Chicago NOOD firing on all cylinders
Published on June 13th, 2015
Chicago, IL (June 13, 2015) – Clear skies, high temperatures and shifting winds rounded out the second day of sailing at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago. Eleven classes raced on Lake Michigan competing in three different racing circles, with one pursuit race class, the North Sails Rally Race.
A new feature of the regatta series, the North Sails Rally race encourages local competitors to participate in a low-key day of racing for one day only, with a long distance race on the lake. The pursuits, with the longest one at 27.2 nautical miles, and the shorter one at 20.7 nautical miles, had the slowest boats in the fleet start first, and the faster boats followed behind.
The race finished late into the afternoon with 26 boats in four different rally classes competing, comprised of PHRF Offshore 1, PHRF Offshore 2, PHRF Offshore 3 and ORR Cruising. PHRF boats, short for performance handicap racing fleet, are a variety of different boat types within the class. Every boat gets a handicap rating, which helps even the playing field.
Benjamin Wilson, skipper of the PHRF Offshore 2 boat, Rambler, and his crew won the class amongst the Rally Race. Hailing from Chicago, the team said it was a collaborative effort all around. “It was a great day on the water with warm weather, but it was challenging – we raced a smaller boat that is 25 feet.” Wilson was sailing with friends that he used to race J/105 and J/111 boats with, and has been participating in the NOODs for years.
He credited most of the success to relaxation and fun – enjoying the moment as the day went on and just having a good time. Jim Nachtman, Sam Veilleux, Mark Ewing Pete Fray and Patrick McSteeen have raced together for the past five years. Wilson closed with, “It was a collaborative effort and each opportunity to learn is something new.”
The Tartan 10s, the largest class with 24 boats, was led by the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club members and boat co-owners Brian Kennalley, Edward Mui, Craig Roehl, aboard Meat, with 12 points. Skidmarks followed close behind in second place with 14 points, and Erica in third with 26 points.
Brian Kennalley, Edward Mui, Craig Roehl and Val Smith were a part of the crew aboard the recently purchased Tartan10, Meat. In a collaborative talk, everyone mentioned it was crazy on the water. “The first race was reasonable, but the second race was out of control and the race committee did a fantastic job,” said Kennalley. “The first upwind leg was the craziest upwind one we have had in two seasons – with puffs here, shifts there, and converging breezes all over. Boats, including us, could go from zero to hero and back like the roll of a dice.”
“Coming into the last finish, we took the kites down for about 20 seconds, and we had two douses within two minutes,” Smith added. “Yesterday was a boat speed day with solid boat work and no worry of maneuvers – just keeping the boat fast and clean. We had a heavy driver yesterday, and a lighter one today.”
Kennalley joked, “If we tie a bucket to Skidmarks keel, we can win tomorrow. It is a difficult fleet to say that in, but tomorrow should be solid and consistent conditions.” The Tartan 10s are an iconic class he finished saying, with a great community and great sailors. “Everyone wants to see you succeed – they cherish the competition, but also the community and everyone is willing to share knowledge. We wouldn’t be where we are without the assistance of those who are competing.”
To recognize exceptional individual performances in each boat class, NOOD Premiere Sponsor, North Sails, presented daily awards for the top three daily crews in each class. The final awards will be presented tonight, at the culmination of the event.
The overall winner of the Chicago NOOD will join Grant Dumas of St. Petersburg, Fla., and his crew of the Tripp 38 Warrior and John Laun’s capercrew of San Diego, Calif., along with Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Terry Hutchinson, winner of the Annapolis NOOD and other victors in the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship hosted by Sunsail. Each overall winning team will be outfitted with new sailing gear, compliments of Helly Hansen.
Racing concludes Sunday, June 14.
Report by Robyn Sheckler.