Harken Derm

Turning regattas into occasions

Published on July 29th, 2019

Chicago Area Sail Racing Association (CASRA), a consortium of Chicago’s five major racing yacht clubs, was launched in 2017 to address the variables impeding participation. CASRA president Greg Miarecki reports on what is being unleashed in 2019:


New innovations continue to bubble up off the shores of Lake Michigan as CASRA stages the first ever “Chicago Race Week” in 2019. Chicago Race Week begins on Saturday, August 3rd with Columbia Yacht Club’s Columbia Cup, and ends with the Chicago Yacht’s Club’s Verve Cup the following weekend. But in the middle of the week, there’s a lot going on.

Junior sailors will be participating in Chicago Junior Race Week, with a variety of junior sailing events happening across Chicago’s lakefront, including races for Optimists, Lasers, and 420s. On Monday, August 5th, junior sailors will race across the fantastic Chicago skyline on a distance race from Belmont Harbor on the city’s north side to Monroe Harbor, nestled in downtown Chicago. And during the other days of the week, Chicago-area kids will race around the buoys.

Offshore boats will see a new event coming to Chicago in the form of a two-day event, dubbed the “100 Boats on a Beer Can,” a collaborative event supported by all five of the CASRA clubs.

Typically in Chicago, evening beer can racing takes place in three different venues – one on the north side of the city, one in downtown Chicago, and the third venue on Chicago’s South Side.

On Tuesday of Chicago Race Week, all three venues will sponsor feeder races to downtown Chicago, featuring a common final leg and finish line. And on Wednesday, all boats in Chicago – for the first time ever – will race together on a single course with a single start for all 100 boats. After racing on both days, participants will enjoy parties with complimentary food and drinks.

And on Thursday of Chicago Race Week, Chicago’s burgeoning remote-controlled fleet will race off Monroe Harbor. To date, more than 150 remote-controlled sailboats are registered in Chicago-area fleets.

If you’re in Chicago in early August, expect to see a lot going on across the lakefront that week! To learn more check out www.chicagosailracing.org.

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