Bringing in the Ringers at the Chicago NOOD

Among 21 classes and more than 150 boats, a dozen leaders went unbeaten, including one crew of unusual suspects.

CHI_T10_Rounding

Dave Reed

Bringing in the Ringers CHICAGO, Ill.-Denny Manrique, of Indianpolis, Ind., or more specifically the Wayzata YC ( pronounced why-za-ta) finished third in the S2 7.9 class at last year's SailingWorld Chicago NOOD regatta. But this year, he wasn't about to let that happen. He made a few well placed calls and lined up four talented crew-Dave Randall, John Pearson, John Monroe, and helmsman Moe Rengie. The five unusual suspects onboard Manrique's Island Flyer hail from Alaska, Las Vegas, Canada, and Indianapolis, and together they now rule the 7.9 class after two wins in their 17-boat fleet. "We nailed both starts, and just sailed to great races," says Manrique, an advertising and sports marketing executive who controls the chaos in the middle of the boat. "There were some big shifts but we were lucky because we could watch what was happening with the classes starting ahead of us, especially the Tartan 10s. On top of that we came prepared to win-we have a new headsail and a new spinnaker (both Quantum) and we put a lot of elbow grease into the bottom to make sure we're fast." A thick layer of fog on Lake Michigan broke just enough for 21 classes to sail two races today, in moderate winds with significant shifts at times, and at the end of the day, results in many classes were mixed, but there were more than a handful of runaway leaders. In the 47-boat Tartan 10 class, the largest class here, Donald Wilson's Convergence went 1-1 to set up a 3-point lead over Tim Rathbun's Winnebago. In the eight-boat Farr 395 class, Hank Bernbaum's Chaos, sailing with a crew culled from 20-plus years of racing big boats (boats all named China Cloud) on this body of water, is 2 points atop Ed Cohen's Jason, which went 2-2 on the day. Add to the sweep list David Kirk's 1D-35 Detente, Dennis Bartley's J/30 Planxty, Dick Daniels' S2 9.1 Entropy, Rich Stearn's Glider, a J/109, in the PHRF 3 division, William Newman's J/35 Aftershock, and Matt Schral's Corsiar F-25C Camera. Racing continues through the weekend and the forecast is for more light to moderate winds, so anything can happen-and in Chicago it always does. But for a complete look at the Day 1 results from the Beneteau 40.7, Farr 40 Sydney 38, Beneteau 36.7, J/105, J/24, Melges 24, and PHRF classes, follow the results link on the homepage.