The final day of the 2001 Chicago NOOD regatta dawned clear, cooler than the previous day, and with not a breath of air stirring the surface of southern Lake Michigan. The wind was so calm that as sailors headed out to the three race circles they were treated to the sight of a large, heavy-lift helicopter taking advantage of the light conditions to remove and replace a large air-conditioning unit on the roof of one of the taller buildings in the city. But after a brief postponement, the wind came up, and racers enjoyed a picture-perfect day of sailing with winds of 10 to 12 knots.
Curt and Chad Kasten, father and son team and co-owners of the J/29 Nemesis scored a perfect five firsts to win the 2001 Chicago NOOD regatta. Nemesis claimed boat of the day honors on Saturday, the class victory, and the Farmer's Insurance Family award.
While son Chad delivered the boat to Waukegan, Michigan, Curt Kasten talked about what it takes to win a regatta so handily. "We've only had the boat for about eight months but our crew work made this happen," said Kasten. "All seven people worked together in concert. We had good starts and tried to be the first boat at the top mark. We made it there four out of five races. We tried to start conservatively, stay in phase with the other boats and tried not to bang any corners." Nemesis hails from Carlyle Lake near O'Fallon, Illinois, as does the second-place J/29, Rumblefish. "They call us the Muddy Water Sailors," said Kasten, "because our lake is shallow and a little murky. But we do well here. Rumblefish won last year and the third-place boat, also from Carlyle Lake, won three years ago." Kasten and son plan to kick off next year's NOOD season with a visit to St. Petersburg for the 2002 NOOD.
Tom Papanek and the crew of Fuzzy Logic, this year's Mumm 30 class winners, are no strangers to the podium, having also won their class at last year's Chicago NOOD. "We've been sailing the national Mumm 30 circuit for the past three years," said Papanek. "The competition that we see on the circuit raises our level of performance and allows us to come back home and do well." Papanek also draws on 40 years of Chicago sailing experience."On days like yesterday we were able to figure out what was going to happen with the wind," he said. "Yesterday was a Classic Chicago Day." In addition to winning their class, the crew of Fuzzy Logic also won the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day trophy for their performance on Saturday.
Another repeat winner was Don Rychlinski in the S2 7.9 class. "We've got a good crew, have a couple of new sails, and make sure that everyone has a good time," he said. "We played the shifts properly, made no mistakes, and tried to be consistent.
Tim Weber, winner of the Beneteau 40.7 class is in his third season with the boat and this is his first NOOD win. "We have a crew that's sailed together for seven or eight years," he says. "We work and sail the boat well."
This year's Chicago NOOD set a record for NOOD events with a total of 285 boats in 24 different classes competing.