Friday, June 6, 2014

Chicago NOOD Preview

J/105s sailing off Chicago in NOOD Regatta (Chicago, IL)- The famous Sperry Top Sider Chicago NOOD Regatta is about to get underway this weekend for hundreds of Chicago area sailors.  Hosted by the Chicago YC, racing takes place from June 6th to 8th on the gorgeous aquamarine fresh water of Lake Michigan.  The CYC PRO’s do a terrific job of squeezing in races on the three separate courses they setup off the spectacular city skyline.

Of the 152 entries in this year’s event, 48 are J/Teams that are sailing across all classes- PHRF, ORR and One-Design (J/70, J/105, J/109, J/111).  For the J/111’s, it will be a notable series to watch as some teams have re-calibrated their crews and are looking to improve on their performances in this year’s upcoming J/111 North Americans again being held on Lake Michigan, but this time in the tiny little hamlet of Harbor Springs at Little Traverse YC.  Many usual suspects are racing this weekend; including the trio of Dr George Miz, Peter Dreher and Mark Hatfield aboard IMPULSE.  The other trio- Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer- will be aiming to get back to the top of the fleet in their Mackinac-winning boat- KASHMIR- and hoping to repeat their win from last year.  Two fast-learners from last year’s J/111 circuit will surely factor into the racing- Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE and William Smith’s WOOTON that took 2nd last year.  The dynamic duo of Dabrowski & Deman will be guiding the mighty NIGHTHAWK into contention hoping to improve on their 3rd place last year, as well Rich Witzel on ROWDY will be hoping to do the same.

For the J/109s, a similar scenario is shaping up for this fleet with a number of good boats showing up to play.  Last year’s winner, Kevin Saedi's MOMENTUS, is hoping to repeat their 2013 performance.  Giving them a run for the roses will be Peter Priede's FULL TILT (third in 2013) along with the rest of the fleet.

J/105s also see last year’s champion, Clark Pellett's SEALARK, ready to do battle against a rapidly improving and more deeply talented fleet.  Watch for other top five finishers like Vanessa Gates’s STRIKING, John Moore's HERE'S JOHNNY, Tom & Gyt Petkus’s VYTIS and Sandy Curtiss’s ROCKING HORSE to make a play for the podium.

Making their debut in this year’s event are the J/70 class, not surprisingly, one of the largest fleets in the regatta with seventeen teams registered.  Handicapping these horses are always tough, but there are familiar faces that have been at the top in other J/70 regattas around the country.  Amongst those contenders may be two Macatawa Bay YC teams- John Arendshort’s 20/20 and Dan Cheresh’s X- up against a host of Chicago-based boats- Blane Shea’s GEMINI, Richie Stearns’s HOKEY SMOKE and Amy Neill’s NITEMARE.  San Diego YC sailor Bennet Greenwald is joining the fun with PERSEVERANCE.

In the offshore racing world, we find two J/122s ready to duel for ORR 1 Class honors- Matt Songer’s EVVAI and Mitch Padnos’s SUFFICIENT REASON (the 2013 Chicago-Mac Race overall and class winner). In PHRF 1 we find Robert McManus’s J/130 EDGE taking on a nine boat class.  In PHRF 2, two J/35s that have consistently led this division, and winning several times, are none other than Bruce Metcalf’s BOZO’s CIRCUS and Larry Schell’s TOUCH OF GREY.

Finally, the new NORTH SAILS Rally Race is taking place Saturday with a most excellent turn-out of boats, in fact the largest to date in any of the preceding NOOD Regattas.  Eighteen boats are sailing the Racing Division, include John Madey’s J/92 CYCLONE, Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI, Adam Messelman’s J/124 STILL MESSIN, Jim Gignac’s J/130 SALSA and Ben Wilson’s J/88 RAMBLER.  In the Cruising Division, Dave Hughes’s J/100 BARRACUDA will be taking on all comers in their class.  Sailing photo credits- Tim    For more Sperry Top Sider Chicago NOOD Regatta sailing information