Breezy Start for Beneteau First 36.7 North Americans

Published on September 1st, 2016

Chicago, IL (September 1, 2016) – The 14th annual Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championships kicked off today at Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont Station. With winds blowing out of the northeast between 15 to 20 and choppy seas, it was a challenging day for the 15 contenders battling for an early lead.

The Finnish boat Arwen won the day with two local boats, Tequila Mockingbird and FOG, finishing second and third respectively. In extremely competitive racing, the top five boats are separated by one point each.

Joonas Sandholm, the skipper of Arwen, sails out of Helsinki in a regular Beneteau fleet that was established five years ago and has since grown to 10 boats. “Our boat’s motto is ‘Continuous Improvement’ so we wanted to come over to see how much we can learn and improve,” reports Sandholm.

Arwen is sailing with one third of their regular crew and the rest are friends who wanted to take part, with all of them hoping that this will become an annual tradition. “We didn’t know what to expect today, but we are pleased with how we ended up and look forward to the next three days,” Sandholm continued.

Jarrett Altmin, Chicago Fleet Captain and 2016 NAC chair, commented “This is the fourth time Chicago has hosted the NAC’s and we anticipate another successful event. Today we saw a little of what Chicago sailing has to offer. It was a great start to what promises to be a hotly contested regatta.”

Eleven races are planned for September 1-4.

Note: Zingara, last year’s North American champion, withdrew from the second race due to a crew injury.

Day One Results (15 boats; 2 races)
1. Arwen, Joonas Sandholm , FIN – 4 -1 ; 5
2. Tequila Mockingbird, Chris Duhon , USA – 3 -3 ; 6
3. FOG, Charlie Wurtzebach/Mike Bird , USA – 1 -6 ; 7
4. Grizzly, Charles Bayer , USA – 6 -2 ; 8
5. Maggie Mae, PeterWright / Dan Wright , USA – 5 -4 ; 9
6. Patriot, Ken Sharpe , USA – 7 -7 ; 14
7. JoieDeVie, Donna Hastings , USA – 11 -5 ; 16
8. Soulshine, Jarrett Altmin , USA – 9 -8 ; 17
9. Zingara, Richard Reid , CAN – 2 -16 ; 18
10. Split Decision, Mark Norris , USA – 10 -9 ; 19
11. Program, Earle Atwater , USA – 8 -13 ; 21
12. Erizo de Mar, Antoni Czupryna , USA – 15 -10 ; 25
13. Tango, Chuck Norris , USA – 14 -11 ; 25
14. Sorcerer, Don Draper , USA – 13 -12 ; 25
15. IMP, Blair Jones , USA – 12 -14 ; 26

Event detailsScoreboard

Report by Sue Marshall.

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