Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago: Day One Recap

Hundreds of sailors on more than 145 teams launched into Lake Michigan to kick off the three-day regatta

Tartan Tens beat upwind after a close mark rounding on Lake Michigan.
Tartan Tens beat upwind after a close mark rounding on Lake Michigan.Paul Todd/Outside Images

Hundreds of competitive sailors launched into Lake Michigan on Friday to kick off the fourth stop of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta Series. The event, organized by *Sailing World *and hosted by Chicago Yacht Club, continues through Sunday.

More than 145 teams, most of them from the greater Chicago area, raced on three courses off of Monroe Harbor for their chance at the event's overall title and an invitation to compete in the championship regatta in the British Virgin Islands this fall.

One of the 10 sailboat classes racing on Friday was the Tartan Tens, an older design that is popular in the Midwest. Leading the fleet with two first place finishes is local skipper Lou Jacob and his crew aboard Skidmarks.

Jacob attributed his team’s success to quick, strategic calls and good old-fashioned teamwork.

“The whole team made no mistakes,” Jacob said. “The boat handling was perfect. The responses to the tactician were fast. We did have a couple situations where we had to act quickly, especially with the big wind shifts, and working together as a team made all the difference in the world.”

Jacob is hoping for more of the same tomorrow, which is expected to feature breezier conditions—a bonus for the crew aboard Skidmarks, who "tend to do well in heavier air."

Elsewhere on Lake Michigan, the J/111 fleet completed two very competitive races. Velocity skipper Martin Roesch led his team to the top of the class with a narrow two-point lead. In the J/70 class, four local teens who were selected for the Helly Hansen Junior Crew held their own against the pros with a ninth place finish out of 20 teams.

Final awards in all classes will be presented on Sunday at the culmination of the event. The overall winner, chosen based on the strongest finish in the most competitive class, will receive an invitation to compete against winners from the other four series stops in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

For comprehensive results, click here.