartbreaker's quest for the Cup this summer and will keep you up to speed on this event.

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