Saturday, June 9, 2018

Chicago NOOD Regatta Preview

J/111s sailing off Chicago, IL (Chicago, IL)- The highly popular Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD Regatta is again being hosted by the amazing volunteers and club members at Chicago YC, with crews sailing on the fresh waters of Lake Michigan, with the spectacular Chicago city-front as their backdrop.

The weather forecast is a bit sketchy for the weekend. However, it can change rapidly based on the crazy weather patterns the Midwest has been experiencing the last few weeks.  Today, it’s baseball-sized hail (75mm dia.), lightning, tornados, and tropical downpours, blowing “dogs off chains” type stuff.  Friday’s forecast is light easterlies, partly cloudy. Then a front passes through, producing ENE winds shifting ESE over the next two days blowing 15-20 kts with patchy rain and lots of cloudy.  Not exactly a “shorts & shades” type of weekend!

Over the years, the regatta has ultimately evolved into one of the largest J/Boats regattas on the calendar anywhere in the world, with the Annapolis NOOD, perhaps being the largest.  The Chicago event includes one-design classes for J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, J/111s, and J/88s. In addition, there will be the North Sails Rally with ORR/PHRF divisions for a J/100, J/105, J/120, J/130, J/133, J/112E, and J/44. Of the 144 keelboats registered, 58 are J/Crews (40% of the fleet).

The thirteen-boat J/70 class features four women’s skippers in their ranks, including the runner-up J/70 North American Corinthian team- Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP.  The other three are Molly Hayes’ BOMBORA, Amy Neill’s NITEMARE and Ava Wilson’s CONVERGENCE.

J/105s sailing off Chicago, ILThe nine-boat J/105 class will again see most of the same boats that sailed the previous weekend in the COLORS Regatta.  Will Sam Powers’ GRYPHON repeat their amazing success?  Or, will the other two teams on that podium, Clark Pellett’s SEALARK and Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, exact revenge on the white wash from the previous weekend?

With eight boats, the J/109s have a good turnout for the Chicago fleet, three more than last weekend at the COLORS Regatta.  Like their 105 colleagues, a similar scenario may play out.  Will Bob Evan’s GOAT RODEO maintain pace and put pressure on their fellow 109’ers?  Perhaps Jim Murray’s CALLISTO and Peter Priede’s FULL TILT will overcome their inconsistent performance and podium every race; both are capable of doing just that.

As the COLORS Regatta goes, same for Chicago NOOD for the eight-boat J/88 class?  Time will tell.  Watch out for a battle between the top three boats from last weekend; Ben Marden’s BANTER, Andy Graff’s EXILE, and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG.

At an even dozen boats, the Great Lakes J/111 Fleet has shown up in force.  The big question on everyone’s mind will be whether Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from Cleveland, OH can top their regatta-winning efforts at the J/111 Midwinters in St. Petersburg, FL earlier in the season.  Chasing them hard will be several teams that also sailed the weekend before in the COLORS Regatta; such as Rich Witzel’s ROWDY (2nd) and the trio of Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer on KASHMIR (3rd).

In the PHRF handicap world, there will be three-days of racing for the PHRF ToT Fleet of fifteen boats.  In the mix should be the two J/35s- Dan Leslie’s NOMATA and Rick Stage’s ALPHA PUPPY.

The Saturday-only offshore race, the North Sails Rally- ORR handicap fleet, there are quite a few J/crews peppered amongst the twenty-two teams registered.  Hoping to repeat their first race win will be Sam Veilleux’s new J/112E MARY GAIL.  Chasing them hard will be Dave Hughes’ J/100 BARRACUSA, Mike Hettel’s J/105 GLOBAL NOMADS, Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI, Tom Papoutsis’ J/133 RENEGADE, and Jay Butler’s J/44 CHEEP’N’DEEP II.  For more Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.